Beautiful Wedding Cakes for Every Season

Brides' editor Heather Lee handpicks her favorite wedding cakes, from three-tiered homemade creations to glam, couture-inspired confections

Updated 10/19/12

Jon Tan for Liquid Fusion Photography

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White Wedding Cake with Rainbow Sugar Flowers

Jon Tan for Liquid Fusion Photography

How chic is this rainbow wedding cake? I always love a good rainbow cake, but most of the multicolor designs I've seen are on the more casual and whimsical side. But this design—created by pastry chef Anne Heap of Pink Cake Box in New Jersey—is utterly elegant. The four cake tiers are covered in simple white fondant, them decorated with a ruffly cascade of handmade sugar flowers, all meticulously painted in varying shades of the rainbow. I love the versatility of this cake design, which would look equally at home in a glamorous hotel ballroom or a minimalist raw space.

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Neon Wedding Cake in Citrus and Raspberry Colors

Courtesy of Sugablossom Cakes

Pastry chef Michelle Maric of Sugablossom Cakes in Sydney, Australia, was asked to create a summer-themed wedding cake, so she created this bright and cheery one. "I jumped at the chance to create something bold using summer fruit-inspired colors," she says. To create the zingy design, Michelle covered the cake tiers in chocolate ganache and hand-dyed fondant in varying shades of citrus and raspberry. Next, she cut thin strips of fondant and carefully placed them around the tiers; hand-wired gumpaste flowers were the finishing touch.

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Peach Wedding Cake with Sugar-Flower Cascade

Sylvia Ok Photography

This wedding cake comes to us from Bakermama Cakes, located in Kodiak, Alaska. Owner Althea Heussnere tells us that the design's inspiration came directly from the bride, who requested a confection that complemented the wedding's color palette of orange, pink, and green. "She also asked me to make a cascade of flowers to match the blooms in her bouquet," says Althea. The end result featured modern square-shaped tiers covered in peach-colored fondant and adorned with a lush cascade of roses, hydrangeas, and spider mums, all carefully sculpted from sugar gumpaste.

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Yellow Wedding Cake with Daisies

Mark Davidson

This cheerful confection by New Hampshire-based Wild Orchid Baking Company features daisy-shaped fondant cutouts affixed to the top and bottom tiers (which were covered in yellow fondant), along with a textured fondant bow wrapped around the center. The final touch: a posy of handmade sugar daisies, sweetly tucked beneath the bow. I love this charming wedding cake for a more casual wedding celebration—maybe a backyard bash or a summertime reception on a rustic farm.

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Marie Antoinette-Inspired Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Olofson Design

This wedding cake comes to us from Ceri Olofson of Olofson Design, an amazing bespoke cake boutique based in London. Channeling the decadence of the era of Marie Antoinette, the cake features sugarpaste swags and pearls, as well as quilting and hand-piped royal icing. Each tier was designed differently and drew inspiration from a variety of sources. "The top tier was inspired by an arched doorway at the Palace of Versailles," says Ceri. The intricate details were hand-painted using edible gold and blush-pink luster dust, while fresh flowers added vibrancy and extra depth to the tiers.

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Modern Ombré Dot Wedding Cake

Lara Ferroni

I love this modern take on the ombré look by AK Cake Design in Portland, Oregon. "The design was inspired by the mod feel of my parents' 1960s kitchen," says bakery owner Allison Kelleher. "I created the big, whimsical sugar flowers to tie it altogether—they have a very 60s look and the round shape of the petals nicely complements the dots."

To create the ombré effect, Allison mixed 14 custom colors in gradient shades ranging from red to peach; next, she dyed sheets of fondant in each color and carefully cut out each dot. The sugar flower accents were handmade and embossed with linen; the cake layers inside were also tinted to have a matching ombré look.

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Purple Peony Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Three Little Blackbirds

Everyone loves a good purple palette for weddings! To help all of you purple-loving brides out there, I found this gorgeous peony-embellished wedding cake by Three Little Blackbirds bakery in Colorado. First, pastry chef Erin Schaefgen covered the four cake tiers with Swiss meringue buttercream. Next, she created intricate purple peonies from fondant (each petal was handpainted a different shade of purple) along with additional fondant petals and accents, all designed to match the couple's wedding invitation.

