9 Wedding Cake Alternatives

Satisfy your guests’ sweet tooths with fun, creative alternatives to traditional wedding cake.


Crumbs cling to their fingers. Buttercream covers their face. It’s the quintessential cake-in-the-face photo, and every wedding photographer has taken it.

But if you want to try an non-traditional dessert—or maybe you don’t want chocolate ganache on your dress—here are some creative ideas for wedding cake alternatives that are fun to eat—and photograph.

People can’t get enough of these mini-cakes. Stack them to resemble a cake, or arrange them artfully on a table.

Just like cupcakes, these look pretty and delicious piled high or arranged on a table. Have fun with different icings, fillings, and sprinkles.

Order pies from a bakery or beg a favor from Grandma to create a pie buffet featuring different fillings.

Here’s the perfect ending to an outdoor summer wedding. Jazz up classic s’mores with flavored marshmallows, designer chocolates, and fancy cookies.


Milk and Cookies
Send your guests home at the end of the night with a favorite bedtime snack. Don’t forget red-striped straws for sipping!

Pancakes and Crepes
You can have breakfast for dinner, so why not dessert? Have a chef prepare them on a griddle, and let guests add sweet toppings. This is also a fun idea for a sunrise ceremony.

Ice Cream
This idea is great for a summer or retro-themed wedding. Set up an ice cream “parlor” where guests can build their own sundaes from a variety of flavors and toppings.

Cake Pops
Serve your wedding cake in true Iowa fashion—on a stick! Cake pops are a great way to add a modern, and mobile, spin to traditional cake.

Dessert Buffet
If you can’t decide which of these wedding cake-alternatives to serve, who cares! Offer all kinds of sweet treats and let your guests pick and choose their favorites.

What dessert are you planning to serve at your wedding? See the resources tab for information about Des Moines-area bakers.

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