The Top 5 Alternatives to Wedding Cakes

Say good-bye to the traditional white wedding cake decorated with flowers, piped frosting and other simple, elegant designs. It seems more and more brides and grooms are opting for other dessert options and forgoing the cake. I recently attended a wedding at which the couple elected to have apple pie with vanilla ice cream (Blue Bell, of course). I love it when people express their personality through the food they decide to serve at weddings.

Even though some may say it is strange or unorthodox to not have a wedding cake, times are changing, and brides and grooms are seeking personalized substitutes for the classic layered fondant white wedding cake.

Here are five cake alternatives gaining popularity among couples today.

5. Cake Pops

Cupcakes at weddings are so two years ago. The new trend is cake pops -- bite-size balls of cake and frosting covered in colorful icing, decorated with piped designs or drizzles of melted chocolate, and placed on a stick. The bride and groom can still feed each other a bite (it just won't be as messy), and guests get to enjoy a variety of pop flavors. For those looking for a way to make their cake display "pop," this wedding cake alternative is the ticket.

4. Macarons/Cookies

After speaking with Michael Savino of Michael's Cookie Jar, I realized that cookies are viable alternatives to wedding cakes. Savino creates the cookie tower, which is made with nearly 800 cookies. While it is an Italian tradition to have a pile of cookies at a wedding, this method of stacking cookies into a tower makes it classy, sophisticated and sweet. But you don't have to stick with American cookies; beautifully colored French macarons can also be stacked in a tiered formation to create a tree. The macarons can be made in the wedding colors, or each layer can be a different color to make a bright, gorgeous display. If you prefer cookies over cake, there's no reason you shouldn't have your choice dessert on your big day.

3. Pies

As I wrote earlier, pies are becoming more and more popular at weddings. Whether it's a display of miniature pies, such as the ones from Tiny Pies, or tiers of different-size pies in the shape of a layered wedding cake, more couples are opting for pies over cakes, especially in the South. The beauty of creating tiers with pies is that there can be a variety of flavors - couples don't have to choose just one. It also makes for a more attractive display. For those having a country, vintage or down-home Southern wedding, pies are a perfect way to illustrate and express the theme.

2. Croquembouche

If cookies aren't your thing and you want something other than a cake, opt for a croquembouche -- delicate French pastries filled with cream and covered in caramel sauce, as well as spun caramelized sugar. The cream puffs are stacked on top of each other, almost like a Christmas tree. It's a sticky, sweet and beautiful display that will make guests ooh and ahh over the sugar threads that cover the pastry balls. Flowers and crystallized fruit may be added to the display for a splash of color and elegance.

1. Ice Cream

This has to be one of the coolest (no pun intended) ideas for an alternative wedding cake, especially for a Houston (or anywhere else in Texas, for that matter) wedding. Lovers of ice cream can request tiers holding cones with a scoop of ice cream (any flavor). It's more beautiful than a simple ice cream cake, and brides and grooms can match the ice cream to their wedding colors or pick a variety of their favorite flavors for a unique presentation. You can also easily have an ice cream sundae bar at which guests can create any ice cream concoction they desire. Fill the bar with several flavors and toppings, but make sure there's enough for everyone at your wedding. When it's hot outside (75 percent of the year in Houston), ice cream cones are a perfect treat for guests and the newlyweds.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >