Wedding cakes are one of the most concrete elements of a wedding. Just imagine all of the classic “cutting the cake” photos shared from weddings of your friends or family members, but you may be thinking, “I don’t want a wedding cake!” Some people don’t love cake, so couples are getting creative with their dessert options. Believe it or not, there are fun wedding cakes out there. Here are some favorite wedding cake alternatives.
photo by Daria Shevtsova
Our Top 10 Wedding Cake Alternatives
Hand-Held Wedding Cake Alternatives
Chocolate chip, sugar, Oreo…so many options. Cookies are an awesome alternative to a wedding cake. Chocolate chip cookies are the front-runner when it comes to wedding cookies because they go so well with a glass of milk. Cookies can be displayed on top of a glass of milk, or stacked into another tiered shape.
Croquembouche is a more traditional option from France, which consists of choux pastries stacked into a cone wrapped with spun sugar. This is a show-stopper option that looks quite glamorous with little to no extra decoration. You can include edible flowers, almonds, or even ganache to add even more flair to this extra-chic dessert that can be pulled apart and eaten with your hands.
This is one of our feminine, sweet, and delicate wedding cake ideas. Macarons are becoming more popular every day as an alternative to wedding cakes. These have also grown in popularity because many macarons can easily be made gluten-free for any couples who might be sensitive.
Dessert not cutting the cake? Have macarons instead! Photo by Adriana Calvo.
Breakfast Alternative Cake Ideas
Cinnamon Roll Cake
Did you know it is possible to have cinnamon rolls baked into the form of a wedding cake? The gooey, frosting-drenched goodness brings you back to slow mornings in childhood. Cinnamon roll cakes are sweet unique dessert ideas that are guaranteed to wow guests.
Pancakes & Waffles
Guests will be drooling over the syrupy goodness of pancakes and waffles. You can have a choice between either, but for sake of a shorter list, we’ve combined them. Pancakes will usually have sweeter candy toppings offered, and waffles can be topped with ice cream, fruit, or whipped cream. Waffles can also be stacked into the shape of a tiered wedding cake for a striking display.
Doughnuts – or donuts – are fun and cool wedding cake alternatives. Like pies, you can alternate flavors to offer guests variety. Doughnuts can be stacked into a wedding cake shape, so you won’t lose that beautiful photo.
No wedding cake? Donuts are a fun cake alternative. Photo by Lisa Fotios.
Savory Wedding Cake Ideas
Cheese Cakes & Cheese Boards
When we say cheese cake, we’re not talking about the typical New York dessert. This may even qualify as one of the healthy wedding cakes if you think about it! Wedding cheese cakes will be between 3 and 6 layers of different cheeses for a balanced plate. There are beautiful, very unique ways to craft a dessert cheese cake and/or cheese board for your wedding. This could be a cheaper alternative to wedding cake – or a more expensive one – depending on the types of cheese you choose.
Oui, oui! This French option is an absolute jaw-dropper when it comes to wedding cake alternatives. The crepes can be stacked atop one another and held together with any filling the couple desires. Some of these crepe cakes can be over 100 layers high and can be made either sweet or savory.
Pies – sweet or savory – are gaining in popularity as a wedding cake alternative because they offer variety and a homegrown feeling to your dessert. Options for pie sizes are usually a standard 8” pie or little individual pies that are a bit less messy. Pies are great alternatives to wedding cake if your family is pushing for a more traditional dessert choice because they are so common.
A cheaper alternative to wedding cake is serving pie. Photo by Daria Shevtsova.
Bonus! Fried Desserts
Many caterers offer fried desserts in addition to a wedding cake, so we’re going to include this one as a bonus. Fried dough, churros, or beignets are great additions to any wedding dessert (especially the cheese option). Fried desserts are generally at self-serve stations with fruit or chocolate sauces. If served alone, these can be great unique dessert ideas that offer variety in the kind of dessert that you are serving, not just the flavor!
What are your thoughts about having an alternative wedding cake?
If you don’t want to veer away from traditional wedding cake ideas, you could opt for non-traditional wedding cake flavors so that your cake can look normal yet have a surprise inside. You could also think about grooms cake alternatives if you want to go with a traditional wedding cake yet add an element of fun.
Some brides can’t fathom the idea of no wedding cake, which is fine, too. Considering alternative cake ideas can be intriguing, and your guests would be surprised by unusual wedding cakes. Modern brides truly have the freedom to be as creative as they’d like. If you are concerned about not cutting the cake (as in if you choose cookies or donuts) you can always have a small cutting cake just to stick with tradition. Need a song as you cut your cake? Just look at our suggestions here.
Alli Dillenbeck is a wedding coordinator and marketing manager in Upstate NY. When she is not planning events, she is often tending to her large collection of plants.
Candace HamptonI like out of the ordinary weddings. Now we don’t have to stick to the traditional cake, there’s plenty of options that are yummy and cute at the same time. I’ve always like the idea of having doughnuts instead of cake! Thanks for sharing!
Tara Fullerthese are all so fun! i’m always down for anything sweet!
Megan ElliottOh my gosh, I love all of these!! Doughnuts and cinnamon rolls would be my top choice for sure. Oh, and macarons!
WanderlustBeautyDreamsThese are great ideas! I love the macaron alternative.
Nicole FlintI love when people do out of the ordinary things for their weddings! I’m so here for the cheese board idea!
StephanieOne of my childhood friends got married about a month ago, and she and her husband cut a huge block of brie! It was such a laugh for all the guests. She and her husband are super goofy, so saying they were “cutting the cheese” was perfect for them! My husband and I did a tiny cake, but our real dessert was s’mores!
KileenWhat an awesome post! I love all the different ideas in place of wedding cake! There are so many unique and delicious ideas for dessert!
AmandaCinnamon roll cake? Sign me up! These are all such great alternative cake ideas… & now my sweet tooth is kicking in!
Taylor MobleyThese are amazing! I love these ideas.
Ashley StephensonLove the idea of having donuts instead of a wedding cake!
DeborahThese are interesting ideas! I went to a wedding where they had donuts instead of cake and I really liked that! I’m not a big cake person anyway.
JenniferOh my gosh! I love the idea of cutting the cheese. LOL!!
Jerrieal SmallThis is such a good idea, I didn’t have a wedding but have seen prices for it when my husband and I got engaged. Wedding cakes are crazy expensive – this is such a great alternative!
Morgan TynerI love love all these ideas!! For my husband and I’s wedding, we also had donut holes and apple fritter donuts, too! They were both definitely a huge hit!! It’s fun to change it up and add different ideas!