The Complete Guide to Wedding Cake Styles and Shapes

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Planning your wedding is exciting, but there are a million details to take care of. What will your dress look like, what sort of bouquet will you carry, and what will your wedding cake look like? Most of us picture round white cakes when we think of wedding cakes, but there are a ton more wedding cake styles available to choose from.

From naked cakes to lace cakes to floral cakes to cakes that aren’t cake at all, the sky is the limit when it comes to wedding cake styles. Your cake can be as unique and beautiful as your marriage. Read on to learn more about some popular wedding cake styles and shapes.

Popular Shapes

Popular Shapes
There are two primary wedding cake shapes: circular and square. Square cakes provide a more formal, rigid effect that can pair beautifully against the soft beauty of flowers and lace. Round cakes are more gentle and elegant and can work well with a variety of decorating styles.

Most wedding cakes are tiered, meaning they’re made up of multiple layers of decreasing size stacked on top of one another. You can get anywhere between two and six tiers on your wedding cake with different size layers. The size cake and number of tiers you get should depend on how many guests you plan to have at the wedding.

Floral

Floral
One of the most popular styles for wedding cakes is the floral aesthetic. This is especially popular for spring and summer wedding cakes, but it can work well year-round. There are a number of ways you can incorporate flowers into your wedding cake design.

If you want something bursting with color and life, you can decorate your cake with real edible flowers. For a more classic look, you can ask your decorator to make sugar flowers to decorate your cake. Or if you want the floral texture and a simple look, you can have your decorator ice-white flowers onto your cake.

Tall

Tall
Wedding cakes tend to be tall in any case because the tiered model is so popular. But if you like, you can lean into that look to create grandiose pieces that will wow your guests. If you decide to go for a tall cake, ask your decorator to create more tiers with smaller diameter cakes so you exaggerate the effect of the stacking.

Tall cakes also bring some fantastic opportunities for decorating. You can create a stunning cascade of flowers that tumbles down the cake like a waterfall. Or you can ask your decorator to cut a slice out of the side of each layer and have a geode vein running down the side of your cake.

Naked

Naked
If you want a wedding cake that’s simple and rustic, naked cakes can be a great choice. These cakes use very little icing on the sides of the layers, preferring to display the natural texture and color of the cake. These are also a great option for people who don’t like a lot of icing.

Naked wedding cakes are often topped with fresh fruit and flowers to emphasize their natural aesthetic. If you don’t like the full naked look, you can go with a semi-naked cake style, too. This features only a thin layer of icing on the sides of the cake, allowing some of the bare cake to peek through while still smoothing things over.

Hand-Painted

Hand-Painted
If you want to bring a gorgeous touch of artistry to your wedding, it’s hard to beat a hand-painted cake. This cake style is exactly what it sounds like: your decorator will use food coloring to hand-paint designs on the side of your cake. This style requires a specialized set of skills, so you’ll need to work with a company like Amethyst Event Productions to find a baker who can manage this style.

Many people choose to have flowers hand-painted on the side of their cake. These can be used in combination with real flowers to create a fantastic variation of texture on your cake. You can also combine these designs with plain stripe patterns for a sophisticated contrast.

Lace

Lace
Lace is a popular material at weddings thanks to the delicate intricacy it adds to any surface. Your cake can now join the lace finish train with the advent of the edible cake lace trend. Depending on how accommodating your baker is, your cake could even match your wedding dress.

There are a few ways to achieve the lace cake look; the most popular is to hand-pipe lace designs onto your cake. You can also take a piece of lace and press it into a sheet of fondant to transfer the texture. Or your decorator can lay a piece of lace over your cake and airbrush color onto the cake, leaving a negative imprint of the lace behind.

Novelty

Novelty
If you aren’t a cake person, don’t worry – you don’t have to suffer through a traditional wedding cake or not have one at all. Novelty wedding cakes are becoming more and more popular as couples are throwing off the bonds of traditional styles!

Some couples choose to have wedding “cakes” made of stacks of macarons topped with flours. Other cake stacks include cupcakes, donuts, or other small pastries. And if cheesecake or pie is more your jam, don’t be afraid to have a wedding pie – this is your day after all!

Discover More Wedding Cake Styles

Discover More Wedding Cake Styles
Your wedding cake is one of the most important parts of your special day, and it should be everything you want it to be. From traditional white tiered cakes to macaron towers, there are a variety of wedding cake styles you can choose from. Talk to your baker, look around for inspiration, and don’t be afraid to ask your baker about unusual wedding cake styles.

If you’d like to discover more wedding inspiration, check out the rest of our site. We have content about everything from hairstyles and makeup to travel and DIY ideas. Check out the rest of our wedding articles for more inspiration today.