The dessert choice for the wedding reception is a major style statement that gives light into the personalities of the bride and groom. In recent years dessert tables with a variety of sweets have become very popular in addition to or in place of a traditional wedding cake. Cake pops, cupcakes, dessert bars, mini pies, you name it! But that doesn’t mean that having a traditional wedding cake is outdated by any means! In fact wedding cakes are still very popular for the bride and groom who have a traditional style wedding as well as those who have an elaborate themed wedding.
When trying to decide what dessert route to go, the best things to consider are the budget and amount of people that will need to be served. For large weddings, a wedding cake will be sure to serve all guests. Even if choosing a dessert table for a large wedding, the price per individual dessert is typically inexpensive, so ordering a large quantity is feasible. Another factor to help decide is to think about what other types of food are going to be served. If a large meal is served, choosing a buffet-style dessert table with a variety of smaller sweets allows guests with a full appetite to take the treat to-go. Or if the wedding reception will serve mainly hor d’oeuvres and finger foods for the night, a wedding cake in addition to a variety of individual dessert sweets would be a great idea.
Wedding cakes are especially appealing for large elegant weddings. Opposed to small sweets, the traditional cake has greater design and finish options. Today brides that choose a wedding cake are interested in having alternative finishes for the cake in order to make it more special and unique. Popular now is a “softer, elegant, more edible looking cake,” no longer the traditional sharp-edge lined finish says the owner at SugarBakers, a local wedding cake specialist.
Trends in Wedding Cakes:
1. Themed: Weddings are big on themes now. Retro, nautical, seasonal, you name it! Brides can request artistic designs, toppers, and fondants for the cake decorations to creatively incorporate the theme onto the cake.
2. Chocolate: Better known as the “Groom Cake,” no longer are wedding cakes only a traditional white frosting. Rich chocolate cakes with dark chocolate icing are making for a decadent taste and makes for a great aroma as well. No wedding guest would be opposed!
3. Atypical shapes: Go against the grain of rounded tiers and your wedding cake will grab the attention of guests immediately! Trending now are the hexagon, square and octagon shaped cakes – they have a simplistic yet sophisticated appearance. Artistic cake chefs can make the cake even into a certain shape, symbol, or character – very fun for weddings with a particular theme (Check out some of the unique cakes on our Pinterest board link below!)
If you are planning a smaller wedding reception, individualized desserts are great because you get to choose the exact amount and variety, and leftovers will be less likely.
The owner and head chef at Sweet Hearts Patisserie advises clients that when there are numerous choices and flavors of sweets being served guests will want to try one of each – so make sure you provide enough for each guest to enjoy at least one of each. She also notes that the best way to keep costs down for an individual desserts table is to limit the selection to only 3 or 4 options. Lastly, she recommends getting a small topper cake or a two tier wedding cake for the cake-cutting ceremony. The small cake will also serve as the visual focal point for the dessert table location while the individual desserts can be displayed surrounding it.
Trends in Wedding Sweets:
1. Cupcakes: Not to big and not to small – it’s the perfect size for a post-dinner appetite or a take home treat. What’s so great is that you don’t have to settle on one type of cake or design. Cupcake shops can whip up numerous combinations of tastes, fondants, colors, fillings…just about anything there is to the cake!
2. Cake pops: About the size of a donut muchkin – these are perfect to be served at the dessert table with coffee. They are easy and fun treats to take home or to enjoy in just a bite! Display on either with a stick handle or arrange them together on tiers like a wedding cake.
3. Dessert Bars: Having a buffet style dessert table gives options and variety for guests. Ideas to feature include mini fruit tartlets, chocolate fondue, or even a homemade family dessert – guests get to choose what they are in the mood for and is useful for those picky eaters! For a summer wedding, consider a fun ice cream sundae bar – a good option when there are going to be guests with gluten allergies.