5 Sweet & Tasty Wedding Dessert Ideas (That Aren't Cake)

Your small backyard wedding menu should be a unique and unforgettable experience that represents you and your partner's fun personalities just as much as the ceremony itself.


So, if you aren't a traditional couple and don‘t want to have a traditional wedding cake for dessert, then offer something better! Unique wedding desserts are making a splash right now. They can be more affordable and accessible than your traditional tiered cake. Picture a dessert table with a curated selection of tasty treats, rather than the typical selection. Your guests will love you for it.


These ideas are for the whimsical side of dessert offering, available on any budget and offering delicious sweetness to all!


5 Non-Traditional Wedding Dessert Ideas You Need at your Small Backyard Wedding Venue

1. Doughnut Buffet


Put together a fabulous dessert arrangement with a variety of doughnuts to entice your guests. You can go extra decadent with all doughnuts that are filled with fruit and custard or chocolate. Keep it simple with towers of different flavored doughnut holes, or give the guests a mix of everything to really set their sweet tooths right. Think about the photos you can capture with the bride groom feeding each other a doughnut rather than the traditional fork fulls of cake!


Making doughnuts from scratch is tricky and time consuming. Save your energy for your big day and order from your favorite doughnut shop instead! You can support a business you're excited about and keep things super simple for your dessert buffet at your small backyard wedding.


2. Ice Cream Sandwich Truck

Whether you want to rent a fun, vintage ice cream truck or not, offering ice cream instead of cake is just as celebratory and decadent. Not only does it offer wedding guests a way to beat the heat of a summer wedding, but these treats are so simple to make yourself and save a bundle on your budget without having to purchase a big expensive wedding cake! You can even get creative with the way you serve up these delicious creamy treats, opting for a wagon with a cooler set inside, or passing the desserts of trays filled with ice to keep them frozen.


Making these sandwiches is actually really simple, and can be a fun activity to do the night before the wedding with your friends and family. Simply buy (or make) large cookies. Create the ice cream filling by scooping about ¼ cup of ice cream onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spaced 3 or 4 inches apart. Lay another parchment paper sheet over top and squish the scoops down by pressing another sheet tray onto the top of all of the scoops. This makes a nice circular shaped ice cream disk to put in between your two cookies. Once made, they can be rolled in sprinkles or chocolate or glitzy edible pearls and then frozen until ready to serve. Below are some flavor combination ideas but anything is possible with an ice cream sandwich!


Strawberry and White Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich

  • Makes 50 sandwiches, easily scalable to fit larger or smaller events

  • 100 white chocolate macadamia nut cookies (costco is a great source for these or you can make your own with this great recipe)

  • 1 gallon strawberry ice cream


Chocolate and Peanut Butter

  • 100 peanut butter cookies

  • 1 gallon chocolate ice cream

  • Chocolate sprinkles or chocolate shavings


Orange Creamsicle

  • 100 sugar cookies

  • 1 gallon orange sherbet ice cream


The Classic

  • 100 chocolate chip cookies

  • 1 gallon french vanilla ice cream


3. Rice Crispy “Cake”

The two-ingredient classic is actually used quite often in cake making so it's only fitting that this sweet treat gets center stage in a super easy non-conventional dessert offering. Rice krispies can be made from so many different crunchy rice cereals and taken in so many different flavor ways that the possibilities to create a fabulous krispies ‘cake’ are endless. You can whip up a batch of rice krispies in a matter of minutes, then cut them into any shape you choose and stack them up into a fabulous cake shaped tower. Decorate with flowers, candies, cookies, sprinkles, and any cake topper you can dream of. This dessert will surely please a crowd because who doesn’t like rice krispies!


Take the dessert is a different direction by making Rainbow Rice Krispies, Chai spiced, or even black sesame mochi krispie treats! Different flavors can offer guests an exciting new thing to try, plus these are much less messy than cake, and require less dishes and cutlery, so your clean up will be a cinch.

4. Croque En Bouche aka Cream Puff Tower

This classic french dessert is truly a celebration of decadence. Tender cream puffs are filled with rich pastry cream, then dipped in a sweet caramel syrup to be stacked together into a magnificent tower which guests can then pull little puffs from and enjoy the perfect sweet bite. The croque en bouche translates from french to “crackle in the mouth” which is just what happens with the crunchy and delightful caramel coating on the puffs. It's such a show stopping dessert you may have to convince guests to dig in!


This dessert is a big labor of love, so it’s in your best interest as a busy bride, groom or wedding planner to outsource the task of creating this stunning masterpiece. Bakeries and pastry shops will be glad to give me such a stunning dessert and it is well worth the money spent to have someone else make it. If you do want to make it at home try this recipe for easy cream puffs and easy construction! It's the perfect, tasty addition to offer at your small backyard wedding.


5. Cheese Wheels and Fruit Pies

Go the very french route of a cheese plate inspired wedding ‘cake’ with an assortment of fruit spreads, fruit pies and fresh fruit to entice a more sophisticated palate for dessert. It's definitely not conventional but a slice of creamy brie cheese on top of a slice of raspberry pie is absolutely delightful. Wheels of cheese can create a stunning arrangement for your last course offering, and decorated with bunches of grapes, fresh berries and homemade pies will give a comforting, European vibe to your reception spread.


Try out this combination of cheeses and store bought offerings for a great spread that’s easy to put together

  • Two different wheels of brie cheese

  • 1 block parmesan

  • 1 block truffle fromage or creamy truffle cheese

  • 1 round of gouda or smoked gouda

  • 2 different kinds of fruit jams

  • 3 pies from your local bakeries or markets

  • Chocolate truffles

  • Fresh fruit such as figs, strawberries, apples, oranges



Interested in trying out some of these plates for your backyard wedding at Olde House? We’d love to be a part of your big day. Book now


Enjoy this post? Check out these!

10 Best Appetizers for your Backyard Wedding

Utlimate Guide to Keeping Guests Cool at a Hot, Summer Wedding

Cater Your Wedding With Perfection


Wedding Catering Tips | Olde House Resort | AirBNB Wedding Venue Texas | Backyard Wedding Catering | Unique Wedding Dessert Ideas | Small Backyard Wedding Venue

Subscribe to our newsletter • Don’t miss out!

Thanks for subscribing!