Alternative Wedding Desserts That Will Wow Your Guests

Wedding desert bar featuring cake, cup cakes, pies, and other desserts.
Photo by: Ladman Studios

Traditional wedding cakes are a thing of the past, and now couples opt for more creative and fun options. As a result, there are endless possibilities for alternative wedding desserts, from donut walls to macaron towers. Let’s explore 15 alternative wedding desserts that will wow your guests and make your wedding day even more memorable.

Donut Wall Treats

Alternative Wedding Desserts. A close-up photo of a donut wall display featuring rows of freshly baked donuts stacked on pegs attached to a wooden board. The donuts are glazed with various colors and toppings, including sprinkles, chocolate chips, and fruit pieces. The background of the photo shows a bright and colorful setting, with balloons and party decorations.

A Donut wall is a fun way to serve dessert at a wedding! Instead of having a traditional wedding cake, you can offer your guests an array of delicious doughnuts arranged on a wall. A donut wall adds a touch of whimsy and nostalgia to your wedding. However, while a doughnut wall can certainly be an alternative wedding dessert, some couples choose to have a small cake for the traditional cake-cutting photos.

Mini Pie Desserts

An assortment of delectable mini pies displayed on a table.

Consider serving mini pies! These miniature versions of classic pies offer a variety of flavors. They can be personalized to fit your taste and theme. They also provide a great alternative to traditional wedding cakes and can add a touch of nostalgia to your special day. Common flavors include apple, cherry, pecan, and pumpkin. Mini pies are easy to serve and can be displayed beautifully on a dessert table. Plus, they make for great wedding favors or late-night snacks. And don’t forget to include toppings such as whipped cream, caramel sauce, or ice cream. Most mini pies can be baked and frozen ahead of time, making them a convenient alternative wedding dessert.

Macaron Tower Confections

Colorful macarons with delicate shells and creamy fillings stacked in a mesmerizing arrangement

A Macaron Tower is a beautiful and delicious alternative to traditional wedding cakes. Macarons are delicate French cookies made with almond flour, egg whites, and sugar, filled with buttercream or ganache. A tower of colorful macarons adds an elegant and whimsical touch to any wedding. The benefit of having a Macaron Tower is that it offers a variety of flavors, allowing guests to enjoy a bite-sized taste of multiple desserts. Macarons are also gluten-free, making them a great option for guests with dietary restrictions. With its stunning appearance and delicious taste, a Macaron Tower can stand toe to toe with a wedding cake as an alternative wedding dessert.

Cake Pop Sweets

Delicious and colorful cake pops arranged on a platter with sprinkles and decorations. Each bite-sized treat features a moist cake center, coated in chocolate and topped with different festive designs, perfect for any celebration or sweet craving

Cake pops are a fun and tasty alternative to traditional cake for your wedding dessert. These small cake balls are coated in chocolate and can be decorated in many ways. They are easy to eat, less messy, and allow guests to try different flavors without committing to a full slice of cake. In addition, they are a more affordable option depending on the size of your wedding. Another benefit is that cake pops can be made in advance, saving time and stress on your wedding day.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

A colorful ice cream sundae bar with various flavors and toppings, including hot fudge, sprinkles, cherries, and whipped cream. Customers can customize their sundaes to their liking.

Who doesn’t love ice cream? This fun and tasty dessert option allows you and your guests to create their own delicious sundae by choosing their favorite ice cream flavors and toppings, such as chocolate sauce, sprinkles, and whipped cream. An ice cream sundae bar can be a refreshing treat, especially if your wedding is during the warmer months. Plus, it can add a playful and festive touch to your reception. What about keeping the ice cream from melting? One solution is to use dry ice or have the ice cream served in pre-scooped cups to prevent it from sitting out too long. Alternatively, keep the ice cream in a cooler until it’s time to serve. All in all, an ice cream sundae bar is a cool alternative for wedding dessert.

