The dessert portion of your wedding reception is, quite literally, the icing on the cake. It is the last experience your guests will have before they leave the wedding, and it is your last chance to, literally, leave a sweet taste in their months. For years, wedding desserts consisted of boring yellow cake cut from a towering cake and served in huge slices, with maybe a little ice cream on the side. But now, couples are breaking free of the wedding cake monotony and serving desserts with as much inspiration and creativity as sweetness.
In order to choose the best possible dessert for your wedding, consider the style and vibe of your reception. Are you having a formal, sit-down dinner that would work best with a plated, elegant dessert dish? Or are you having a fun, casual outdoor wedding that would match perfectly with a fun ice cream cart?
Regardless of your tastes and budget, here are some wedding dessert ideas that will inspire your sweet tooth:
- Forgo the traditional wedding dessert entirely and instead serve a variety of gourmet cupcake flavors in a single huge cupcake tower. That way, chocolate lovers can enjoy a rich German chocolate cupcake, while those looking for something lighter can sample a lemon cupcake. You can even include vegan or gluten-free options without forcing everyone else to compromise!
- At the end of a winter wedding, guests will love the idea of warming up with delicious warm baked desserts. Serve them in individual ramekins of runny chocolate soufflé for an elegant presentation, or have guests serve themselves.
- For a fun and creative touch at the end of your wedding reception, have the caterer roll out authentic-looking carnival carts with traditional carnival treats like cotton candy, snow cones, and funnel cakes.
- For a somewhat healthy sweet dessert, set up a milkshake and smoothie bar. Guests will get to control how indulgent their desserts are by choosing from yummy add-ins like fruit, ice cream, chocolate and milk.
- Fans of all things old-fashioned will go nuts (literally) over an authentic retro ice cream parlor dessert. Have your caterer set up a counter that looks like an ice cream parlor at one end of the dance floor, and dish up desserts like ice cream sundaes, banana splits, and egg creams.
- For a little taste of France right at your wedding reception, consider a crepe station. A chef will create delicious crepes to-order for your guests and then fill them with your guests’ choice of chocolate, Nutella, and peanut butter fillings.
- For the trendiest wedding dessert around, choose cake pops. These adorable spherical frosted cake portions on a stick are portion-controlled, easy to make, and just so darn cute.
- For a classically elegant touch, end the evening with a variety of delicately iced petit fours in colors that match the decor of your wedding reception. You can choose a variety of flavors and fillings to accommodate all kinds of taste preferences, and don’t forget to put out small boxes so guests can take a few treats home with them.
- If gourmet cupcakes have been the on-trend dessert of the last few years, the next big dessert trend is going to be pie. Rustic yet gourmet, fashionable yet all-American, there is no better end to a perfect wedding than a nice big slice of blueberry or apple pie.
- To make your wedding dessert idea even more personal, choose something that reminds you of something you and your fiancé share. You can choose a traditional dessert from your cultural heritage, like baklava if you’re Greek, or a treat that reminds you of your shared experiences, like gelato to commemorate your trip to Italy.