What do I offer if my wedding cake doesn't feed all my guests?

dessert tables desserts for a wedding wedding cake

The bigger the wedding cake the higher the cost, right?  For many couples a large wedding cake just isn’t in their budget, but they do want all their guests to have dessert.  Ironically, this trend is only becoming more mainstream as DIY weddings are seen as trendy and budget friendly. 

 Four Tiered Wedding Cake - Forest Themed and Outdoor Wedding - Silver Rose Bakery

Still, there are aspects of the wedding which couples will hire on a professional.  Probably the most common of these is the wedding cake designer.  Fortunately, for do-it-yourself couples there are dessert catering bakeries, like our, who’s primary mission is to offer a dessert alternatives to a massive wedding cake.

Single Tiered Wedding Cake with Mini Cupcakes on a Dessert Table

Let’s clarify one thing.  We aren’t specifically stating that couples are not ordering wedding cakes anymore.  To the contrary, they are order smaller wedding cakes.  Sometimes, exclusive to just the cutting cake or a cake large enough to feed the wedding party.  

What alternative options are there to cake?

Here comes the rise of the ‘dessert bar’.  Sometimes called the dessert table, dessert buffet, or table with a lot of sweet treats.  These treats may hold significance to the couple or provide options that guests will enjoy.

Most dessert bars are a combination of what is called the ‘anchor cake’ usually the ceremonial cake (wedding cake, birthday cake, etc.) surrounded by at least one other dessert.  

Petits Fours at a Wedding provided on a Dessert Table

Will a dessert bar limit my guests from trying the cake?

This depends on the choices you serve.  We’ve served weddings that had a small wedding cake just for the couple’s cake cutting ceremony and cookies for the guests.  

Alternatively, some couples choose mini cupcakes or cake truffles made of the same flavor as the wedding cake.

Still, there are those weddings where the cake feeds all guests and one or more desserts options as well.  The angle here is to allow guests a taste of cake and then some.

Decorated Cake Pops on a Dessert Table

We don’t want to buy a big wedding cake but we have a lot of guests

We’ve provided hundreds of quotes via online sources, such as Thumbtack, Facebook, and our website, to local couples stating the same need.  Most went with a dessert table and were so glad to have made the choice.  

Sometimes a couple will state they want a sheet cake to feed the guests.  Hmm..  A sheet cake is one option.  It honestly, would not be our first but we totally understand the reasoning.  Most couples want a less costly cake that is the same flavor as the wedding cake.  Still, a sheet cake is THE perfect choice for some occasions like the one seen in this picture.

Sports Themed Dessert Table - Minnesota Vikings sheet cakes with mini cupcakes and donkey cookies

Again, DIY’ers are budget conscious.  They understand the wedding is a big deal but it shouldn’t break the bank. This is partly the purpose dessert bars have slowly started to impede on the wedding cake industry.  Even the picture above, though not a wedding, served a budget conscious purpose while providing options for guests.

Though we offer sheet cakes for weddings we tend to stray away from them and encourage a beautiful dessert table.  The reason is two-fold.

  1. Sheet cake can absolutely diminish the wedding experience for the guests.  “Sheet cake for me?  Wow, do I feel unimportant.” 
  2. Dessert bars are trendy, interesting, and present an unique elegance that improves the guests’ experience.  Not to mention a much more photo friendly display.

Dessert Bar with Donuts and Mini Cakes

What does a dessert bar offer that wedding cake with a sheet cake doesn’t?


Plain and simple.  Many cake decorating bakeries offer standard size cupcakes in order to offer a dessert table packages.   The reason is that cupcakes can be purchased in many flavors as opposed to a sheet cake and wedding cake. Mini cupcakes are better…  

Dessert Table options

Typical thoughts from a DIY wedding couple.  “Well, Jane likes chocolate, the Daniels like banana, and wait we can’t forget little Johnny who will only eat funfetti.  So let’s just have a bunch of treats with all sorts of flavors and we’ll have a decorated cutting cake for us.”

Awesome.  That reduces your costs, provides choices for your guests, and makes for a better wedding experience.

Mini is more fun:

Our motto as you probably noticed.  Mini desserts include smaller variations of their larger counterparts.  From bundtinis to cake shooters.  The purpose of these desserts is to offer a sampling that isn’t overwhelming, will ensure most desserts will be eaten, and guest will be able to have more than one if they choose.  Like pies?  Offer mini pies!

Additionally, there are smaller desserts - we call ‘social desserts’ - that are meant to allow guests a one or two bite taste.  For example;  Our two most popular social desserts are cake truffles and cookies.  Why?  Because these treats only require the guest to pick up the dessert and eat.  No holding onto a plate, no unwrapping a cupcake liner, no forking, and quicker consumption while mingling.

Two Mini Cakes Towers on a dessert table


Its is far more appealing to see a beautiful array of desserts surrounding a wedding cake.  The cameras will be pulled out for a decorated dessert table.  Not so much when there’s a sheet cake.  Plus, you want those memorable photos from your photographer.  There is absolutely no way either of you will let wedding fail due to a dessert that does not deserve to be front and center.

Wedding Cake Cookie Tower and Mini Cupcakes Dessert Table

What can I offer on a dessert table?

Just about any dessert.  Here are the current dessert table trends:

  • Mini Desserts Table
  • Donut Wall
  • Cupcake Buffet
  • Pie Table
  • Ice Cream (or Frozen Yogurt or Sorbetto/Sorbet)
  • S’mores Bar
  • Candy Table

We put Mini Dessert Table first since that is our specialty.  Yes, we even offer a mini donut wall.  It’s truly adorable!

Can I still have a beautiful cake table with other desserts?

Yes, totally!  Again, it depends on you both.  What is your desired experience?  For some couples every single treat must match the wedding both in creativity, presentation, and taste.  Just like the show ‘Chopped’.  Tough crowd but we love decorating desserts.  For other couples, it is far more desirable to have an array of social and mini desserts for guests to choose from.  The variations are endless.  A donut wall and wedding cake, pies galore, mini cupcakes and anchor wedding cake, etc…

So what do you think?  Remember, a dessert table offers more than just cake.  This is the growing trend for most couples. There are bakeries, like ours, who can assist you in easily determining the best options for your wedding.

Do you want to talk with us about a mini dessert table and wedding cake?  

We are very familiar with couples whose needs relate to this article.  If you both desire a dessert table along with a wedding cake, then send us a text (623-499-2222) or check out our packages.   We will be excited to work with you both.  

Onward folks!

Sweetest regards,

Priscilla and Michael Sweet, Silver Rose Bakery

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