These One-Tier Wedding Cakes Are Legit Works of Art

Proof you don't need towering tiers to make a statement

Updated 08/04/17
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Photo by Koman Photography

If you're looking for a unique alternative to the traditional multi-tiered wedding cake, consider serving several smaller, one-tier cakes. Not only can you offer guests more cake and filling flavors (yum!), but opting for single tiers will also very likely save you money.

But if you’re worried that smaller cakes won’t make as much of an impact as a larger, multi-tiered confection, not to worry—these examples below are proof that one-tier desserts can be just as stunning and eye-catching; in fact, we'd argue these cakes work as stand-alone pieces of art.

A few tips if you’d like to go the single-tier route: Collect cake stands in different heights to create visual interest on your dessert table; another idea would be to display pretty cake stands in the same color to help unify the assorted cakes. Alternatively, you could ask your baker to create several near-identical cakes (with different flavors inside), then display them on identical stands for a polished, elegant look. Finish things off by decorating the tiers with fresh flowers or adding greenery garlands to the dessert table.

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Ivy + Stone Cake Design

Ivy & Stone Cake Design

Mix both mod and natural elements by combining gold and silver leaf detailing with statement flowers and lithe branches.

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Annie's Cakes

Jared S. Warren

Inspired by Chantel Lauren Designs's Mae wedding dress, this gorgeous confection is a new take on ombre.

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Ivy + Stone Cake Design

Ivy & Stone Cake Design

We love this modern moody style—the black icing makes any foliage pop, no matter how simple.

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Ivy + Stone Cake Design

Ivy & Stone Cake Design

Simple and elegant, this ladylike one-tier cake is perfect on its own or paired with other white confections.

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Maggie Austin Cakes

With a completely signature style, Maggie Austin's designs are immediately recognizable with ethereal frills, dreamy watercolors, and lifelike sugar flowers (check out her new book for more wild inspo). This one looks like it came straight out of Marie Antoinette's fantasies, non?

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Ivy + Stone Cake Design

Ivy & Stone Cake Design

Talk about a statement flower! The sugar kind, of course.

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Annie's Cakes

Eden Strader

We love the combo of semi-nakedness, citrus, and copper leafing for an unexpected lightness.

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Julián Ángel

Julián Ángel

Dubbed the "Cherry Bomb Cake" by its Colombian creator, Julián Ángel, "this cake seems both romantic and rude at the same time." Delicious layers of white chocolate cake meld with red berries and white chocolate buttercream.

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Annie's Cakes

Chantel Marie

Annie Pugmire created this sweet pink lady for a photoshoot inspired by La La Land—we love the minimal fresh flowers that allow the vibrant color of the cake to shine.

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Annie's Cakes

Lovely hand-painted flowers adorn this simple one-tier confection.

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Annie's Cakes

Photo by Connie Balluff; florals by Himila Adams

We're head over heels for this blue edged watercolor cake—it has just the right amount of color for the minimalist bride.

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Fleur and Flour

Fleur and Flour

An ultra-modern take on the somewhat traditional lace cake, this incredible desert focuses on bas relief—a sculpture carving technique with classical roots.

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Fleur and Flour

Fleur and Flour

This "pretty in pink" cake makes the sugar flowers the focus, and is a fun example of making a specific color the central element.

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Alana Jones-Mann

For this crystal cake, baker Alana Jones-Mann first made the sugar candy and then cut, carved, and colored the candy pieces into crystals. Perfect for the boho(ish) bride.

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Cakes by Cliff

Cakes by Cliff

For the bride that loves her neons, create a vibrant contrast to minimal/white décor and attire with this semi-naked red velvet column.

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Cakes by Cliff

Cakes by Cliff

Another way to showcase your beloved peonies: atop layers of red velvet with pink chocolate sails.

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Julián Ángel

Julián Ángel

Revel in the unexpected with a soft and fluffy gingerbread cake—add in caramelized green apples and brownbutter frosting for major impact, not to mention some fragrant dusty roses.

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Cakes by Cliff

Cakes by Cliff

Let the adventure begin with semi-nudity and draping ferns!

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Cakes by Cliff

Cakes by Cliff

Texture is everything wth this little cake—hazelnut praline and textured Nutella buttercream come together for a big impact.

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Alana Jones-Mann

Alana Jones-Mann

Hand-cut and detailed feathers were made from modeling chocolate, then gently positioned around a vanilla buttercream cake.

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The Butter End Cakery LA

The Butter End Cakery LA

We're obsessed with this ultra-modern number. The wraparound sugar suggests the cake could fly away at any moment‚ if only the industrial concrete stand weren't anchoring it down.

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Julián Ángel

Julián Ángel

Rocks, glitter, and chocolate—all you (hypothetically) need to create this show-stopping geode cake.

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Whipped Cake Co

Whipped Cake Co

This trio finds a common thread in a neutral color palette, accented with shining copper. Take a cue from the varying sizes, shapes, and textures featured, while still being cohesive.

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Maggie Austin Cakes

Maggie Austin

Bet you've never seen a wedding cake in this shade before. We love the dusty, earthy, natural tones of this sweet thing.

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The Butter End Cakery LA

Square One-Tiered Wedding Cakes

Photo by Andre Maier Photography

For a fresh, modern look, have your baker create several single-tier square and rectangular cakes in different sizes. Decorate them with fresh flowers and display them on elevated Lucite stands for a super-chic look.

