Decadent Dessert Ideas for Your Wedding
There are people who come to a wedding to
the ceremony, and there are people who come to a wedding to dance. Some
people come for the food and others for the social aspect. But everyone
– everyone – comes for the dessert.
Selecting the perfect
dessert for your wedding day can seem overwhelming, but it’s certainly
the tastiest decision you’ll have to make. Top local experts chimed in
to give their advice on what’s popular and how to select what’s right
bar has been raised on what constitutes a memorable sweets table.
Wedding cakes still reign supreme, but they are sharing the spotlight
with delectable sweets tables. Bring on the éclairs, cake pops,
macaroons, and tarts!
“I like variety,” said Yvonne Ivy-Stephens creative director/owner of Penthouse Sweets.
“Couples can serve petit fours, lemon bars, decorative sugar cookies
customized with the wedding date or names of the couple, strawberry
cheesecake, peach cobbler and apple pie shooters, and chocolate covered
Couples wanting bling can include Penthouse
signature rhinestone apple; an apple submerged in chocolate and edible
glitter rhinestones with colors customized to match the reception décor.
Bakers like Kirsten A. Jepsen, owner of Kirsten’s Danish Bakery,
make more than wedding cakes and offer a variety of sweets for the
“We’re an all-around bakery,” said Jepsen.
Danish Bakery is known for a traditional Scandinavian pastry called a
Kringle. This delicious sugary almond pastry pairs well with a to-go
cup of coffee at the reception’s end.
Bombon Cake Gallery and Design
also has an international flair. Owner Laura Cid-Perea pairs her French
cooking technique with Mexican flavors and American dessert traditions
to create her pastries.
“Many times sweets tables offer ethnic dishes and incorporate
traditional foods from each country,” said Cid-Perea.
Cid-Perea follows each couple’s distinct palate, she suggests adding
s’mores, cheesecakes, frozen treats, or Bombon’s
signature tres leches
cake to the table.
Alicia Eisenmann, president and operator of Delish Cakes,
recommends adding cake pops, cannolis, lemon and fruit tarts, and mini
“Think layers of chocolate cake, whipped cream and cherries for a small
taste of black forest,” says Eisenmann.
Elegant, themed cakes tend to consist of multiple tiers with decorative
Beck Cake Designs often aims very high — seven
or eight tiers high.
some of our most elegant wedding cake designs we have taken inspiration
directly from our client's bridal gowns. Using their lace, appliqué
patterns and beading design to create a custom one-of-a-kind cake,”
says Amy Beck, owner of Amy Beck Cake Designs.
“Our signature cake designs are elegant and romantic, using beautiful
sugar flowers and personal design touches.”
Sugar flowers become marvelous keepsakes for couples long after their
reception is over.
“Sugar flowers last forever once they are dry. Couples can display them
in a crystal bowl at home,” says Ivy-Stephens.
Carrie J. Curie, owner of SweetPea Cakes,
encourages even the most traditional couples to do something more
personal and creative with their cake.
they want chocolate cake, but love caramel, we suggest they turn that
into a chocolate salted caramel cake,” says Curie. “If they prefer
white cake, we suggest vanilla bean cake stuffed with fresh, in-season
berries to give the flavor more dimension.” Curie always reminds
couples that the inside of the cake should be as important as the
“When I think ‘traditional wedding’ I think white with
white. So our vanilla cake could be paired with our Italian meringue
buttercream or white chocolate mousse or even our vanilla creme brûlée
custard,” says Mindy Gohr, pastry chef and wedding cake decorator at Bittersweet Pastry Shop.
tiers allow couples to experiment with flavors and fillings. One tier
can even be gluten or dairy free to accommodate guests with food
“More tiers mean more options,” says Emily Wheeler, owner of Emily Wheeler Custom Cakes.
also suggests adding a little bit of glitz to cakes by placing a
rhinestone band around the tiers. “That will pop, even with an
all-white cake,” explains Wheeler.
loves the way bling looks on cakes, noting couples can select real
crystals or satin trim to give cakes some extra punch.
finish on a cake also lends itself to many different designs, colors,
and textures… such as pressed sugar sprinkles in the frosting to give
it an extra sparkle,” says Eisenmann.
did a rustic wedding where we created a chocolate caramel bourbon cake
that pulled in elements of the bride’s southern roots,” says Curie.
says chocolate or nutty flavors pair well with rustic weddings, like
Cakes’ pistachio cake with vanilla mousse filling.
recommend staying on the simple side with a fresh fruit filling, such
as assorted berries or fruit preserves with custard or buttercream and
vanilla cake,” says Alexandra Solak, general manager at Oak Mill Bakery.
On the other hand, Oak Mill Bakery also loves to make
richer cakes, like their chocolate ganache cake with raspberry jam.
loves when couples experiment with boozy flavors such as coconut,
pineapple, mango, and citrus pairings. Eisenmann added that lemon or
Cakes’ Pina Colada combo pair excellently with a beach themed
“It really makes a statement when the theme of the
wedding is carried through the outside and the inside of the cake,”
so many options to choose from, Ivy-Stephens reminds couples to have
fun designing their cake. “Don’t get caught up in what others want.
Have a cake that truly reflects you,” she advises.
than assigning flavors that pair well with different themes, the most
important part to finding the best flavors is to take the couples’ own
unique tastes and create something special for them,” says Gohr.
the best part of planning a wedding is the cake tasting. Be sure to set
a time with your baker and check how many guests you’re allowed to
bring. A tasting ensures a couple’s opinions and ideas are
and helps give bakers a better understanding of scope for custom cakes.
“Go to the tasting to see what flavors you like best and what
your guests would like. Then build from there,” says Beck. She
recommends contacting your bakery early to secure your date and begin
creating your cake.
Cid-Perea suggests bringing as much
information as possible to your initial meeting, including a budget,
photos for design inspiration, a sample invitation, and color swatches
from dresses or reception décor.
“I like to remind couples
that the wedding cake has become a focal point of the reception. People
look forward to, and are now expecting, a great slice of cake,” says
Some experts suggest creating a fake cake for the
reception and having sheet cake in the kitchen ready to serve. Just be
sure that one or more tiers of the display cake are actually real so
couples can cut into it.
“Cakes are evolving because of
fondant,” says Jepsen.
“If you don’t like the taste, but like the look,
we can still build a cake without buttercream and decorate it. The
fondant covers the fake cake and all the sheet cake is in the back,”
traditional groom’s cake has become anything but old-fashioned at this
point. Surprise your groom at the rehearsal dinner or reception with a
cake designed just for him, such as the 3D jersey or basketball shaped
cakes Cid-Perea gets requests for.
In Solak’s opinion, groom’s cakes should be playful, funny, and
he have a favorite sports team; is he still obsessed with his alma
mater; does he have a secret vice like Chik-Fil-A? We’ve done
anything from 3D baseball hats, to school mascots and logos, to 3D
burgers and hot dogs,” says Solak.
Your Night, Your
While having the most beautiful designs and most delicious flavors are
everyone’s goal, remember that the important part of cake selection is
that you like it. If you love plain vanilla and chocolate, go with it.
If you love to get creative and try new things, knock yourself out!
Pick a cake you love and it will be a hit no matter what.