30 Delicious Alternatives to the Classic Wedding Cake

These treats that are anything but traditional.

A wedding cake alternative of fresh berry pie served next to fresh flower arrangements.

Photo by Stephanie Brazzle

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: A traditional wedding cake will never go out of style. But some couples may want to depart from the tried-and-true classic confection and opt for wedding cake alternatives that show a bit more personal style.

Whether you just aren't a fan of standard big-day cakes or are obsessed with a specific sweet treat, your wedding dessert is the perfect opportunity to share your tastes with your guests. Ready for inspiration? Consider dressing up a traditional cake with additional treats (macarons or doughnuts, for example) or opting for an entirely different sweet (hello, brownies, pies, and waffles!).

Below, find 30 of our favorite alternative ideas to the classic wedding cake.

01 of 30

Go All-Out With Cupcakes

A traditional wedding cake alternative of a single tier white wedding cake with dozens of colorful cupcakes

Photo by Peyton Byford

Whether you choose to have one small cake surrounded by cupcakes, or just feature the cupcakes as the main event, these mini confections are the perfect way to give your guests individual sweet treats. Consider getting creative with the colors, too—this is a great way to incorporate your wedding color palette!

02 of 30

Embrace a Breakfast Classic

A wedding cake alternative made of tiers of cinnamon rolls.

Photo by Haley Richter Photography; Cake by Clara’s Groovy Deliciousness

Why not embrace a breakfast classic if cinnamon rolls are your fave? Stack giant cinnamon rolls decked in plenty of cream cheese icing for an alternative that will shock and delight your guests. 

03 of 30

Get Creative With Pie

A wedding cake alternative of wedding pie with dog pie toppers

Photo by Kindred Weddings

Everyone loves pie! Especially if you're hosting a late summer bash when lots of fresh fruit is in season, a pie is a delicious cake alternative—and you can still decorate it or dress it up with a fun cake topper!

04 of 30

Serve a Stack of Cookies

A stack of white-frosted wedding cookies served as a wedding cake alternative

Photo by Adriana Rivera

Everybody loves cookies! If a towering cake isn't your vibe, have your dessert designer whip up a batch of your favorite cookies for guests to enjoy after dinner. There are so many ways to get creative with decorating cookies—and we love the idea of the heart-shape to symbolize your love.

05 of 30

Choose Savory Cheeses

A tiered wedding cake alternative made of different types of cheeses

Photo by J Harper Photography

No sweet tooth? No problem! Opt for stacked wheels of cheese to create a literal cake of cheese. We love the way this tiered beauty is dressed up with florals and greenery. 

06 of 30

Add a Macaron Twist

A wedding cake alternative made of tiers of cake combined with colorful macarons and topped with fresh flowers

Photo by Quarter Moon Co; Dessert by Nutmeg Cake Design; Florals by Devon & Pinkett; Clay Accessories by Curious Clay

Why not embrace the traditional tiered cake, but dress it up a bit? Adding a variety of colorful macarons to the tiers of a cake is such a simple, yet unexpected, way to take a cake to the next level. 

07 of 30

Dress Up a Childhood Classic

A wedding cake alternative of Rice Krispy Treats with Fruity Pebbles mixed in

Photo by Kristen Weaver Photography; Dessert by KRISP Treats 

Lean into the classics with a cake made from Rice Krispy Treats with Fruity Pebbles mixed in. We love the nostalgic vibe of this dressed-up sweet. 

08 of 30

Make a Doughnut Tower

A tower of wedding doughnuts served on a dessert table with fresh flowers

Photo by Pepper and Light Photographers; Dessert by Truffle Cake and Pastry

Doughnuts are a total classic, but they don’t have to be boring! For a unique take on a traditional tiered wedding cake, stack the round sweets in a mini-tower and then decorate with blooms and petite flags (that can be used to note different flavors or showcase details of your love story, like your initials or wedding date).

09 of 30

Wow With Waffles

A wedding cake alternative made of tiered waffles with fresh flowers and greenery

Photo by Dayna Studios; Planning and Design by Beijos Events


Ready to truly wow your guests with your creativity? Bring waffles into the mix! Stack them on a beautiful cake stand to resemble a cake and dress it up with blooms and greenery. And, of course, don’t forget the maple syrup come showtime!

10 of 30

Consider Cheesecake

A tiered cheesecake wedding cake topped with berries and fresh flowers

Photo by Georgia Verrells


Is cheesecake more your style? Combine multiple cheesecakes to create a layered look, and then dress it up with a fruit drizzle paired with fresh blooms. 

11 of 30

Opt For Cake Pops

Blue cake pops served in tiers for a wedding dessert

Photo by Chloe Moore Photography; Desserts by Dip’D N Drip’D 


Cake pops are a great choice if you want something portable. Plus, they can be crafted to match any color scheme, making them the perfect addition to a stunning dessert table. 

12 of 30

Order Pancakes

A wedding cake alternative made of a stack of pancakes with fresh flowers and maple syrup

Photo by Blair Schluter; Cake by Laurannae Baking Co.

Ditch the dessert options altogether and opt for a unique breakfast alternative. Bring pancakes into the mix by stacking them in multiple sizes. We love the idea of two partners pouring the syrup together to create a symbolic sweet. 

13 of 30

Dress Up Mini Desserts

A wedding cake alternative of lady fingers with fresh berries

Photo by D’Arcy Benincosa

How sweet are these! These mini ladyfinger desserts, filled with mousse or pastry cream and topped with a variety of fruit options for a delightful dessert, could be dressed up to match any color scheme or wedding theme.

14 of 30

Pack on the Sugar With Churros

A wedding cake alternative made of tiered churros

Photo by Rach Loves Troy; Cake by Vintage Soul Cakes

Churros are the perfect sweet, especially when they’re paired with ice cream and caramel. Dish up individual desserts for a surprising snack.

