Wedding planning involves choosing between countless options, from selecting a wedding venue to determining a color palette and tapping a ceremony officiant. And while every planning decision is important to consider, choosing a wedding cake frosting is a task that many couples should have at the top of their priority list. More specifically, for those dreaming up a classic design for their wedding cake tradition, consider selecting a confection topped off with buttercream frosting.
Buttercream is created by combining butter, powdered sugar, and milk or sometimes heavy cream (simple enough, right?). Occasionally, the butter might be swapped for shortening, depending on the baker’s preference. This frosting is easily the most classic choice within the wedding space, as it's incredibly versatile and can truly be tailored to fit any style, aesthetic, and wedding-day theme.
Today, Italian and Swiss meringue buttercream have become two popular options for wedding cake designs. These alternatives are made with egg whites, sugar, butter, and water, each utilizing a different method to make the frosting we all know and love. And while Italian and Swiss meringue buttercream isn’t quite as sweet as the original version, keep in mind that it may not hold up as well for long periods of time, especially at warmer temperatures. However, no matter the type of buttercream wedding cake you choose, the beauty of this frosting is that it allows a baker to accomplish so many different designs and detailed piping on a cake.
Ready for some major cake inspiration? Read on for 32 of our favorite buttercream wedding cakes from real weddings.
This textured buttercream look is so charming. What could be more eye-catching at an English-garden-inspired wedding than a dessert covered in cascading peonies and roses?
Make a Statement
This buttercream cake is the most beautiful mix of rustic and elegant design elements. At this Montana ranch wedding, the couple opted for a simple and fresh almond cake with textured vanilla buttercream complete with gorgeous blooms.
Consider Fresh Fruit and Herbs
Buttercream provides an ideal baseline to add so many different flavors and garnishes to complete a wedding cake look. Topped with fresh flowers, fruits, and herbs, this cake is perfect for a stunning farm wedding.
Add Hints of Gold
This cake is simple with a punch, and we can’t get enough! This four-tiered confection looks stunning on the outside (with subtle hints of gold on the edge of each tier) but has a surprise inside: alternating tiers of orange blossom cake with candied pistachios and orange buttercream and cardamom cake with fresh raspberries.
Semi-naked cakes are a wedding trend that's here to stay. Want to know a secret, though? They can’t be pulled off without using buttercream. For this popular style, bakers add a thin layer of buttercream and scrape it off to let the cake layers shine through for a look that's absolutely beautiful.
Do you find buttercream too sweet? Even if you’re not a huge fan of frosting, you can still incorporate it in smaller amounts to present a beautiful cake. Naked or semi-naked cakes provide a great option, utilizing smaller amounts of buttercream for a rustic look.
Keep Things Minimal
A small, laid-back wedding calls for a minimal but romantic wedding cake. At this dinner party wedding in Denver, a petite carrot cake exceeded all expectations with its simplistic design and gorgeous peony topper.
Go for Greenery
We love the look of this simple buttercream cake with a bit of contrast added by showcasing different heights in the tiers. It's another timeless design thanks to the classic buttercream frosting and delicate greenery.
Decorate With Fresh Fruit
This is such a classic design for a buttercream wedding cake. With two tiers of cake topped with fresh apricots, figs, and greenery, it’s a gorgeous look for an outdoor wedding. And that slight texture added to the buttercream? The perfect way to add a simple rustic touch.
Decorate With Fresh Blooms
Have you ever seen a cake more ready for a gorgeous garden wedding? Accomplish this look by pairing fresh blooms with a slightly textured buttercream frosting, as this couple did with hydrangeas and greenery at their waterfront Michigan wedding.
Show Off With Succulents
A wedding cake doesn’t always have to be sleek and smooth. Utilizing buttercream can serve as the perfect canvas to add a rustic vibe, such as chocolate drip! We love the way the melted chocolate and succulents add contrast to the otherwise pared-back design.
Channel the Season
Just look at this statement-making sweet treat. By mixing wildflower blooms and leaves, this cake looks ready for the spring season—the exact vision of this whimsical New York wedding.
