Light and Frothy Cakes
Peaks of Meringue
To make your own meringue-tufted tower, choose the cake and filling you and your groom like best (raspberry and lemon curd are especially mouthwatering) and trim it with the easy-to-make whip. Your guests will surely appreciate the break from buttercream.
Beignets and Shakes
If you've ever been a guest at a wedding where a piece of tired-looking cake lands with a thud on your plate toward the end of the night, you'll appreciate this grown-up twist on milk and cookies. Plush, pillowy beignets -- a New Orleans treat whose name is from the French word for fritter -- are spiced with nutmeg and dusted with sugar, and they taste really good with miniature malted milkshakes. (Once you've slurped up the last drop, you can devour the tuile cookie straw.)
This tall, tiered treat may look weighty at first, but in fact it's layered with whisper-thin crepes. Lady M's mille cake (the company will ship anywhere in the United States, frozen) can be layered with mouthwatering fillings including chestnut, espresso, chocolate, and good old vanilla -- the hardest part will be narrowing it down to just one.
This modest-looking airy custard has regal roots; the court of the Medici family, in Italy, was its 16th-century birthplace. Today Italians call it zabaglione, and in France, where it's also beloved, it's known as sabayon. The popular dessert is traditionally sweetened with wine and served with an array of colorful, seasonal fruits.
Zabaglione with Fruit
We spooned zabaglione over golden raspberries and Asian pears, but you might use whatever is in season -- ruby strawberries or royal-purple figs -- to create a rich treat fit for a king.
Angel Food Cakes
Little in the pastry world is more charming than a perfectly constructed individual dessert, especially when it's drenched in icing and topped with a spun-sugar crown. These miniature angel food cakes are glazed with lemon and topped with spun sugar, which is a cinch to make at home (if you have enough space).
This spotlight-stealer is proof that the simplest ingredients often make the biggest impressions. Covered in fluttery coconut shavings (wide pieces rather than skinny ones), this four-tiered cake is transformed into a creation that you'll dream about all night long.