pink and rose gold wedding cake with cake pops

Alternative Wedding Cakes: Our Definitive Guide to Cakes With a Difference

If you’re eschewing conventional wedding traditions, for example choosing to walk yourself down the aisle or opting to spend the night before your wedding with your partner, chances are you might also be in the market for an alternative wedding cake.

While we absolutely love naked wedding cakes, and classic white wedding cakes will never go out of style, there’s definitely a place in our hearts for wedding cakes with a difference; think macaroon towers, donut stacks and the ever popular cheese wedding cake.


Every aspect of your wedding day has been designed to reflect you and your partner as a couple, from the flower choices to the song you’ve picked for your first dance, so why shouldn’t your cake be a reflection of your personality too?

There’s no reason to go for a simple white wedding cake just because tradition dictates – the same goes for the cake filling.

Fruit cakes are the classic choice for wedding cakes, but more and more we’re seeing couples opting to flavour each tier differently, with flavours including salted caramel, carrot, chocolate and even elderflower and lemon, like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had.

Alternative wedding cakes work for any wedding theme, from chic city soirees with minimalist décor, to boho weddings in barn venues with rustic themes.

Scroll down for our round up of the best ideas for alternative wedding cakes

Wedding Cake Pops

pink and rose gold wedding cake with cake pops
Courtesy of Couture Cakes

“Cake pops are a unique way to present your wedding cake to your guests in little bite-size bursts,” say the wedding experts at Ash Barton Estate. Not only do they prevent the waste that we sometimes see with traditional tiered wedding cakes, cake pops are also portable and much easier to hold when your guests are walking about or dancing.

Cake pops can be personalised and customised to suit your style. They could be coloured to tie in with your wedding theme, or you could ever have several different flavours of cake pop if you can’t choose between your favourites.

If you’re keen for cake pops but still want to embrace the tradition of cutting the cake, why not opt for a creation like this one by Couture Cakes, with two tiers of cake pops, topped with a small wedding cake – it’s the perfect way to embrace both an alternative wedding cake and time-honoured wedding traditions.

Croquembouche Wedding Cake

Croquembouche wedding cake
Courtesy of Couture Cakes

If you love profiteroles, a Croquembouche will be right up your street. More common at weddings in Italy and France, a Croquembouche wedding cake comprises of a show-stopping profiterole tower, which will amaze your guests.

Far from plain pastry covered profiteroles, Croquembouche cakes can be decorated in whichever way you fancy, from gold leaf for elegant occasions to shimmering finishes for festive weddings. Match it to your colour scheme for the ultimate in cool coordination.  – prepare to feel seriously inspired.

Just like with the cake pops, Croquembouche wedding cakes can sit atop a traditional wedding cake so you have something to cut when the all important moment arises.

Macaron Wedding Cakes

macaron wedding cake
Courtesy of Mademoiselle Macaron

Not a million miles from Croquembouche wedding cakes, are macaron towers; equally amazing visually, macaron towers are perfect for smaller weddings, as you can allocate macarons per guest.

Macarons come in a variety of pretty colours so your macaron wedding cake can be designed to perfectly suit your wedding colour scheme. They work particularly well at Parisian themed weddings, or weddings with pretty pastel colour themes – spring brides, we’re looking at you!

This macaron tower, courtesy of Mademoiselle Macaron perfectly demonstrates how you can tie your macaron cake into your wedding theme.

Black Wedding Cakes

black wedding cake with white flowers and foliage

Not solely reserved for Halloween weddings, black wedding cakes make a real statement at any time of the year. Pair with a gold or cream colour scheme for an extra classy touch.

“Any colour on a black cake will stand out , but adding subtle gold and grey colourings creates a more ethereal looking cake,” suggests Ash Barton.

Stop your black wedding cake from looking too harsh with the addition of fresh white flowers and leafy green foliage.

black wedding cake
Image by Jane Beadnell Photography

For an autumnal touch, add pink, burgundy and cream roses, along with berries and rustic leaves, as seen on this incredible four tier black wedding cake by Poppy Pickering.

