Bored to tiers: 12 delicious alternatives to a traditional wedding cake

Fed up with fruitcake? Scunnered by sponge? Forget tradition and go for something deliciously different

1. Patisserie boutique


If the thought of a standard cake feels just too conventional for your wedding, there are other options, such as a patisserie boutique. This delicious display of goodies from Appetite Direct includes mini lemon meringue pies, brownies, cake pops and biscuits. Your guests will be piling their dessert plates high to ensure they have a taste of everything. With the delicate display and inviting treats, could you blame them?

2. Cheese cake and 3. Macarons


From left: Do you have more of a savoury tooth and melt at the idea of a cheeseboard? Enter George Mewes Cheese and his fantastic cheese wedding cakes. At his shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh, George and his team will let you taste the fabulous fromage on offer, from Scottish farmhouse cheddars to bold French blues, guiding you as to what cheeses would work best for your ‘cake.’ 

If you’ve been obsessed with the Great British Bake Off since the very first series, you’ll be familiar with macarons and how deceptively difficult they are even for talented bakers to get right. An expert in creating the tricky treats, Edinburgh-based Mademoiselle Macaron can create up to ten tiers of colourful macarons to act as a centrepiece at your reception. All that’s left to do is select your favourite tones and then get munching!

4. Fruit display


We’re crushing on the stunning luxury displays created by I Love Fruit. From bouquets to palm trees to sculptural works of art, there’s almost nothing this Bellshill-based company can’t construct out of fruit! There’s three packages available, Gold, Platinum and Diamond, giving you plenty of options to spoil your guests and yourselves the healthy way.

5. Tiered pork pies and 6. Cake pops


From left: We’re not telling porkies! Pork pie wedding cakes are now available to order at Marks & Spencer. Serving the stodgy lunchtime snack in place of a cake mightn’t cut it with the more trad members of the family, but one thing’s for sure – it’s the perfect fill-your-boots fodder for hungry dancers. Alternatively, they would tie in well at a relaxed wedding, served alfresco on a summer’s day. M&S’s pies are all made with uncured pork and rich hot-water-crust pastry.

Is there anything cuter than a cake pop? The team at Glasgow-based McCarlie’s Cakes & Confectionery can transform the simple cake pop into a towering extravaganza for you and your guests. Their recipe for cake pops is a rich, fudgy brownie coated in chocolate, all presented on a stick to make them lollipop-like and easy to eat. Each individual cake pop can be decorated to the colour scheme of your big day and there’s an endless list of design possibilities. 

7. Doughnut tower


America’s Krispy Kreme has been setting up shop all over Scotland lately. If, like most of the country, you made the pilgrimage to its very first store in Edinburgh, the new Glasgow openings will be music to your ears. To celebrate, why not treat your guests to their favourite doughnut on your big day? We won’t be held responsible for sticky fingers anywhere near your dress though! Save us a Reese’s Peanut Butter and Jelly and we’ll be forever grateful.

8. Chocolate pyramid and 9. Ice-cream cake


From left: If a trip to a chocolatier is your idea of heaven, it might be worthwhile substituting a tiered wedding cake for something a little more tempered and ganached. If this is the case, you have to meet the team at Chocolate Tree, who will happily turn your chocolate dreams into reality. One of their signature pieces, the chocolate pyramid, is a decadent work of edible art.

The best frozen dessert since the dawn of time is not strictly reserved for days by the seaside with a 99, it’s making its way to your top table faster than you can say ‘raspberry sauce’. The amazing ice-cream cakes from Mancini’s of Ayr will give your guests something to talk about for years to come. Made entirely of ice-cream (rather than being a cake covered in ice-cream), these tiered delights can be made in any flavour you choose. 

10. Luxury patisserie

Photo: Maja Jankowska Photography

Hautecake by Sonnda Catto is blowing our minds with her award-winning patisserie delights. Marrying contemporary with tradition, these delicious bites are ridiculously moreish. Le Cordon Bleu trained and Michelin-star experienced, Sonnda works with the finest quality, seasonal, local and natural ingredients to create a range of enchanting goodies. Choose from financiers, macarons, tea cakes, gâteaux, layer cakes, chocolate pots and more.

11. Croquembouche and 12. Chocolate strawberries


From left: A must-have for a French or Italian wedding soirée, the croquembouche is a French dessert consisting of choux pastry profiteroles piled high into a cone and bound with delicate threads of caramel and expert sugar work. This delicious concoction by The Butterscotch Bakery would be really fun to cut and even more fun to eat. Laden with the filling of your choice, this staggering centrepiece will amaze your guests with its stylish appeal and delicious flavour, all topped off with chocolate.

We can’t help but drool over these chocolate-coated strawberries by Couture Candy. Not only are they a brilliant palate-cleanser after a rich wedding meal, they also look adorable with their bride-and-groom mini outfits on. Choose from milk chocolate with white chocolate drizzle, milk chocolate with hazelnuts, white chocolate with coconut, dark chocolate with almonds or chocolate-dipped pineapple slices.