Cake Decorating for Weddings

floral wedding cake

Cake decorating for weddings uses several elements to create stunning designs, from classic and simple to modern and flashy.


The basic design of the wedding cake influences the other pieces that combine to create the finished product. Factors to consider for the design include:

  • Style of the wedding
  • Personality of the couple
  • Number of guests
  • Budget

Making a quick sketch gives you an idea of how to proceed with the decorating process. Include the sizes of the tiers to ensure there will be enough servings to satisfy the guest list.


Round and square cakes are common for weddings. They work well for both classic and modern decorative styles by varying the finishing touches. Additional shape options for the tiers include:

  • Hexagons
  • Hearts
  • Ovals
  • Petal or scalloped

These additional options create a distinct look for the cake.


The bride and groom directly influence the style of the wedding cake. It should fit into the overall tone of the wedding while reflecting the couple's personality. The way in which it is stacked also influences the style. Common methods of stacking include placing the tiers directly on top of each other or using columns between the tiers. The topsy-turvy method is a more modern style that creates the look of tilting layers. Another option is to place the tiers on separate pedestals of varying heights.


White or off-white wedding cakes are a common sight in reception halls everywhere. However, more brides and grooms are choosing to add color to the cake. Tinting the icing gives the dessert a distinct look that parts from tradition. Another option for adding color is through the decorative accents. Colorful icing or floral accents stand out against a white background.

Icing for Cake Decorating for Weddings

The icing selection is an important step in the decorating process. Each option offers a unique look to the wedding cake.


Fondant icing is a popular choice for wedding cakes because of its smooth finish. Tint it with gel food coloring to achieve various shades of color. These color options work for a colorful, modern wedding cake as well as a classic white cake. Fondant is an excellent base for other decorating techniques to create a finished product. Typical decorations added to fondant include:

  • Flowers, both fresh and sugar-based
  • Ribbons as borders
  • Fondant pieces, such as flat shapes or three-dimensional molded objects
  • Swirls or dots piped with royal icing or buttercream


Buttercream icing remains a common choice, despite the growing popularity of fondant. The creamy taste and texture of buttercream holds a special place in the hearts of many brides. You can also tint this icing to nearly any color with gel food coloring. You can even add flavor for variety. Chocolate, vanilla, almond and lemon are popular choices for buttercream icing. Many design possibilities work well with buttercream.


Ganache is a less popular choice for wedding cakes but provides a distinct look. Recipes vary slightly, but the basic ingredients are chocolate and cream. White, milk or dark chocolate can be used for this decorating option. The ganache is poured over the cake and leaves a glossy finish. Whipping the ganache provides a delicious filling and can be used to pipe basic borders around the edge.

Decorative Elements

The design is created and the icing is selected. The next step in cake decorating for weddings is to decide on the decorative elements. These finishing touches allow the couple to show off their personalities.


Flowers and weddings go hand in hand. The cake is no exception. Colorful flowers are a common sight on many wedding cakes. Fresh flowers that coordinate with the other wedding flowers tie it to the overall wedding design. Sugar-based flowers offer another option. Fondant or gum paste create intricate floral accents for wedding cakes.


Buttercream or royal icing work well for piping accents. Piping designs on a cake requires patience and a steady hand. A small, round icing tip creates smooth lines for the piped designs. Ideas include:

  • Swirls
  • Scrolls
  • Dots
  • Vines
  • Floral outlines
  • Basket weave pattern

Fondant Accents

Due to its play dough-like nature, fondant works well for a variety of accents. It adheres easily to a cake covered in either fondant or buttercream. Fondant hardens when left out, allowing molded decorations to hold their shape. Use it to create several designs including:

  • Dots
  • Flowers
  • Faux ribbons
  • Swags
  • Hearts
  • Figures of people

Brides and grooms enjoy the luxury of choosing from a variety of wedding cake styles. Selecting the perfect design elements allows the couple to enjoy a wedding cake worthy of praise from all of the wedding guests.

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Cake Decorating for Weddings