Gluten Free Wedding Cake

gluten free pavlova wedding cake

If you’re gluten free, or want to cater to your gluten free wedding guests, a pavlova wedding cake could be the answer, as it’s naturally gluten free!

Pavlova wedding cakes are also a great choice for anyone who thinks they’ll be too full, post wedding breakfast, for a traditional sponge cake.

“Pavlova cakes are the perfect alternative wedding cake for summer weddings as you can choose bright summer fruits and edible flowers to complement the season,” say Ash Barton.

“However, pavlova cakes can work in winter too. For a rustic winter wedding, choose deep colours and fruits like oranges, rhubarb, apples and pears and go for gold, leafy details.”

Square Wedding Cakes

Square marble wedding cake

Picture a cake and chances are you imagine a rounded creation, but let us stop you right there – who says cakes have to be round?! Not us. For a cool take on an alternative wedding cake, opt instead for square, sharply cornered tiers for a stylish geometric vibe, like this gorgeous creation by Zoe Clark Cakes.

Pair with copper or marble touches to complete the modern wedding theme, or add an unusual wedding cake topper for a talking point among your guests.

Botanical Wedding Cake

alternative weddig cake

We’ve long been fans of marble wedding cakes, but this year the ever-popular style has been given a succulent-inspired revamp, with botanical inspired embellishments adorning alternative wedding cakes up and down the country.

The beauty of cakes with extravagant details is that they don’t need to be tall, towering many-tiered creations. A simple two tier wedding cake is transformed into a thing of beauty when intricate details are added.

Brownie Tower Wedding Cake

brownie tower wedding cake

For a modern take on cupcake wedding towers, opt for tiers of brownies, like this one, snapped by Toby Lowe Photography at a wedding at Ash Barton Estate. These bitesize nibbles are perfect for bringing out with tea and coffee later on during your wedding reception, for a little mid-evening pick me up.

Marble Wedding Cake

marble wedding cake

While we’re on the subject of marble wedding cakes, if you want a purely marble cake, then go for it! Opt for a minimalist aesthetic with lowkey embellishment to let the design really do the talking.

Towering tiers suit wedding in large venues with dramatic high ceilings.

Modern Wedding Cakes

unusual wedding cake
Courtesy of ARD Bakery

For a truly alternative wedding cake, embrace a graphic inspired wedding theme, with a sculptural style wedding cake that wouldn’t look out of place in an Andy Warhol painting. Think bold hues, unexpected shapes and intricate icing that would look equally at home on the catwalk at fashion week as it will at your wedding reception.

London based cake designer ARD Bakery is the connoisseur when it comes to this style of cake.

3D wedding cake
Courtesy of ARD Bakery

Don’t feel like all of the tiers of your cake have to match – just like how the sponge inside can be different on every layer, so can the exterior of the cake. Clashing is cool, we say!

colourful modern wadding cake
Courtesy of ARD Bakery

When it comes to graphic, modern wedding cakes, one trend we’re seeing a lot of this year is  mismatched tiers, where it looks like your cake is defying gravity – trickier for cutting, yes, but we guarantee your guests haven’t seen anything like this before. It’s the epitome of an alternative wedding cake.

quirky white wedding cakr
Courtesy of ARD Bakery

If the traditionalist in you is set on the idea of a white wedding cake, but still wants something modern, why not mix it up and go for a cubic printed design like this one? Top with a quirky cake topper to complete the look.

Crystal Wedding Cake

cut out crystal wedding cake

Give your wedding a magical touch with cut-out crystal detailing. Choose sugar crystals in a hue that matches your wedding colour scheme to pull the look of your day together.

With a cake this dramatic, don’t feel like you need lots of layers – one tier is enough to create a statement when you’ve got a design this striking.

Textured Wedding Cake

textured wedding cake

Transform a simple wedding cake into something unlike your guests have ever seen before, with one tier in a unique texture. It’s a simple way to transform your bake into an alternative wedding cake.

We’re obsessed with the wood-style tier on this cake created by Zoe Clark Cakes. The addition of fresh flowers adds a delicate touch and would work perfectly at a destination wedding in a sun-soaked venue.

With your alternative wedding cake sorted, check out our gallery of unique wedding dresses to complete your perfectly personal wedding style.


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