BREAKING NEWS: This just in, traditional wedding cakes are being invaded by their just as delicious counterparts… and the world, as we know it, will never be the same! (Cue the scary “dun! dun! dun! Music)
A wise man once said, “the times they are a-changin’,” and even though Bob Dylan originally wrote this particular lyric in 1964, no quote is more fitting for today’s modern bride. Pair the infinite amount of choices and opportunities a girl has with an unlimited quantity of search engines, hog wild imaginations and varying budgets, and there is no telling what color rabbit a bridal magician will pull out from under her hat. This is the same notion tapping in and taking over on the traditional wedding cake’s reign of supremacy. It is merely one more wedding tradition that has inevitably fallen victim to pomp, circumstance and apparently, bridal wizardry.
Among the most well known cake alternatives are colorfully creative cupcakes and ultra yummy, candy bars. Arguably rivaling the notorious, traditional wedding cake, cupcake towers and candy bar buffets have really become household names in the wedding world. Working their way up the popularity ladder, these customized creations have proven time and time again, what they lack in tradition; they gain in delightful designs. Because both choices can be dipped, dolloped, shellacked, sprinkled and stacked any way a bride sees fit, they are easily taking over the market of goodies miniature in size but powerful in taste.
Not to be outdone by the more popular wedding cake alternatives, places like Baskin-Robbins and the Krispy Kreme Doughnut chain have also jumped on board the wedding dessert bandwagon. Each has started customizing delectable dishes for brides and grooms looking for something original and nontraditional. Krispy Kreme will refine, ruffle and raise up rows of doughnuts in the name of “holey” matrimony, while Baskin-Robbins likes to allow their newlyweds-to-be the option of choosing their favorite flavors to be merged and quaffed into a giant ice cream creation… giving ice sculptures and “cold feet” reassurance it’s super cool to be a part of wedded bliss. (What? Too much?)
And while chilled cream cakes and ice sculptures give couples a reason to freeze their assets, stacking their finger licking favorites in tiers is yet another alternative that will leave their guests with full bellies and warm hearts. Everything from fruit packed pastries to mousse filled toasting flutes and even pancakes and pork pies (yes, pancakes and pork pies!) have been displayed in reception halls across America. Not only can this cut down on service charges, but it also allows newlyweds the opportunity to have more than one choice. One of the most popular “tier”-ing choices is a combination of prepackaged confectioneries, such as Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Sno Balls, being assembled and stacked on cake plates and platters. These are obviously done by a bride looking to be the “Hostess with the Most-est!”
But aiming to please isn’t the only reason people are leaning more toward wedding cake alternatives. More often than not, dessert options are decided by someone’s preferences, culture, heritage or beliefs; so, many couples will look to other parts of the world are looked to for inspiration. For instance, while many Americans humor in the fruitcake as a holiday gag gift, places like the British Isles, the Caribbean, Ireland and Scotland revere the fruit frenzy as a wedding day must have. Couples looking for something different might even look to Europe where France venerates its caramel covered, cream filled pastry towers (known as croquembouche) or Lithuania where sakotis – a cookie like dessert, shaped into a Christmas tree are nothing short of blue ribbons. Even newlyweds who (gasp!) don’t have a sweet tooth can look for inspiration in places like Korea who simply cover ground steamed rice in red bean powder or areas like Japan and India who use “dummy cakes” instead of the real thing. While the guests might not delight in eating cardboard, the wad left in a couple’s wallet from cutting cake costs will leave at least two people smiling.
Bottom line, wedding cakes and all their ensuing alternatives really don’t have any specific rules to follow. In fact, since everyone knows *calories don’t count when someone’s getting married, it may even be encouraged to go for the broke and try them all!
*not backed by scientific facts; only by the white lies people tell themselves to feel better.