Wedding Cake Ideas, Designs and Flavors

Wedding Cake Ideas, Designs and Flavors

The wedding cake is one of the ‘wow’ elements of most receptions. The nuptial confections can range from small, chic, and simple to massive, ornate, and colorful — and endless (delicious!) varieties in between. Learn which wedding cake flavors are most popular, and explore unique wedding cake flavor and style ideas.

What is the most popular wedding cake flavor?

Vanilla is the most popular wedding cake flavor, according to a survey of couples married between 1960 and 2019 by The Black Tux. Across the decades, runners up to vanilla were primarily chocolate and yellow. But in the 2000s, red velvet took over the third spot, bumping yellow cake further down the rankings. 

Wedding cake flavor ideas

Despite their popularity, your choices go well beyond vanilla, chocolate, yellow, and red velvet. You can choose nontraditional classics, or combine two of your favorite flavors.

Here are some beyond-the-ordinary cake flavor ideas:

1. Salted caramel

2. Lemon basil

3. Carrot

4. Cafe Mocha

5. Strawberries and cream

6. Peanut butter cup

7. Chai tea

8. Peppermint

9. White chocolate

10. Coconut

11. Almond

12. Tiramisu

13. Champagne

14. Cookie dough

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Rustic wedding cake ideas

15. Burlap wedding cake. Layers wrapped with burlap ribbon and accented with burlap bows.

16. Birch tree wedding cake. Frosting mimics birch bark. A carved heart with the couples’ initials completes the cake.

17. Naked wedding cake. Iced between the layers, but not at the sides for an unfinished, unfussy result.    

18. Chocolate and lace wedding cake. Intricate lace icing creates a striking contrast against a chocolate backdrop. 

19. Succulent wedding cake. Real or fondant succulents cascade from the top to the bottom layer for a dramatic effect.  

Winter wedding cake ideas 

20. Mocha wedding cake. Chocolate and coffee are an irresistible combination. 

21. White chocolate wedding cake. White on white on white is the classic winter cake. 

22. Pinecone wedding cake. Use edible paint decorations, chocolate pinecones, or metallic pinecone cake toppers.

23. Nearly naked wedding cake. The thin layer of vanilla buttercream of a nearly naked cake gives it a frosted appearance that’s perfect for the season.

24. Naked red velvet wedding cake. This cake delivers a pop of festive color.

25. Snowflake wedding cake. White chocolate snowflakes dusted with edible silver glitter make wintery accents.

26. Icy geode wedding cake. A geode cake with clear, white, and light grey rock candy looks frosty and chic.

27. Gold foil-accented present cake. Stacked square cakes looked like wrapped presents with gold foil and bows. 

Fall wedding cake ideas 

28. Basket wedding cake. The cake exterior looks like stacked apple baskets ready for harvest.

29. Spiced apple wedding cake. Like a slice of warm spiced cider on a plate. Yum! 

30. Dulce de leche wedding cake. This Latin American confection combines cream and sugar for a rich caramel flavor that is perfect for a fall wedding.  

31. Salted caramel wedding cake. Caramel drizzles make this cake visually irresistible.

32. Maple walnut wedding cake. Rich and unusual fall flavors make this a showstopping cake. Adorn with gold-dusted maple leaves to finish the look.

33. Blackboard wedding cake. Black fondant with white edible lettering creates a chalkboard effect. 

Spring wedding cake ideas 

34. Ombre pink wedding cake. The gentle shift from soft blush to deep pink is oh-so-pretty. 

35. Edible flower wedding cake. Candied flowers add color and charm to cakes of any flavor.

36. Quilted wedding cake. Wrap a quilted cake with a satin ribbon in a pastel hue for an elegant spring cake. 

37. Pressed flower wedding cake. Layers decorated with pressed wildflowers is so simple, yet so beautiful. 

38. Watercolor wedding cake. Watercolors (flowers, willow trees, fresh spring leaves) created with edible paint make your cake a work of art. 

Summer wedding cake ideas 

39. Mixed berry wedding cake. Beautiful raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries dusted with powdered sugar are simple, yet striking.  

40. Strawberry shortcake wedding cake. Bursting with flavor, this is a light and refreshing take on the wedding cake. 

41. Pina colada wedding cake. The perfect cake for a beach wedding or a destination wedding in the Caribbean.

42. Gingham plaid wedding cake. Create this laid-back pattern of summer in fondant, or add a gingham ribbon around the bottom layer. 

43. Lavender wedding cake. Edible lavender adds it’s pretty soft purple to every tier.

44. Cascade of roses wedding cake. A flowerfall from the top to the bottom of your cake is a classic wedding cake look for good reason.

45. Meyer lemon or key lime wedding cake. Fresh citrus flavors are a lively option for summer weddings. 

46. Honey wedding cake. The sweetness of summer in a multi-tiered cake. Even sweeter iced with cute buzzing bumblebees.

Wedding cake topper ideas

When you imagine a cake topper, perhaps you picture a small figurine of a happy couple in a wedding dress and tuxedo holding hands. You can go with the classic, but cake toppers have come a long way. If you decide on a cake topper, connect it to the theme and your style.  

47. Wire personalized with your names or initials.

48. Mini wreath (made of small flowers or ivy).

49. Personalized acrylic circle.

50. Polaroid picture of you and your partner.

51. Laser-cut wood mason jar with your names.

52. Mini pennant flags hung between wood dowels.

53. Mini cross stitch on an embroidery hoop.  

54. Statuettes or laser cutouts of your favorite animals (foxes, deer, birds, dogs).

55. Silhouettes of the couple in cardstock.

What’s the history of the wedding cake?

The tradition of the wedding cake has surprisingly unromantic beginnings. Baked goods included in nuptial celebrations started in ancient Rome when the groom broke a loaf of barley bread over the bride’s head. The bride and groom ate a few crumbs together as a symbol of luck and fertility, and their guests ate the rest for good luck.

Following various phases (from giant pastry piles to savory pies), the availability of sugar in Europe in the 1600s ushered in the era of the white wedding cake — originally a symbol of purity and wealth. 

What do you write on a wedding cake? 

Traditionally, wedding cakes have not had writing on them. Unlike birthday, baptism, graduation and anniversary cakes, wedding cakes have let the tiers, icing flowers, and cake toppers do the talking. In recent years, however, there’s been a growing trend of decorating wedding cakes with words that are meaningful to the couple — perhaps a shared favorite poem, a section of their vows, or the lyrics of the first dance song. 

Poetry in icing. Silly cake toppers. Ombre pink and purple icing. A classic white confection. Mix and match these wedding cake ideas to your heart’s content. It’ll be a feast for the eyes, and a delectable treat for you and all of your wedding guests.

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