Wedding Cake Alternatives

Let them eat cake. But not you. No, you’re willing to admit that you’ve never been a huge cake fan. So why settle for it now on your big day? If you’re willing to go outside of the ordinary or traditional, there are plenty of desserts that can be adapted perfectly for a wedding.


Even though wedding cupcakes are essentially still cake, something about their miniature size can be more appealing. With cupcakes, you can opt for a huge range of flavors, each one with a different frosty decoration. Plus, it’s still possible to arrange them in traditional layers; just ask your wedding baker for tips! For the true cupcake aficionado, you could even play around with flavored fillings and frostings.


Smooth and creamy, cheesecake is often a great alternative to cake. Once again, there is a variety of flavors available, as well as yummy toppings, and it can also be arranged in layers with the right kind of cake platform. Want a money-saving tip? Many restaurants and caterers will offer dessert as part of your meal package. Opt for the cheesecake dessert, and serve your smaller wedding cheesecake to your wedding party. Your guests will never know the difference!

Ice Cream Cake

Summer months are some of the most popular wedding months, so what could be better to cool off the big day than a hefty slice of chilled ice cream wedding cake? As with the previous alternatives, flavors and toppings are all your choice, and it’s still easily arranged in tiers with the right tools. The only potential downside to this choice is that you probably won’t be able to have your cake sitting out until the time comes to actually cut into it and eat it up, or you’ll have a melty mess on your hands.

Mixed Dessert Table

Can’t decide on your favorite dessert? Have a table arranged with a variety of mini desserts. A small plate of tiramisu here, a mini dish of crème Brule there. Or serve dessert “shots,” with a variety of dessert choices served in shot glasses! Or, if you’ve been to Starbucks recently, get inspired by their adorable cake pops, and put your dessert on a stick! Perfect for a light hearted, more casual wedding!  If you still want something to cut into for those infamous wedding cakes photos, you can always have a small, one or two tier cake made up on the side.


Light, airy, and silky smooth, mousse can be a great finish to a tasty meal. Arrange a display of small dishes, available in as many flavors as you can imagine, and your guests will love this change to the ordinary. Plus, most mousses aren’t quite as heavy or rich as many cakes or other desserts, so you won’t feel as full and weighed down, even after a generous portion!

How to choose a baker

DIY Weddings – Overcoming Challenges

From wedding invitations and favors to flowers and cake, there are a hundred different details of a wedding and a hundred ways to do-it-yourself, whether you want to save money or simply express your creativity. DIY wedding details are awesome goals, but it’s easy to underestimate the effort behind it all. So keep the following potential challenges in mind.

Defying Expectations

As much as you love your family and friends, chances are there’ll be someone with the stubborn idea that things are supposed to be a certain way. And chances are, your DIY details won’t conform to that.

Stick to your guns. As long as you’re being realistic about your projects, don’t change your mind just because someone disagrees with your ideas. If it’s causing stress, find ways to de-stress and don’t let those nay-sayers get to you.

Time Limits

Deadline extensions are impossible when it comes to preparing for a wedding. But when you’re 10 months away from the big day, it’s easy to dismiss that fact without a second thought.

Whether you have just one project on your hands or 10, you should make a realistic estimate as to how much time you need to complete it. Make sure you have plenty of time left over for other things, too. What other things? Details you forgot about, final meetings with vendors, family to welcome, or downtime to de-stress; no matter what it is, things come up. Ensure your schedule isn’t too jam-packed so you can get those projects done with the least amount of stress.

Level of Difficulty

Shoving flowers into mason jars or arranging simple posies may seem easy enough in the trial run months before the wedding, but don’t fool yourself.

When you’re stressed out in the last few days with a hundred other things on your mind, it’s altogether possible that those posies end up looking like a pre-schooler’s creation. It’s no insult to your abilities or creativity; it’s simply an underestimation over how difficult it is to make 6 bouquets, 10 boutonnieres, and 20 centerpieces all in one day.

Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into on a project, and get as much practice as you can before crunch time. There are plenty of resources online instructing upon DIY wedding ideas, but until you actually do it yourself, you won’t have a true idea of what it takes.

Worst Case Scenario

What if it all goes wrong? What if those 150 wedding cupcakes you’re baking come out burned? What if the ink on all those programs comes out smeared? What if the flowers wilt and die?

