Congratulations! You’re getting married! And while there are many arduous tasks ahead in planning your big day, selecting the perfect wedding cake should not be one of them. Because there are more options for statement wedding cakes than ever before: naked, geode, vegan, organic, gluten-free, miniature, locally sourced and more. What are the top new trends that inventive bakers, brides and grooms are using to elevate the traditional wedding cake into a personal statement? Here are the design, decoration and flavor trends that you’ll be seeing in wedding cakes this year. Maybe even yours!
New trends in wedding cake design, decoration and flavors
In the iconic 1993 remake of the classic film Father of the Bride, George Banks (the title character) truly begins his downward descent into madness when he hears the price of the wedding cake his daughter wants. “Well, what is that? Is that dollars? $1,200?” he asks Martin Short’s Franck Egglehoffer (the wedding planner).
“Well, Mr. Banks. This is a very reasonable price for a cake of this magnitude,” Franck responds with confidence in an accent from nowhere. “A cake, Franck, is made of flour and water. My first car didn’t cost $1,200.” Franck’s response? “Well, welcome to the nineties, Mr. Banks!” If only it was still the 1990s and wedding cakes only cost $1200. But, alas, those were simpler times.
The good news is that while prices may have increased, the traditional wedding cake has come a long way since the 1990’s. And an especially long way since they first came around in ancient Rome. The tradition of serving a wedding cake actually started with a savory baked good. Bread would be broken over the bride’s head to symbolize fertility and good fortune.
Maybe we should just do that instead? You know how much we love bread.
Oh, right. Back to the history of the wedding cake. In medieval England, wedding cakes were made of wheat, and were often stacked as high as possible. The bride and groom would then attempt to kiss over the top of the cake without knocking it over. If they accomplished this feat, it meant good luck.
Those multi-layered cakes looked a bit more like what we see today than the ones baked in the 17th century. That was when fruitcakes became the go-to wedding dessert. Bakers added sugar to the recipe to make the cake sweeter (and preserve the cake for longer). They also added white icing to it to represent purity and virginity.
Finally, in the 19th century, Queen Victoria popularized the white wedding cake by having one at her wedding to her beloved Prince Albert. That cake was made of multiple tiers and adorned with elaborate sugar flowers and royal icing.
As elegant as that may sound, we are now truly in the golden era of wedding cakes. The trends in design, decoration and flavor that are dominating right now are yielding cakes that are true works of art.
Check out some of the biggest twists on the traditional wedding cake that are trending right now.
top new trends to elevate the traditional wedding cake in design, decoration and flavor
1. Textured Wedding Cakes
Wedding cakes with intricate piping, lace-like patterns or even hand-painted designs are becoming more popular, adding a touch of artistry and detail to the cake. This is perfect if you want a more minimalist effect with your cake.
2. Floating Layer Cakes
These cakes are true optical illusions but also delicious! All it is is adding a non-cake layer between one or all of the layers to create a floating illusion but the result is stunning and will keep people talking about your cake for years! The incorporation of props between the levels has also become a trend for 2023.
3. Lambeth Cakes
These cakes are straight out of the 1950s. But there is something very elegant and modern about them. They are true conversation pieces. In case you aren’t familiar, Lambeth cake is an English cake that debuted in the 20th century.
The cake is known for its piping and ornate icing rosettes. Randi Smith, the owner of Sugar Euphoria, a boutique cake and confectionery studio, told Brides. “The vintage, intricate piping details are making a strong comeback. I love this style because it is the perfect ‘something old’ in your wedding design. Plus, it is guaranteed to be a show stopper and conversation piece.”
4. Intricate Floral Details on Cakes
I know what you’re thinking “florals on cakes? Groundbreaking.” But you haven’t seen flowers Marblelike this. https://www.instagram.com/fromlucienyc/ are true works of art that are like mini garden installations that happen to also be cakes.
One of the leaders of this cake movement is baker Lucie Franc de Ferriere. She is the woman behind the cake creations at From Lucie and the new “it” girl of the New York bakery scene. She describes her cakes as “morsels of a still-life painting” and they have quickly blown up on Instagram and garnered her quite a few fans. Including Harry Styles!
5. Grand Cakes
After the pandemic caused a lot of canceled weddings or wedding modifications people are still into going bigger than ever with weddings even three years later. Think giant multi-tiered cakes (as tall as 6 feet!) with floral trains that reach the floors. The bigger the better with these. If you aren’t doing a separate dessert then you may as well put all of the energy into the cake. “Couples who are opting to serve cake at their wedding rather than a different speciality dessert are making sure that their cake is not only delicious, but especially eye-catching,” says Lindsey Shaktman, destination wedding planner at Mavinhouse Events. “Grand, elaborate cakes that stand out are coming back bigger and better than ever.”
6. Marble Cakes
Marble wedding cakes are still all the rage. They are almost too gorgeous to eat so you’ll just have to force yourself! Marble cakes are a great option if you aren’t the girliest of girls and want a more statuesque look for your cake.
7. Waterfall and spiral wedding cakes
When you thought it couldn’t get any more interesting then flower trains, you were wrong. You are going to be seeing more spun sugar threads, structural swirls and handmade accessories like butterflies in a cascading effect.
trending flavors in wedding cakes this year
As for flavors, this is the year for peanut butter (just be sure to check for allergies)! Peanut buttercream will be all the rage. Another comeback kid? Red velvet! Yes, maybe we got a little sick of the cupcakes but we are all about it with the wedding cake.
Charlotte cakes will also be in the mix. This is a unique one as it consists of a mold lined with ladyfingers or sponge cake and is filled with a fruit, custard, or whipped cream mixture. And for caffeine addicts, you are in luck because cakes with coffee notes are also quite popular for 2023.
Now if you aren’t a cake person and are looking for dessert alternatives some other ideas include key lime pie, strawberry shortcake bars and you could always do a sundae or candy bar.
elevate the traditional wedding cake with a new twist
That’s our overview of the top new trends that inventive bakers, brides and grooms are using to elevate the traditional wedding cake into a personal statement. Beautiful, delicious and on-trend? Yes, please!