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Modern White Wedding Cake

Courtesy of The Cake Parlour

If you ask me, there's nothing more chic than an all-white wedding cake. And this stunning confection by pastry chef Zoe Clark of London's The Cake Parlour certainly proves my point. Inspired by paper-flower pom-poms, Zoe decorated a simple two-tier cake with feathery sugar details designed to look like paper-flower petals. The bottom tier is entirely covered with rows of petals, while a sugar-flower topper on the top tier adds a touch of whimsy. Completely done in white, this beautiful cake is clean and simple, and would easily complement a wedding held in a modern setting, like an art gallery or raw space.

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Mint Green Wedding Cake with Heart Topper

Birds of a Feather

How sweet is this mint green wedding cake photographed by Birds of a Feather? Created by Sheri's Edible Designs, a bakery located on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, the two-tier wedding cake combines ombré shades of green and a subtle wave pattern fashioned from buttercream. The homespun cake is crowned with a custom wooden cake topper by Etsy vendor Better Off Wed.

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Winter Wedding Cake with Pinecones and Berries

Courtesy of Erica OBrien Cake Design

Calling all winter brides! If you haven't decided on your wedding cake design, please consider this beautiful wintry confection created by Erica OBrien Cake Design in Connecticut. A simple two-tier cake is decorated with a cluster of sugar flowers and foliage. I love the attention to detail: the incredibly realistic looking silver brunia berries and the frosty mini pinecones. The design beautifully captures the romance of a magical winter wedding.

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Romantic Black-and-White Wedding Cake

Harwell Photography

This wedding cake comes to us from Jeremy Harwell of Georgia-based Harwell Photography, who shot this stunning cake by Classic Cheesecakes & Cakes in Atlanta. Each tier is decorated with icing to resemble delicate lace, then embellished with a bold black-and-white-striped ribbon made from fondant. For a final touch, they added two sparkly (non-edible) brooches to the top and bottom tiers for the perfect amount of bling. I could easily envision this cake on display in an elegant ballroom or historic mansion, don't you think?

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Pink Macaron Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Cake Opera Co.

If you're looking for a showstopping wedding cake, check out this dramatic design by the Cake Opera Co. in Toronto. Pastry chef Jessica Smith created this three-tier confection that features layers of pink velvet cake (yes, pink velvet, not red!) with white chocolate and rose-flavored ganache. Each tier was covered in pink fondant and then studded with pink macarons on all sides. After affixing the macarons to the tiers, Jessica handpainted an abstract peony design to match the striking sugar peony topper.

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Rustic Fall-Inspired Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Wild Orchid Baking Company

If you're hosting a fall wedding, check out this wonderful fall-inspired wedding cake by Wild Orchid Baking Company in North Hampton, NH. The smooth fondant-covered tiers are covered in a cascade of gumpaste leaves and branches ablaze in fall hues (and don't miss the tiny sculpted bird on the top tier!). The finished confection is displayed on a tree-stump base that's actually edible, too! It totally had me fooled.

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Wedding Cake with Purple Ruffles and Pearls

Courtesy of Sophie Bifield Cake Company

We are loving this ombré wedding cake by Sophie Bifield Cake Company, based in Canada. Pastry chef Sophie Bifield started with cake tiers covered in pale-lavender fondant, then fashioned gumpaste ruffles in varying shades of purple. The finishing touch? Pearls and silver dragées, each affixed by hand, to give the confection a touch of glitz and glamour.

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Pastel Macaron Wedding Cake

Courtesy of The Cake Parlour

In Manhattan, we're lucky to have an outpost of Paris's famed patisserie Ladurée, which means I have easy access to my favorite French macaron cookies. Here, pastry chef Zoe Clark of The Cake Parlour, in London, baked dozens of macarons in soft, sunset shades and used the cookies to decorate matching fondant-covered tiers. The result is warm and romantic, and the lucky guests get not only a slice of cake, but a sweet macaron treat, too!

