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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Wow Your Wedding Guests With Creative Cake Alternatives!

Wow Your Wedding Guests With Creative Cake Alternatives!

Pizza? Sushi? Layers of Jello? Meringue? Crepes? Croquembouche? Who says a traditional wedding has to feature a traditional cake!

While your tastes may run to classic silk, satin, lace, organza, and tulle, and a bouquet of sterling roses and freesia may be a must-have for your perfect stroll down an ideal aisle, the concept of a few fondant-covered carrot cake tiers (though yummy!) topped by a smiling bride and groom may not necessarily have to follow suit.

Today’s characteristic wedding cakes can be elegant and simple or sculptural, magazine-perfect confections and in some cases true works of art, with some haute designs costing tens of thousands of dollars. More and more, however, unconventional couples (or conventional duos who like to shake it up!) are choosing to leave the straight and narrow bridal path for more piquant pastures. Redefining the big sweet send-off, creative brides and grooms are finding ways to express themselves in dessert towers that feature cupcakes (certainly not new but providing mini-canvases for pops of bright color icing), layers of gelatin or piles of popular Jello shots with whipped cream and berries, artful piles of donuts in wedding theme-frosted colors, rounds of ice cream cones held together by a wide satin ribbon, tiers of truffles, towers teeming with fudge brownies, and so much more.

For wedding planner Patricia Settlow, imagination is the key to an exciting sweet (or sometimes not so sweet) cut-the-cake moment. “If a couple wants to explore alternative ideas for cakes, I dig deep to find out about their lifestyle,” she said, recalling a recent wedding where the bride and groom had met at a pizza parlor–a place they frequented all through their courtship. “We took the pizza idea a step further and created a dessert pizza,” Settlow said, “which was sweetened pizza dough topped with melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and layered to form a tower. Guests couldn’t get over it.”

For another client, Settlow said neither was crazy about desserts in the usual sense but loved cheese. “They’d taken courses in cheese making while they were dating,” she said, “so their wedding ‘cake’ was actually stacked, giant wheels of a variety of cheeses–in tiers much like a traditional cake–topped with a range of complementary exotic and other fruit that encircled the layers much in the same way flowers might.”

If you truly love cake though embrace the idea of experimenting as well, yet don’t want to forgo all of those red velvet, carrot, chocolate, and other scrumptious options, cake can be used as a canvas. Some happy couples opt to feature a photo cake of the big day (if you’re superstitious about posing ahead of time for the cake photo and seeing one another in your wedding regalia, you can be photographed separately and the results Photoshopped together).

Whatever dessert you select to gild your gorgeous day, wedding guests will get to share in the tasty results and are sure to savor the memory long after the last bite.

8 comments

1 JillM { 07.08.13 at 7:49 am }

We attended a wedding which, in place of a traditional tiered wedding cake, the couple made a tiered cupcake stand and placed, yes, cupcakes. While my discription lacks the really cool and creative words, it was very cool and creative. And reflected the couples personalities, lifestyle and interests. Very cool, indeed.

2 JillM { 07.08.13 at 7:45 am }

Beth, loved your article and emails sharing ideas for alternatives. I am a traditional girl, but love starting traditions also. I see that friends are incorporating old traditions with the new in the weddings we attended this summer. What fun!

3 susan { 06.29.13 at 2:27 pm }

Anne, as a self appointed spell checker you might want to proofread your post.

4 Kim Wood { 06.29.13 at 2:13 pm }

Ms. Anne, maybe you need to enable spell checker, and not be so critical of others. Why can’t we all get along and be nice to one another the way God is so forgiving to us?!?!?

5 Anne { 06.26.13 at 2:37 pm }

Ms. Harvey: As a wedding coordinator (no caps needed), you certainly should know how to spell the work “groom.” As a librarian and a former English teacher it disurbs me when such simple words are misspelled.

6 Denisa Harvey { 06.26.13 at 10:30 am }

As a Wedding Coordinator, my belief is that everything in the wedding of two people should reflect something special or particular to the couple on their special day. With that in mind, we live in central North Carolina where Krispy Kreme Donuts have been a part of childhood for many adults now planning thier weddings. Krispy Kreme will create a wedding cake made from stacking donuts on tiers to suit the bride and groome. Decorations may be added as with any other type of cake. I have recommended this to people who are planning an outdoor wedding where heat might be a factor and might threaten to melt a traditionally iced wedding cake. No, I do not work for Krispy Kreme, I just think it is a neat alternative when the traditional is not a good option OR when the couple share happy memories at the thought of the soft donut morsels.

7 Vicki { 06.26.13 at 9:36 am }

We went to a wedding last year that featured a dessert bar instead of wedding cake. Desserts ranged from cheesecake to fancy parfaits, and also had a “create-your-own hot chocolate” table, with add-ins like oreo cookie crumbs, caramel, mint, etc.

8 Amanda { 06.26.13 at 8:53 am }

One of the best desserts I enjoyed at a wedding were brownies a la mode. Guests could build their own brownie sundae by choosing from a buffet of “extras”: fruit, nuts, sprinkles, and magic shell topping. Customizable and delicious!!

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