19 Elegant Beach-Themed Wedding Cake Ideas for Seaside Nuptials

Sun, sand and sweets? Yes, please.
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
by
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Jun 22, 2021

From sandy shores to colorful sunsets, there's something magical about beach weddings. If you're planning to say your "I dos" near the coast, it's only fitting to follow a nautical or preppy beach theme—and that includes your wedding cake design. Having a beach-themed wedding cake is the perfect way to tie your seaside soirée together. And, while you might associate beach wedding cakes with seashells, starfish and sand, there are plenty of modern ways to give your sweet treat a coastal touch. Whether your tastes skew modern and trendy or you have a penchant for charming beach decor, the sky's the limit when it comes to designing your beach-themed wedding cake.

To help you narrow down the best ideas, we've rounded up 19 beach wedding cakes to inspire your confection. Browse through our favorite beach wedding cake designs below, and share your favorites with your caterer or pastry chef. Once you have a vision for your beach-themed wedding cake, they'll bring your sweet ideas to life.

Ethereal Blue & Gold

Looking for elegant beach wedding cake inpso? We love how this couple opted for a dreamy blue and gold color palette that's reminiscent of the ocean waves at golden hour. With cascading florals falling from the top of this two-tier creation set atop a bed of green palms, this beautiful wedding cake looks almost too pretty to eat.

Trendy Textures

Large four-tier beach wedding cake with light blue and copper textured layers and round top
Hunter Ryan Photo
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Kakes By Karen

Playing with texture is a great way to elevate your beach wedding cake. This modern design features three traditional tiers with a round piece on the top, but the textured layers add depth and dimension. If classic beach decorations feel too kitschy for your preferences, a simple design like this is a great way to emulate a beachy theme.

Marine Motifs

You can't go wrong with marine decor on your beach wedding cake. With a light blue fondant base, clusters of white shells pop on this three-tier confection. If you're planning a destination wedding, these cake decorations would be an appropriate finishing touch on your dessert.

Simple Seashells

Your beach wedding cake doesn't have to be an over-the-top spectacle, especially if your big day will be a small and simple affair. Instead, consider opting for a one-tier dessert like this one. With ruffled buttercream frosting and two starfish toppers, this beach-themed wedding cake fits the occasion without look too flashy.

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Sea Glass Accents

Small white beach-themed wedding cake with blue watercolor base and sea glass gem accents
Hannah Cochran Photography

Wedding cake that doubles as reception decor? Yes, please. This blue beach cake looks like a work of art with its hand-painted watercolor base, which is adorned with sea glass-inspired crystals and gems. We have a feeling guests won't be able to take their eyes off a stunning cake like this.

Ocean Palette

Emulate the crest of a wave with an ombré blue color palette, as seen on this elegant beach wedding cake. Cupcakes in corresponding shades of blue and white will give guests plenty of grazing options on the dessert table.

Pressed Palms

A beach wedding cake doesn't have to feature seashells or a blue and white color scheme. If you're searching for unique cake inspiration, consider this white wedding cake. Dried palm leaves add a hint of tropical flair, perfect for a destination wedding at a warm, summery beach location.

Sunset Hues

This Instagram-worthy beach wedding cake will be a major hit at any wedding reception. With a color palette that mimics a golden summer sunset, a cake like this will leave a lasting impression on guests.

Mermaid Cake Topper

Who can resist a fun cake topper? This nautical wedding cake has it all: whipped buttercream frosting, a sand-like base and seashells artfully placed throughout—but the real star of the show is the custom mermaid topper that's modeled after the newlyweds.

Retro Tropical Fruit Accents

With retro fruit accents reminiscent of Palm Springs circa the 1970s, this semi-naked beach-themed wedding cake is a great idea for couples planning a vintage tropical wedding. (Bonus points if you place your cake on a palm leaf table cloth in front of a framed palm tree photo, as seen here.)

Watercolor Tiers

You can find wedding cake inspiration just about anywhere—including your favorite piece of art. If there's a beach photo that particularly speaks to you, ask your caterer to recreate it on your confection. We love how this couple opted for watercolor-inspired cascading sugar flowers on their statement four-tier cake.

Coral Decor

Bring the essence of the coral reef to your wedding cake with a design that features fondant shells and spiky pieces of coral.

Ombré Blue

Keep it simple with a gradient nautical wedding cake. This couple opted for a bright aqua hue that slowly transitions to white, along with white tropical flowers as decor.

Monochrome White Wedding Cake

If you love to spend your days lounging in the sun on a beach chair, you'll love this cute cake design. With white picket fence pieces, piles of "sand" and two lounge chairs on top, this creative design is a must for beach bums.

Sandy Cutting Cake

Wedding cake toppers have the power to completely transform the look of your confection, which is why we love this cute initial decoration. Plus, when paired with sea glass pieces and a sand-inspired base, this cake is any beach lover's dream come true.

Tropical Florals

If you're whisking guests away to the tropics for your summer wedding, we recommend including seasonal blooms like orchids on your cake. With a sleek white fondant base and white sea glass gems, this monochrome creation will get all of the attention on your dessert table.

Flamingo Topper

Beach bums that have a soft spot for flamingo decor will adore this cute cake topper idea. After all, this Florida beach home staple looks as cute as can be on top of this square wedding treat.

DIY Decor

Give your beach-themed wedding cake an extra personal touch by decorating it with seashells you and your S.O. have collected. Not only would this make for a fun prewedding date night activity, decorating your cake with shells, sand dollars, starfish and sea glass sourced from your own beachy excursions will result in a one-of-a-kind confection.

Statement Sandcastle

Go all out for your beach theme with a wedding cake shaped like a sandcastle. We guarantee guests will be wowed by your attention to detail.

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