Cake Alternatives: Different Desserts for Your Wedding

Cake Alternatives: Different Desserts for Your Wedding

Traditionally, weddings include a delicious cake, and the flavor depends on what the couple likes best, but cake isn’t everyone’s go-to dessert. Other couples love sugary sweets and include a plethora of treats at their reception for guests to choose from. If you need some cake alternatives, jot down great ideas from this blog on different desserts for your wedding!

Tasty Dessert Ideas

When it comes to the best dessert, no answer is wrong. Some love dense cake, while others prefer a light and fluffy yeast donut. It’s all a matter of what your tastebuds find the most satisfying. Other couples decide on a sweets table or Viennese hour. The main difference between the two is that the dessert table tends to stay out throughout the reception. In contrast, Viennese hour means the sweets buffet doesn’t start until the couple cuts their cake or other special dessert.

If you’re not a fan of a traditional cake and need ideas for the perfect after-dinner treat, consider serving cookies, chocolate-covered fruit, pie, or another incredible substitute. Some great alternatives to a wedding cake include:

  • Cookies
  • Fruity desserts
  • Cupcakes/cake pops
  • Pie
  • Donuts

Each of these options offers something different and comes in all sorts of flavors. You could have some crispy cookies or delightful donuts or offer a variety.

Cake Alternatives: Different Desserts for Your Wedding


You can’t go wrong with cookies because they offer variety and taste amazing any time of year. Put out a crowd classic like chocolate chip, something more sophisticated like macarons, or various flavors. There are no rules for which type you have to put out, but you should pair it with some coffee or cool milk for guests to dunk their cookies in.

Bridal Tip

Get iced sugar cookies if you want to add some personalization to your cookies. Ask the baker to add a design or your and your partner’s initials to them. 

Fruit-Centric Desserts

Thanks to the naturally vibrant colors, this dessert always looks great without the need for artificial dyes. You can organize the fruit in a hard graham cracker crust or within a mini sponge cake to make a tart, or you can serve parfaits. Other sweet and fruity options include chocolate-covered fruit or caramel apples.

Cupcakes and Cake Pops

Sometimes, couples want cake but not the actual multi-tier cake. When you choose a traditional cake, you’re stuck with one flavor option—two if you make a bride and groom cake. But with cupcakes or cake pops, you have more flexibility in your cake and icing flavors. You can have a few red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing, chocolate cupcakes with fudge icing, and white cupcakes with vanilla icing. Traditional wedding cakes are the third option.

If cupcakes sound messy to eat as guests dance and celebrate your wedding, you could also go with cake pops. These are just as easy to eat but slightly neater than cupcakes. And best of all, you still get a variety of flavors.


Like the other options we’ve listed, you’ve got a variety here. Do you prefer silky pudding pie or nostalgic apple pie? Or maybe you prefer blueberry pie! You can’t go wrong here, and if you’re not a cake person, this could be your perfect option. After all, most of us are either cake or pie people, and at your wedding, you should have the dessert you love.

Cake Alternatives: Different Desserts for Your Wedding


Who doesn’t love a good donut? It blends the world of fried food with sweet treats. And donuts come in two main options—cake donuts and yeast donuts. A cake donut tends to be denser and crispier, while a yeast donut is chewier. You can get either one with your icing or glaze, so the main difference is texture. Typically, options like apple fritters are cake donuts, while jelly-filled donuts are yeast. 

If you want a similar taste and texture to a cake but in a different shape, cake donuts are the way to go since they include all the ingredients in a basic cake. However, yeast donuts will do the trick if you have a completely different dessert.

Mix and Match Desserts

Struggling to decide which is best? Put out a variety of sweet options for guests to choose from. If you love cake, you could have a sweetheart’s cake adorning the center for you and your partner to share. Then, you can accent the rest of the table with brownies, cookies, fruit, and other desserts you love.

Bridal Tip

To keep things easy for you and guests, stick to four or five different options so everyone can find something they love or create a combo platter on their plate!

Cake Alternatives: Different Desserts for Your Wedding

Do a Dessert Bar

Weddings are an experience, and some couples prefer the idea of allowing guests to design their sweet treats at a dessert bar. If you want some different desserts for your wedding that add to the fun experience, spark inspiration from the options below:

  • Ice cream bar: Offer different ice creams, toppings, and dessert sauces
  • Hot chocolate bar: Have peppermint sticks, pirouette cookies, and toppings
  • S’mores bar: Set out graham crackers, chocolate fillings, and marshmallows
  • Candy bar: Put out chocolate, sour, gummy, and hard candies

As you think up the ideal dessert bar, decide on a single option, then give guests options. So if you do an ice cream bar, offer vanilla and chocolate ice cream, various toppings, plus finishing touches. Toppings can include crushed cookies, candies, and nuts, while common touches are whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, and maraschino cherries.

Consider Seasonality

If you love the idea of a dessert bar, take things the extra mile by considering the season. At a winter wedding, a hot cocoa bar complete with chocolate and caramel sauce, cinnamon sticks, marshmallows, whipped cream, and more will keep your guests toasty.

Make It a Thank You Gift

While there are no rules regarding thank you gifts for a wedding, there are many heartwarming gifts for your guests, and some can pair with your dessert. If you do a candy bar, you could put out small bags for guests to take some sweetness. Likewise, if you serve cream or hot cocoa, the gift could be an engraved spoon.

Organizing a Non-Wedding Cake

While you may not want several cake tiers, the aesthetic may still be something you gravitate toward. You can organize anything from mini pies to the toppings at a dessert bar with a dessert stand. At the highest point, you could have a small statue “cake topper” of you and your partner or a special dessert for the two of you. On the other hand, if you serve desserts like cookies, donuts, or cupcakes, use a multi-tier stand or several single stands of different heights.

In the end, the dessert you serve depends on what you and your partner like best. While you want to keep all your guests happy, you won’t please everyone, even with a cake. This is your special day, so put out something sweet that the two of you love most.

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Everyday Bride

Freelance Writer
June 6, 2022

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