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White Orchid Wedding Cake

Scobey Photography

This stunning wedding cake was created by Couture Cakes in Atlanta. Instead of centering the cake tiers, the cake designer aligned the three tiers on the right-hand side—it's a very small adjustment that has a thoroughly modern effect. The middle tier is dusted with edible silver sparkles to match the wedding's glamorous look, and the final touch is a single sculptural sugar orchid that had me completely fooled—it looks so real! The wedding cake was displayed on a purple-and-silver-themed dessert display.

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Purple Wedding Cake with Frosting Rosettes

Erin Schaefgen Photography

This beautiful cake comes from Three Little Blackbirds, a bakery located near Denver, Colorado. Called "I Dream of Blackberry," the elegant design features beautiful roses on the top tier. To create them, bakery owner Erin Schaefgen attached an open-star-shaped tip to a pastry bag and filled it with organic blackberry Swiss buttercream; then, she carefully piped the rosette, starting in the center of the flower and working outward, swirling the icing. The roses were piped in vertical columns "to give the illusion of ruffled swags," said Schaefgen. Flavors-wise, the bottom tier was comprised of purple-velvet swirl cake (vanilla cake infused with blackberries) layered with white-chocolate truffle ganache and blackberry buttercream; the top tier featured double-chocolate cake layered with additional white-chocolate truffle ganache and blackberry buttercream.

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Tiffany Lamp-Inspired Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes

Your wedding cake design can draw inspiration from a variety sources, and I'm always blown away by the creative ideas couples and their bakers come up with. Case in point: this beautiful three-tiered confection by Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes, based in London. This elegant cake was inspired by Tiffany glass lamps and the handpainted design has a wonderful stained glass effect. I was also impressed to learn that the entire cake is frosted in buttercream—usually, that kind of smooth finish is only achieved using (much less tasty) fondant!

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Mint Green Wedding Cake with Ivory Ruffles

Lucy Leonardi Photography

I simply adore this stunning wedding confection by Faye Cahill Cake Design, a wonderful bakery based in Sydney, Australia. To create this cake, pastry chef Faye Cahill covered the three tiers with smooth pastel-green fondant, then topped each tier with romantic cascades of sugarpaste ruffles. I love this design for spring and summer weddings; the soft mint color and romantic frills are the perfect complement to an elegant celebration.

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Elegant Daisy Wedding Cake

Courtesy of The Cake Parlour

I love lace wedding cakes, and this design by Zoe Clark of London's The Cake Parlour might be my favorite, yet! Here, Zoe hand-cut dainty flower appliques from fondant, then affixed each sugar bloom onto the pale coffee-colored tiers. The square tiers add a modern touch to the overall design, and I love how some of the flowers dip below the base of each tier—to me, it resembles the hemline of a gorgeous lace skirt.

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Pink Hand-Painted Floral Wedding Cake

Erin Schaefgen Photography

If pink is your wedding color, chances are your celebration with be full of romantic, feminine details. This lovely cake, by Three Little Blackbirds Cakes in Colorado, might be the perfect dessert complement to your wedding aesthetic. Inspired by a Cath Kidston print, pastry chef Erin Schaefgen handpainted roses on each fondant-covered tier; the roses were painted in different sizes and patterns for a "shabby chic" mix-and-match effect. The finished design was topped with a cluster of pink sugar roses.

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Solar System Groom's Cake

Laurel McConnell Photography

How cool is this astronomy-themed groom's cake shot by Laurel McConnell?! According to the couple's wedding planner Holly-Kate Foss of Holly-Kate & Company, the bride secretly had the cake made as a surprise for her groom, an astronomy buff who loves debating the existence of a possible "new" planet nicknamed Tyche. Kaysie Lackey, owner of The People's Cake in Seattle, covered the two tiers in black fondant and dusted them with stars; she also hand-painted each planet and designed a custom rotating cake stand!

