A wedding meal is best rounded off with an indulgent treat but – whisper it – straight-up wedding cake isn’t for everyone. Think outside the box with these delicious alternatives, from doughnuts and stuffed cookies to iced biscuits and ice cream
“Everything in our bakery is handmade, from our signature brioche dough to our glazes, jams, custards and toppings,” shares Lauren Parsons, events co-ordinator at Tantrum Doughnuts. “Our doughnuts are a great alternative to a wedding cake, or addition to a dessert table, and can be arranged on a tiered stand or doughnut wall. We can also pack them in individual boxes for guests to take home as favours.” Tempting flavours include crème brûlée, pistachio and hibiscus and milk ‘n’ cookies and it’s possible to have your names and wedding date piped onto its Madagascan vanilla rings. Vegan options are also available. Score!
In just 12 months, Rheann Oakley has made a splash with Bad Bitch Bakes. What started out as 24 cookies baked for friends turned into an Instagram sensation and booming business, with Rheann offering cookie pies, cookie sandwiches and other delectable sweets. Surely your guests can make room for a Nutella-stuffed cookie or a billionaire bar (which features a double-chocolate-chunk cookie base, buttery caramel, and a layer of chocolate ganache).
Don’t have much of a sweet tooth? Consider a fromage stack for your wedding instead. Not to be confused with the New York or burnt Basque varieties, the cheese ‘cakes’ from IJ Mellis are made by piling different individual rounds chosen from amongst the cheesemongers’ exceptional selection. True fromage fiends will not be disappointed, with Alp Blossom, Spenwood, Smoked Gubbeen, Brillat Savarin and Golden Cross all previously appearing in one of Mellis’ towers of temptation. The chain has five shops across Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews, but deliver throughout the UK. Just make sure you add plenty of crackers to your basket too.
What happens when one partner is a traditionalist and the other is more out there in their choices? A smörgåsbord of sweet treats, especially if Liggy’s Cake Co. has anything to do with it. Its colour-co-ordinated dessert tables can include a range of tasty goods – from handmade French macarons and freshly baked luxury cupcakes, to exquisite iced cookies and Scottish tablet – and look especially striking when combined with one of the company’s tiered cakes. If there’s a more delicious compromise to be found, we’ll eat our, erm… hat meringue kisses!
Scottish Borders-based baker, Nicola Moffat, aka Ruby and Pearl Cake Art (below left) puts her background in fashion and textiles to great use in her colourful cakes, meringue kisses, cakesicles and more. We’re crushing hard on the Insta-worthy cookies that look just like blue agate she made for a recent wedding, as well as the oh-so-chic chocolate-mud cupcakes, decorated with pretty lilac hydrangeas.
Rawnchy (above right) serves 100% plant-based cakes, cake pops, brownies, cupcakes, bars and bites. “Our treats are vegan and free from soy, refined sugar and gluten,” says Poppy Murricane from the Glasgow cafe and cake makers. If your wedding is a family affair, there’s an added benefit: “We’ve never had a child disliking our bakes. Parents can rest assured that their wee ones are being filled up with goodness. They don’t seem to get mad sugar highs off them either.”
Based in South Lanarkshire, but delivering across the UK, The Biscuit Barn’s Emma Harrison specialises in making bespoke biscuits with designs ranging from florals and hearts to red Chinese envelopes (a symbol of good luck and prosperity). Emma can turn her hand to just about anything, even immortalising a pet owner’s fur babies as bride and groom in delectable sugar, flour and icing. Too cute!
Planning a summer bash? You may want to consider ice cream as an alternative to traditional tiers. Girvan Gelateria’s cart comes loaded with your choice of nine flavours of homemade gelato or sorbet. With options ranging from the familiar (vanilla and salted caramel) to the unexpected (jelly bear and bubblegum), there’s plenty to keep family and friends happy. Plus, just think how excited any little ones will be when they see the cart! Sprinkles at the ready…
Not only does Northern Lights Cakery make delicious cakes, cupcakes and cookies, owner Kate Jackson also grows some of the edible flowers that decorate her creations. “All my bakes can be personalised and can be vegan or gluten-friendly [made without gluten but in a kitchen that uses wheat products],” notes Kate. Our eyes are on these floral cupcakes, which would look almost too good to eat on a dessert table. Almost.
Jappacakes has an impressive array of sweet treats on stand-by: “We make cupcakes, cake pops, brownies, blondies, iced biscuits, cakesicles, dipped Oreos and cookies.” Phew! We’re full-up just listing those. Even better, there’s practical benefits of eschewing one big cake: “We recommend cupcakes for guests with dietary requirements, as a lot of opportunity for cross-contamination is eliminated,” suggests owner Laura Japp.