Dessert is one of the most playful and creative aspects of any wedding meal. Desserts are not only colorful and sweet, but they also tend to be everybody’s favorite part of the meal. And although most people think of that iconic, tiered cake in white icing, tradition shouldn’t limit you on your big day. Here, wedding dessert bar ideas that will blow your wedding guests away.
Putting a wedding dessert table together isn’t always as easy as setting everything out. If you truly want to make a certain impression, you’re going to need to organize things accordingly. If you’re not sure where to start—or what the end goal is, for that matter—consider the following.
Imagine a dessert section of blue-frosted cupcakes, blueberry-topped pies, blue-frosted doughnuts, and blue macarons next to a red dessert station. Splitting your dessert stations up by color not only spreads out the number of places where people can get dessert, but also makes for an enchanting and bold visual. Pro tip: Try to coordinate your colorful desserts with your wedding colors for a tied-together appearance.
The key to any visually appealing dessert display is height variance. For example, place your wedding cookies on a flat tray and the mini cheesecakes on a tiered serving platter. When serving multiple pies, use multiple pie serving platters or cake stands of different heights. Whatever you do, keep the heights varied in order to keep the display interesting. This can also prevent guests from bumping into each other while reaching for things that are close to one-another
Your dessert station is another opportunity to get creative with organization and decor. Wow your guests with an interesting display that puts all of your sweet treats front and center for everyone to see. We’re talking shelves, cabinets, tiered ladders, and the like. The sheer volume will be visually unusual (in the best way) and not something your guests will soon forget
Sometimes, your dessert options and wedding favors can be one in the same. A sweet dessert (as well as a savory snack, for that matter) can be made to-go with a little extra effort. Prepare wrapped-up dessert boxes or bags for guests to snag on the way out or have some to-go containers available near your dessert table. In either case, guests are sure to appreciate the option to take a piece (or two) of your wedding dessert home with them.
Not only are mini desserts aesthetically pleasing, but easy to handle. From transporting, to arranging, to picking up and eating, smaller portions of your desserts are absolutely ideal. Whether you decide on mini candy bars, cake pops, handheld pies, or itty-bitty cupcakes, think about setting up a dessert bar where every dessert is micro for a manageable grab-and-go treat
Suffice it to say, your desserts aren’t always limited to wedding cake. From donut walls to ice cream stands and more, there’s a practically endless array of options to choose from. No matter your wedding theme or favorite kind of sweet treats, there’s an exciting option for you.
Not sure where to get started? Below we’ve compiled 30 of our favorite dessert ideas guests are sure to enjoy. Take a peek for inspiration.
Churros! Fried Oreos! Funnel cake! Kettle corn popcorn! If your wedding aesthetic is giving off a fun, outdoor feel (and even if it isn’t), pair it with fairgrounds-themed desserts that guests can pick and choose from.
An alternative to cake that’s equally as fancy, a chocolate mousse bar will hit the mark for many guests. Not only is mousse a delicious and interesting alternative, but it comes in a variety of flavors. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, hazelnut, the list goes on and on. Don’t forget the nuts, fudge, sprinkles, and other toppings, too.
Perhaps a standard wedding cake isn’t your style, but cake ideas aren’t entirely off the table. No problem. For a memorable cake station, serve cakes that are pre-cut and a bit less traditional. A chocolate babka cake with cinnamon icing, a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, or a chocolate chip banana bread cake would all be welcome surprises.
Oftentimes, when people think of cake, they forget to consider cheesecake. While this isn’t your traditional wedding cake type, it’s every bit as classic and delicious as, say, a vanilla or red velvet confection. For a dessert option that’s convenient and tasty, try cutting a couple cheesecake flavors into bite-sized cubes and displaying on tiered stands.
Spring and summer weddings would benefit from having a selection of mini pies as their wedding day dessert. It seems that most people enjoy at least one type of pie—especially those with fresh fruit fillings and rich, flaky crusts. For a visually striking pie table, include pies with vibrant, bold toppings, like raspberries and blueberries.
Donuts come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, from small powdered donut holes, to apple fritters, to your classic old fashioned glazed donuts. Moreover, you can present a donut display in a variety of ways, ranging from boxed to-go desserts, to stacks, to a hanging donut wall. The combinations are endless!
Interactive dessert bars are another way to make your wedding cake alternative stand out. For a fun take on chocolate fondue, consider setting up a s’mores station with graham crackers, chocolate, and warming options for the marshmallows. Love the dessert, but don’t want the potential mess? Ask your caterer or baker if they can provide pre-made s’mores.
They don’t call breakfast the most important (or favored) meal of the day for nothing. If you prefer pancakes to actual cake, think about swapping out your dessert station for a breakfast bar. Offer your guest waffles, crepes, chocolate chip pancakes, and other sweet breakfast goodies for dessert.