15 of 30

Tower High With Cupcakes

A wedding cake consisting of one tier of cake and multiple tiers of cupcakes

Photo by Rachel Parsell Photography; Dessert by Hey There, Cupcake


Celebrate with an array of treats, including a single-tier cake, cupcakes, and even macarons. We love the way this display put together multiple desserts to offer an option every guest would love. 

16 of 30

Decorate With Doughnuts

A wedding cake alternative of two-tiers with donut decorations

Photo by Clay Austin Photography

Have your cake and doughnuts too with this sweet option! We love the idea of decking out a cake in mini doughnuts for a sweet look. 

17 of 30

Turn Things Upside Down

A wedding cake alternative with a macaron tier and two tiers of cake with black frosting.

Photo by Lianne Gray Photography; Dessert by Where the Ribbon Ends 

If you don’t want to totally ditch the option of cake, why not turn the concept on its head? Opt for a statement dessert that pairs a two-tiered cake with a lovely display of macarons. 

18 of 30

Consider Croquembouche

A traditional French Croquembouche wedding cake decorated with fresh white flowers

Photo by Kaity Brawley; Planning and Design Avec MOI Events; Florals by Isn't She Lovely

Croquembouche is definitely a dessert that makes a statement as it towers high. Made from choux puff pastry and filled with crème pâtissière, this traditional French dessert is absolutely dreamy. 

19 of 30

Mix It Up With Millefoglie

A millefoglie wedding cake alternative served with fresh powdered sugar

Photo by Purewhite Photography; Dessert by Galateo Ricevimenti 

Hosting an Italian destination wedding or celebrating your heritage stateside? Millefoglie is made by stacking light puff pastry cakes with delicious pastry cream. Topped with plenty of fresh fruit and a dusting of powdered sugar, this is perfect for the couple hoping for a dessert that’s stunning but not overly sweet. 

20 of 30

Serve Mini Pies

Mini pies served at a wedding as a wedding cake alternative

Photo by Anna Delores Photography

Want to go for a more homemade vibe? Mini pies will do the trick. Opt for a sweet design and put together a display with multiple flavors for your guests to choose something they’ll love. 

21 of 30

Embrace a Childhood Favorite

A weddingn cake alternative made from cereal and topped with fresh fruit and a name cake topper

Photo by Cheers Babe Photo

What a way to truly embrace a childhood favorite! This three-tiered sweet combines stacked layers of rice crispy treats with a bit of buttercream, greenery, and figs to elevate the look. 

22 of 30

Serve Individual Cakes

Individual white wedding cakes with small fresh pink flowers

Cake by Maggie Austin Cakes

Want a cake without the traditional tiered look? Consider serving up individually plated sweets. These dainty desserts, each dressed up with simple décor, are simply charming. 

23 of 30

Embrace Chocolate Cream Puffs

A tower of chocolate cream puffs served as a wedding cake alternative

Photo by Harwell Photography

Calling all chocolate lovers—this one is for you! Creating a tower out of chocolate cream puffs is an absolute dream come true, but dressing it up with dainty roses makes it all the more beautiful for a stunning display. 

24 of 30

Deck Out a Candy Bar

A wedding reception candy bar with different types of candy, donuts, and sweets

Photo by The Everlasting Photo 

Who says you have to choose just one dessert? Putting together a dreamy display of treats may be the perfect option for you! Deck out a table filled with your favorite candies, doughnuts, and even mini bundt cakes to satisfy every sweet tooth. 

25 of 30

Look to Italian Favorites

Fresh cannoli served as a wedding cake alternative with pink-frosted cookies

Photo by Chantelle Watt Photography; Dessert by Truffle Cake and Pastry

Why not bring a favorite Italian pastry into the mix? Cannolis can be dressed up for a dessert table or displayed in a tower for a unique alternative. 

26 of 30

Keep Tradition With Kransekake

A Scandinavian Kransekake dessert served at a wedding as a wedding cake alternative

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Kransekake is a traditional Scandinavian sweet, stacked tall with rings of almond cookie and royal icing. Consider embracing your heritage with this dessert, or simply bring it into the mix for a not-so-sweet option. 

27 of 30

Portion Out Parfaits

A wedding cake alternative made of parfaits with fresh raspberries

Photo by Amy Allmand Photography; Dessert by Katelin Hayes Desserts

Mini parfaits are such a sweet alternative to a tall, tiered cake. Layer cake with frosting, and top your desserts with fresh berries for a beautiful display. 

28 of 30

Feature Frosted Doughnuts

A frosted doughnut cake tower with fresh flowers as a wedding cake alternative

Photo by Chantelle Watt Photography; Dessert by Truffle Cake and Pastry

Why not create the classic tiered look with doughnuts instead of cake? Stack frosted doughnuts and dress up the tower with plenty of blooms for a beautiful display. 

29 of 30

Go Mini With Cheesecake Bites

Mini cheesecake bites with gold heart cake toppers served at a wedding reception

Photo by Chantelle Watt Photography; Dessert by Truffle Cake and Pastry

Bring your love for cheesecake to the table with bite-sized desserts. Put together displays of simple mini cheesecakes or incorporate other options such as chocolate or cherry flavors to please any guest. Dress them up with sugar decorations or opt for a fresh bloom on each for a sweet look. 

30 of 30

Consider a Bundt Cake

A two-tiered frosted bundt cake topped with a mini bride and groom topper, created by Nothing Bundt Cakes

Photo by Jess Barfield Photography

This two-tiered frosted bundt cake topped with a mini bride and groom topper, created by Nothing Bundt Cakes, proves that simple and sweet can be a total treat.

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