top of page
  • Writer's pictureLydia Mattern

9 Lake Tahoe Wedding Cake Alternatives & Desserts that Take the Cake

wedding cake alternatives, wedding desserts other than cake, wedding cake lake tahoe wedding planning tips

Weddings are full of tradition. And for some couples, cutting the wedding cake is one of the most meaningful rituals of their special day. Tiered wedding cakes are still very much on-trend, with unique statement cakes central to the reception decor and experience. However, if you’re not a fan of cake, you’re probably wondering if a wedding cake is necessary. Or perhaps you want to do a cake cutting but don’t want to contribute to wedding waste by having lots of leftovers. Whatever the case, if you’re looking for wedding cake alternatives, you’re in the right place. We’re sharing our favorite wedding desserts other than cake and tips for making your sweets selection eco-friendly.

9 Wedding Cake Alternatives that are Just as Sweet

A quick note before we dive into wedding desserts other than cake for your Lake Tahoe wedding: if a classic three-tier cake isn’t your style, but you want the customary cake-cutting photos, you have three options. First, you can opt for a small, single-serve cake to use for the cake-cutting ceremony. Second, you can have a “show cake” with multiple faux tiers and the actual cake on top for cutting. Lastly, you can do something like a “cake cutting” without cake.

Donut Wall

A donut wall is an out-of-the-box way to spice up your special day and satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Install a wall of donuts with varieties of classic flavors and unexpected delights. Not only will your guests enjoy getting to choose their favorite flavor, but a donut wall is an awesome statement piece that makes for super fun photos.

Pie Station

Treat your wedding guests to a unique treat with a pie station! Perfect for a fall wedding in Lake Tahoe, go beyond the usual tiered wedding cake and opt for multiple types of pies. Whether you offer mini single-serving pies or full-sized slices of various flavors like apple, pumpkin, or something more modern like blueberry streusel, it's sure to be a hit. You can even talk to local Lake Tahoe bakeries about creating a one-of-a-kind flavor that’s unique to your wedding.


A big wedding cake can be wasteful, especially if you don’t think all your guests will want a piece. Cupcakes, on the other hand, offer more flexibility, and you can serve several different flavors so each guest can pick their favorite. If you hire a Lake Tahoe baker, you can even ask for a few dairy-free, gluten-free, or vegan options to include guests with food allergies. (Make sure to include a question about food allergies on your wedding RSVP cards so that you can plan accordingly.) And if you go with cupcakes, you can still do the “cake cutting” tradition by cutting into a cupcake together instead!

Fruit Parfaits

Consider swapping out a traditional wedding cake for a fun, healthy alternative for your guests–fruit parfaits! Not only are they delicious and lower in calories than most sugary desserts, but you can also make them an eco-friendly option. For a Lake Tahoe wedding, you could source your fruits from a local farm, ensuring they are freshly picked and in season. Best of all, with less sugar to worry about, you know everyone will be feeling happy (but not too full) on the dance floor!

Ice cream sundae bar, Lake Tahoe wedding cake alternatives

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

An ice cream sundae bar is one of the best wedding cake alternatives for a summer wedding in Lake Tahoe. This delectable dessert option can be tailored to fit all your guests’ cravings! The possibilities are endless–from a rainbow of flavors and syrups to fresh whipped cream and a variety of scrumptious toppings. You can make it extra sweet by including special items like custom M&Ms with your face on them (yes, we did that for a couple, and it was AMAZING). It is a fun, deliciously cool way for family and friends to customize their own sundaes, making your wedding reception one to remember.

Cake Poppers

Have your cake and eat it too without worrying about wedding waste with cake poppers! You can offer a variety of flavors, from classic buttercream to German chocolate to champagne-infused for something extra special. Decorate each popper in your wedding colors or with a unique design like your wedding logo to elevate your reception even more! And don’t forget to use wooden cake pop sticks to make it eco-friendly (no plastic!).

Lake Tahoe wedding cake poppers

Sugar Cookies

No, we’re not talking about those frosted sugar cookies you find at the grocery store bakery. (Although let’s be honest, those are delicious too). We are talking about professionally baked and decorated sugar cookies specifically for your wedding. These days, bakers turn sugar cookies into masterpieces with unique shapes and designs–like rings, wedding dresses, and champagne glasses. Customize them even further with your wedding date or theme for a picturesque wedding dessert other than cake.

Lake Tahoe wedding cake alternatives, wedding sugar cookies


One of the best wedding cake alternatives is another type of cake: cheesecake. If you’re in the mood for something sweet and smooth, having cheesecake at your reception is a great idea. Plus, you can choose to do traditional-sized cheesecakes and cut each guest a slice or opt for cheesecake bars or cupcakes for a grab-and-go option. Choose from endless flavor options, like white chocolate raspberry, lemon meringue, and dark chocolate, for a luxuriously decadent and delicious dessert.

Assortment of Sweets

Can’t decide on one of the desserts other than wedding cake? Have a little bit of everything with a dessert bar featuring an assortment of your favorite wedding cake alternatives. From brownies to cupcakes to cookies and candy bars, you can allow your guests to choose their favorite treat to celebrate your wedding.

Eco-Friendly Lake Tahoe Wedding Cake Ideas & Alternative Desserts

Whether you’re sticking with a traditional wedding cake or going with a dessert alternative, here are three ways to make your Lake Tahoe wedding cake or other desserts eco-friendly.

  1. Choose a local baker or catering company for your wedding dessert to eliminate transportation, carbon emissions, and air pollution.

  2. Work with an eco-friendly company in Lake Tahoe that prioritizes sustainable practices in their business–many local catering companies have unique ways of minimizing waste.

  3. Ask your guests to do their part by notating on their RSVP card whether or not they’ll enjoy dessert at your wedding–this way, you can plan for the appropriate amount of sweets and minimize wedding waste.

Plan the Sweetest Eco-Friendly Wedding in Lake Tahoe with Epic Thyme

At Epic Thyme, we would love to help set up the sweetest sustainable celebration of your love story. Our expert team of planners and designers will take your wedding vision and bring it to life in beautiful Lake Tahoe. We have amazing partnerships with local vendors and will customize everything to a T, so you can have the one-of-a-kind luxury celebration you’ve always wanted. Ready to plan an epic event to remember with Epic Thyme? Fill out our contact form to get in touch!


bottom of page