On average, a wedding cake costs $350 nationwide. However, several factors affect the average cost of a wedding cake including the size of the cake, the ingredients, the number of tiers, the delivery location and any special flavors or decorations.
Average Wedding Cake Costs:
A wedding cake baker will use your wedding themes, color palette and favorite wedding cake flavors to create the perfect baked goods for your special day. The dessert table for your wedding day can include a traditional tiered cake, smaller cakes, or individual cupcakes. Custom cakes come in a range of shapes, flavors and sizes. Additions like fresh flowers, sugar flowers, cake toppers and decorative wedding cake trends will transform a classic cake into a work of art.
Most bakers price wedding cakes by the slice, which is based on the complexity, ingredients, size and design of the cake. Specialty cakes, custom cakes, cake designs, and tiered cakes generally cost more.
What’s in this wedding cake cost guide?
Wedding Cake Serving Chart
Determining the size of cake you need to feed the guests at your wedding can be tricky. The estimates below are a good rule of thumb if you’re planning on a classic round tiered cake. Your baker should be able to help you refine your plan so you have the perfect amount for the size of your wedding.
Wedding Cake Serving Chart
- 5-inch round: 8 servings
- 6-inch round: 12 servings
- 7-inch round: 16 servings
- 8-inch round: 24 servings
- 9-inch round: 32 servings
- 10-inch round: 38 servings
- 11-inch round: 47 servings
- 12-inch round: 56 servings
- 13-inch round: 67 servings
- 14-inch round: 78 servings
- 15-inch round: 89 servings
Average Wedding Cake Cost
The national average cost for wedding cakes is $350, but costs typically range from $125 to $700.
Bakers typically price wedding cakes by the slice, and charge between $2.50 and $8 per slice, according to Bake My Day Baking in Dallas, Texas. Complexity, size and design of the cake may move the needle when it comes to cost per serving.
Color and Design
The price per slice for a wedding cake may increase if the customer requests a special color that the baker must custom-create for the frosting or cake batter. More exotic colors, like edible gold color or edible gold leaf, or more intricate cake designs and color schemes, such as multicolored tiers or ombre frosting, will also increase the cost per slice.
Tiered Wedding Cakes
Tall cakes are in. They’re elegant and creative, and offer a snazzy twist on tradition. In 2016 and 2017, 80 percent of couples wanted a layer cake at their wedding and 57 percent wanted at least three layers. Bakers use the term "double barrel cakes" to describe two cakes that are stacked to look like a single elongated layer when covered in fondant or decorative cake icing. Tall cakes and additional layers are more complex to create, so the price may increase to reflect the increase in size.
Ingredients and Cake Flavor
Bakers can create almost any flavor combination you can dream up for your wedding day. Wedding cakes with multiple layers that are each a different flavor, or with multiple filling options, will typically cost more per slice than a cake with a simpler flavor combination or with standard flavors like vanilla, chocolate or red velvet. Cakes with organic, gluten-free or exotic ingredients will also generally cost more per slice than standard cakes.
Wedding Cake Icing and Frosting
Buttercream and fondant are the two most common wedding cake frostings. Fondant usually needs to be poured over a layer of buttercream, so the baker is actually making and applying two layers of frosting when using fondant. Here are some frosting price examples:
Specialty Cakes by Amanda in North Richland Hills, Texas:
- $3.50+ per slice for wedding cake with buttercream frosting
- $5+ per slice for wedding cake with fondant frosting
Sweet Confections Cakes in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania:
- $4+ per slice for wedding cake with buttercream frosting
- $6+ per slice for wedding cake with fondant frosting
Cake Delivery Fees
Having the cake delivered to the reception site is another factor in the total cost of a wedding cake. Sweet Confections Cakes charges $50-$195 for delivery. Delivery in expensive locations like New York City, New Jersey or Brooklyn may be considerably more than in more suburban areas.
Cake delivery and setup takes coordination. Complex cakes are often assembled after delivery, so verify with the venue that there’s a set space for cake assembly. Make sure air conditioning settings are adequate for a cake to stand on display for several hours. Determine whether the cake will need to be refrigerated between delivery and setup; for example, ice cream filling or super soft cream cheese will melt in heat. Be sure to connect your wedding coordinator or day-of point person with your bakery so they can plan.
Renting cake toppers or stands through your baker may increase your overall cost. Check with your venue and caterer to see if they can provide you with this equipment.
How to Hire a Wedding Cake Baker
- Set up a cake tasting: Schedule tastings with more than one baker and make sure to try a variety of flavors and styles. Bakers may charge you a small fee for a cake tasting.
- Order timing: As soon as you book your wedding venue, you should consider booking your baker as well. This may seem extreme, but boutique bakeries often limit themselves to one wedding cake per date, just as many venues only host one wedding reception per day. A popular wedding cake baker will require at least four months of lead time, although many bakers offer a rush service for an additional fee.
- Cake delivery: Make sure your baker delivers wedding cakes to the venue. Most bakers recommend paying for cake delivery, especially for a tall cake with multiple layers or elaborate decoration. That way the money spent on the cake isn’t lost when a nonprofessional attempts to move or assemble the pieces.
- Additional items: Decide if you want a groom's cake or if you need any additional baked goods or your dessert table, like gluten free options or themed cake pops.
How to Save Money on a Wedding Cake
- Ask for low-cost options: Bakers may offer more affordable wedding cake packages for budget weddings. Sweet Confections Cakes offers a simple white cake with white frosting starting at $3.50 per serving.
- Use mini cakes to showcase different flavors: One way to offer flavor options without driving up costs is to provide multiple mini-cakes in addition to a large one. A current popular flavor is vanilla white chocolate, featuring a moist vanilla cake filled with a fluffy white chocolate mousse and topped with a white chocolate Italian meringue buttercream icing.
- Skip the special effects: A simple sheet cake with minimal decorations is both elegant and cost effective. Stay away from intricate designs and color schemes and embrace a more streamlined cake.
- Choose buttercream frosting: For couples looking to save, buttercream frosting is delicious and almost always costs less per slice than fondant.