The New Wedding Cake Is a Nostalgic Ode to the Past

Buttercream flowers, tons of flourishes, and plenty of piping.

wedding cake

Photo by Sergio Sandona; Cake by Mmm'azing Cakes 

Taking its cue from all the nostalgic cottagecore of late, the hottest wedding cake trend today is a little Victorian, a mix of French neoclassical, a pop of 80s, a touch of 50s, and a whole lot of kitsch smothered in buttercream or cream cheese. These cakes are typically small (hello, micro weddings!), though a few have been larger for those outdoor bashes. But they all have one thing in common: they're perfectly nostalgic, with buttercream flowers, tons of flourishes, and plenty of piping. 

“I believe this trend for smaller but more elaborate cakes is a beautiful embodiment of the fact that couples want their intimate weddings to feel just as special and momentous, particularly with everything that’s been happening to hinder their plans,” says Valentina Ring, who runs The Stars Inside, a wedding and elopement company in London. 

To achieve the vintage feel that has started trending, couples are incorporating hand-painted details, tons of flourish, pastels, and lots of piping. Below, more ways to channel this trend with your wedding cake.

01 of 10

Decorate With Fresh Fruit

cake

Cake by Lily Vanilli

All of Lily Jones’s cakes appear to be made for an old-fashioned, quaint bakery, and we heart them so much. Most are topped with fresh cherries, apples, strawberries, coffee beans, or raspberries—and have plenty of piping. Her weddings tend to display multiple one-tier cakes in various designs. This one? “It’s a two-tier vanilla raspberry cake with our signature Marie Antoinette-inspired piping,” Jones says. “We can make a bespoke version to any brief.”

02 of 10

Add Buttercream Rosettes

rose cake

Cake by Preppy Kitchen

Sure, rosettes are old-school but they're also really sweet. Case in point: This painted rose cake by John Kanell of Preppy Kitchen, which features a simple, elegant design with soft, pastel pink, and orange roses. We love this look for a simple at-home wedding or bridal shower.

03 of 10

Let Antiques Inspire You

cake

Cake by Nadia & Co. 

Inspired by Chinoiserie-style pottery, Nadia Colella says she wanted the design to feel monumental and special, hence the reasoning for the base tier being hexagonal. All the patterning was hand-painted with food coloring, and the top finial was sculpted from sugar to mimic the lid of a Chinoiserie-style vase.

04 of 10

Channel an Era

<p>white wedding cake</p>

Photo by Lauren Fair Photography

Order a simple white cake but make it perfect for a 1920’s-style wedding with vintage-style piping and buttercream roses. The delicate drop swags even mimic the Victorian style décor of the era.

05 of 10

Go With Bundt Cake

nothing bundt cake

 Cake by Nothing Bundt Cakes

This look is both traditional and non-traditional simultaneously. Bundt cakes were a staple of the 1950s, and this one is topped with a cream cheese drizzle frosting. The cake itself is super simple—it's made with eggs, butter, and cream cheese.

06 of 10

Pair With Piping

cake

Photo by Marni Pictures; Cake by Diana Tornow Cakes 

Hello, piping. We're all about a cake with piping, especially when paired with buttercream, fondant white roses, and more piping. It’s what your grandmother may have dipped into—and it still takes the cake.

07 of 10

Use Pastels

cake

Photo by Katie Dessin Photography; Cake by Back to Eden Bakery

There's something nostalgic about pastel-colored confections topped with fresh flowers. Make it taste the same by ordering yours with a strawberry flavor and lemony-strawberry frosting. Can we say “1950s?!”

08 of 10

Infuse Color

cake

Cake by Hannah Howey

Topped with dried flowers, this green cake is made with four-layers of pear cake with cream cheese icing on the inside and American buttercream (dyed green!) on the outside. “I have really loved this vintage style and had done one before, but needed to incorporate the dragonfly,” says Hannah Howey, a baker and cake blogger from Southwestern Ontario, Canada. 

09 of 10

Embrace Ribbons

cake

Cake by The Evercake

Love icing? Pack it on, as this cake by The Evercake bakery in New York does. It's done in a classic pale blush pink color with a traditional ribbon for a simple yet elevated aesthetic—plus, fresh pink English garden roses and fresh French macarons make it even sweeter.

10 of 10

Bring Back Columns

cakes

Photo by Rachel May Photography; Cake by Sugar Bakers Cake

Remember when the tiers were separated by columns? There's nothing more nostalgic than a wedding cake with columns. Just take this cake as an example: It's topped off with columns, tiers, and fresh flowers.

Love this idea? Browse more cottagecore looks below.

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