The image of a lavishly decorated, multi-tiered wedding cake is synonymous with the after-party that commemorates marriage. The cake is surrounded by tradition. Generations of couples have frozen their cake’s top tier for enjoyment (or not!) on their first anniversary. The cake’s décor has changed with the times and reflects each couple’s generation – even cake toppers have evolved from a simple bride and groom to depictions of blended families, couples with pets, and same-sex couples.
More and more couples are foregoing the classic wedding cake and opting for sweet treats that will please the variety of guests in attendance. Novelty cakes – like Krispy Kreme doughnut cakes – have caught the attention of some couples – while others opt for more chilly desserts and offer guests elaborate ice cream sundae bars. Cupcakes have been trendy, but now seem to be falling to the wayside.
I am recommending to couples that we reach further back into tradition and bring forward the Viennese Table – a collection of various candies, pastries, cookies and parfaits – that offer guests more choices and the opportunity to create an eye-popping display.
The Viennese are known for their spectacular sweets. While the presentation gets its name from the country’s dessert cuisine, there’s no guidebook for choosing what will be featured on your Viennese Table.
Ideas abound -- there are Pinterest pages devoted to table design and dessert ideas for the Viennese table.
Choosing a Viennese Table plan does not mean you must toss aside the venerable wedding cake – but now the cake does not have to be as decadent or as eye-catching – the cake is now part of an ensemble cast of desserts.
My recent Viennese tables have been as diverse in content as the couples who inspired the choices. Single bite desserts have been classic from macaroons to pecan tassies and Key Lime tartlets to chocolate brownies.
Want to ramp up flavors? Let’s add “special ingredients,” to make those Chocolate Brownies a Drunken version. Downsize portions of Lowcountry trifle into trifle shots, or treat guests to a childhood memory with a DIY S’mores station.
The unbeatable pairing of cake and ice cream doesn’t have to be so fussy. Fold wedding cake into your favorite ice cream and serve in a waffle cone from a roving ice cream wedding cake cart.
Take a tip from the Viennese and give guests plenty of options and a variety of sweetness when planning your reception!