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Julián Ángel

Julián Ángel

Gold shards dominate this midnight stunner.

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Julián Ángel

Whipped Cake Co

Perfect icing flowers are where it's at.

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Buttercream Bakery

Buttercream Bakery

We love this dramatic one-tier cake—the colors are so spellbinding, no garnishes are needed.

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Whipped Cake Co

Whipped Cake Co

The best use of a deep-V we've ever seen.

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Maggie Austin Cakes

Romantic, dreamy, and moody all at once—can you believe all those flowers are made from sugar? Just plain beauty.

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Whipped Cake Co

Whipped Cake Co

Unicorn or cake?! Rainbow buttercream piping decorates pastel chocolate shards.

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The Butter End Cakery LA

One Tier Wedding Cakes

Photo by Brian Leahy Photography

This edgy cake design features three tiers embellished with tulle and rhinestones; the desserts are displayed on a custom concrete-and-steel structure for an urban, industrial look.

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Whipped Cake Co

Whipped Cake Co

Refined and understated, this cake has just the right amount of furnishings.

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Pretty Sweet

Pretty Sweet

Part watercolor, part ombre—all gorg.

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Pretty Sweet

Anna Michalska Photography

How cool is the texture of this cake alongside the prickly blooms on top?

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Pretty Sweet

Pretty Sweet

If this isn't the perfect shade of Millennial pink, we're not sure what is. Love the simplicity of the cake combined with the thick drips.

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Buttercream Bakery

Buttercream Bakery

Celebrate all things love with this gorgeous hand-painted cake, made even sweeter with blooming buds that accent the colors in the paint.

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Julián Ángel

Julián Ángel

Hold up—is this a painting or a cake?

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Sugar Fixé

Kristin La Voie Photography; florals by Pen & Petals

This semi-naked cake, gets modernized with elements such as the pastel drip and gold leaf—rustic with style.

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Maggie Austin Cakes

Maggie Austin

This trio is the definition of delicate. The flowers and stamens are all gilded sugar...

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Alana Jones-Mann

Alana Jones-Mann

A play off on the iconic banana leaf ("Martinique") wallpaper at the Beverly Hills Hotel, a repetitive design of the pattern was printed on edible sugar paper, which was then wrapped around a smoothed buttercream cake.

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Maggie Austin Cakes

Yes, this is a real cake.

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Earth & Sugar

Earth & Sugar

So weird and wonderful in all the right ways—we love all the layers on this petite square cake.

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Earth & Sugar

Minty and blush with a little gold chocolate for an ethereal one-tier beaut.

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Earth & Sugar

Earth & Sugar

Simple and classy, with a pop of color center stage.

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Buttercream Bakery

Buttercream Bakery

Love these moody maroon painted tones accented with bright gold shards with just a hint of white peeking out.

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Earth & Sugar

Earth & Sugar

For a whimsical confection, add on a few pastel macarons in differing sizes that compliment monochromatic flowers.

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Earth & Sugar

Photo by Megan Robinson

There are so many things to love about this little cake. 1) The interesting square shape paired with the black icing. 2) Sugar hellebores?! 3) The winding Solomon's seal greens along the side.

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Julián Ángel

Julián Ángel

Soft and smooth, this coconut cake is the definition of graceful femininity.

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Raymond Tan

Raymond Tan

The modern industrial concrete cake is offset by icing succulents and just a hint of white drip and gold flakes.

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Julián Ángel

Julián Ángel

Vibrant and alive, this graphic beauty is almost too gorgeous to eat (almost...).

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Earth & Sugar

Earth & Sugar

We call this one: girly with an edge.

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Buttercream Bakery

Buttercream Bakery

This beauty combines sweet and savory with pistachio, fig, rosewater, and toasted coconut.

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Earth & Sugar

Earth & Sugar

Talk about tasteful sprinkles, right?

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Earth & Sugar

Earth & Sugar

For understated tropical, keep the cake itself simple (buttercream all the way), but decorate with palms, different green fronds, and a few lush Florida-style blooms.

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Alana Jones-Mann

Alana Jones-Mann

This cake was inspired by a Sonia Delaunay rug and decorated with intricate piping details.

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Flour & Flourish

Photo by Derek Israelsen

The perfect use of all the favorite Millennial colors—pink, mint, and a splash of gold for movement.

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Blue + Ruby Cake Art

Blue + Ruby Cake Art

This sweet and sprightly coconut lime cake incorporates a fondant marble wrap, handmade wafer paper orchids, and lime ganache. Yay!

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Julián Ángel

Julián Ángel

Embrace the tropical vibes with this bright and whimsical island-inspired cake.

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Buttercream Bakery

Buttercream Bakery

This cake brings together fiery and cooling tones—just like the balance that occurs in a marriage. Like it says: Sh*t just got real!

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Kek & Co.

Kek & Co.

Created for an intimate Cuban-inspired wedding, sugar paste Birds of Paradise and hibiscus add to the tropical theme, with an extra touch of drama.

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Buttercream Bakery

Buttercream Bakery

50 shades of—pink!

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Blue + Ruby Cake Art

Blue + Ruby Cake Art

This cake's innocent pink stenciled fondant exterior belies the sinful interior of dark chocolate mud. Add fresh seasonal flowers for an extra dose of sweetness.

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