Alternative Wedding Cakes

Modern weddings have evolved into a beautiful representation of the couple being celebrated. From unique wedding gowns to custom calligraphy place cards, the wedding day has become an event uniquely yours.

But when it comes time to choose dessert, many couples often forgo personality in favour of tradition. Just like puffy lace sleeves and Jordan almonds, the white sponge, confection iced cake is quickly becoming a trend of the past. After all, you’ve customized every other aspect of your day – why not the best part of the meal?

The point being: wedding cakes no longer have to be, well, cakes! Choose to serve up a selection of distinctive treats that reflect your taste and style, or at the very least, a dessert you’ll actually look forward to eating at the end of the night!

Doughnut Walls

donughtsIs there anything sweeter than a doughnut? Chocolate or sprinkled, glazed or dipped, the doughnut can cater to every sweet tooth. This plate free, grab and go dessert requires no break in the party for consumption; stack them in a tower, pile them on cake tiers or even build a very Pinterest-worthy doughnut wall – a concept originally created by famed New York caterer Peter Callahan.

“We started taking large pre-orders this year … most of the large pre-orders we have received thus far have been for weddings as an alternative for the cake or as a late night snack,” said Tayler Book, co-owner of Beechwood Doughnuts in St. Catharines. Beechwood can cater to most large orders, with a minimum of two-week’s notice given and prepayment for orders of six dozen and more.

Cupcakes and Cake Pops

cakepopSweet, savoury and always a fan favourite, cupcakes and cake pops are an easy-to-serve option which packs as much flavour as its layered big brother.

“We do lots of weddings,” said Trudy Bowslaugh, owner of The Frosted Cupcake in St. Catharines. “I’d say it’s near half of our business. Cupcakes have definitely become a popular alternative to cake. Much easier to serve, no cutting fees, so much cheaper than getting a tiered cake that no one eats! And who doesn’t love a cupcake.”

Lu Lu Lemon, Bananas Foster, Cocoa Chanel, After Eight – these tiny little cakes piped high with frosting are packed full of flavour and provide endless options for the customizing couple.

Naked Wedding Cake

For those who simply love cake and don’t want to break from tradition, the naked cake offers a modern twist on the timeless classic. Instead of frosting the outside of the cake with layer upon layer of fondant or buttercream, many bakers are increasing the filling between tiers and leaving layers exposed. Because really, isn’t it what’s inside that counts?

The naked cake was brought to prominence by famed New York baker Christina Tosi, Chef, owner and founder of the international bakery Milk Bar.

“I love to eat cake, so I asked myself: why was I hiding the colourful, textural parts of being in the kitchen behind a wall of décor?” said Tosi in an interview with Chef ’s Table. “Why not challenge the norm? Let the stars be the cakes themselves.”

Many Niagara bakeries are beginning to embrace this fresh execution of the timeless cake, including Niagara Falls bakery Criveller Cakes, who are regionally famous for their beautiful and unique wedding cakes.


wedding pieThere is a certain nostalgia that is lattice twined into the beloved pie. These memory-filled desserts are a perfect finale to a wedding meal. Full-size pies cut into slices, individual mini pies, pie pops on a stick – the options are just as endless.

“Because we feature Niagara fruit, we get many requests from brides who appreciate that and want their guests to have a local taste experience,” said Ruth Anne Schriefer, owner of The Pie Plate in Virgil.

“Most of the weddings [catered] serve a variety of pies sliced by their caterer,” said Schriefer. “Some of the more casual weddings have opted for a pie buffet dessert table where guest help themselves to the pies on display … we have even done heart shaped pies for the bride and groom to cut in place of the traditional cake.”


macaronsNothing quite says elegance like a French Macaron Tower. Petite, perfect rounds of sweet meringue are whipped and filled with delicate flavours which range from chocolate and caramel to lemon and earl grey.

These picture-worthy towers are the perfect addition to a candy buffet or as a replacement to a wedding cake. Presented in front of the head table, it is sure to wow your guests.

“The biggest trend that we have noticed is that a lot of couples are opting for a macaron tower,” said Kathleen Jabs, Assistant to Chef at Willow Cakes & Pastries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Whether you choose a traditional cake or one of these many options, your day is sure to be that much sweeter!

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