The team here at Weddings of Canberra has eaten a lot of wedding cake. Hey, it’s all part of the job! And don’t get us wrong. We go weak at the knees for an elegant, tiered, traditional wedding cake. There’s something just so decadent and appealing about those glorious, iced layers!
But more and more couples are starting to think outside the (cake) box when it comes to their wedding desserts. And why not? After all, if every other aspect of your wedding can be chosen to reflect you and your partner’s unique quirks, why not the wedding cake too!
The options for a non-traditional wedding cake are pretty much limitless, but we consulted some of Canberra’s most talented wedding dessert vendors to find out their favourites.
Who doesn’t love a doughnut! Lord knows, Instagram certainly does. There was a time where you couldn’t avoid these delicious, doughy and sugary hits on social media. Whether you go for the iced variety or have a food truck serving piping hot cinnamon doughnuts, serving doughnuts as the sweet end to your wedding is sure to delight your guests. A word to the wise however – avoid filled, jam doughnuts unless you want your guests in a hot, sticky mess.
Just like a wedding cake, only smaller! Cupcakes are a nice and simple way of pleasing everyone – you can have a variety of flavours and cater for dietary requirements with ease. What’s more, you don’t need crockery or cutlery to serve them, and guests can enjoy them standing up. Cupcakes are the perfect option for laid back weddings.
Pies, tarts…you can call them what you like, but we all agree. They’re delicious. Flavour options are endless – apple, cherry, banoffee, lemon, coconut cream – and your guests have the perfect excuse for seconds (or thirds). After all, you’ve got to sample a few flavours, right? Ask your venue if they can cut and serve the pie portions for you (and don’t forget to ask for good quality thickened cream and ice cream to serve!).
Bring out the inner child in your guests and have them create their own delicious desserts with a sundae bar. This is a great option for the warmer months (though admittedly, gets logistically challenging on a 40° scorcher). All you need is some good quality icecream and a range of yummy toppings such as chopped nuts, sprinkles, fresh berries and chocolate or caramel sauce.
Why not incorporate you or your partner’s heritage into your wedding day by honouring the culinary traditions of that culture? Or perhaps you and your partner met or have spent time in another country – include a nod to that time in your lives with a cultural dessert.
Italian? Offer cannoli’s, gelato, or biscotti.
Indian? How about serving Laddu or Gulab jamun
Keeping it Australian? Stick to Pavlova or Peach Melba.
A cultural dessert is not just a great alternative to a traditional wedding cake, it is the perfect way to share your unique history with your guests.
The ideal way to give your guests a little sweetness at the end of their meal without worrying about them being too stuffed to hit the dancefloor! Your choice of flavours is pretty much unlimited and if you have a fussy guestlist, you can provide a range of options so that guests can choose their poison! If you want to get creative, you can also consider serving your desserts in unusual vessels – like test tubes, beakers or jam jars!
Also known as bonbonniere or wedding favours, a lolly bag is a cute way to send your guests off with something sweet without worrying about making time for dessert in your schedule. Include you and your partner’s favourite childhood treats with a retro styled lolly bag. Or perhaps a lovely selection of macarons? You can order custom made lolly bags or if you’re crafty, repurpose vintage material and make your own.
Cheese? Yep, cheese. Do yourself a favour and Google “cheese tower” and then pick your jaw up off the floor. If neither you nor your partner are really sweet tooths (or is that sweet teeth?) then ending the meal with a savoury option is a fantastic idea and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love cheese. Make sure you mix it up with a range of cheese styles and include bread, crackers, nuts and fresh and dried fruit, such as pear, figs, muscatels, walnuts and dried apricots.
Personalised biscuits are super cute and allow you to include a message to your guests. Just choose the biscuit flavour, the icing colour and the words! These can be presented on little dishes on each table or given to guests as part of their lolly bags. We also love customised cookies as gifts for your bridal party.
So, what do you think? Can’t stop thinking about a multi-tiered traditional cake? Then go for it! There is never (ever) a bad time for wedding cake. But if you’re looking for an alternative to the classic wedding cake, hopefully one of our non-traditional wedding dessert ideas has inspired you.
For more help in planning your wedding, check out our handy 12-month guideline, create an account and start browsing our crazy-talented Canberra wedding vendors. When you’ve made your shortlist, get in touch with vendors directly. You can save notes, quotes and more in our handy planning section online. Oh, and we are always available should you need guinea pigs for your wedding cake trial. Just saying.