Wedding Cake Ideas and Alternatives
The wedding cake is an exciting component of your wedding day that is cut and served at the wedding reception following dinner. Not only is it a delicious dessert to be eaten and enjoyed but also, it's a beautiful centrepiece that usually has a designated dessert table at the wedding reception.
The wedding cake certainly gets a lot of attention on your wedding day!
Wedding cakes hold a significant role with the cutting of the wedding cake representing the first act done together as a married couple. Plus, the fact that everyone gets to enjoy a slice of the scrumptious wedding cake makes it an exciting act of the evening that all wedding guests look forward to.
Due to the wedding cake's importance, it's a good idea to reflect on what kind of wedding cake you would like at your wedding and how you can add a unique flare to the dessert to make it distinctly you.
History of the wedding cake
The history of the wedding cake dates as far back as the 16th century when a savoury "bride's pie" was served at English weddings. Unlike the sweet wedding cakes we know today, the Bride pie was savoury filled with meat and vegetables.
We don't know about you... but we're certainly relieved that the shift was made to sweet (sweet tooth alert)!
Moving into the 17th century, another tradition has been recorded - the concept of having two cakes! One for the bride and one for the groom... sounds like a good idea to us! The groom's wedding cake was richer, darker and often sweetened with dried or fresh fruit. The bride's wedding cake was simple usually a pound or sponge cake with vanilla icing.
The wedding cake we identify today as a traditional wedding cake first appeared in 1882 at the wedding of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany who had a tiered, white, sweet and extravagant wedding cake. Since, Western culture has never turned back and these wedding cakes have continued to play an important role in weddings both big and small.
Traditional wedding cake
Although "traditional wedding cake" can mean different things to different cultures, in Western culture when Westerners refer to the style, they refer to the classic wedding cake that has three tiers, is covered in white icing and is topped with a bride and groom topper.
Often a traditional wedding cake is a fruit cake, sponge cake, or classic vanilla or chocolate cake. Regardless of the cake on the inside, on the outside the icing is usually white fondant, creating a sleek white aesthetic. Decorations are kept minimal with fresh blooms at the base of the cake stand, fresh berries, flowers or in more modern times, elegant edible gold pieces have been used to decorate.
This traditional tiered wedding cake is a classic choice for all weddings. Whether you're planning your wedding to be big and extravagant or small and humble - the traditional wedding cake can be made to suit your style and needs.
You simply can't go wrong with a traditional cake.
Wedding Cake Alternatives
If you're not a fan of white fondant or fruit cake - not to worry! There's plenty more wedding cakes to choose from outside of the traditional wedding cake.
If you're looking to break away from tradition and find a wedding cake that is suited more to your tastes, there's plenty more wedding cake alternatives to consider.
These days, any type of cake or flavour can be made into a wedding cake. From ice cream cake, to bundt cakes, sweet vanilla, chocolate, cheesecake, caramel, maple syrup or a combination of everything - you name it, and it can be made into a wedding cake.
Have a think about your and your partner's favourite flavour and come up with ideas on how you can combine them together. If you're chocolate lovers, go with milk chocolate icing! If you're a fan of caramel syrup and whipped cream, then offer guests the option to add the condiments onto their cake.
Break tradition and choose a wedding cake flavour that you and your partner are going to be excited by!
Cupcakes or mini cakes are a useful and practical cake alternative to the wedding cake.
Wedding cupcakes are growing in popularity as they can easily cater for dietary requirements as well as are much easier to serve than a big wedding cake.
Due to the small and individual size, guests can easily pick up a cupcake and bite into the delicious cake. They're a great idea if you have gluten intolerant or vegan guests as you can also order a specific amount of cupcakes to cater to those guests.
You won't be short on creative styles to choose from either. Bakers are getting very creative with building wedding cupcake wedding cakes! Making use of wedding stands, fresh blooms, flowers and cute accessories - wedding cake bakers often stack up wedding cupcakes to look just like a wedding cake!
Wedding cupcakes can also be made into any flavour you desire from the classic bundt cake, chocolate, caramel etc. making them a great wedding cake alternative.
You heard correctly - wedding donuts!
If you're a fan of donuts (also written as "doughnuts") you're in for a treat. Wedding cake bakers have upped the ante with this wedding cake alternative.
Often presented as a donut tower, delicious fresh doughnuts are stacked high to reflect a similar shape to the traditional wedding cake. This is a fun wedding cake alternative that is delicious and caters to all guests (adults and children).
With a wide variety of sizes, flavours and styles to choose from - donuts as a wedding cake offer a unique alternative that is yummy, affordable and is guaranteed to delight your guests.
More wedding cake alternatives
If you're still unsure which wedding cake to choose for your big day - don't worry, there's still plenty more wedding cake alternatives to consider!
For an elegant and minimalist look, macaron towers are an excellent choice. Perfect for brunch weddings, just imagine how pretty the macaron tower will look. Plus... Nothing beats the sweet crunch of macarons!
Or, for a summer wedding with the hot weather, you might want to enjoy an ice cream cake! Although you'll need to consider how to keep the ice cream cake intact from the beaming sun.
If you have kiddies attending your wedding, cake pops make for a fun sweet treats.
Or, ditch all of these wedding cake alternatives and have a dessert table with all of your favourite desserts and sweets. Think: fresh berries, ice cream, macarons, brownies, pies and any sweets your taste desires.
The wedding cake is the perfect opportunity to choose the perfect wedding cake alternative that embodies your specific tastes.
It's your wedding day!
Although there are many choices when it comes to wedding cakes, the most important piece of your wedding cake is that you enjoy whichever sweet dessert you choose!
Whether it's traditional, classic, one of the wedding cake alternatives or a savoury pie (but, please reconsider the latter if we're invited) - it's your wedding day and it's up to you!
Now, all that's left to do is grab your partner and head to the nearest wedding cake store. It's time you satisfied that sweet tooth.