While you can’t spend all your time letting the “what ifs” plague your mind, you should be realistic about potential disasters. Make sure you have a solid back up plan should the worst happen.

Bottom Line

In any DIY project, realistic expectations, plenty of time, back up plans, and a handy group of family members and friends or bridal party members who can lend a hand are key. Good luck!

Wedding Dessert Options

Wedding cake is the most traditional dessert option for your upcoming nuptials, but it doesn’t have to be the only sweet treat you offer to guests. If you’re a sugar enthusiast, non-conventionalist, or someone who just hates cake, you might want to consider other after-dinner options for your reception. These options can be done in lieu of wedding cake or as a fun, creative addition:

1. Cupcakes: Ok, so they’re really just cake in a different form, but they’re fun, adorable, and simple. Offer a variety of classic or eccentric flavors for guests to munch on or supply them in cute boxes as favors.

2. Ice Cream: Ice cream by itself can be a little boring, but you can certainly glam it up to make it wedding-appropriate. Offer gourmet ice cream sundaes, frozen cocktails, or a fun do-it-yourself assembly station, loaded with fresh fruit, chopped candies, and scrumptious sauces.

3. Candy: Candy can be an entertaining and clever way to add excitement or whimsy to your gathering. For a formal affair, fill apothecary jars with monochromatic confections to match or complement the wedding colors. At more relaxed events, offer a wide array of the bride and groom’s favorite treats along with bags for guests to help themselves.

4. Pastry Bar: Please a more sophisticated palate with an assortment of delectable pastries like adorable petit fours, airy cream puffs, or filled croissants or danishes.

5. Pie: Who doesn’t love pie? Add charm to your soiree with a selection of fruit and cream-based pies. Or, step it up a notch, with personal, mini pies available for each guest.

6. Crepe Station: These French delicacies can be filled with cream, fruit, or ice cream to create an elegant and delicious treat. If you’re holding your reception in a hotel ballroom or restaurant that traditionally offers brunch, find out if they have a crepe station that you can rent for an additional fee.

7. Fondue: Everything tastes better when it’s covered in chocolate. Set up a fondue station for guests to enjoy. Provide delicious dippers like strawberries, banana, pineapple, pound cake, and marshmallows along with an assortment of fondue flavors such as chocolate and peanut butter, white chocolate, or dark chocolate.

8. Regional: If there’s a dessert that’s particularly famous in the area of your wedding, incorporate it into your gala. Serving a local favorite will impress guests and leave a lasting memory, all while paying homage to the city of your nuptials.

9. Theme-based: Choose a dessert option that supports your wedding theme or vibe. Consider distributing popsicles for a summer affair, serving tiramisu to honor your Italian heritage, or celebrating holiday magic with pumpkin or gingerbread cookies, cheesecakes, or pastries.

More on wedding cakes

Thanksgiving Weddings

Thanksgiving is the perfect time for an elegant yet relaxed celebration, as the autumn holiday lends itself to natural settings, simple decor and comfort food. And while the general rule of thumb is to avoid having your wedding around a holiday, Thanksgiving presents an entirely different set of circumstances. While you probably don’t want to hold it on Thanksgiving Day, the Friday or Saturday after can be a great option. Most friends and family will either already be in town or planning on traveling anyway – so making the trip to your wedding may not be a burden. Plus, most of your guests will already have the day off. Need more convincing? Here are some creative ways to plan your Thanksgiving wedding in style…

Ideas for a Thanksgiving Theme Weddings

Invitations and Stationery

  • Send out save the date cards as soon as possible since your wedding will fall on a holiday weekend.
  • Dress up ordinary wedding invitations and wedding with inexpensive silk fall leaves included in each mailing.

Wedding Flowers and Decor

  • Instead of gaudy arrangements featuring pricey blooms – keep your decor a simple enhancement to mother nature’s natural bounty. Use the autumn harvest for inspiration; think gourds, pumpkins, squash, gold dipped fall leaves…you get the idea.
  • Use hollowed out pumpkins or cornucopias for centerpiece holders.
  • You’re not confined to rustic and casual for Thanksgiving. Create a posh Thanksgiving ambiance, and drape lush velvet in a rich chocolate brown or gold throughout your party space. Accent the scene with antique broaches, crystal candelabras and stemware.

