Selecting the groom’s cake can be one of the most enjoyable parts of putting together the rehearsal dinner or reception menu: unless the bride or groom doesn’t like cake. When a reader asked us for advice in handling this scenario, we decided to put the question to a panel of experts that happen to know a thing or two about desserts.
Q – We love the idea of a groom’s cake. The only problem is that the groom doesn’t actually like cake. Any tips on dessert alternatives for the rehearsal dinner?
EARL ANDERSON (Certified Cake Pimp, Fantasy Frostings)
I’m not sure why anyone would marry a man that didn’t like cake, but stipulating that someone would, there are other sweet options. Traditionally, the grooms cake is served at the rehearsal dinner. Usually, it’s designed around a hobby or interest of the groom’s. We have done a wild boar for a hunter, a Transformer for a fan, Superheroes galore and even a golf cart for a groom that was given a DUI driving his cart on the street after a very liquid round on the course. Groom cakes are all about a sense of humor. My first suggestion for an alternative would be a dessert bar themed to the tastes and interests of the groom. Colors, designs and tastes can be incorporated into many different desserts. Fresh fruits dipped in white, milk and dark chocolates. Cookies, fudge, pies and candies can be put together into a beautiful display.
LAUREN GROVE (Founder, Every Last Detail)
I always tell couples that their wedding should 100% reflect them, so why should the “groom’s cake” be anything less than that? Think of what kinds of desserts you LOVE, and have that as your “groom’s dessert”! I’ve seen “cakes” made of donuts, giant cookie cakes, and of course cupcakes. Pie is always an excellent option (pie pops are a new favorite) or you could even do mini-desserts, like creme brûlée or bananas foster. The options are endless!
GRETCHEN VILES (Editor & Social Media, WindWishes)
Don’t like cake? No problem! Here are some alternatives to satisfy that sweet tooth after a delicious rehearsal dinner:
- Donut tower: Stack up the grooms favorite donuts on a cake plate and next to that, platters of donuts for your guests taking.
- Cookies: Serve the groom’s choice cookies alongside a shot glass of cold milk.
- Ice cream sundae bar: This one sounds a bit more involved…but, really it’s just about setting up the basics and any personal fave toppings, of course; vanilla icecream, chocolate fudge, nuts, sprinkles, whipped cream and a bowl of cherries!
- Chocolate fountain: Who can resist a waterfall flow of chocolate? Add dippers like: bananas, strawberries, rice crispy treats, wafer cookies…and you are all set!
Now, don’t forget to personalize your presentation identifying it as the “Groom’s Dessert.” I say add in some pictures of the groom as a kiddo with maybe icecream all over his face…or chocolate in his teeth! This is a sure way of adding lots of personality to it and making it all your own!
BRIAN LEAHY (Founder, The Groom Says)
You’re in luck, cake hater. Rehearsal dinners and desserts are the two wedding elements where breaking the rules is not only okay — it’s encouraged. First look to new dessert alternatives like COOLHAUS for inspiration (they engineered some kickass ice cream sammies for our wedding … cause wedding cake is so 1990). And there’s nothing wrong with incorporating the groom’s favorite desserts, no matter how lowbrow they may be. If a classic Wendy’s Chocolate Frosty (with french fries to dip) is your Achilles’ heel, then go for it. Finally, if you’re having a destination wedding, an assortment of goodies from local bakeries might be a good way to tie in the locale. Whatever you do, don’t make the safe choice. Bold and unique will always leave a lasting impression.
What are you serving for dessert at the rehearsal dinner or reception? Will there be a cake alternative? Share your story in the comment section below.