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"Tie the Knot" Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Eat Cake Be Merry

I've seen some "tie the knot" wedding cakes that feature a nautical theme (with sailor knots!), but this is the first riff on the idea with a more rustic and playful look. Cake designer Faye Cahill in Australia created a simple two-tiered cake covered in fondant, then embellished the tiers with brown icing designed to resemble twine. The top tier gets a simple knot, while the bottom tier is decorated with lengths of "twine" spelling out the word "LOVE." The remaining ball of twine is adorable displayed at the base of the cake. I imagine this cake working for a rustic wedding in a barn or farm, don't you?

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"Stack of Books" Wedding Cake

5ive15ifteen

If you and your groom are a pair of book lovers, then this is the wedding cake for you. Pastry chef Roxanne Wickware of the Toronto bakery Roxycakes created this sculptural confection (which took nearly 80 hours to design and execute!) for a couple who wanted their dessert to represent their interests and personalities.They shared their favorite books with Roxanne, who was inspired to create this seven-tier wedding cake. Each book consisted of a single cake tier covered in white fondant; next, Roxanne embossed the sides to look like book pages, and even shaved down the corners to give the "pages" a worn look. The book covers were made from rolled sheets of gumpaste; Roxanne added the book titles to the spine by printing text onto frosting paper using food coloring ink. The finishing touch: a pair of Jonathan Adler salt-and-pepper shakers as cake toppers, in honor of the couple's favorite designer.

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Modern Square Wedding Cake with Heart Topper

Courtesy of Eat Cake Be Merry

Silhouettes are a popular wedding motif, but usually imply a vintage theme. Which is why I love this fresh, modern take on the silhouette by New York City bakery Eat Cake Be Merry. The hand-cut gumpaste silhouette of the bride and groom is playful and full of personality; paired with a bright red heart, it's the perfect topper for this crisp two-tier cake. As for the rest of the cake decor: the two square tiers are covered in fondant and Swiss dot piping, then decorated with an edible black-and-white gumpaste banner.

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Blue and White Starfish Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Crumbs of Comfort Cake Design

Throwing a beach wedding? Then check out this modern starfish-themed wedding cake by Crumbs of Comfort Cake Design, a bakery located in Brisbane, Australia. I love the ocean-inspired green and blue hues—it reminds me of colorful sea glass—and the cascade of gumpaste starfish looks crisp and clean when affixed to the minimally adorned cake tiers. I think it's the perfect cake complement to a beach-chic celebration or a destination wedding by the water.

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Rainbow Hearts Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Wild Orchid Baking Company

I'm loving this rainbow wedding cake by Wild Orchid Baking Company in North Hampton, New Hampshire. Colorful fondant hearts are affixed to the cake tiers in ROY G. BIV order, creating a whimsical and modern wedding confection. If you're having a summertime celebration that's on the more playful and relaxed side—I'm envisioning lawn games during cocktail hour, oversize Geromino balloons, a reception menu with picnic fare like pulled pork sandwiches and gourmet bratwursts, and lots of little kids running around—we'd bet a cake like this would be a major hit at the party!

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Black and White Chandelier-Inspired Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Rylan Tu

I'm a big fan of Las Vegas-based pastry artist Rylan Tu's work—I've bookmarked her Art and Appetite website for a while now and continually refer back to her cake gallery for gorgeous inspiration. On her blog, Rylan writes that this elegant black-and-white wedding cake was inspired by glamorous chandeliers. The swag accents were created by pressing sugar paste into silicone molds, and I love the bold, topiary-like cake topper—it makes such a dramatic statement when done in jet black. Black and white is an always-chic wedding color palette, but I can also picture this design done in gold or copper. The confection would look right at home at a wedding held at a historic country estate (like Alder Mansion in Yonkers, NY) or a glamorous ballroom (like the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit—I love the tiered chandeliers in the Venetian Ballroom).

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Modern Citrus Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Tallant House

I love the varying heights of the stacked square tiers on this beautiful wedding cake by Pacific Northwest bakery Tallant House—the effect is beautifully elegant and striking. And the cocoa-dusted middle tier, along with a pair of tiny kumquats, provides the perfect amount of visual interest.

