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Does anyone cake anymore?

Don’t be surprised if you’re invited to a wedding reception and see the bride and groom handing out doughnuts instead of cutting into a cake.

Why are modern couples choosing alternatives to a wedding cake? Here are some reasons:

  • It’s on trend not have a wedding cake
  • Not all couples like cake
  • Experienced mediocre cakes at other weddings
  • Wedding cakes can be expensive
  • Reception venues may charge extra for their staff to cut your cake.

There are many expenses involved in putting together a wedding. So saying ‘no’ to cake, and saving money with an alternative wedding dessert can be a wise financial move!

If you decide to forgo a traditional wedding cake, here are some fun ideas for non-traditional ‘cakes’.

Doughnut cake / Doughnut wall

Either layering doughnuts into a pyramid or hanging them from pegs on a wall is a popular cake alternative. Doughnuts are easy to serve, guests can just grab and go, and you can provide a variety of flavors to suit everyone’s tastes (sprinkles, glazed, icing, sugared!).

Doughnut walls can be a rustic or elegant depending on your theme, and are often the talking point of the wedding.

Cheese cake

Not all couples have a sweet tooth, so here’s a non-baking trend – wheels of cheese, stacked in tiers decorated with fruit such as candied grapes, and tied with a bow.

Cheese cakes are becoming more popular because they’re so easy to assemble. You can make them yourself, and there’s no expensive cake maker fees to pay.

You may choose to have a small cake or dessert selection for your sweet-toothed guests. But good quality cheese and crackers will always be appreciated.


Does your aunt or grandmother make a lip smackingly good fruit pie? Asking the best bakers in your family to make you wedding pies can not only save you money, it can add a personal touch to your wedding and warm the hearts (and bellies!) of your guests.


A number of different flavored pies can be stacked to resemble a cake-type structure. Then it’s just a case of slice ‘em up and serve.

Whoopie pies / cupcakes

Tiers of different flavored whoopie pies are a fun alternative to a wedding cake and a crowd pleaser with their decadent cream fillings.

Small, beautifully iced cupcakes can also make a big statement instead of a wedding cake. They’re easy to transport, arrange and best of all there’s no slicing required!


If you want to take the elegance stakes up a notch then opt for a tower of French macarons. A macaron tower is basically tiers of macarons in all one color or tiers of different colors.

wedding cake
Photographer: Dan Aguirre Photography

These delicate, pretty meringues sandwiched together with a layer of buttercream or ganache are currently a big wedding trend.

Pancakes or crepes

Having a breakfast or brunch wedding? A cake made up of pancakes or crepes and topped with fresh berries can be a very different wedding dessert. As a cute touch the bride and groom could pour over matching bottles of syrup instead of cutting the cake.

To cake or not to cake, that is the question…

As you can see, if you’re not a big fan of the traditional white fondant cake, but still like the idea of a special wedding dessert there are lots of other sweet (and savory) ways to celebrate!

These non-traditional cake ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Check out The Knot for more alternative wedding desserts.

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