Let's Be Honest, Wedding Cakes Are Over

Wedding trends come and go, especially when it comes to food. The beef, chicken, or fish-plated dinners have gone by the wayside in favor of non-traditional options like a taco food trucks or pasta bars. But surely the crown jewel of the wedding dining experience, the wedding cake, will endure the test of time, right? It seems less and less likely over time as folks reject many of the nuptial rituals and look for customized dessert menus. 

Engaged couples are also likely to reject wedding cakes because they are astronomically expensive, costing $350 on average, says Brides. And the tiered masterpieces that have been a staple in weddings also have a reputation for being a tad flavorless and boring, not to mention generic. For a while, that meant the soon-to-be-wed would go for modern cake styles, favoring bold floral decorations, distinctive techniques like stucco frosting, and unique flavors such as pumpkin spice latte cake with cream cheese frosting. Now those are very common and read as just as nondescript as their predecessors. And as the general trend in weddings is that most couples want each aspect of the wedding to be catered to their unique tastes and interests, the traditional wedding cake is out in favor of more quirky, memorable dessert options. 

What to serve instead of cake

Rejecting tradition when it comes to weddings can be intimidating, but there are some key advantages to skipping the cake. For one, you can often buy smaller dessert items like donuts or macarons and then assemble them in tiers to resemble a cake shape, or just let them be served up on a large platter. By forgoing a wedding cake maker, you can save money on the big cake, as well as additional expenses like a custom design, delivery, a cake cutting service charge, and so on. 

We love the idea of a donut hole tower, which is sort of like a more rustic take on the traditional choux-pastry studded French wedding dessert, the croquembouche. Sprigs of flowers and herbs can be tucked between the donut holes for a stunning, sophisticated presentation. This style would also work well for macarons or meringues. You also don't need to go for a dessert tower — mason jars filled with banana pudding, a build-your-own-waffle bar, or an ice cream sundae buffet are great wedding cake alternatives.