Wedding cake alternatives – from cupcakes to pies to wheels of cheese

Repeat after me…. I love cake, I love Pies, I love cheese. This article by far is the tastiest article I have ever read. Now... Read More

Repeat after me…. I love cake, I love Pies, I love cheese. This article by far is the tastiest article I have ever read. Now excuse me while I raid the refrigerator. HONEY, I think I will have desert now!

Fourchette in Clinton has launched a new line to craft wedding cakes out of wheels of cheese. (Photo Courtesy of Meredith Hyland)

By Kelly Huth | The Express-Times The Express-Times

Fourchette advises customers to consider how they stack the cheeses in the cake, with the sturdiest ones on the bottom and the soft cheeses reserved for the top.Photo Courtesy Meredith Hyland

Traditional white, tiered wedding cakes aren’t as common as they used to be. Some couples opt for cupcakes; others opt for wheels of cheese.

Andy Christie, owner of Christie’s Artisan Bread & Pastry Shop in Clinton, says one out of every 10 wedding cake requests is for something alternative.

Even the tiered wedding cake orders that come in call for ribbons, fondant or a definite flair to them, Christie says.

Christie’s has done cupcake figurines in the shape of a bride’s dress and countless shaped groom’s cakes.

“It’s really tailored to whatever they are into,” Christie says.

A cigar humidor cake wasn’t too elaborate, but a school bus cake (he was the mechanic, she was a driver) was much more involved.

How much does all this personality cost?

The price depends on how much cake is needed and how long it takes to produce, Christie says.

Fondant is a big factor because it can take days to dry, color and shape, he says.

A savory cake

Down the street at Fourchette cheese shop, they’re getting into the wedding cake business, too, but they’re nixing the cake.

On March 15, husband and wife team Meredith Hyland and Brahim Sadouni launched a new “cheesecake” product line.

“An alternative to a traditional sweet wedding dessert is a rustic ‘cheesecake’ which quite literally are layers of rounds of cheese made to look like a cake,” Hyland says in an email. “They can be decorated with fresh fruits and flowers or vines to look like a cake.”

Hyland says the trend has flourished in Australia and New Zealand and is growing in the United Kingdom. She’s hoping the idea soon crosses the pond.

What to consider?

Hyland suggests planning for 1/4 pound of cheese, or 4 ounces, per person. She says that’s about four bites of cheese. The cost depends on the cheese included in the tiers, running anywhere from $5 to $12 a serving.

Customers will want to choose a sturdy cheese for the bottom layer and save the soft bries for the top. Hyland cautions against a cheese with a tough rind, so that it’s still easy to cut and serve.

Cheesecakes can be built with three wheels to feed a party of 35-50 or layers can be added to accommodate a larger gathering.

“If you ask us, it’s always best to go to a specialized cheese shop to build the cake — the cheesemongers there know what cheeses work well and what don’t, they have access to all kinds of unique cheeses and can order them fresh just for your event,” Hyland says. “If you buy at the supermarket, you may save $1 per pound, but you’ll get mass-produced cheese that’s been sitting around for a while wrapped in plastic. Treat your cheese well and it will treat you back.”

Hyland says it’s also important to choose varieties that can rest at room temperature for the duration of the reception. Clothbound cheddars, sturdy sheep’s milk cheeses, manchego, camembert and goat cheeses work well.

And last but not least, stage your dessert table to make the cheese shine. Offer guests the chance to fill their plates with different honeys, jams, tapenades and good, crusty bread, Hyland says.

Other sweets

If cheese or cake aren’t appealing to your stomach, how about an actual cheesecake or two?

Joe Reisinger has owned Village Bake Shop in Allentown for the past 33 years. He’s seen requests for several cheesecakes with different toppings displayed on pedestals for wedding receptions.

In November he did a reception with tables full of pies instead of cake. And he’s seen other couples opt for a small cake on a Viennese table filled with small pastries and treats.

No matter what direction your sweet tooth, or your stomach, are telling you to go in, area bakeries have the options to match.

Read Next:

25 Wedding Vows from Real Couples

Repeat after me…. I love cake, I love Pies, I love cheese. This article by far is the tastiest article I have ever read. Now... Read More

25 Wedding Vows from Real Couples