The wedding cake is one of the biggest “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. But with all of those options, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where these wedding cake ideas come in.
In this post, we cover a wide-ranging variety of wedding cake ideas, from out-of-this-world flavors to unique styles, designs, and more. We also provide links to recipes and additional inspiration and answer frequently asked questions about wedding cakes to send you on your way to wedding cake bliss.
Explore 57 of our favorite wedding cake ideas:
Wedding cake ideas for flavors
1. Salted caramel. This sweet and salty combo is as popular as can be, so why not include it on your wedding day?
2. Lemon basil. This unique wedding cake idea is sure to have your guests talking. Not sure if it’s something you can go for? Try this lemon basil cake recipe to see for yourself.
3. Carrot. Classic, but also a refreshing change from the traditional vanilla or chocolate.
4. Cafe mocha. Paired with some coffee or espresso, this wedding cake flavor idea has our mouths watering.
5. Strawberries and cream. Perfect for a summer wedding (more on this later), the combination of berries and cream is light and refreshing but also more than enough to satisfy your guests.
6. Peanut butter cup. The opposite of berries and cream, a peanut butter cup-flavored cake is about as rich as it gets — and we’re not complaining! Just know it may be a little bit tougher to get your guests out on the dance floor afterward.
7. Chai tea. Whether you want it naked, fully frosted, or somewhere in between, you can’t go wrong with a chai tea-flavored wedding cake.
8. Peppermint. Sure, this may be limited to winter or Christmas weddings, but the opportunities here are endless. Chocolate on the inside with peppermint fondant on top? Crushed peppermint layering sweet cream icing? Don’t be afraid to think outside the box with this option.
9. White chocolate. A nice detour from the traditional chocolate wedding cake flavor, white chocolate is unique enough to be memorable but safe enough to be enjoyable for even your pickiest guests.
10. Coconut. Getting married in Hawaii or somewhere tropical? This is the cake flavor for you.
11. Almond. As with all cakes, you’ll need to ensure that your guests don’t have any allergies you need to be aware of, and take all the necessary precautions if they do.
12. Tiramisu. We made this tiramisu cake recipe and let’s just say there’s a reason the average review is 4.95 stars.
13. Champagne. This flavor is perfect for a New Year’s Eve wedding or any celebration where champagne plays a key role.
14. Cookie dough. Need we say more?
Rustic wedding cake ideas
15. Burlap wedding cake. Layers wrapped with burlap ribbon and accented with burlap bows.
16. Birch tree cake. Frosting mimics birch bark. A carved heart with the couples’ initials completes the cake.
17. Naked cake. Iced between the layers, but not at the sides for an unfinished, unfussy result.
18. Chocolate and lace. 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.
Modern wedding cake ideas
20. Black, white, and gold cake. Combining these three colors, along with geometric shapes and chic lines, makes for an unforgettable modern wedding cake idea.
21. Marble wedding cake. Take some inspiration from architecture and have a white cake with elegant gray and silver marble spread throughout.
22. Multi-shape cake. Why have a cake that’s the same shape from top to bottom? Take inspiration from this multi-shape wedding cake, which features square and circle tiers, as well as pink accents and cascading flowers.
23. Minimalist cake. Modern and minimalist often go hand in hand, and the same thing applies to your wedding cake. Why go all out with tons of tiers and jaw-dropping decor when you can keep it simple like this metallic burgundy cake?
24. All gold everything. There are very few rules when it comes to wedding cakes, and none of them say anything about a cake that’s entirely gold from top to bottom.
Winter wedding cake ideas
25. Pinecone wedding cake. Use edible paint decorations, chocolate pinecones, or metallic pinecone cake toppers.
26. Semi-naked cake. The thin layer of vanilla buttercream of a nearly naked cake gives it a frosted appearance that’s perfect for winter.
27. Naked red velvet. This cake delivers a pop of festive color.
28. Snowflake wedding cake. White chocolate snowflakes dusted with edible silver glitter make wintery accents on this unique wedding cake idea.
29. Icy geode cake. A geode cake with clear, white, and light grey rock candy looks frosty and chic. Oh, and it’s absolutely perfect for a Game of Thrones-themed wedding.
30. Gold foil-accented cake. This wedding cake idea adds style and luxury without being over-the-top.
Fall wedding cake ideas
31. Basketweave wedding cake. The cake exterior looks like stacked apple baskets ready for harvest.
32. Spiced apple. Like a slice of warm spiced cider on a plate. Yum!
33. Dulce de Leche. This Latin American confection combines cream and sugar for a rich caramel flavor that is perfect for a fall wedding.
34. Maple walnut. Rich and unusual fall flavors make this a showstopping cake. Adorn with gold-dusted maple leaves to finish the look.
Spring wedding cake ideas
36. Ombre pink. The gentle shift from soft blush to deep pink is oh-so-pretty.
37. Edible flower cake. Candied flowers add color and charm to cakes of any flavor.
38. Quilted wedding cake. Wrap a quilted cake with a satin ribbon in a pastel hue for an elegant spring confection.
39. Pressed flower cake. Layers decorated with pressed wildflowers is so simple, yet so beautiful.
40. Watercolor cake. Watercolors (flowers, willow trees, fresh spring leaves) created with edible paint make your cake a work of art.
Summer wedding cake ideas
41. Mixed berry cake. Beautiful raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries dusted with powdered sugar are simple, yet striking.
42. Strawberry shortcake wedding cake. Bursting with flavor, this is a light and refreshing take on the wedding cake.
44. Gingham plaid wedding cake. Create this laid-back pattern of summer in fondant, or add a gingham ribbon around the bottom layer. If you’re planning on having a picnic wedding, this is the cake for you.
45. Lavender cake. Edible lavender adds its pretty soft purple to every tier.
46. Cascade of roses. A flowerfall from the top to the bottom of your cake is a classic wedding cake look — and with good reason.
47. Meyer lemon or key lime wedding cake. Fresh citrus flavors are a lively option for summer weddings. This key lime cake recipe is absolutely out of this world.
48. Honey-flavored cake. The sweetness of summer in a multi-tiered cake. Even sweeter iced with cute buzzing bumblebees.
Wedding cake topper ideas
49. Wire personalized with your names or initials.
50. Personalized acrylic circle.
51. Polaroid picture of you and your partner.
52. Laser-cut wood mason jar with your names.
53. Mini pennant flags hung between wood dowels.
54. Mini cross stitch on an embroidery hoop.
55. Mini wreath (made of small flowers or ivy).
56. Statuettes or laser cutouts of your favorite animals (foxes, deer, birds, dogs).
57. Silhouettes of the couple in cardstock.
Frequently asked questions about wedding cakes:
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.
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.
Put these wedding cake ideas to good use!
Want even more wedding cake ideas to add to your inspiration board? Our list of 17 of the most beautiful celebrity wedding cakes of all time is sure to do the trick.
Want to go with cupcakes on your wedding day instead? This guide of 25 amazing wedding cupcake ideas and designs is exactly what you need. Also, here’s everything you need to know about wedding tastings so you can go into yours fully prepared and knowing what to expect.