How much does a wedding cake cost?
Having a wedding cake at your reception is one of the biggest (and sweetest!) traditions. But what does a wedding cake cost? While wedding cake prices do vary depending on the size and style of your cake, the average cost of a wedding cake in the U.S. is around $500 with most couples spending between $300 to $700. While this may sound like a lot for a dessert, you’d be surprised as to how much work goes into creating a gorgeous wedding cake.
Which factors impact wedding cake prices?
Not surprisingly, the bigger and more elaborate a wedding cake is, the higher the cost of a wedding cake will be. A wedding cake featuring lots of design elements, including sugar flowers, fondant details, many tiers, and unique shapes, will cost more than a simpler cake with classic buttercream icing, a few fresh flowers, and fewer tiers. While your flavor choice likely won’t have an impact on your wedding cake’s price, requesting certain custom flavors may raise your wedding cake cost a bit.
What is the starting price of a wedding cake?
The starting price of a wedding cake can vary depending on the type of frosting you prefer. Cakes covered in fondant, a sugary paste-like icing, tend to cost more than cakes covered in buttercream (frosting made from butter and sugar). Fondant is more durable than buttercream (and it won’t melt in the summertime!), but it’s generally thought of as less tasty. The starting price of a fondant wedding cake is usually about $5 per slice, while the starting price of a buttercream wedding cake is about $4 per slice. Again, these wedding cake prices will vary even more based on decorations, size, etc.
What’s included in the cost of a wedding cake?
This varies from cake baker to cake baker. Usually, the cost of your wedding cake will include the cake itself, a design consultation where your baker will create a custom design just for your wedding, a caketasting, delivery and set up. Some cake bakers will also include supplies like cake stands, cake toppers, and cutting utensils, though you may have to provide these on your own. And some wedding cake prices include an extra top tier of your wedding cake or anniversary cake for you and your spouse to enjoy on your first anniversary.
What types of desserts do wedding cake bakers offer?
About 54 percent of couples choose to serve an additional wedding dessert, aside from or in addition to wedding cake, at their receptions. Cake bakers may offer a variety of these alternative wedding desserts, including cupcakes, cake pops, cookies, pies, pastries, doughnuts, and more—the starting price for cupcakes is about $3 per cupcake. There are also groom’s cakes, which are a tradition particularly in the South. We’ve seen these groom’s cakes shaped like everything from sports paraphernalia to burritos!
When should I hire a wedding cake baker?
We recommend hiring a wedding cake baker at least six months before your wedding day—these vendors do tend to book up quickly! Start by reading online reviews of wedding cake bakers near you, and selecting a few to interview (in person whenever possible). You’ll typically have a wedding cake tasting after you’ve booked your baker, where you’ll select your cake’s flavors.
What questions should I ask a wedding cake baker before hiring?
When interviewing a wedding cake baker, there are several questions that are important to ask, including:
- Do you schedule tastings?
- Is there an additional fee for a cake tasting?
- How would you describe your cake design style?
- Can I see photos of some of your favorite cake designs?
- Are you able to provide vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free cakes (if applicable)?
- Do you charge a delivery fee?
- Will you provide rentals?
- Do you offer other types of desserts aside from cake?
- What are your wedding cake prices for the style of cake I’m looking for?
Do I have to tip my wedding cake baker?
While you usually do not tip your cake baker, you should tip the delivery staff who delivers your wedding cake—usually about $5 to $20 per person. Be sure to factor in these tips to your wedding cake budget.
How can I save money on my wedding cake?
There are many ways to save money on your wedding cake cost without sacrificing having a gorgeous cake for your big day. Here are a few simple tips:
- Go simple: A clean, streamlined, and small wedding cake decorated with buttercream icing and a few fresh flowers will cost less than a cake with lots of tiers and elaborate designs. Fortunately, these simple wedding cakes are on-trend right now, so this should be easy to do!
- Think small: Even if you’re having many guests at your wedding, you don’t have to have a huge, expensive cake. Ask your baker to create an additional sheet cake so you’ll have enough servings for all of your guests. That way, you won’t need a large, pricey wedding cake and can keep costs down.
- Decorate with fresh flowers: Fresh flowers cost less than sugar flowers and are just as lovely. Your florist may be able to assist your cake designer by providing some extra blooms to adorn your cake.