Cupcake Tower

A tower of delicious cupcakes arranged in a spiral formation, topped with creamy frosting and colorful sprinkles. Each cupcake is beautifully decorated with intricate designs and patterns, making it a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. This tower is a perfect centerpiece for any celebration, adding a touch of sweetness and elegance to the occasion

A cupcake tower is a fantastic wedding cake alternative. Instead of a traditional cake, you can have multiple tiers of cupcakes decorated with frosting, sprinkles, and other toppings. They’re also easier to serve and can eliminate the need for cutting and distributing a large cake. In addition, many bakeries offer a variety of cupcake options that cater to different dietary needs, making it easier to include everyone in the dessert celebration. It’s an easy win with cupcakes for an alternative wedding dessert.


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Candy Bar Banquet

An elegant display of assorted candies and desserts at a wedding reception candy bar. The table is decorated with white flowers and a 'love' sign, while guests fill up their plates with sweets and treats.

I’m not talking about a Snickers but a fun and colorful dessert option allowing guests to create personalized treat bags. The candy bar offers a variety of candies and sweets, such as gummy bears, M&M’s, and lollipops. It is a great alternative to traditional wedding cakes. Not only is it visually amazing to look at, but it also allows guests to customize their desserts according to their own taste preferences. From kids to adults, everyone loves a sweet treat, and a candy bar is a fun and interactive way to bring some extra sweetness as an alternative wedding dessert. As a plus, it’s easy to grab a handful when running low on dancefloor energy.

Fruit Skewers

A plate of colorful fruit skewers featuring chunks of fresh pineapple, juicy strawberries, sweet grapes, and slices of tangy kiwi. The skewers are neatly arranged on a white platter, with a sprinkle of powdered sugar adding a touch of sweetness to the fruity goodness. The perfect snack for a hot summer day!

A healthy and refreshing alternative to a traditional wedding cake is fruit skewers. They are a fun and colorful way to offer a variety of fresh fruits, such as strawberries, pineapple, and watermelon, to your guests. They are easy to eat and perfect for outdoor summer weddings. Can you provide dipping sauces for the fruit? 1000%! You can offer yogurt, honey, or chocolate dip to add an extra touch of sweetness. By choosing fruit skewers over just having cake, you are giving your guests a lighter and healthier option that will still satisfy their sweet tooth which is a big win when it comes to alternative wedding desserts.

A Cookie Bar

A delicious tray of freshly baked chocolate chip cookie bars with a golden brown crust and a gooey center. Crumbs are scattered around the edges of the bars, and a glass of milk sits nearby.

A cookie bar is a delicious way to offer dessert at your wedding! It’s a fantastic option for those who want to provide variety to their guests. For example, instead of just having one cake flavor, you can offer different types of cake, such as chocolate and vanilla, along with various cookies, like sugar and chocolate chips. In addition, having a cake and cookie bar can mix and match different desserts to suit their taste buds. Guests can pick and choose their favorites. Generally, it’s recommended to have 2-3 small servings of dessert per person. A cookie bar is a solid alternative wedding dessert.

Dessert Shots

A tray of small dessert shots arranged in rows, with colorful layers of cream, fruit, and cake visible through the clear glass. Each shot is garnished with a fresh berry or sprinkle of chocolate shavings. The tray sits on a wooden table with a white tablecloth and a few decorative flowers in the background.

Consider having a dessert shots bar! These small glasses are filled with delicious, bite-sized treats like pudding, mousse, and cheesecake. Dessert shots allow your guests to try multiple flavors without committing to a full slice of cake. It also adds a playful and interactive element to your reception. They can be as easy to eat as any other wedding dessert with the right size and consistency. You can also provide spoons or mini forks to make it even easier for your guests. A dessert shot bar is a creative and delicious way to offer a variety of desserts as an alternative at your wedding. 

Waffle Bar

A close-up photo of a waffle bar, with golden, crispy waffles. The toppings include fresh berries, whipped cream, and syrup.

