A dessert spoon is smaller than a tablespoon in length and in capacity. A dessert spoon is approximately 7 inches long, and it holds 2 teaspoons of food. A tablespoon measures 8 to 9 inches long.
The dessert spoon also is called an oval spoon. In an informal table setting, the dessert spoon can be used for dessert, soup or chili. The dessert spoon also is appropriate for food served in a large soup bowl that does not require a knife and fork, such as stew. A tablespoon is not part of the place setting for a formal or informal table although it is used as a serving spoon.