When couples start thinking about their wedding plans, one of the details that typically first comes to mind is their wedding cake. While wedding cakes serve as the sweet ending to a celebration, dreaming up epic wedding cake ideas is a fun task to undertake as soon as you’ve set a date and conceptualized a design vision. Fewer wedding planning tasks are more therapeutic than scrolling through images of decadent tiered masterpieces decked out with sugar flowers—and we’re here to help you do just that.
The amazing thing about wedding cakes, and even cupcakes if you prefer, is how incredibly versatile they are. There’s a stunning wedding cake idea out there for each couple, no matter how varied their style may be. Plus, a well-designed cake is often the pinnacle of a wedding’s design, bringing all the colors and motifs of the nuptials together as the day’s sweet and indulgent culmination.
Not only is it fun to scroll through wedding cake inspiration images, but it’s also incredibly helpful as well. As you peruse the ideas below, make note of the design elements—from hand-painted accents to textured buttercream details and fondant finishing touches—to which you gravitate. Coming armed with an understanding of your likes and dislikes when you meet with a potential wedding cake baker will ensure a smooth cake design process.
Dramatic Cake Displays
“The most important question I ask is how my clients want to feel at their wedding. How would they want their guests to describe the wedding? This usually slows them down a bit and often a story will emerge that gives me a little insight or a symbol that I might suggest we celebrate in the cake design. Once I have a sense of what’s important to them about the event or their relationship, then we go through my portfolio so I can get a handle on their aesthetic.” says Jasmine de Lung of the cake design process. As you connect with your cake baker, think holistically about the vibe you want to create. Beyond just the cake, the manner in which you display the wedding cake will add to the overall aesthetics you’re able to achieve.
Now the trend is cakes covered with edible gold. They look very expensive and elegant, and are perfect for various celebrations. Such cakes are covered with sheets of transferable food gold. Food grade gold consists of pure gold (96%) and silver (4%), so it has no smell or taste. Pure gold used in the manufacture of gold leaf is biologically inert, so it is actively used as components of fine dishes, and for their decoration. Food grade gold is extremely soft, meaning it is not able to form edges and is therefore safe. Designated food grade gold as E175 is a standard food additive included in the European Supplement List. In other words, gold is used as a food coloring agent.
Working with transferable food sheets made of gold leaf is something that requires practice, although in theory it sounds quite simple. It’s very subtle, painstaking work, with no margin for error, but the fabulously luxurious effect you’ll get is definitely worth it. This is also quite expensive, so you need to handle the sheets very carefully! When buying, make sure you buy food grade gold sheets!
Cake covered with mastic;
Transfer sheets of gold leaf;
A shallow plate of water;
Some prefer to work in thin cotton gloves. This makes sense, as long as you don’t have enough experience, and you risk leaving a lot of fingerprints on the gold coating. But over time, you can give them up, if you are more comfortable without them.
Glamorous Wedding Cakes
If you want to go all out on your wedding cake, do it. Don’t stop at two or three tiers, make it a whopping seven or ten! And if you somehow end up having cake leftover after the wedding, MacIsaac assures us that cake is totally acceptable to enjoy for breakfast. “While we don’t recommend over-ordering cake because that’s just wasteful, we have had many couples tell us cake for breakfast the day after the wedding was one of the best and most memorable moments. Be sure to ask your planner or caterer to box you up a few slices to take with you (or have them delivered to your room if possible). You’ll thank us later!”
Wedding Cake Groupings
If you can’t decide on one cake or a single flavor, you love, include all of them. Whether you have each tier of a cake flavored separately, or you serve a trio of unique, but complementary, cakes, guests will love to variety. “It’s your day but remember that your guests are there to enjoy alongside you. Be sure to keep offerings diverse so everyone finds something they love,” suggests MacIsaac. Clark agrees: “Often a wedding cake can be made with different flavors for each tier. This is a great way to compromise on the flavor preferences of your mother-in-law and other family members, while also including a flavor or two that you and your partner really adore.”
Wedding Cake Alternatives
A wedding cake doesn’t have to be a strict and traditional two-tier affair made from baked sponge. For a wedding cake alternative, consider honoring your heritage with a French-inspired Croquembouche or madeleine display. Cheese lovers, stacker wheels of your favorite cheese are a great way to end the wedding if you don’t have a sweet tooth.
Whether you choose fresh flowers for your wedding cake or intricate sugar flowers as decoration, the incorporation of flowers is one of the most timeless wedding cake design techniques. Furthermore, Tiffany MacIsaac encourages couples struggling to nail down a cake design direction to look to their floral design plans for cake inspiration. “The internet is an amazing place for design inspiration. We often ask a client to also send us their floral design invitation suite and any other highly designed items that are custom to their wedding. This not only gives us a sense of their style but also design elements to draw from so the cake compliments the rest of the room,” MacIsaac advises.
Gold fan-like leaves turned this two-tier cake into an absolute work of art. To further add to the confection’s modern feel, the entire wedding cake was displayed on top of a glass pedestal.