Serving wedding cake as dessert: why you might want to and why you should think twice.

Wedding cake is not dessert. It is cake. Yet despite this irrefutable fact, I am still sometimes asked to replace the final course of a great wedding menu with a slice.

Fruit, chocolate, croquembouche, cupcake… no matter how your caterer cuts it or how many berries garnish it, it will not look, taste or seem in anyway like a course in its own right. You should serve cake ‘as well as’, ‘alongside’, but never ‘instead of’ pudding.

Why Some Couples Want to Replace Pudding with Cake

Here are the two biggest reasons why couples ask me to replace pudding with cake, and my thoughts on why you should reconsider.

“We Want to Save Money”

Of all the possible economies to make, scrimping on food is the one act I believe can truly ruin the atmosphere of your day and the goodwill of your guests. Food is not simply a means to satisfy hunger; your menu is a message.

Eating slice of cake

Personally I think that leaving out dessert and skipping straight to cake is like professing your love via a text. Efficient, yes. Modern, perhaps. Polite, never.

I’m not suggesting that you should pick something expensive. In fact some of my favourite desserts are also the most cost-effective… vanilla panna cotta with fresh berries, summer pudding, poached pear and ginger ice-cream…

If you are adamant about missing out a course consider this: research shows that each of your guests will spend an average of £256 to attend your wedding (travel, babysitters, hotels, new outfits, gifts, cash bar…) With that £256 sum in mind ask yourself: “will this menu make my guests feel cherished or cheated?”

“We Want to Do Something Different”

Just because it’s not a fruit cake doesn’t mean it’s pudding. One key difference between the two is that food is cooked fresh to order. Your chosen dessert can involve as much fresh cream, chocolate or even ice cream as you wish, whereas your chosen cake needs to be more robust to withstand being on display for anything up to ten hours before it is eaten.

Over the last few years ‘towers’ of individual cakes have become a popular choice, and do make a stunning and unique centrepiece. From a caterer’s perspective though this option requires just as much careful service as any traditional tiered cake. Never abandon your guests to play cake Jenga! After the cake cutting moment insist your caterer either passes the individual cakes amongst you guests during coffee, or plates the cakes separately and places them on the buffet table ready for collection.

Wedding Cheese Stack

And finally, if you want something truly different and delicious, I suggest a cake made of whole rounds of cheese decorated with figs, grapes and fresh fruit. Place it as the centrepiece of the evening buffet and watch your delighted guests dig in.

Guest post by Julie Gray of Bovingdons

Images from…

Cake Slice: Pexels

Cheese Stack Cake: Caught the Light