Not Cake: Wedding Dessert Table & Bar Ideas

December 6th, 2018 Wedding Ideas, Tips and Inspiration

Photos Courtesy of The Knot

These days, wedding desserts are just as much of a culinary adventure as the reception food and drinks!

Not into cake? Skip it. Or include a small cake for the ceremonial “cake cutting” while wowing your guests with a spectacular wedding dessert table that’ll please any sweet tooth. Consider some of these tasty and trendy choices:

Wedding Candy Bar Table

The wedding candy table popped onto the wedding scene more than five years ago and is still a popular choice. Perhaps because it can double as favors guests can take home and savor later. It would certainly be exciting for younger guests who will happily create their own custom dessert bag of goodies. When planning yours, here are a few wedding candy bar ideas to chew on:

Choose a color

To create one of those beautiful to-die-for wedding candy bars you see on Pinterest, a design plan is critical. An easy way is to use your wedding colors. You don’t have to get all candy in that color, especially if your wedding color is pink or purple! You can also use your wedding colors in the dessert table linens, flowers and signs. Then include some edible options with a neutral color palette: white or dark chocolate-covered candy, for example. Gold or silver-wrapped candy is another neutral option. Color consistency is key in creating a cohesive look.

Consider dietary needs

You don’t want to leave out diabetic guests or those who don’t have a strong sweet tooth. Nuts, or chocolate-covered nuts, maybe a less-sugary choice for one jar. Gluten-free pretzels is another option. It’s a good idea to include signs to inform guests what’s in each sweet treat. A candy table could be a wild card for guests with allergies.

Donut Bar Wedding

Donuts are another trendy wedding dessert. The doughy donut could be seen as a modern twist on cake. With couples choosing more whimsical flavors for their desserts, offering a variety of donuts is a delicious way for a couple to express their favorite flavors, the season, or their creative personalities. While a plain or powdered donut is always a crowd-pleaser, why not include fun options for guests to sample: s’mores, green tea, or bubble gum?

Presentation of a donut bar at your wedding can be as creative as the flavors. Which one of these dessert display styles would best fit the style of your wedding:

  1. Donut wall

  2. Tiered tower of donuts

  3. Scattered cake stands of donuts

  4. Donut table centerpieces

  5. Donut place cards

Who said a wedding dessert bar needs to be boring? A donut bar (or wall, centerpiece, or tower) can instantly create a fun vibe to any wedding celebration.

Cookie Bar Wedding

There’s something comforting about a cookie bar at a wedding. It feels homey. But don’t let the cozy feeling of a cookie trick you into thinking it can’t be fancy for your reception. To dress up your cookie dessert, you could serve a shot glass of milk with a cookie placed on top. Or perhaps serve milk in a martini glass with a cookie wedged on the rim.

Did you know a cookie table is a wedding tradition?

It’s rumored to have originated in Pennsylvania where a large table of cookies is offered to wedding guests. The cookies are made by family and friends. A cookie bar wedding may also be common in Ohio. Cookie tables may be part of Catholic wedding receptions, and Italian or Eastern European receptions.

Display as many cookies as you like at your wedding reception. If you’re worried about how many cookies to provide, considering not everyone will eat dessert two or three cookies per person should be fine. If you’d like to use a cookie bar as the wedding dessert bar and guest favor table, then perhaps four-to-six cookies per guest depending on your crowd.

S’mores Bar Wedding

A s’mores bar adds a fun, interactive element to a wedding. Although this could be a stand-alone dessert bar at a wedding, because it’s a lighter snack and may be too much effort for some guests it may be best as an additional option to a wedding cake or provided as a late-night reception snack.

This traditional campfire treat is usually a fire-roasted marshmallow and chocolate between two pieces of graham cracker. But for weddings, this gooey goodness might include decadent options such as peanut butter, salted caramel, mint marshmallows, strawberries, almonds, or other ingredients. Ask your venue or catering company about a s’mores bar at your wedding.

These are only a few of today’s popular wedding dessert table ideas! Your modern “cake” table could include a one-tier cake, cake pops, cupcakes and cheesecake. A pie bar may be delicious for fall. An ice cream truck could be refreshing for a summer celebration. Or perhaps you’ll pay homage to your French roots with macarons, eclairs and a towering croquembouche.

What are your favorite wedding desserts? Let us know or share a photo on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

Not Cake: Wedding Dessert Table & Bar Ideas
Not Cake: Wedding Dessert Table & Bar Ideas


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