Halloween pumpkin cookies
Food,  Holidays,  Other,  Recipes

Halloween Potluck Tips – How to Stand Out at a Spooky Gathering

Fall is right around the corner. It will soon be time for all things pumpkin and lots of entertaining.  These Halloween potluck tips will help you stand out with your spooky offerings.

standing out at a potluck collage

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I love Halloween.  It’s a time of the year where everyone gets to decorate, dress up, eat sweet treats and have a lot of festive parties.  When I was younger I was most excited for dressing up like a black cat (always, every year) and going trick-or-treating.  

Now that I’m older, I find that throwing festive parties and going to my friends get-togethers is the highlight of the holiday.

While I think it’s always nice gesture to bring something (a dish, drinks, flowers, etc) to a friend’s place when they host a party, Halloween seems to be a time when that’s done even more.  

The reason?  Halloween potlucks!  

Halloween PotLuck Tips

There are so many cute recipes to be made around Halloween, so why not make yours really stand out?  I love it when someone compliments me on a dish I bring (I’m so glad to know they have liked it!), and with these 7 tips, your dish can be the star of any Halloween potluck party!

Halloween layer cake
Photo credit:  Wikimedia Commons

Layer colors to create a visually stunning dessert.

This one is first, because I think it’s probably my favorite!  I love nothing more than a good layered cake during normal days in the year, but Halloween?  

Oh, yes.  Halloween layering is even better.  You’ve already got a great color scheme to use (typically orange, black, yellow and white), and you can put that into effect on any dish you would normally layer.  

Having a layered cake gives you lots of opportunities to add decorating flair.

Cakes, cupcakes, parfaits, etc etc!  Here are a few examples of some great layered cakes:

Tiered cupcakes
Photo credit Thos Ballantyne Flickr

Think tall, not wide. 

I guarantee your host will thank you for this one!  How many times have you been to a potluck and seen virtually no table space to put your dish!  For me, this happens at almost every potluck. 

You can help combat this problem by stacking your dish vertically instead of having a wide sprawling arrangement.  You can do this by using a cake stand, a cute cupcake holder, or by stacking the items on top of each other in a tasteful way.  

This will also make your dish stand out because it will tower over all the other dishes that are short and wide!  Look at these neatly stacked dishes:

candy corn

Use candy embellishments.

When I think Halloween, I think of  Halloween candy.  There’s a lot of candy corn, gumdrops and chocolates made especially for Halloween.  

Why not use these festive candies to decorate your dishes!  They are especially great for cookies and brownies, but the possibilities are endless!  Check out these treats with candy embellishments:

carving a pumpkin

Use a pumpkin as a dish.  

Let’s face it, if you bring your item in a pumpkin, people are going to notice.  It’s great for anything you might keep in a bowl – including but not limited to dips and candies.  

I’d suggest using a snakk  pumpkin because they’re super cute and because it might be hard to fill a huge pumpkin.  This also eliminates clean up for you and the host.  At the end of the day you don’t have to lug home dirty dishes, you can just toss the pumpkin in the trash!  

If big pumpkins are on your mind, you can even use them as drink holders.

These are perfect examples of pumpkins being used as a containers:

heart shaped cookie cutter

Create spooky pictures with cookie cutter.

This is a great one because it’s so simple, but it will make your food look fabulous.  You can use festive Halloween cookie cutters to make holiday pictures of your dishes!  I think it would work well with cookie sandwiches (on the top cookie so you can see the filling), and also on pie crusts.

Cookie cutter designs will wow all the guests at the Halloween potluck!  Here are some examples of  cookie cutter desserts are so cute:

Halloween pumpkin cookies


This may seem daunting for some, but even if you’re not the best artist you can add appeal to you dish with doodling.  It could be something as simple as drawing with frosting!  You could draw a stick figure skeleton on a cupcake, or a jack-o-lantern face on a pumpkin pie!  

Neither of those require special art skills, and they would both make guests at a Halloween potluck take a second look at your dish!  Check out these doodles:

pumpkin soup

Bring a savory dish.

When you go to a Halloween potluck, there are some items you’ll see every time without fail.  There’s always cookies, candy, cupcakes and pies.  If you make a savory dish you will definitely be in the minority, but people will appreciate you for it.  

You can only eat so many cookies before you want to feed your body something that doesn’t have a ridiculously high sugar content.  That is when people will gladly gobble up your savory dish. A great savory idea would be pumpkin soup, or festive deviled eggs.  

Some examples of a savory dish:

Pin these Halloween Potluck tips for later

Would you like a reminder of these tips for making your Halloween pot luck stand out? Just pin this image to one of your Halloween boards on Pinterest.

Halloween potluck tips

If you follow some of these tips I’m sure you’ll be the star of your next Halloween potluck!  Good luck, have fun, and be safe during the holiday season.

Have a favorite tip, or did you try one of these 7 Tips to Stand out at a Halloween Potluck that worked well for you?  Let me know in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you!

Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in October of 2013. I have updated the post to add new photos and tips.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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