Menu and Catering

  • The food is the main attraction for this party. You cannot go wrong with traditional favorites: turkey, red potatoes, corn bread dressing, green beans, and honey glazed carrots.
  • Consider incorporating your family recipes into your wedding menu and serving the meal family style (if your guest list is small).
  • Serve traditional fare in sophisticated, creative ways. For instance, present soup or veggie puree in mini shot glasses or hallowed out gourds, or warm apple cider in glass mugs with cinnamon sticks.

Wedding Cake

  • To round out the thanksgiving feast – serve a pumpkin cake or even a tiered pumkin pie!


  • Make it – homemade goodies like fudge, candy apples, or jams presented in festive packaging always go over well
  • Bag it – fill mini burlap bags with coffee beans, bulbs, or any treat you desire, and tie a label with your monogram or wedding date to the top
  • Pour it – miniature bottles of maple syrup are a sweet treat
  • Fill it – miniature wood crates lined with straw and filled with goodies are a rustic touch


wedding cake

Choosing A Cake Baker

The tradition of wedding cake dates back to the Roman Empire and fortunately, much to the delight of sweet tooth’s everywhere, it’s a custom that has stood the test of time. With so many innovative and creative bakers in the world, your wedding cake can be a piece of art, a centerpiece of the reception that conveys a certain theme, message, or feel. Whether you prefer whimsical or classic, modern or romantic, there’s a wedding cake and baker out there that’s right for you. In your quest for the perfect bakery, here are a few things to consider:

Custom Cakes: Many bakeries offer custom cakes, meaning you can pitch an idea of exactly what you want, but others have relatively strict rules on the types of cakes they offer. During your initial meeting with bakers, ask about whether or not they have set styles you must choose from. If so, make sure to peruse their portfolio before deciding on a bakery.

Cost: Most wedding cakes are priced by the slice, but the price can often increase based on the flavors, fillings, and elaborateness of details. Discuss all of the factors that could increase your overall cake cost before signing a contract. If you want an elaborate wedding cake, but need to stay within a tight budget, ask about additional sheet cakes that can be cut in the kitchen and served to guest while a smaller, more elaborate cake is on display.

Flavors: Many bakeries offer brides an opportunity to sample various cake flavors. Not only is this a fantastic and tasty way to spend an afternoon, it will help you select a baker based not just on how beautiful their cakes are, but how good they taste. Even if a bakery doesn’t offer a taste testing, ask about the flavor and filling options available for wedding cakes and whether or not, you can mix and match flavors in different tiers.


Preparation: Depending on how intricate your cake is going to be or how popular the bakery is, your wedding cake may need to be made several days in advance. Ask ahead of time when exactly your cake will be baked. A few days in advance is common, but obviously, the cake will taste better and fresher the more recently it is prepared.

Delivery: Be sure to ask about the bakery’s delivery policy. Most bakers will deliver and set up your wedding cake for an extra fee, but some expect it to be picked up. If your cake is elaborate, large, or contains many tiers, paying the fee for delivery will be well worth it. That will ensure that the baker can set up the cake, fix any minor blemishes on the cake, and have it looking perfect when your guests arrive.

Cake Topper Ideas

Check out Cocoa Bean in Geneva

Wedding Cake – Top Tier

Since most couples had children quickly after marriage, the top tier of the cake, which was usually left over, was preserved for use at the christening of their first child. Part of what made this tradition so successful was that cakes were usually soaked in brandy and made with fruit, helping them preserve better and last longer than today’s popular flavors.

Over the years, this tradition evolved slightly into what we know today. As the time between marriage and christenings extended, many newlyweds began saving the top tier of cake to eat on their first anniversary. Enjoying the top tier together is a way for couples to relive and remember the joys of the wedding day.

This tradition has become less popular in recent years, although many newlyweds still opt to adhere by it. If you do decide that you want to save your top tier for your first anniversary, tell your cake baker or caterer ahead of time. Have them wrap the top tier in plastic wrap and place in an airtight plastic bag. At home, store it in an airtight plastic container and freeze.

If the thought of eating year-old cake makes you queasy, consider a modern spin on this age-old tradition. Many wedding cake bakers offer couples a complimentary mini cake on their one-year anniversary. If your baker doesn’t offer this, why not splurge and order one for yourself? Select the same flavor as your wedding cake and enjoy the tasty (fresh) dessert together.