As fall hits, things get a little different in the world of desserts: Summer flavors like strawberry, lemon, and pistachio are put to bed, and it's time for another crop of seasonal flavors to make their debut. And while we're always game for a pumpkin or carrot cake in the fall, there are other ways to spice up an autumn wedding. In fact, we love the idea of celebrating the flavors of fall with something other than cake!
We've found 12 alternatives to the traditional wedding cake—and each dessert is unexpected, tasty, and seasonally perfect. Find the dish that speaks to you, your taste buds, and your wedding vibe. Remember: It's OK to serve more than one! Dessert tables were invented for a reason, right?!
So, if you’re obsessed with PSLs and maple syrup and ready to make a statement with your dessert course, keep reading.
Mini Pumpkin Pies
Nothing screams fall like pumpkin pie! If you don’t want your guests to have to deal with a fork and plate, opt for minis. They’ll be easier to eat, plus they make for one pretty photo opp.
Caramel apples are also a staple this season. Set up a station for DIY apples or put together a display of finished desserts. This is a great way to incorporate a fall dessert without making guests feel too full.
Hello, comfort breakfast food! Cinnamon rolls are the ultimate warm and cozy food in the morning, especially when it starts to get cold outside. Re-create that feeling at your wedding by serving buns as a late-night surprise.
Macarons are trending at weddings, and for good reason. Keep the trend going through fall by incorporating a macaron tower piled high with pumpkin or salted caramel treats.
Fall is all about sugar and spice and everything nice, right?! Incorporate churros to bring the sweet flavor of churro dough—with a little kick of cinnamon for spice.
Infuse fall flavors like maple or cinnamon into this wedding favorite. Do a batch order of maple bars, cinnamon sugar, and pumpkin cake doughnuts from your local bakery, or have your baker make them along with a mini cake to match.
Mix things up by adding doughnut walls to your dessert display. It's a trendy and affordable way to add a unique twist your guests will love.
If you’re on team pie, go all out for fall by serving multiple options. Pie is a heartier dessert to pair with fall—plus, you can opt for apple, caramel apple, or pumpkin to really incorporate the flavors of the season.
If your venue allows an open flame, go out and roast marshmallows for s’mores. If not, set up a mini station to replicate the flavors or incorporate s’mores into other desserts, such as cookies or cupcakes.
Cheesecake is often considered a summer dessert, especially when served cold with a fresh fruit topping. But it can also totally work for fall! We think a pumpkin cheesecake or caramel apple cheesecake would (pleasantly!) surprise your guests.
Apple Cider Doughnuts
There's nothing like the aroma of fresh apple cider donuts to entice wedding guests at the reception. Bonus points if you serve them alongside hot cider—can you imagine a better pairing?
Heart-Shaped Pie Pops
If you love pie but want to skip the hassle of having to divvy up each slice, then serve it on a stick as a handheld treat. Variety is the spice of life, so be sure to select a medley of your favorite fall flavors.
Mini Peach Cobblers
Both delicious to eat and adorable to serve at a rustic barn wedding, these mini peach cobblers won't disappoint. The handheld size makes them the perfect portion for guests craving something sweet.