Include a Surprise
This cake is dressed in classic buttercream on the outside but it's anything but boring. Inside, it's filled with a fun surprise: Funfetti filling! Recreate this stunning cake (with a twist) by incorporating a favorite flavor or adding blooms from your venue, as this couple did in Palm Springs.
Add a Cake Topper
This cake may be simple, but it still makes a statement. Here, this modern four-tier cake, filled with chocolate fudge, is decorated with a sleek topper that displays the couple's monogram for their glam New Jersey wedding.
Consider Cascading Blooms
This confection stands tall in the most stunning way! It's assembled with a super smooth buttercream that makes for the most beautiful backdrop to the cascading florals, which add just a touch of romance.
Add Notes of Citrus
We love the idea of infusing elements of citrus into the big day, and this confection was the perfect complement at this California wedding. It features a vertical striped texture on the buttercream, complete with white flowers and bright pixie tangerines.
Looking for a cutting cake? Consider decorating a petite buttercream cake with any extra flowers from your bouquet and table settings. We're all about this mix of dusty orange roses, dried ferns, and orchids.
Keep It Simple
This cake embodies outdoor elegance. We can’t get enough of this simple look, which shines with textured buttercream tiers wrapped in beautiful olive leaves.
Make a Ruffle
Buttercream is a classic choice just like this ruffled two-tiered cake. With layers of chocolate cake, fresh fruit filling, and textured buttercream, it offers everything a cake lover could want in one bite. Plus, it's adorned with plenty of white flowers and greenery on top for a completely timeless look.
Top With Sweet Sprigs
With sprigs of greenery and a few white blooms, this cake décor is so simple and lovely. Add in smooth buttercream and a dotted piped border and this cake is nothing short of stunning.
Think in Color
This cake definitely stacks up to be a striking look, as it features charcoal-hued frosting and fresh blooms and greenery on top. Talk about a unique cake design to make a statement.
Buttercream is naturally white, thanks to the butter and powdered sugar in the recipe. But if you want a pop of color, don't be afraid to ask your baker about making one tier in a shade of your choice, or matching the entire cake to your color palette.
What a beautiful statement of fruits and florals! Here, an incredible buttercream detailing, paired with fresh fruit and flowers, really completes the look.
Stick With White Flowers
A simple white-and-green color palette screams sophistication. This wedding cake has the same appeal, mixing a ruffled texture with fresh green and white blooms.
This is the most beautiful blend of modern and rustic! With a sleek, smooth buttercream frosting and just a few slices of blood oranges, this apricot-flavored cake is truly stunning.
Make Peonies Pop
We love a cake beaming with florals, especially when it incorporates beautiful pink peonies. Make like this real couple and consider a semi-naked design that draws attention to the blooms.
With dulce de leche cake, this four-tiered creation—served at this beautiful Santa Barbara wedding—features vertical striped buttercream frosting with a contrasting caramel drip. Yum!
Line Each Tier
Covered in white buttercream with a dotted piped border, along with a sprawling clematis, this wedding cake is absolutely beautiful. Not to mention: It's filled with a lemon berry cake and lemon custard filling inside.
Make a Colorful Splash
We love a bold pop of color, and this four-tiered buttercream confection pulls it off so well. Perfect for a beach wedding in Florida, bright bougainvillea and garden roses effortlessly achieve a tropical vibe.
Who says you have to choose between a smooth buttercream look and a semi-naked cake?! We love the way this gorgeous confection, topped with lovely florals and greenery, accomplishes both.
Embellish With Fresh Greenery
An intimate and romantic wedding calls for a simple yet stunning cake. This modest design definitely doesn’t disappoint with buttercream frosting paired with fresh greenery.
Have a specific color palette in mind? Weave it into your cake display by adding coordinating blooms, as this couple did by dressing up a plain white cake with pink and coral stems for their modern Charleston wedding.
Embrace a Theme
This creation is perfect for couples looking to make a tropical punch whether they're marrying in the tropics or not. It's another take on upgrading a simple white cake, and perfect for those with bold aesthetics.
Opt for Chocolate Cake
Any cake covered with buttercream is guaranteed to make a statement, but a chocolate cake is sure to make a lasting impression. Shown here, this semi-naked cake stands tall with flavored chocolate tiers and the most beautiful rustic look.