Choosing your wedding cake is a big decision. For many couples, it’s a pivotal element in the theme of their wedding, and one of the most important parts of the day. But with new styles and creations hitting social media every day, the range of options is sometimes overwhelming—having your dream cake made is often nowhere near as difficult as deciding which style you want!
But among the slew of amazing new cake styles making their debut in modern weddings, there are some patterns—and clear favourites—emerging. Whether you’re looking for traditional and sophisticated styles, or to make a truly unique statement with an artistic or novelty cake, there are some styles that are definitely on trend right now—and they’re worth a look.
#1: Ruffled cakes
The fondant revolution has had a big part to play in the growing popularity of these cakes. More and more amateur bakers are trying their hand at increasingly complex and extravagant designs as they learn the tricks of the sugar trade—and with more hitting Pinterest and Instagram all the time, they’ve become one of the most frequent requests from social media-savvy brides.
The best thing about ruffled cakes is that they tend to suit any type of wedding theme and reception.
They’re at home in the high-end elegance of the most luxurious weddings, but they’re also perfect in more understated themes like country chic. They’re light and refreshing, bringing soft beauty to the table; but they’re enough of a statement in themselves that there’s little need for extra details and embellishments.
#2: Painted cakes
One of the more surprising trends of the last year is in painted cakes. They’re a perfect match for creative and avant-garde couples who aren’t afraid to push the limits of convention, as they offer virtually limitless thematic possibilities.
Painted cakes can add gentle, simple decorative touches to your wedding, particularly in the more paired-back, soft floral designs.
But many couples have been using the technique to express their personalities—which is what your wedding should be all about!—and we’re seeing bolder and more exciting trends emerging. We’re seeing trends in stained-glass styles, abstract watercolour pieces, portrait illustrations, and even the rich saturations of hyper-realistic Monet-inspired creations. This technique really lends itself to wedding cakes that are artworks in themselves, and weddings rich in artistic beauty and creative expression.
#3: Naked cakes
Given the skills and techniques that are being openly shared throughout social media and the internet—and the potential for increasingly complex wedding cake design—this trending style is actually quite a surprise. Many couples, particularly those with a country chic or industrial style focus, are opting to do away with superfluous embellishments and embrace the naked cake.
Naked cakes can range from completely bare, with only the icing layers visible, to those with just a bit of cake exposed through thin layers of buttercream (much like a distressed, country-style paint job).
These cakes work well in all wedding seasons: in summer, we saw a lot of berries and fruits adorning naked cakes; while in winter, there have been more woodland-style embellishments, like birds and greenery.
Either way, they’ve got a particular attractiveness, probably as they appeal to the stomach as well as the eyes: they look edible (which is almost rare these days), stimulating the appetite.
#4: Metallic cakes
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have seen the metallic trend in stationery and household items in the shops and on wedding blogs—particularly the rose gold phenomenon. With new products in cake paint, it didn’t take long for metallic cakes to catch on, and we’re seeing huge movements towards art-deco and old-Hollywood glam wedding cakes.
Those couples looking to create truly opulent and luxurious weddings will find their perfect cake style in metallics.
Metallics also suit many different wedding themes, which is why we’re seeing them more and more: in multi-tiered cakes that look completely cast in gold; in vintage cakes with a touch of silver; and in bold, contemporary cakes reminiscent of piles of sequins. The best part about metallic wedding cakes is that they pair perfectly with gold foil-stamped invitations and stationery, so you can carry the theme throughout your ceremony and reception.
#5: Marbled cakes
Marble is as on-trend right now as metallics—and it pairs very well with them, too. Like with metallics, we’ve been seeing a marble in stationery and homewares, often paired with rose gold and dusty pinks, and the trend is emerging in weddings as much as it is in wedding cakes.
Marbled wedding cakes work well in the more opulent weddings that demand high-end sophistication and luxury, and we’re seeing white marbled fondant (looking like traditional marble) together a lot with white sugar flowers like peonies, and touches of gold.
But marbled cakes aren’t just for minimalist glamour: there have also been a lot of coloured marbled cakes, particularly pastels like pink and green, giving the finished cake a chic and contemporary ombre-style feel. Adorned with flowers and embellishments in bold colours, these cakes are perfect for couples really wanting to make their wedding a party.
#6: Ombre cakes
This wedding cake trend isn’t new to the past year, but it’s still going strong—and picking up speed—so it’s worth a mention. Ombre cakes, particularly those creating the effect with ruffles, are as popular as the trend is in just about everything else from clothes to hair.
Ombre is a good option for those couples looking to inject a little colour into their wedding without overwhelming it.
The tend to deliver a gentler, more whimsical feel, but it’s also possible to create an ombre effect with bold colours. The style can be created with ruffles of fondant, layers of buttercream, or even hand painting—so it will suit quite a few different wedding themes. They tend to stand alone, needing little else in the way of decoration; but we’ve seen a lot of single flower embellishments, particularly the softer-looking ones like peonies, adorning beach-themed wedding cakes.