Reception Desserts: They’re Not Just Cake Anymore

For many years, cakes have ruled wedding receptions. One of the first questions people ask about weddings is what the cake either looked or tasted like.

Over the course of the past few years, though, the cake has started losing its place at the party. Oh, it’s not like they’re going away anytime soon. I expect them to continue to be the most popular dessert at weddings for a very long time to come. It’s just that now more people are more open to variations on the theme.

One popular variation that’s sprung up of late is the dessert bar. With this option, the couple may or may not have a traditional cake, but they will offer multiple options in sweet ways to end a meal.

I have to say this is one of my favorite trends in weddings today. As much as I love cake, the fact is they are often extremely expensive or else not terribly inspired. Sometimes, they are both. And while you can make each tier a different flavor, that means most of us are talking about two to three flavors. It’s helpful, but then you get a large crowd of people with dozens of different food issues and preferences. Someone is going to go home disappointed. The dessert bar is a great opportunity to offer more options so as to satisfy more guests.

It’s also a great way to save a little cash, because this is a great DIY project. Break out your best recipes, ask friends and family for their help, fill in blanks with commercially made sweets, and either use coordinated serving pieces or a cheerful cacophony of china you, your friends, and your family can provide.

What should be included? Anything you like that will hold up sitting unattended on a table for a while. Cupcakes, cookies, tarts, pies, sweet muffins, chocolates, fudge, Rice Crispies treats, Peeps, canollis, dried fruit, nuts, petit fours…really, almost anything you like.

Vary the height a bit, add a little greenery or some pretty linens, and away you go!

So if you’re looking for a little more than cake, consider the dessert bar. It’s fun, it’s practical, and it’s oh so chic!

5 Responses to “Reception Desserts: They’re Not Just Cake Anymore”

  1. Never teh Bride December 29, 2008 at 12:39 pm #

    I love the dessert bar, whether or not I’m at a wedding! In fact, I try to have multiple sweets on hand at any party I throw, fancy or not. It really is a great way to save some money, as wedding cake can be mondo expensive, while cupcakes, danishes, chocolates, candy, ice cream, and such are often quite reasonablly priced… especially if you don’t let on that you’re buying them for a wedding ;-)

  2. Margaret January 4, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    My mother recently declared to my Fiance that she wouldn’t allow me to have an “improper” wedding cake. So, according to her, it’ll be all fruitcake, all the way. None of the delicious carrot cake or chocolate cake that we wanted.

    (There’s a smackdown coming her way, not just on that issue, but nonetheless, a smackdown.)

  3. Twistie January 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm #

    NtB, I’m with you. The more the merrier, as far as desserts go! Whether you parcel out the baking to several people or buy it all, it just stands to reason that more people will find something to their tastes.

    Margaret, there’s nothing at all improper about carrot or chocolate cakes! That is, unless a scantily-clad person is going to jump out of it. If you wish to keep a certain level of peace with your mother you could always do a groom’s cake in fruitcake while having the cake of your dreams as your main cake. Then again, she might not go for it, but at least you’ll come across as the one trying to find a compromise.

  4. Pencils January 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm #

    Mmmmm…dessert bar. We didn’t have that, but we had a cheesecake wedding cake, three different kinds of cupcakes (vanilla, chocolate & carrot), a chocolate groom’s cake, and for some reason I’ve since forgotten at the last minute the hall provided us with assorted other small desserts and pastries, including chocolate dipped strawberries. The only unfortunate part of the dessert was that everyone had eaten so much at the cocktail hour and dinner that a lot of it didn’t get eaten. It did, however, get sent home with the guests, as I had arranged for cake/cupcake boxes to be available.

  5. Stephy Garmola February 17, 2009 at 1:45 am #

    Hey!. I think you could also make more of it through a bigger exposure about \”Manolo for the Brides\”. Perhaps you can have some chocolate fudge cupcakes.