There used to be one, maybe two, options for a couple’s wedding cake: the traditional layered cake or if you were feeling whimsical, you might delve into the world of cupcakes and cupcake towers. Now, in 2019, there are even more options for wedding desserts, including donut walls, dessert displays, donut hole kebabs and more! And a lot of couples are deciding they don’t want to decide on just one...why not have it all? Want an array of desserts for your wedding guests? That can be done too! There’s a lot to choose from, so let’s explore what options are available locally.
If you’re jumping on the donut train, Allie’s Donuts and their only authorized caterer, Julie Michaels, owner of JDP Cake & Favors, have you covered. Michaels is the granddaughter of the company’s founder, Frederick Alvin “Allie” Briggs Jr., so she knows what’s up with donuts. Not only are donuts popular in the foodie world right now but they also go with the whole rustic-glam vibe that a lot of couples are going for these days, Michaels said.
“I think there’s a lot of people who don’t like cake but love donuts - it’s a universally beloved dessert for all ages,” she said, adding that a lot of her clients want to have large donuts stacked on top of each other in a tower shape to give the look of a traditional tower wedding cake. “Couples are starting to come up with more and more different ideas for donuts at their wedding. If people come to me with an idea, I try my best to make it happen.”
Remember the geode cake trend? Well, Michaels made a geode cake made out of stacked giant donuts for a client.
“It came out kind of neat,” she said. “I cut away at the donut as best I could. And then I frosted it and put the sugar crystals in there.”
Other couples have asked for donut walls, donut holes on kebab sticks or donuts stacked on candelabra. Some couples want to give out single donuts in a small box with a clear window as favors for guests.
“Everybody comes up with different ideas, which makes it really fun,” she said. “Plus there are so many different toppings you can put on donuts. Some people want pastel or metallic frosting or pearl dust. I’ve added pumpkin spice to Allie’s vanilla frosting for one client. Whatever someone asks for, I try my hardest to make it happen.”
If donuts aren’t your thing, maybe a dessert display with options for every craving is the way to go? Samantha Maggio, the pastry chef and head decorator at Sweet Cakes in Wakefield, said she’s noticed that many of their wedding clients are interested in having a variety of mini bars, mini pies and mini cupcakes for a wider array of dessert options for guests.
“People are looking for more of a dessert spread,” she said. “It’s less of a giant showcase of the one big cake and more focused on being simpler but still elegant.”
Maggio said she’s also had a lot of couples that prefer a mixture of cupcakes and a sheet cake. Or a tiered display cake and sheet cake for the guests.
“People are really thinking outside the traditional tiered wedding cake,” she said. “And if they do have a more traditional wedding cake, they’re often looking for the naked cake trend, where the cake shows through the frosting, giving it a more rustic look.”
Overall, Maggio said simple and elegant is in right now. Think fresh flowers and simple ribbons. As for flavors, lemon raspberry or any kind of fresh fruit is always big in the warmer months, with pumpkin and more earthy flavors like chocolate being more popular in the fall and winter. The biggest benefit to the dessert spread or cupcake display is that you can have a variety of flavors, Maggio said.
“Cupcakes are a dozen minimum per flavor, but it’s just so much more versatile than one cake, one flavor,” she said. “It’s about the same cost in the end, but I think couples really like that they can have flavors for everyone.”
So whether you’re looking for mini cupcakes or donut holes or personal-sized pies or a donut wall for your wedding guests, just about anything flies these days. There’s no prescribed way to do dessert at a wedding. As the cool kids are saying, you do you!