Please wait, the site is loading...


Wedding cakes – what are the alternatives?

by Anne Robinson

Is the traditional British wedding cake at the risk of extinction? According to a recent survey, only 18% of couples now opt for a traditional fruitcake.

Whereas choosing your cake used to be, well, a piece of cake, quirkier alternatives like naked cakes, cupcake towers, cheese wheels and even 3-tiered pies are on the rise.

Here are some of the new kids on the block...

Naked cakes

My friends Ian and Kayleigh had a naked wedding cake for their big day recently. Personally, I'm a big fan of a naked cake. I like a cake to look pretty and make me swoon, and with a naked cake, it's all about the cake – the look of it, the texture, the flavour. I like the fact that there aren't lashings of overly sweet icing masking the sponge. Ian and Kayleigh's cake was awesome and made a great dessert, with lashings of lovely ice cream and fresh berries. And if it's good enough for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, it's good enough for us.



Despite the phrase 'The bride and groom will now cut their cupcake' not being very traditional, cupcakes are real crowd-pleasers and allow an ever-expanding choice of flavours, toppings and icings, catering for all tastes. Potentially they also offer more convenience, with guests just being able to help themselves.

We think a tower of our luscious lemon cupcakes or our blueberry cheesecake cupcakes would be just perfect!



The interest in cheese wedding cakes has grown to the point where they may soon be a permanent feature of the weddings scene.

Why the surge in popularity? Well, they make a delicious savoury alternative to cake if you don't have a particularly sweet tooth, and they add quite a decadent twist to proceedings. Plus if your guests don't polish off the lot on the day, that's lunch sorted for the next few weeks!

Ian from The Cheese Shed, a West Country artisan cheese specialist, says: 'For some people they're an attractive way of presenting the cheese course while for others they replace the traditional fruitcake. All sorts of effects can be achieved through careful choice of cheeses and decoration, from the rustic and traditional to highly theatrical and dramatic looks.'

The Cheese Shed's 'Haldon' tower (see pic below), which feeds around 100 people, is even all-white – slotting into any wedding with ease.


Pork Pie

Possibly even more off-piste, is the pork pie cake – yes, you heard correct! It's rustic, modern, a real conversation starter, and in times of austerity, you've got your evening buffet and your cake all rolled into one!

Director of Wilsons Butchers John Green says, 'People pick us because we're a bit out of the ordinary, but it's also the only way some venues will allow couples to bring in their own food for the reception!'


Cake pops

Tiny balls of cake served on the end of sticks have also become something of a wedding fixture of late. They're far more practical (being knife-free), easier to eat and loads of fun.

Leanne from The Cake Pop Company says: 'Couples can select from classic cake pops to match their colour scheme or novelty bride and groom themed cake pops, with optional name tags for personalisation. Cake pops are also increasingly being chosen as individual wedding favours, to add a unique feature to the day and wow the guests!'

Looking at the picture below, it's easy to see how they allow the bride and groom to get a bit more creative.



Coming in every colour of the rainbow, and a wide array of flavours, is the pretty macaron tower. They certainly make an amazing centrepiece at a wedding.

Monica from Ganache Macaron says: 'Macaron towers allow couples to provide 2-3 macarons per guest that can be served as a dessert, and double as an evening snack when guests start to get peckish. Another big plus is that macarons are naturally gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians.'


Dessert table

If none of these ideas appeal, you could always ask your friends to bring their own choice of cake. One friend of a friend did this recently and it resulted in the most amazing sweet buffet – full of different cupcakes, brownies and flapjacks.

Did you or your friends have an alternative to the traditional fruitcake at your wedding? We'd love to see your pictures. Tweet them to us @Tried_Tasted

Don`t miss

We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to allow us and third parties to customise the marketing content you see across websites and social media. For more information see our cookie policy.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy

Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
viewedRecipes 1 year
subscription-{popup-version-date}-PopupClosed 12 days


Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends


DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months


These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.


Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
gadsTest Until the browsing session ends
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year


These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.


Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year


These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months


Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Cookie name Duration
personalization_id 2 years
muc 2 years
ads_prefs 5 years
auth_token 5 years
dnt 5 years
guest_id 2 years
twid 5 years