From cake pops and crepes to doughnut walls and brownie bars, couples are breaking from traditional wedding cake and treating their guests to a variety of confections.
by Amanda Lea
Many couples are embracing alternative dessert offerings in addition to — and in some cases, in lieu of — a multitiered cake. This isn’t to say the traditional wedding cake is a thing of the past. But for those who want something a little less conventional on the dessert table, there are plenty of treats to satisfy any craving.
With a myriad of tempting sweets to choose from, consider what will be the best representation of your style and tastes. You can celebrate your heritage and create a grazing table featuring Italian cannoli or French pastries. For a brunch wedding, spice things up with a cinnamon roll tower. Prolong the sugar rush with a candy bar where guests can fill small to-go cups with their favorite treats. Brownies and miniature bundt cakes make for the perfect bite-sized treat, and custom doughnuts can turn an accent wall into a conversation piece.
Tracy Campbell, owner of Cookies on the Side, says personalized cookies for weddings have become a significant niche as couples look to offer sweet options for those who don’t want a piece of traditional wedding cake. Campbell specializes in taking personal touches — like the couples’ pet or the spot where they got engaged — and applying it to the cookies. (Bonus: The custom creations can serve double-duty as place cards or wedding favors.)
If you want to break the wedding-cake mold but you’re not sure where to start, connect with one of these local bakeries to help bring your confectionery vision to life.
Cookies on the Side
About: Owner and self-taught “cookier” Tracy Campbell started the business as a way to contribute to the special occasions of her three girls. Now retired from her corporate career and with her children fully grown, Campbell’s creative outlet has grown into a full-blown business.
Sweet specialties: Custom cookies that reflect each couples’ personality. Tracy sees her cookies as “imperfectly delightful’’ and loves nothing more than being able to contribute her artful creations to all of life’s special occasions.
The Batch House
About: Owner Cristina Rojas-Agurcia, known as “The Batchmaker,” serves up small-batch treats that conjure up a blend of craving and nostalgia.
Sweet specialties: The most popular options for weddings are the bakery’s bestselling oatmeal cream pies and their famous s’mores brownie. But mini versions of The Batch House’s cookies and pop-tarts are also popular picks.
For Goodness Cakes
About: Owner Haines Barksdale bakes out of the industrial-style second kitchen in her home. “The Bakement,” as she lovingly calls it, was designed and built specifically for creating cakes.
Sweet specialties: Barksdale makes delightful mini cupcakes in a variety of custom flavors. “Many of our clients say these make a great addition to the dessert table,” Barksdale says.
Ville Reine by ROOTS Catering
About: The new bakery features a variety of sweet and savory creations by Executive Pastry Chef Courtney Satterfield, including an assortment of vegan and gluten-free options. Ville Reine just unveiled its 2023 dessert menu, featuring an upscale grazing table for guests to enjoy.
Sweet specialties: Bite-sized cream puffs and macarons, mini cheesecakes, pecan-pie bars, lemon-lavender cookies and salted-caramel brownies are all sure to please any sweet tooth.
Wentworth & Fenn
Connect: firstname.lastname@example.org | (704) 291-0388
About: The gourmet bakery, located at Camp North End, specializes in small, seasonal pastries, artisan breads and custom cakes.
Sweet specialties: The bourbon-butter oatmeal cream pies and dark-chocolate chunk cookies with sea salt are popular picks. All of the pastries are as picture-perfect as they are delicious.
Sunflour Baking Co.
About: The family-owned and -operated bakery has four Charlotte locations. Everything is made from scratch and in small batches, with a wide range of vegan and gluten-free options. General Manager Lauren Whitt says the bakery’s team of talented pastry chefs works with each couple to create custom breakfast platters and dessert tables for weddings and events.
Sweet specialties: Mini pies, tarts, cupcakes, mousse cups, cookies and breakfast specialties are among Sunflour’s many mouthwatering offerings.
About: Carlos Suárez, son of an exiled Cuban revolutionary turned freedom fighter, opened the Cuban-inspired bakery in 1992. Now a local institution, Suárez and his family serve up scratch-made desserts in the Park Road Shopping Center location, and pastries, sandwiches and coffee in its counter-service spot, Suárez Bakery & Barra, at Optimist Hall.
Sweet specialties: Suárez Bakery is known for its legendary Texas Doughnut Cake. Giant 7-inch doughnuts are stacked three tiers high and topped with your choice of dip, filling and sprinkles. The pièce de résistance is the Texas Doughnut Hole that tops it all off. If a doughnut cake isn’t your cup of tea, you can’t go wrong with a sampling of their bestsellers, like the salted-caramel brownies and lemon bars.
Find more wedding inspiration at Weddings by SouthPark.