Everyone has a favorite wedding moment. Mine is always the cutting of the cake—and up until recently, I thought it always would be. There is something so moving about a newlywed couple cutting into a beautiful, tiered cake together—it’s their first task as a married couple. But last summer, I went to a wedding where there was no cake at all. Instead, the bride and groom had opted for gourmet doughnuts. Of course, the doughnuts didn’t allow for the traditional cake cutting, so instead the couple each held one, tapped them together as if they were clinking glasses of champagne, interlaced wrists, and took a huge bite. I was charmed.

More and more couples are opting out of the traditional fondant-covered wedding cake for more modern, unique options that not only taste amazing, but that look fun too. Since the doughnuts, I’ve seen a lot of innovative ideas for desserts at weddings. Each couple seems to have a favorite dessert or sweet that they want to be able to share and enjoy with their guests, so they incorporate it into their big day. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for unique alternatives to the traditional wedding cake that are trending this year.


As I mentioned above, doughnuts have got to be one of the most fun and crowd-pleasing desserts to serve at a wedding. They are the perfect, single-serving treat at the end of a meal, and are especially great as a snack after a night of dancing.

What’s great about doughnuts is that you can order a variety of flavors, so that all of your guests are bound to find something that suits their tastes. You may even be able to create a signature doughnut for your wedding day, based on your tastes as a couple.

When it comes to displaying them, the options are endless. Just because they are doughnuts doesn’t mean you can’t make them look classy! For a formal look, you can pile them high on a cake stand and garnish with flowers and greenery. Arranging doughnuts on a tiered platter gives a soft, elegant look. If you are going for a more casual vibe, placing them in straw baskets works well. Even just arranging them on a bunch of different sized, mismatched plates looks bohemian and effortless.

Aside from how satisfying and fun they are, my favorite thing about serving doughnuts instead of a wedding cake is that there is so much less waste. Often times, a large portion of the wedding cake will go untouched, but I’ve never seen a doughnut at a wedding that didn’t get eaten.

Drip Cakes

If you can’t imagine your wedding without the ceremonial cake-cutting but you don’t want to be peeling off a thick layer of fondant as you eat, drip cakes can be a fantastic option. Not only are they whimsical, artful, and unique, they are also wildly delicious. Who doesn’t love layers of buttercream and cake peeking out from under a thin layer of frosting with oozy caramel or rich chocolate ganache dripping enticingly down the sides?

Drip cakes tend to be more on the whimsical side, but can be decorated very classically, with flowers and pearls for a fancy affair, or a little more boldly, with macaroons, sparklers, or cookies for a more casual look. Because they lack that pasty outer coating of fondant, you and your guests are more likely to wholeheartedly enjoy every morsel of this decadent and dazzling dessert.

One thing you do have to be mindful of when opting for a drip cake for your wedding is the amount of time it sits outside. Because they are often covered with a light layer of buttercream frosting, which is temperamental in the heat, the cakes can be a lot less stable and sturdy than a fondant cake would be. Plus, if the cake gets too warm, the drips might keep dripping on down the sides of the cake, which, believe it or not, does not look great. Arranging to bring the cake out of the fridge shortly before cutting is probably your best bet for avoiding a mess. Considering how beautiful and delicious these cakes are, taking this extra precaution is definitely worth it.

Cheese Wheel Wedding Cakes

No, I am not talking about cheesecake. I am, however, referring to the recent trend of creating a cake of cheese made by stacking wheels of cheese atop one another. The wheels are held in place with a dowel, and the bride and groom can cut into it, just as they would a wedding cake. Because each layer is a different type of cheese, they cut a little wedge from each.

If you aren’t one for sweets or you have a particular fondness for cheese, this could be a perfect (and very French) dessert for your big day. It may sound a bit strange, but cheese wheel cakes are very elegant and visually stunning. Typically decorated very simply, with dried figs, nuts, and fresh herbs, cheese wheel cakes are especially well-suited for rustic, barn-style, or forest weddings.

Making a cheese wheel cake can also be a really fun experience for you as a couple. You get to sample many different cheeses to choose the layers. Be sure to select a wide variety of flavors and textures, so that each of your guests will find something that they like. Labeling each cheese with a little toothpick and a flag with its name and origin is a nice touch. This way, guests will know what they are getting when they serve themselves. Having dishes filled with dried fruits, chutneys, nuts, and crackers to go along with the cheese adds a lovely visual element and many opportunities for delicious flavor pairings.

Make It Your Own

No matter what you end up choosing for your wedding day dessert, remember that what is most important is that it is special to you as a couple. Chances are, if you enjoy it, your guests will love it too. And if you opt for something truly unique, you’ll be creating a lot of unique memories for you and for your guests. Perhaps you won’t have the traditional cutting of the cake, but you as a couple can create your own rituals. After all, that’s what you’ll be doing for the rest of our lives.

There are so many ways to make your wedding day truly unique—custom desserts are just one of them! Contact us at Kennolyn to start planning with us today.

Image Source: Flickr user jellymoderndoughnuts

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