Fun Alternatives To The Traditional Wedding Cake
For those with a sweet tooth, cake is a welcome part of the wedding day menu. And for some couples the ubiquitous fruitcake is beginning to turn stale now that there are plenty of other options available. There are some quirky alternatives to get the taste buds racing, whether it’s a cake or that extra bit on the side in the shape of a desserts table.
Another visual dimension
The idea of a desserts table has been trending for a while and offers a variety of cakes and puddings with something for everyone. Dessert tables look great and add an extra magic to the look of the venue. As well as the desserts, you can decorate the table with flowers, confetti and fairy lights to add another visual dimension.
Here are some options:
For those pie fans put together a pie station, which has been on-trend at weddings in the last few years. It is something that family and friends can join in with – a sort of wedding Bake Off – by producing and sharing their favourite recipes for your big day. Put the pies on identical cake stands, add sweet little chalk boards saying what’s what and, hey presto, you’ll be lucky to find a crumb left.
Another yummy alternative is the French dessert croquembouche, a towering cone of choux pastry bites – typically profiteroles – held together with spun sugar or caramel.
Always a firm favourite are beautifully displayed, decadent cupcakes. Here you can mix and match flavours topped off with the theme colours of the wedding.
A treat for guests to snack on
For fans of doughnuts, how about creating a doughnut wall of chocolate, glazed and rainbow sprinkles? Decorate it with more rings than you’ll know what to do with.
Another dimension in the sharing stakes is skewers with pieces of fruit, miniature cakes, and marshmallows, in fact, any sweets that will stay on the stick. They look great piled high on a dish as a centrepiece and ideal for guests to stand around and snack on. You can add sweet sauces or melting chocolate for dipping. But be aware – avoid chocolate sauces on hot summer days as the bride may find some of it on her dress!
Who doesn’t love cookies? A simple and cheap idea is to put together a cookie crate and fill it with plain, chocolate or dried fruit cookies. They are easy to make and can be done in various flavours, and children love them as well as adults.
Macaroons are a gourmet delight in beautiful pastel shades such as pistachio green, bubble gum pink and vanilla cream – perfect for a retro wedding summer wedding.
For those who love shabby chic and the vintage touch, a tower of Eton mess – whipped cream, strawberry and meringues – fits perfectly into the English country garden theme. Decorated with English roses, this meringue dish deserve the accolade of one of summer’s quintessential British desserts.
Let your imagination run wild
Other possible delights are strawberries dipped in chocolate, marshmallow dipped in edible glitter, hand-made chocolates coated in edible gold leaf, jars of sweets and even milk shakes or smoothies.
If milk and cookies are your thing, ask the caterers to make milk-and-cookie cup shots – milk poured into the centre of a cookie in a glass. I’m told it’s delicious! Popcorn is great for gluten free or vegan guests and can be dyed different colours.
The beauty of all this means you can go wild with your imagination.
If you are looking for gelato heaven – and I’m not talking about Mr Whippy down on the beach – how about setting up a 1950s ice cream parlour or having an old-fashioned ice cream cart complete with umbrella? You can be adventurous with your flavours and serve in waffle cones, tubs or offer ice cream sandwiches. Bibs should be provided on hot days!
Cheesecake is a brilliant alternative for guests who don’t want a chocolate wedding dessert. Mini-cheesecake pots are a great way to give guests something sweet at the end of the wedding breakfast without leaving them too full – top them with sugar-dusted berries.
Wonderful photo backdrop
For diehard chocolate fans there’s mini gooey chocolate brownies or chocolate lava cake where the surprise is the oozing sauce in the middle. Tiramisu is always a reliable, delicious favourite at weddings, served in a mini glass jar or as a neat slice of cake. A photogenic and show-stopping dessert is red velvet cake served layered in mini glass jars topped with lashings of whipped cream. For edible centerpieces on the tables, how about sparkly cake-pops dipped in a bit of sugar glitter for sparkle?
The cutting of the cake is one of the important traditions of the day, but you won’t miss out if you aren’t having the traditional fruitcake. A couple can choose a particular cake from the table to be photographed cutting. Decadently presented cakes make a wonderful photo backdrop. It doesn’t have to be an expensive option. Decide on how many you would like and the cheapest way of supplying them. And if the temptation of sugar is not enough, you can always opt for a savoury alternative, like a wedding I recently went to, where the couple where photographed cutting into a magnificent layered cheesecake with all their favourite cheeses and decorated with soft fruits. I’ll just grab my plate…