That certainly is the question in today's wedding world, where the humble beginnings of the wedding cake have been largely forgotten and show-stopping extravagance is key. With three and four tier cakes seen as unimposing and cakes over six feet tall to compete with, many couples are beginning to consider alternative options in place of a traditional white cake. From macaroons to wheels of cheese, the options are limitless and allow you to really put your stamp on the reception's focal point.
Macarons have been growing in popularity for a few years now, with artisan bakeries and craft fairs selling a whole array of the multi-coloured meringue based treats. Whilst they are difficult to master, if you know an accomplished baker you can create a striking cake shaped tower with a colour scheme to match your wedding, and all your favourite flavours. The best bit? As the flavour is only in the filling, you can have any flavour inside any colour, so if your wedding is lilac you can still indulge in chocolate or peanut butter without opting for a brown cake!
Or any pies that take your fancy. Savoury or sweet, or different layers of each, this is a divine alternative for you non-cake lovers, especially at a rustic, woodland or tipi wedding. You can source them locally and pair with homemade pickles and chutneys, or for ease M&S offer a three tier all pork affair.
While we're on the savoury theme, some couples are now opting for a literal CHEESE cake, created from cheese wheels and decorated with cascading grapes in place of traditional flowers. Allowing your guests the option of a cheese board in place of dessert (or both!), this is a great option if you and your groom don't have a sweet tooth.
Opting to forgo the traditional 'cake' concept altogether means you can have a whole range of desserts instead! So if your ideal pud is a crumble and your other half wants everything coated in chocolate, why not have both? This is a lovely way to show off your personalities and both be a little selfish whilst allowing your guests to actually choose their dessert - a rarity for a wedding. Choose two (or more) desserts and serve them either individually or family style.
Got a lot of kids coming to your wedding? Or just a lot of kids-at heart? Either way, a sweet table is good fun and nicely nostalgic. Set it up like an old pick 'n' mix with paper bags and scoops, then fill jars with all your old favourites, from flying saucers to white mice. You can even personalise the bags for an extra special touch.
Continuing the very sweet and nicely youthful theme, there are lots of ways to arrange doughnuts as a cake replacement, but the original and the best has to be the 216 doughnut strong pile from Krispy Kreme.
Gloriously simple, cake pops make for customisable, unique and fun portable cake. Opt for classic white icing or something a little more fun (think colour matching or even unicorns!) and express yourselves through your bite-sized cakes. Best of all they are super easy to make at home with a cake pop maker, so another winner for any budding bakers.
Meringues come in all shapes, sizes and colours and are traditionally found as the base of a Pavlova or crumbled into Eton Mess. But much like Macarons, in recent years meringues have taken on a new identity as a dessert in their own right with artisan bakeries creating rainbows of the crunchy, chewy treats. Bakers such as the Meringue Girls in London have designed fabulous alternatives to wedding cakes with stunning towers of their mini Meringue Kisses.
Whether you opt for a traditional cake or something a bit more quirky, we hope it is truly delicious!
Love, Lily x