There are lots of unwritten rules around wedding planning and let me tell you…
... they can all be broken.
When we were wedding planning, we used these unwritten rules as a guideline and in most cases, totally did our own thing. The unwritten rules around wedding cakes are no different.
First off, if you don’t want a wedding cake, you don’t need one. If you don’t want to cut the cake, you don’t have to! If you want a wedding cake but you don’t want it to be a plain vanilla cake with plain white frosting and white flowers, you don’t have to! It’s your wedding and it is most certainly, your cake. It’s your decision to decide what to do.
So, if you decide you want to have a special dessert that is not the traditional wedding cake, here is a list of 10 wedding cake alternatives!
Tower of Cannoli
I mean come on, who doesn’t love cannoli. Whether they are plain white goodness inside and the plain shell outside or they are dunked in chocolate or have a few chocolate chips or are covered in powdered sugar, cannoli are delicious. There are a lot of different ways you can personalize your cannoli tower with different shells and fillings so you can still make it yours. You can even still keep the traditional wedding cake cutting, you would just be cutting a cannoli instead! I can picture it right now, your guests on the dance floor with their cannoli. Who needs cake anyway?
Yup. It’s possible. Similar to the tower of cannoli, who wouldn’t love a macaron tower? I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t like macarons. And as you may know, there are a million macaron flavors so this tower can be bright and colorful or it can be modern and classic depending on the flavors you choose. And, there is no need to use a fork and knife or have to sit at the table to enjoy these special treats. Your guests will be grabbing macarons by the handful and I can promise you, you won’t be upset if there are leftovers.
Keeping with the theme of grab and go and lots of variety, donuts are another great option. Glazed donuts, chocolate frosted donuts, jelly donuts, I mean the list goes on. Sprinkles or no sprinkles. Mini or regular sized. There are plenty of options for personalization here. Maybe you only pick two types of donuts and you each get to pick your favorite. You can spin this lots of ways but you know what this isn’t? A typical white boring wedding cake!
I can’t believe I’m saying this but if the cannoli, macarons or donuts weren’t enough of a variety for you, cupcakes will definitely do the trick. There are a million flavors, colors and options when it comes to cupcakes which means that you can have whatever type of cupcake you want. Maybe an assortment and a little bit of everything is what you want. Or maybe you just absolutely LOVE red velvet cupcakes and you can’t imagine your wedding day without it, make that the cupcake flavor! Because cupcakes are essentially mini cakes, you can still absolutely have your traditional cake cutting ceremony without a problem. You just might be eating something that is more your style than the traditional wedding cake route!
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Now this one is going to take some magical logistics but it can definitely work. I’ve been to weddings that have ice cream bars and let me tell you, they are always a HIT! Instead of your guests walking around with a cup and spoon though, could you imagine them just holding an ice cream sandwich? Having a nice cold dessert is awesome when your guests have been partying it up all night. A glass or cold water works but I think an ice cream sandwich would be even better!
Mini Key Lime Pies
Picture tiny quiches. That’s how big these mini key lime pies would be. They are bite sized. Tart, refreshing, and if you have more than one it’s totally okay because they are tiny! This is a very unique wedding cake alternative that still allows you to have your wedding cake cutting ceremony. You will probably just need a smaller knife!
An Assortment of Cakes
Instead of just one, Mike and I had three wedding cakes. We didn’t just want a generic boring flavor that appeased everyone so we each picked our favorite and then we went with a “safe” but still delicious option! Mike picked carrot cake, I picked strawberry shortcake and then we chose a chocolate cake. I thought for sure we would have leftovers because let’s be real, how many people actually eat the wedding cake piece? Well, we didn’t have a single piece leftover. Not even one. When dessert was served, our guests kept coming up to us on the dancefloor talking about how great the cake was. And little did they know, all the cakes were vegan AND gluten free. They were delicious AND healthy and all of our guest’s food allergies were taken care of. It was a win-win-win for all of us.
Have you ever had a Belgium waffle with strawberries and whip cream? Picture that as a dessert. This wedding cake alternative will definitely require your guests to sit down and probably use a fork and knife but it will be well worth it.
This is a simple way to have a large assortment without overcomplicating the main event. You don’t need a grand dessert that has multiple tiers and requires a knife to cut. If that’s what you’re looking for, you can still place the cookies on a multitiered tray and you can absolutely still cut a cookie for your cake cutting ceremony. Or, you can absolutely just feed each other your favorite cookie. This is a nice easy to simplify the sometimes-complicated dessert decisions.
And to simplify it even further, your venue or caterer is probably already including pastries in your menu. You can absolutely leave it at that. Or you can add a special pastry or two that are your favorites. This is a nice simple way to skip the cake altogether!
I hope these options got the ideas flowing! Is there a favorite dessert either or you like that you can choose instead? Is there a specific flavor that you both like that you could love to incorporate in your dessert? Do you want to skip the traditional cake all together?
Remember, this is YOUR wedding! You call the shots. You do not need to have a traditional wedding cake if you don’t want to. You don’t have to cut the cake if you don’t want to. Everything in wedding planning is an invitation- it’s your choice to accept it!