Macarons have been growing in immense popularity over the last decade. This, of course, extends itself to wedding planning and wedding desserts. These pastel, flavorful desserts are ideal for spring and summer weddings—especially those that take place outdoors or in a garden-style setting. Macarons come in just about every flavor you could imagine, so we recommend having several available for guests to choose from. Arrange them by flavor or in a beautiful ombre design.
Need we say more? A classic for a reason, an ice cream sundae dessert bar will ensure at least some impressed guests. With a variety of sweet sauces and toppings, you can’t really go wrong with this one.
Likewise, you can par things back to a beautiful and classic ice cream stand. Provide a selection of delicious and unique flavors, as well as fan favorite toppings, and you’re sure to satisfy all.
Fruit tarts are beautiful on display, reminiscent of proper gatherings and tea time. They’re an especially tasty dessert option at warm summer weddings, where heavier desserts may not be ideal. Display a few different flavors of tarts on various tiered stands and watch as they fly off the shelves.
Bite-size brownies, both plain and dusted in powdered sugar, are an entirely underrated wedding dessert. Whether you’re hosting a formal affair, complete with dessert vendor, or are having a DIY wedding where you and your partner bake the sweets, these are a hit waiting to happen.
How could we talk about wedding dessert ideas without mentioning cupcakes? Frost (or order) your own to fit your wedding colors so that they’re as pleasing to the eye are they are to the mouth.
Just as aesthetically pleasing and slightly less messy, cake pops are the ideal portable dessert. If you expect your wedding guests to be dancing the night away as long as they can, consider opting for this easy-to-carry-around dessert. What’s more, they can be easily placed in a beautiful box filled with a styrofoam cube.
Parfaits are fresh and sweet, making them another summer and spring wedding favorite. Have them premade into a few combinations or put together a make-it-yourself station, in which guests can select all of their own ingredients.
Nothing says adorable like mini bundt cakes. If you’re hosting a wedding with a guest list on the smaller side, this dessert is a manageable option that, without a doubt, will leave a good impression.
Another easy to grab and portable dessert option is whoopie pies. You can stick with the classic chocolate and vanilla flavor profile, or throw vanilla and red velvet into the mix.
If you’re hosting a fall wedding, we highly suggest putting caramel apples on the menu (or, rather, the dessert bar). Seasonal and pleasing to look at, they’re just the sort of creative dessert idea that will get guests talking.
Do either you or your partner always stop by your local Cinnabon stand when you’re in the area? Rather then cake, set out cinnamon rolls at your wedding reception. Your guests won’t be able to resist the mouth-watering smell.
For a more elegant display, choose to go with trays upon trays of truffles. Or, you can have them pre-bagged, so guests can simply pick them up as they exit your reception.
Whether or not you consider a few frosted tiers of rice crispy a cake is entirely up to you. In any case, we think this is a delightfully surprising alternative to the traditional thing. However, if cutting into a large rice crispy doesn’t sound great to you, you can have smaller pieces cut up and ready to go.
Custom wedding cookies have grown to be a fairly popular dessert—and for good reason. They come in plenty of flavors, can have personalized frosting, and are easy to carry around. It’s a win, win, win. Offer some milk options (in small glass jugs, preferably) for a full-on milk and cookies set-up.
Give a nod to your heritage with a pan dulce bar, complete with a variety of assorted pastries. This dessert option is a sweet (no pun intended) way to pay tribute to your family, while also serving great food.
Perhaps you prefer candies to pastries and cakes. No problem! Coordinate to have an eye-catching candy table, complete with vibrant colors, varying flavors and textures, and to-go bags.
Adult crowds will flock to an alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) popsicle bar. Provide guests with several flavors in a few fun colors and prepare for people to go back for seconds.
Serve banana cream pie in perhaps the classiest way possible: From inside tall shot glasses. Layer the cream pie with pie crust crumbs and top off with a vanilla wafer.
For the sophisticated couple, chocolate covered strawberries are a perfect wedding dessert. You can keep them simple and classic or, if you prefer, have a series of options with different flavors and toppings.
Honestly, your wedding dessert doesn’t technically have to be sweet. If you’re a much bigger fan of savory treats, consider having a cheese cake. Not cheesecake, but tiered large wheels of actual cheese, made to look like a cake. Pair with other grazing board fixings like grapes and sliced meats.
Can’t stick to just one thing? Get together with your partner and/or caterer and discuss having a table with all of your favorites. Sometimes, more is more, and a dessert bar with several good options is one of these cases.
The wedding dessert bar is a time to wow your wedding party, family, and other loved ones with delicious options. With these ideas for delicious wedding dessert bar options from Zola, you will be on your way to having the dessert bar of your dreams.