Unexpected Wedding Cake Ideas

Redefine what it is to have a wedding cake with one of these outside-the-box tips.
  1. Naked wedding cake with berries
    Photo by Philip Ficks

    Leave it naked.

    Resist the urge to frost it and show off the inside instead. For a summertime wedding, fresh berries work well; in winter and fall, ask your baker to fill the layers with seasonal fruits, like apples, pears, persimmons or blood oranges.

  2. Chocolate wedding cake with red sugar flowers
    Photo by Philip Ficks

    Go for chocolate.

    If you love chocolate, order it! It doesn't have to be frosted in white buttercream to count as a wedding cake. Choose creamy chocolate buttercream, smooth ganache or opt for fondant or chocolate marzipan.

  3. Mini wedding table cakes

    3. Give every table a cake.

    Let everyone have a turn at cutting the cake by placing small cakes at each table. Order a variety of flavors and encourage guests to get up and try cakes throughout the room. Or top your cakes with numerals so they double as table numbers.

  4. Unexpected wedding cake display with driftwood and airplants

    Create a Custom Cake Stand

    Stick to a simple cake design and add interest with a stand made to coordinate with your colors and theme. We've seen everything from plexiglass stands filled with plants to rustic wooden ones and even flower-covered tables.

  5. Favorite quote wedding cake idea

    Feature your favorite quote.

    Pick a quote from your favorite poem or movie and let it take center stage on your wedding cake. This also works well with song lyrics or excerpts from your written vows.

  6. Chocolate candy on chocolate wedding cake

    Make it sweeter.

    Take things up a notch by adding other confections to the cake, like truffles. Or turn the cake table into a dessert buffet complete with some of your favorites, like oatmeal cookies, or a nod to your honeymoon destination, such as key lime pie.

  7. Creatively shaped wedding cakes
    Photo by Devon Jarvis

    Get creative with shape.

    Square cakes look sleek and modern, but you could even go for a hexagonal- or petal-shaped cake for a totally unique design.

  8. Mini wedding cakes
    Photo by Kate Mathis

    Serve mini-confections.

    Have individual or mini-cakes served to guests as you would any other course. Or display a large table of them stacked to look like one big cake, and then invite guests to help themselves.

  9. Fresh flower wedding cakes on hanging cake stand

    Suspend your cake.

    Hang your confection from the ceiling or above a table for a super-cool effect. Just make sure it’s out of the way of tipsy guests and really secure!

  10. Extra tall sever-tier wedding cake

    Go small, or really big.

    Change the perspective and order a petite two-tier wedding cake, decorated to perfection (and then serve alternate desserts, like pies or sorbet). Or go big—really big. Ask your cake baker to create a seven- or nine-tier wedding cake (some of the layers could be Styrofoam) for a serious wow factor.