A waffle bar is a great dessert option for your wedding. Waffles are warm and crispy, making them perfect for any day, or night if you like “brinner” as much as me. In addition, you can offer a variety of toppings, such as fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce, allowing your guests to customize their waffles to their liking. While waffles can be a delicious and fun dessert, they may have a different formal and traditional feel than a wedding cake. However, having a waffle bar in addition to a cake can add a fun and unexpected element to your wedding celebration. A waffle bar is a great option if you want a cool and interactive alternative to your wedding dessert.

Caramel Apples

A close-up photo of caramel apples on sticks, with the caramel coating smoothly covering the apples.

Caramel apples are awesome! They are a great alternative to wedding dessert as they offer delicious sweet and tangy flavors to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. In addition, they are a fun interactive treat that guests can personalize with their toppings. It’s like bringing the county fair to you! One benefit of having caramel apples instead of traditional cake is that they are more casual and can add a relaxed and playful vibe to your reception. They are also a great option for guests with dietary restrictions since they are naturally gluten-free and can be made without nuts. While they can be a bit messy, especially if they have a lot of toppings, they are still a fun and tasty treat. You can provide napkins or cute little bags for guests to take their apples.


A plate of freshly fried churros with a powdered sugar on the side wrapped in a new print napkin.

Churros are a delicious and fun alternative to traditional wedding desserts like cake. They’re long, doughy sticks covered in sugar and cinnamon. They are usually served warm with a dipping sauce like chocolate or caramel. Churros are a great option for a wedding because they’re easy to eat and can be customized to match any wedding theme. While they can be messy, most people enjoy licking the sugar and cinnamon off their fingers. Another benefit of serving churros at a wedding is that they’re easy to make in large quantities and can be served quickly, making them a great option for a dessert table or late-night snack. Overall, churros are a delicious and unique addition to any wedding menu.


Croquembouche is a French dessert made of cream puffs stacked in a pyramid and drizzled with caramel. It’s a popular alternative to wedding dessert cakes because it’s unique and visually stunning. Croquembouche offers guests a different texture and flavor experience, with the cream puffs’ lightness and the caramel’s sweetness. Croquembouche can be served by a professional pastry chef, who can quickly and easily dismantle the pyramid and serve the cream puffs to guests. It’s also easy to eat, with each cream puff being a bite-sized treat. Croquembouche adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any wedding celebration.


Delicious cheesecake on a black plate with berries and a wooden spoon.

Cheesecake is a delicious and popular dessert that can be a great alternative to the wedding cake. In fact, you can have it in the traditional pie-like method or in pre-cut squares. Cheesecake offers many flavors and toppings, allowing guests to choose their favorite combinations. Cheesecake is often considered lighter and less rich than cake, making it a great option for those who prefer a less sweet dessert. It must be refrigerated as it is made with cream cheese and kept cold to prevent spoilage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many alternative wedding desserts should I offer?

This ultimately depends on your personal preference and the size of your guest list. However, offering at least one alternative wedding dessert besides the wedding cake is a good idea.

Can I offer more than one alternative wedding dessert?

Absolutely! Offering multiple alternative wedding desserts can be a great way to provide variety and accommodate different dietary restrictions.

How do I display alternative wedding desserts?

There are many creative ways to display alternative wedding desserts, such as on a dessert table or a dessert cart. In addition, you can incorporate them into your wedding decor, such as using a donut wall as a photo backdrop.

Alternative wedding desserts are a fun and creative way to make your wedding reception stand out. There are endless possibilities when choosing an alternative wedding dessert, from brownies to tart towers. By incorporating one or more of these options into your wedding day, you can create a memorable and personalized dessert experience for you and your guests.

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A storyteller at heart, TJ's work has been awarded and featured in several wedding publications. His dedication to capturing authentic moments and creating a joyful atmosphere for his couples is evident in the photographs and experience he produces.

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