28 Delicious Wedding Cake Alternatives

If you’re looking to break with tradition, we’ve got you covered with our list of 28 delicious wedding cake alternatives. A wedding cake has always been a staple, but not everyone necessarily needs it. Couples are often looking for cheaper desserts or something to surprise their guests with. In fact, it’s becoming more and more common for couples to forgo an extravagant cake and go with a modern twist. From ice cream bars and donut towers to homemade pies and cupcakes, there are so many different options to choose from!

Find inspiration for your unique sweet treat with a selection of our favorite wedding cake alternatives below.

1. Mini Desserts

For brides that can’t decide which delicious alternative to choose, why not choose them all! Go for mini versions of your favorite desserts. You can even choose a theme such as childhood classics or international specialties. Either way, this wedding cake alternative is one your guests will appreciate!

mini wedding desserts
Photography: Anne Schwarz Photography | Mini Cakes: Blushing Cook

2. Pancake Tower

This brunch inspired treat is a perfect idea if you don’t want to stray too far from a cake-shaped option. Keep it simple with buttery pancakes, or go all out with syrup, berries, and cream. Provide a selection of toppings your guests choose from too.

pancake wedding desserts
Photography: Mary Alice Hall | Catering: White Pepper | Event Design: Champagne Wedding & Events

3. Croquembouche

Branch out from a traditional cake and offer your guests a different take on a wedding classic. Croquembouche is a French dessert consisting of choux puff pastry filled with creme patisserie. Although this original wedding cake alternative has been trending recently, it’s actually been around for hundreds of years! You can add caramel, sugar flowers, or colored icing for the perfect finish.

wedding cake alternatives
Photography: Rebecca Yale | Dessert: Chez Amis

4. Cake Pops

Add a fun touch to your reception with cake pops. They’re great for guests to grab and continue mingling! The best part? You can match them with any color palette or wedding style for the perfect decorative touch.

cake pops
Photography: Purple Tree

5. Donut Tower

Stay true to the tiered aesthetic of a cake with a donut tower. You can create a gorgeous display with these sweet treats, by adding flowers or greenery that match your wedding style. Mix them up with a variety of fillings or icing colors for perfectly colorful look!

wedding donut tower
Photography: Alison Leigh

6. Pies

Homemade pies are perfect wedding cake alternatives to add a rustic feel to your special day. Choose popular classics including apple pie, pecan pie, and berry pie. You can adapt your pies to the time of year too, such as a pumpkin pie for fall, or make them cute by using a mini pie display!

wedding cake alternatives
Photography: Angie Wilson

7. Cupcakes

Stick with the tradition of a cake but with a delicate twist. After all, cupcakes are always crowd-pleasers! And you don’t have to worry about cutlery and plates. Showcase these delicious wedding cake alternatives with a gorgeous display.

wedding cupcakes
Photography: Justine Milton Photography

8. Chocolate Strawberry Tower

If you want a fruity alternative, then this one is for you! Keep things local by picking your strawberries from a nearby farm. These bite-sized treats are perfect for couples that don’t want a large cake but do want to keep a similar aesthetic.

wedding cake alternatives
Photography: Sally T

9. Cheesecake

This modern option is a popular wedding cake alternative for couples that don’t want anything too sweet. A cheesecake can be filled with anything you like! You can even create a layered look and decorate it with some flowers or greenery.

wedding cheesecake
Photography: Georgia Verrells

10. S’mores Bar

A s’mores bar is perfect for both a warm summer evening or a cozy winter wedding. Consider displaying your bar around an outdoor lounge area, or inside with some blankets and hot chocolate. This fan-favorite works well for all ages and your guests will love creating their chocolaty treat!

wedding smores bar
Photography: Melissa Green

11. Cannoli

Make your guests feel like they’ve been swept away to the south of Italy as they taste this cake alternative. The custard-filled Italian pastry can be assembled to look like a cake but with a Mediterranean twist.

