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Wedding cake is a traditional, timeless wedding dessert that couples have served to their guests for decades. Today’s couples are choosing to expand their reception’s last course with unique wedding dessert menus.

Whether you forgo a cake altogether or pair a small cutting cake with other desserts, there are dozens of wedding dessert ideas instead of cake to serve at your reception.

Add International Flavor
  1. Spanish churros are a great option for a laid-back wedding reception.
  2. Take a cue from French weddings and serve guests croquembouche.
  3. French macaroons are a trendy wedding cake alternative.
  4. Layers of puff pastry and pastry cream make up mille-feuille, a French pastry. This treat is also a traditional Tuscan dessert, where it’s known as millefoglie.
  5. Upgrade your ice cream bar with custom flavors of Italian gelato.
  6. Cheesecake was once used as wedding cake by Greek couples.
For Summer Celebrations
  1. Serve guests refreshing sorbet that matches your wedding’s color palate.
  2. Get creative with ice cream instead of cake; serve via a truck, cart or sundae bar.
  3. Take advantage of fresh local fruit with pies in various flavors.
  4. Popsicles are a fun, transportable treat for summer wedding receptions.
  5. Set out s’more ingredients near the fire pit for a snack after guests are done dancing.
  6. Meringues are a delicate dessert that look beautiful stacked on tiered displays.
  7. Keep dessert light with chocolate and caramel dipped fruit.
Bite Sized Cake Alternatives
  1. Choose classic cookies in multiple flavors for your wedding reception dessert.
  2. Add fudge-y brownies to your dessert menu.
  3. Elicit nostalgia with squares of Rice Krispies Treats.
  4. Present guests with personal fruit tarts with a variety of fillings and toppings.
  5. Serve cake in a unique, bite-sized form: the whoopie pie.
For a Brunch Wedding
  1. One of the biggest current wedding trends, donuts, can be served on a wall or in a tower.
  2. Drizzle warm cinnamon rolls with icing for a dessert that will make guests forget about cake altogether.
  3. A Belgian waffle bar gives guests the opportunity to customize their wedding dessert.
  4. Let guests choose which fillings they’d like in warm, freshly made crepes.
  5. Gourmet pop tarts are a sweet treat to serve guest during your reception or package for them to take home.
  6. Bring the flavor of New Orleans to your wedding dessert menu with beignets.
Mix and Match Pastries
  1. Serve an assorted collection of elegant petits fours.
  2. Éclairs can be filled and decorated to complement your reception theme.
  3. Pair after dinner coffee with petite cannoli dusted with powdered sugar.