If you’re not a “cake person,” don’t be afraid to break from tradition and customize your dessert table with all your favorite treats.
Dessert alternatives are nothing new – we have seen the rise of cupcakes, cake pops, and doughnuts in place of the classic three-tier cake. If you are looking for more out-of-the-norm ideas, our Gilmore Catering team has a few options for your wedding that we know you’ll love.
Alternative #1: Create-Your-Own Dessert Bar
In an age where everyone needs to have it their way, a create-your-own dessert bar will please even the pickiest guest. Choose your favorite dessert as a base – we like ice cream, shortcakes, s’mores, and hot chocolate – then set out a variety of toppings and mix-ins that your guests can choose from. You can also make your dessert station work double-duty as a take-home wedding favor with a candy “shop.” Guests can bring home bags of their favorite candies from brightly colored gummies, chocolates, and more.
Alternative #2: Breakfast for Dessert
In the words of Leslie Knope, “Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast foods?” Listen to the wise woman and serve up your favorite morning sweets in lieu of traditional desserts. Cinnamon rolls are growing in popularity among cake-ditching brides, while customizable pancake, waffle, and crêpe stations are staying strong as trendy go-to alternatives.
Alternative #3: Whatever You Want, but Make It Tiny
If you’ve decided to ditch the cake, but traditional sweets are still your jam, consider asking your caterer to whip up mini versions of your favorite desserts. Mini pies, tarts, and brownies are perfect for a grab-and-go dessert table. Turn crowd-pleasers like cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and tiramisu into “dessert shots” for small, two-bite treats. Your guests will love the variety and mini desserts are cute.
Alternative #4: Global Inspirations
Wedding cakes are not the traditional wedding day dessert for many cultures around the globe. Take a page from a French patisserie with an extravagant croquembouche display (you deserve this “skyscraper of pastry” covered in caramel and spun sugar). Let your heritage or wanderlust lead the way: churros bar or decorated pavlova, anybody?
Alternative #5: Themed Desserts
If a cake does not work with your theme wedding, pick the desserts that will! Imagine a carnival themed outdoor wedding with funnel cake and caramel apples filled dessert cart to complete the experience. For vintage-inspired brides, choose retro desserts that fit the era you are replicating. A Harry Potter-themed reception can recreate the grandeur of Honeydukes with butterbeer, pumpkin pasties, chocolate frogs, and Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans – if you dare.
Alternative #6: Savory Bites
If no sweet treat will do, skip the dessert table altogether and set out your favorite savory snacks. Cheese wheels can mimic the traditional cake cutting part of the evening without the cavity-inducing sweetness. Soft pretzels, sushi, and charcuterie also make delicious post-dinner snacks for guests planning to burn off the dinner calories on the dance floor. If you plan to serve an early plated dinner, a pizza or taco bar will make for a perfect late night munchy.
When it comes to breaking traditions at your wedding, you could do worse than replacing the cake with an awesome alternative (it’s not like you skipped the father daughter dance for an interpretive whip and nae nae). If you are looking for something unique and customized specifically to suit your personality, contact the wedding professionals at Gilmore Catering.