Must they eat cake?

By on June 3, 2011

The engagement is announced, the date is set, attendants are selected and now the wedding plans begin. Dresses, tuxes, ceremony site, reception site, invitations, menu, guest list, flowers, cake …

Cake? Do you have to have cake? Does every wedding celebration have the ceremonial cutting of the tiered cake? Not anymore. Tradition has given way to personal preference and unique alternatives. Choices are as varied as the bride’s and groom’s personalities.

So what are your options? They run the gamut from elaborately decorated tiers to decorated sugar cookies.

Cutout cookies can be in the shape of a heart, mini wedding cake, boat or other related theme. Flavor options include Grandma’s favorite sugar cookie recipe, gingerbread, brownies, pumpkin, sour cream—any rollout recipe that lends itself to cookie cutters. The decorated cookies can then be personalized with the couple’s names, initials or wedding date. The unique confections can be displayed on a central table, serve as centerpieces on guests’ tables or placed at each place setting.

Rather than serving cake slices, some couples opt for a tiered display of doughnuts or cupcakes. In addition to the unique presentation, one advantage to serving cupcakes or doughnuts is the variety available for individual preferences. Serving dessert is also easier since guests can help themselves to their favorite treat.

A dessert table is another popular option for the wedding meal. The couple can offer their favorite selections of cheesecake, fluff, mousse, trifle, pudding and other sweets. Displayed on varied levels of pedestal plates, the desserts create an unexpected, attractive presentation. Covering the table with coordinating fabric and interspersing small bowls of mints, candies and nuts complete the festive look.

Having a small cake on each table allows guests to serve themselves. These cakes, which can double as centerpieces, can be simply decorated eight-inch layer cakes or they can be thematically decorated—purses, hearts, ships, dresses, baseballs, etc.—to reflect the couple’s unique interests. The originality of the creations will be a topic of conversation long after the wedding day.

Not to be tossed aside, however, is the traditional tiered cake. Flavors, fillings, textures, frosting and design all work together to present a culinary delight. No longer do guests anticipate a white cake with white butter cream frosting at a wedding. Bakeries offer such a wide range of options that no wedding cake should ever be predictable.

Brides and grooms have the opportunity to add a distinctive touch to their wedding day celebration. Not only will guests remember what the bride wore, but they will undoubtedly remember how personal and unique the reception was—especially the dessert.

by Tresa Erickson, MultiAd