Think Outside the Cake Box

Think Outside the Cake Box: 4 Wedding Cake Alternatives

Written by: Lindsay Hoffman

Being in my late twenties, I’m in that particular age group where a majority of my friends are getting hitched, which means I have attended a handful of weddings. Going to all these weddings in the past few years, I’ve made a discovery: the more weddings I attend, the more I find newlywed couples ditching the traditional three-tier wedding cake and replacing it with their own dessert substitutes.

If you’re completely shocked by this breaking of tradition, don’t panic. They’re not completely ditching the wedding cake, but rather replacing the huge cake with a small 6-inch round cake. It’s miniature-sized just for the purposes of the bride and groom stuffing pieces in each other’s faces, or to save a slice of it to eat after their first year of marriage.

Personally, as a wedding guest, I find the dessert substitutes much more enjoyable! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never turn down a good slice of cake! But having the same vanilla or chocolate cake over and over again becomes a bit boring for the tastebuds. It’s nice when a wedding party provides options for their guests so they can choose a flavor of dessert they’ll enjoy most.

So if you want to think outside the wedding cake box for you and your partner’s special day, here are a few suggestions for alternative wedding desserts. You can either ditch the cake completely, or just transform the cake into something smaller, providing more variety and mobility for guests.

These desserts are the most common I’ve seen as a wedding guest, along with a few of my favorite bakeries I highly recommend in West Michigan to cater your special day!


Courtesy: Holland Cakery n’ Sweets

Cupcakes are the most popular wedding cake alternative I’ve seen at weddings. Putting these cupcakes on display with a few fun wedding decorations makes your dessert table feel unique and personal. With cupcakes, you can provide more variety in design and flavor for your wedding guests to enjoy.

So if you and your partner can’t decide on what type of cake you want at your wedding; just get all the flavors you want! Plus, it’s more fun seeing the bride and groom shove an entire cupcake into each other’s face versus a bite of normal cake.

These West Michigan bakeries serve some of the best cupcakes in town:

Cake Pops

Courtesy: Pink Slip Cakery

If you still have your heart set on cake, but feel cupcakes have been overdone, cake pops are an elegant way to display your dessert. Place them on a tiered platter and it’s technically a tiered wedding cake, but without the hassle of cutting and serving slices of cake. You can get multiple designs, colors, and flavors to give guests a choice in what type of cake pop they want to enjoy too. They’re less messy than cupcakes too.

These bakeries in West Michigan make customized cake pops, so they can be designed specifically around your wedding theme:


Courtesy: Sprinkles Donut Shop

The bride and groom aren’t the only ones who can have their own ring at a wedding. Doughnuts are a relatively cheaper dessert option if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly dessert to serve to your guests after dinner. Doughnuts come in so many cake types, flavors, frosting types, and fillings, that there is bound to be a doughnut for every guest invited. Not to mention if you choose to go with gourmet doughnuts, they make the spread look extremely fancy at the dessert table!

Or to keep it simple and avoid messy hands, get a bunch of doughnut holes and put them in skewers like a kabob. Fancy!

For the budget-savvy wedding planner, call your favorite mom and pop bakery to see if they can cater to your doughnut needs. For more fancy gourmet doughnuts, I highly recommend calling these West Michigan bakeries that cater and specialize in doughnuts:


Courtesy: The Good Cookie Sweet Shop

I haven’t met a cookie I didn’t like, and most likely no one else has either! Cookies are a great individualized treat that come in a variety of flavors and types so there’s something for everyone. Even the kids who came to the wedding can’t complain when they’re handed the classic chocolate chip cookie. Cookies are also a great handheld treat so guests can continue to mingle with people other than the guests at their table.

Some of my favorite bakeries that specialize in cookies are:

Love these dessert ideas for your wedding? Don’t hesitate to reach out to your favorite bakery in town to see if they’ll cater for you. Many of the bakeries I’ve mentioned do create a variety of baked goods as well as wedding cakes, so you don’t have to stick with just one dessert type.

Is there a bakery we missed? Tell us what and where you plan to cater your dessert for your wedding.

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