Dessert Options for No-Cake Couples

A variety of wedding desserts displayed on a table

There are a few things that always come to mind when we think of the word “wedding”: the white dress, the happy, smiling couple, the champagne, and—of course—the cake. Sometimes it’s several layers tall, sometimes it’s playfully smashed into the newlywed’s faces, but that cake is always there.

Cake is customary at most celebrations (and weddings are no exception), but it’s also important to remember that a wedding is about the happy couple. So what do you do if the bride and groom won’t touch a cake with a ten-foot pole? Here are a few creative confectionery options.

A fancy croquembouche with sugar flower accents

A Croquembouche

If you and your fiancé want to serve something sweet, but without all that heavy icing, you may want to order a classy croquembouche for your wedding day. This traditional French dessert features a tower of profiterole cream puffs, dipped in caramel and wrapped in dainty threads of sugar—yum!

The croquembouche is a popular wedding treat in France and Italy, and, it’s not hard to see why! This dessert is stunning to look at, tasty, and the individual cream puffs make it easy to serve to your guests. For a show stopping dessert, it’s the only way to go.

A Sundae Bar

You may be thinking, That croquembouche looks incredibly elegant, but my wedding will have a more causal vibe. What can I do? Well, good news! There are plenty of delicious and cake-free dessert options that you can choose from. One of my personal favorites is the ice cream sundae bar.

Setting up a sundae bar is simple: grab some ice cream and toppings (I’d suggest a trip to your local bulk grocery store), set them up on a table, and let your guests go to town! Your guests will get to build their own dream dessert; what could be better?

S'mores ingredients including marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers

A S’mores Station

Let’s say you’re having an outdoor wedding in the summer. You’ll need a dessert that isn’t too heavy, won’t melt in the heat, and (of course) gives your guests a little something sweet to snack on. Well if you ask me, there’s only one dessert that synonymous with summertime: s’mores!

If your venue has a firepit or outdoor oven, set up your dessert table nearby with marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate (if you want to get creative, try different varieties of chocolate like peanut butter cups). Your guests can put together a dessert whenever they please! Just make sure someone is posted nearby to make sure your guests are safe—particularly if there are little ones at your wedding.

Berry Parfaits

If you’re looking for a wedding dessert that’s light, refreshing, and (gasp) a bit healthier than your standard fare, berry parfaits are right up your alley. All you’ll need to make this tasty recipe is a few fancy glasses, fresh whipped cream, and a few of your favorite seasonal fruits.

Ask your caterer to put together a tasty parfait or go sundae bar-style and give your wedding guests a chance to create their own fruit concoctions! Whatever you choose, you’ll end up with gorgeous, Instagram-worthy desserts that you can snack on in between cutting a rug out on the dance floor.

Mini blackberry pies with cream topping

Portable Pies

Speaking of the dance floor, have you ever been at a wedding dessert table when your song starts? You may want to rush out there and bust a move, but dancing with a dish of cake in your hands is no easy task. Avoid this problem on your big day with portable desserts!

One of the most popular portable desserts is cake pops, but there are plenty of variations for a cake-free affair. Mini “hand pies” have all the sweetness of your favorite dessert, but with the added benefit of portability! Get creative with shaped pies (hearts, your initials, your home state) that everyone will love.

Good Old Milk and Cookies

Some folks believe that a wedding is a prominent mark of adulthood. On your special day, you and your spouse official become your own little family—a very grown-up endeavor. But no matter how grown you are, no one is ever too old for grandma’s cookies and a glass of milk.

You may not want your grandma to make enough cookies for all your guests (unless she offers, of course), but you can still get a couple dozen from your local bakery. Set up a milk-and-cookie bar and watch as your guests enjoy one of life’s simplest and most-beloved desserts.

Which dessert you should choose for your wedding? The answer is entirely up to you and your future spouse. After all, this is a special day that should reflect the two of you, right down to the delectable dessert you serve to your guests. Put your heads together and think of something you truly enjoy. You can have the perfect wedding menu—even without the cake!

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