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7 Alternatives to wedding cake

Traditional wedding cakes can be expensive. And there’s always so much left! Skip the cake and try one of these trendy ideas that will impress your guests and might just save you money.

7 Alternatives to wedding cake

Planning a wedding? One of the hottest new trends is to skip the wedding cake in favor of something a bit more creative. SheKnows has all the recipes you need to DIY and cut down on your wedding expenses.


Wedding cupcakes

If your family has its fair share of picky eaters, picking a wedding cake flavor that won’t have at least 10 people complaining isn’t easy. Cupcakes allow you to have a selection of flavors so everyone gets their favorite. Or just do a single outside-the-box flavor that will keep your guests talking. We suggest lavender cupcakes with Earl Grey icing. Get the recipe >>


Candy or dessert bar

We’re not suggesting you just unwrap some Snickers and plop them on the table. No, we’re talking a salad bar, only with candy! Place a variety of candies in bowls and let your guests take their favorites. Just make sure someone’s in charge of keeping the bowls stocked, or you’ll have a serious sugar-fueled fight on your hands. For an extra-special treat, try something creative instead of the bowls, like candy kabobs. Get the recipe >>

We’ve got even more recipes for your wedding dessert bar >>



No one will say no to a delicious cannoli, but this one is especially fun if your menu features Italian cuisine. We suggest doing at least three flavors to cater to a variety of tastes. We love the Waldorf Astoria cannoli from Jack Goes Boating starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. Get the recipe >>


Ice cream bar

If you scream for ice cream (and who doesn’t?), try an ice cream bar with a variety of ice cream flavors, toppings and sauces. Let your guests make their own sundae or split. We recommend having a shake station manned by a blender-tender to make the guest’s favorite or a signature wedding shake like a boozy red velvet shake. Get the recipe >>


Gourmet jello shots

Combine the wedding dessert and the toast with some elegant jello shots in gourmet flavors you’ve never had at a sorority party. Just make sure you make a few that don’t have alcohol for the kiddos. Get the recipe >>

Check out SheKnows’ ultimate wedding planning guide >>


Festival food

Just because your wedding is elegant doesn’t mean you can’t inject a little fun into the reception. Festival foods will make all your guests feel like kids again! Rent a cotton candy machine, offer caramel and candied apples, chocolate-dipped bananas and anything sweet you can think to deep-fry (including cookie dough ice cream!), and you’re good to go. And don’t forget the funnel cakes! Get the recipe >>


Belgian waffles

If you can have breakfast for dinner, why not breakfast for dessert? Stack the waffles on cake tiers and load them up with your favorite toppings. Or have a couple of roaming caterers to make the sweet treats table side. Go traditional with just a bit of whipped cream and strawberries or serve up a little fun with bananas Foster or PB&J. Get the recipes >>

More wedding food ideas

Chicken or fish? Avoid a boring wedding menu
3 Edible Champagne recipes
The vegan wedding

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