While a single beautiful wedding cake is still a very popular choice, more and more couples are opting to get creative with their wedding dessert offering.
No longer tied to the idea of a traditional bake, many couples are dishing out everything from donuts to candy floss at their wedding receptions and we are totally here for it.
Not only are the treats involved delicious but the decorative touches and stunning backdrops that are often incorporated help to create an Instagram-worthy centrepiece for a wedding reception.
To get you feeling inspired, we’ve gathered our favourite wedding dessert table ideas and chatted to an expert to find out exactly how you can go about crafting your very own show-stopping cake and dessert bar.
18 Cake and Dessert Bar Ideas
1. Classic with a Twist
Give the usual round dessert table a miss and source an old dresser or desk to display your wedding cake and desserts. Reclamation yards and boot sales are the perfect places to pick something up for under £20 and all you need to do once you’ve bought it is give it a lick of paint and add some quirky handles. Add some funky signage and ask your florist to create a floral wreath and you’ve got a very modern take on the traditional wedding cake table.
2. Homemade Bakes
If you’re throwing a village hall or chilled-out tipi wedding, homemade cakes, pies and tarts will set your theme off perfectly. Ask any keen bakers in the family to whip up some of their specialities for an extra-personal touch and sit trays on white vintage-style table runners and cloths.
3. Colour Coordinated
An elegant and traditional wedding is the perfect setting for a colour coordinated wedding cake and dessert table. We love that the yellow of the blooms on this cake carries into the rest of the mini desserts, giving it a fresh and stylish look.
4. Industrial Style
Steel and copper pipes will inject instant industrial style into your wedding reception. Adding natural materials such as wooden trays, flowers and foliage will stop the display from looking too harsh and create the perfect blend of contemporary-cool and classic wedding prettiness.
5. Churro Bar
It’s totally cool if you’re just not into cake and cookies. There are plenty of desserts out there and we think it’s important that you choose something that you both genuinely love. At Hitched HQ, we love a churro or five and so we’d pick these churro cones to adorn your dessert table every time!
6. Doughnut Stack
If a wedding cake just isn’t for you but you regularly find yourselves at the Krispy Kreme drive-through, switching a traditional bake for a doughnut stack makes total sense. Work with your florist on a design that will make your doughnut display look as good as it will taste.
7. Dessert Shelf
Who says a dessert table needs to be an actual table? Not us! We love this chic gold and glass shelving unit entwined with foliage and flowers.
8. Floral Brights
After the ceremony, you and your ‘maids won’t need to hang onto your bouquets and so it makes sense to utilise them elsewhere. Ask your venue to have some vases ready on your dessert table and add your bouquets to them once you’re done with them. The flowers will give your dessert table an extra pop of colour and prettiness for no extra cost.
9. Cactus Theme
While flowers might be the most popular wedding décor choice, cacti and succulents have been having a moment recently. We love the ikat-style cake ribbon combined with the plants made entirely of icing and the real deal dotted across the table too!
10. Stacked Crates
Wooden crates are a cheap yet effective way of adding interest to your wedding dessert display. Stacking crates around the main dessert table allows you to showcase your desserts at different levels and incorporate props for added interest.
11. Macrame Accessories
From 70s-style boho wedding dresses and flower crowns, to macrame table runners, we just love a rustic theme. There are plenty of macrame kits out there if you fancy giving some wedding DIY a go and crafting some pieces of your own!
12. Rustic Cake Bar
Speaking of rustic, a pasting table display can give that laid back, homespun feel that so many couples love. Avoid overly polished and perfected bakes and instead pack your table with brownies, flapjacks and naked cakes to keep that homemade vibe.
13. Vintage-Style Display
We love the mix of colours and textures in this vintage-style display. The faux-fur runner contrasts beautifully with the old, textured wood and scattered foliage. Buy a mix of chopping boards, trays and chests to give your wedding dessert table that thrown together feel that is oh-so stylish.
14. Tiered Cake and Dessert Bar
If you’re limited on space, you can still have a beautiful wedding cake and dessert bar by simply stacking sweet treats on a tiered cake stand. Place your wedding cake on the top tier and arrange different treats on the lower tiers along with handwritten labels telling guests what they are. Finally, finish with a few stems to add wow-factor.
15. Doughnut Wall Backdrop
Doughnut walls are hugely popular and it’s no wonder – they’re totally delicious and easy for guests to grab on the go. Draw attention to your wedding cake table by making your doughnut wall a backdrop complete with matching blooms.
16. Cookie Bar
Like doughnuts, cookies are a great wedding dessert table choice. Cookies can easily be grabbed on the way back from the dance floor and a range of different flavours will keep guests coming back for more all night long.
17. S’mores Bar
An American wedding dessert trend that has recently found its way to British shores, s’mores are a delicious and cosy wedding snack. Ask your venue about setting up a fire pit and then invite guests to assemble and toast their very own sticky, sweet treat!
18. Candy Floss Cart
Not only do these fluffy sticks of tastiness make for fab Instagram wedding snaps, they’re also a total crowd pleaser. Most guests will appreciate a light sweet treat before hitting the dance floor to show off their best moves!
How to Make Your Own Dessert Table
1. Decide What to Serve
For the best advice on how to nail your wedding dessert table, we went to Holly Poulter, Creative Director at Revelry Events, who told us that the first thing you need to do is choose your sweet treat: “The main thing to think about when creating your own dessert table is, of course, what to serve. You want to ensure that you have something for everyone – and that sometimes includes savoury – you know, the people who order a cheese plate instead of tiramisu. Some people just don’t have a sweet-tooth and you might want to add in some more savoury, fun options to make those people feel included. Think about cheese and crackers, fruit, nuts, and biscuits.
“For everyone else? Go to town on your favourites. Mix in your chocolate brownies with your cake slices, mini donuts with cola bottles – just make sure they are the perfect size for finger food / picking, if you’re not providing proper plates and cutlery.”
Make sure you create labels for each dessert if you’re having many different types. Most people like to know exactly what they’re tucking into and guests with allergies will need to know what’s in each item.