Photography: Tamara Lockwood Photography |

12. Millefoglie

Similarly, another Italian-themed wedding cake alternative is Millefoglie. It consists of puff pastry and cream, topped with fresh fruit and powdered sugar. This wedding cake alternative is ideal if you’re looking for an option that isn’t too sweet.

millefoglie wedding dessert
Photography: Purewhite

13. Cookie Treats

Milk and cookies are a new popular trend on the wedding scene. Display the milk in shot glasses, mini milk bottles, or even champagne glasses. This classic treat is sure to bring back nostalgic childhood memories for your guests.

wedding cake alternatives
Photography: Clean Pictures

14. Scone Stack

One wedding cake alternative that’s perfect for an intimate wedding is scones. This quintessentially British option fits perfectly with a summer wedding in the countryside. For instance, you can create a stack mixed with berries and flowers, or display them on vintage plates.

wedding desserts
Photography: Hayley Savage | Coordinator & Designer: Matthew Oliver

15. Watermelon Cake

A watermelon cake is perfect for summer! Keep your guests hydrated with this refreshing alternative. Mix in different summer fruits to decorate, and multiple layers for a cake effect.

watermelon cake
Photography: The Lemon Apron

16. Cheese wheels

If you’re not a fan of sweet wedding cake alternatives then why not go for a tiered cheese cake! Stack cheese wheels if you want a traditional cake aesthetic, or create a stunning cheese board display. Don’t forget to add in some grapes, figs, and charcuterie too.

wedding cheesecake alternative
Photography: Charity Burggraaf | Cake: Paris-Madrid Grocery

17. Macarons

Macaron towers are truly beautiful and add a sophisticated touch to any wedding. Choose a color that matches your wedding style, or make it fun with an ombre display! Include flowers to make your display extra romantic.

wedding macarons
Photography: Nora Photography

18. Chocolate Profiteroles

This option is perfect for chocolate lovers! Drizzle your croquembouche tower in delicious chocolate, and even add caramel. Make it extra tall for a truly showstopping piece!

Photography: Harwell

19. Pavlova

Pavlovas are a perfect alternative for summer weddings. They’re crispy on the outside, but soft and gooey inside. You can customize this meringue-based dessert for any season! Add an assortment of berries, mangoes, and apricots for spring and summer or pears and apples for the cooler months.

wedding pavlova
Photography: Chelsea LaVere

20. Mousse

Mousse is ideal if you’re looking for a light wedding cake alternative. Display mini versions for an easy and portable option. You can mix up different types of mousses too, such as strawberry and cream, or crushed Oreos.

wedding cake alternatives
Photography: Chantal Sokhorn | Desserts: Tres Belle Desserts

21. Waffle Bar

This is a great option if you want to mix sweet and savory. It’s a quirky alternative for your guests to create their own fun dessert. Make sure that you have lots of different toppings and sauces for your guests to choose from.

wedding waffle bar
Photography: Sweet & Simple

22. Candy Bar

Opt for a rustic and youthful vibe for your wedding cake alternatives with a candy bar. Choose a selection of classics or even ask your guests to include their favorites when they RSVP.

Photography: We Heart Photography

23. Ice Cream Bar

An ice cream bar is a perfect complement to a relaxed summer wedding. Choose a nostalgic ice cream caravan or a traditional Italian gelato cart. Your guests can choose from a variety of flavors and toppings to enjoy as they mingle under the warm evening sun.

Photography: Kevin Chin

24. Bundt Cake

The donut-shaped frosted cake is a sweet and simple wedding cake alternative. Go for a minimal aesthetic with a few gorgeous flowers, or go for different layers and flavors. You can even have a traditional cake-cutting moment too.

wedding budnt cake
Photography: Click Away

25. Churros

Churros are an ideal wedding cake alternative if you want individual treats for your guests to enjoy. Pair the Spanish snack with ice cream and caramel for an extra level of sweetness. You can also create a churro tower, a rustic display, or for a touch of fun, assemble a churro station with different toppings.

wedding churro bar
Photography: Beatbox Portraits

26. Kransekake

If you’re looking for wedding cake alternatives with an international flair, opt for a Kransekake. This traditional Scandinavian confection is made of almonds, sugar, and egg whites. It’s also a great option if you need a sweet treat that’s free from flour and gluten.

wedding cake alternatives
Photography: Roots of Life

27. Rice Crispy Cake

A rice crispy cake is another childhood classic that will definitely put a smile on your guests’ faces. A rice crispy cake gives a cute nostalgic feel to your special day. They’re also very easy to make and affordable!

rice crispy wedding cake
Photography: Cheers Babe Photo

28. Giant Cinamon Rolls

Choose a breakfast classic with a giant cinnamon roll stack. Make sure you include plenty of icing to delight your guests’ tastebuds. It’s the perfect quirky alternative to a traditional cake!

wedding cake alternatives
Photography: Haley Richter

Make sure you close your reception meal with something that you both love and will look forward to! These wedding cake alternatives will add an unforgettable touch to your big day. For more inspiration head over to WedBoard. You’ll find more food-related tips including How To Pick Your Wedding Menu, How To Plan The Perfect Post-Wedding Brunch and 12 Wedding Cake Ideas for 2022.

Featured image: Carly Michelle Photography

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