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White "Honeycomb" Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Wild Orchid Baking Company

Whether you're marrying in a lush garden or on the lawn of a sprawling estate, this elegant wedding cake belongs outdoors. Created by the Wild Orchid Baking Company in New Hampshire, the design features a subtle honeycomb pattern pressed into smooth fondant. The middle tier is embellished with a fondant honey bee that's been brushed with edible gold, and two gumpaste magnolias—a honey bee's favorite bloom during the spring and summer months—adorn the top and bottom tiers.

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Fourth of July Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Jessicakes

To make this festive, patriotic Fourth of July wedding cake, pastry artist and blogger Jessica Harris of Jessicakes handcut the wavy red stripes from modeling chocolate; the fireworks were created by meticulously piping melted chocolate onto wax paper in the shape of starbursts. Once the chocolate hardened, Jessica carefully lifted them from the wax paper and affixed the fireworks to the cake tiers using additional melted chocolate. The inside of the confection sounds as tasty as the overall design looks: The bottom tier featured dark-chocolate mud cake with espresso-flavored Swiss-meringue buttercream and dark-chocolate ganache filling, while the top two tiers consisted of vanilla cake with vanilla Swiss-meringue buttercream and sliced fresh strawberries.

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Romantic Ruffled Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Coco Paloma Desserts

This wedding cake is a wonderfully romantic design by Coco Paloma Desserts in Austin, Texas. Owner and pastry artist Paloma Efron said the inspiration for the cake came from a bride: "The bride came in with an inspiration photo of a ruffled cake, but she also loved a cake we had done that was decorated with sugar flowers. So we decided to combine the two ideas."

The ruffles are made from a 50/50 mixture of fondant and gumpaste. The mixture is rolled out into strips, which the cake designers individually shape and frill by hand. The ruffles are then left to dry for about 15 minutes—that way they won't wilt. Then they're individually applied by hand in even rows around each tier—the whole process takes about nine hours. The sugar flowers are also made from gumpaste. "We decorated the cake with a combination of garden roses, peonies and peony buds, hydrangeas, and accent buds," said Efron.

"This cake is very romantic on the outside, but inside, there's a surprise!" said Efron. "The bride wanted a 'funfetti' cake, so we took our white-cake recipe and added rainbow confetti sprinkles to the batter. It's definitely unexpected! The cake also features two tiers of chocolate cake with Swiss-vanilla buttercream filling."

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Rice Krispies Wedding Cake

Courtesy of The Butter End Bakery

If you or your groom aren't particularly fond of cake, consider a wedding confection made entirely of Rice Krispies treats, instead. I love this design by The Butter End Cakery in Santa Monica, Calif.—the three Rice Krispies tiers are edged in ribbon and crowned with a Simply Silhouettes cake topper.

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Glamorous, Purple and Gold Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Wild Orchid Baking Company

I love the gilded doily pattern of this beautiful wedding cake by New Hampshire-based Wild Orchid Baking Company; it somehow resembles henna to me and would look right at home at a glamorous wedding like Nitya and Neal's. And aren't those deep-purple sugar flowers gorgeous? They look so incredibly realistic, I nearly thought they were fresh blooms.

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Modern Ruffled Wedding Cake

Jose Villa

This wedding cake comes to us from Erica OBrien Cake Design in Hamden, CT (she was formerly based in Southern California). The clean, crisp cake tiers are covered ivory fondant and piped with pale-gray icing along the top; the bottom of the tiers are wrapped with a silver satin ribbon. The textured ruffles on the center tier are created from fondant and add a whimsical focal point to the cake. We could imagine this wedding cake being displayed in a rustic setting, such as an elegant barn or romantic ranch, don't you think?

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Romantic Peony and Lily of the Valley Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Bellissimo Cakes

This wedding cake comes to us all the way from the United Kingdom. Pastry chef Helen Mansey, owner of Bellissimo Cakes, in Liss, sent over this elegant white-and-silver wedding cake. The embellishments on the tiers were inspired by a lace wedding gown; Helen used hand-piping and brush embroidery techniques to replicate the look. For a unique twist, she decided to give the cake a silver middle tier. To finish off the confection, she appliquéd hand-sculpted sugar peonies and Lily of the Valley to each tier.

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