Wedding Cake Alternatives

If you’re looking for wedding cake alternatives, look no further than the wedding pie. This emerging trend is perfect for couples who want to stand out from the usual cookie-cutter weddings and enjoy a delicious dessert, too. From creamy custard to bubbling blackberry, this is one wedding trend you don’t want to miss. 

Container Pies

Think outside the tin. The great thing about pies is that they can be made in any shape and size. As long as you have a container that can bake in an oven safely, you have the beginnings of a great pie. Any tempered glassware in your kitchen (such as Pyrex containers) is a good place to start. As long as you can coat the inside surface in dough, you’ll end up with a pie that’s a square, a circle, a hexagon, or even a round ball (hint: fit two half-sphere pies together as soon as they’re baked to achieve a three-dimensional, edible globe).

If you have small glass jars, you can make tiny “jar pies” for your dessert table or to give out as wedding favors. Their lids make them ideal options for traveling without any chance of a spill. Simply press the pastry dough into position around the inside of the jar and pour in the filling, leaving plenty of room for the contents to bubble without leaving a crust around the jar rim. After the pies cool to room temperature (you can touch them with your fingertips to check), screw on the lids and decorate the jars with a custom sticker label.

Be careful when exposing glass containers to extreme changes in temperature. If you take one out of the oven and place it immediately on a cold surface, such as a metal counter, it could crack. Set hot glass dishes on a folded dish towel or hot pad and you won’t have a problem.

Decorated Crust

One of the elements that sets a wedding pie apart from an everyday pie is the ornamentation. Just like a wedding cake is no ordinary cake, wedding pies need ornate crusts in honor of the special occasion. 

Once you roll raw pastry dough flat, it becomes a blank canvas, and a sharp knife is your paintbrush. Cut any shape you like into the dough, and score shallow lines into the cutouts for texture. Think three-dimensionally; there’s no reason your pie can’t be piled high like a tiered wedding cake. If you stack different types of pies on a tiered pie stand, the crusts’ decorations can visually flow from one tier to another (think leaves on the bottom pie, flowers on the middle pie, and delicate rosebuds or butterflies on the top).

If you want to layer your pie crust with many identical cutouts (such as leaves, petals, feathers, or overlapping hearts), it’s easiest to buy a cookie cutter in the appropriate shape. You can also find cookie cutters in the shapes of letters, so you can spell out a message on the crust.

The key to getting glowing, golden crust designs is brushing the shapes with a thin layer of egg wash (raw egg beaten with a bit of milk) before baking. This will leave the surface looking shiny and even more delectable. You may also want to sprinkle the top with coarse sugar for a glistening effect that will catch the light.

Do you already have your heart set on specific cake-topper figurines? They’re not just for cakes anymore. Once you’ve baked your pie, you can stick your figurines on the top just as you would in a traditional cake. With a pie, you can also create an extra “platform” of crust to support the toppers. Or, if you’re feeling especially crafty, you can sculpt a wedded couple out of dough and bake it separately, then attach it to your pie using long toothpicks as supports.

Flavor Variety

The wonderful thing about pies is that you can serve a whole range of flavors and fillings. Whether you serve layers of large pies stacked in a tiered rack, or you opt for tiny “personal pies” (the cupcake equivalent), you can offer a rainbow of options from red rhubarb to purple boysenberry. You can get creative with combinations like pear-brandy-blueberry or stick with classics like chocolate-pecan. 

You can serve pies as stand-alone treats or you can designate a member of your wedding party to dole out scoops of ice cream. However you serve your pies, though, remember to bake more than you think you’ll need. Once your guests have a first slice of your baked-goodness masterpiece, they’ll surely be back for more.