Small wedding cakes are not a new concept; couples have been ordering single-tier cakes, often called "cutting cakes," for years as a way to lower costs, downplay old traditions, and avoid wasting a three-foot-tall cake that might go uneaten by guests.
Ideal for more intimate guest counts small wedding cakes are a terrific confection to serve at a micro wedding, an at-home ceremony, or an intimate elopement.
How to Elevate a Small Wedding Cake
With the right accents, a small wedding cake can make a big statement. The secret is in how you dress it up! Flowers, greenery, and fruit can all work some serious magic by creating volume on the side and height on top. We also love a good whimsical or glamorous statement cake topper—a foolproof trick to catching the eye.
Adding texture can also create dimension to a petite one-or-two-tier cake. For example: Imagine a geode-inspired fondant, a cable-knit icing design, or spray-painted leaf adornments.
That being said, if simplicity is your style, we love a small cake paired with a unique cake display. Consider serving the cake in something unexpected, like a vintage bar cart, or decorate the cake table with mini flower vases or flickering candles.
Ahead, find inspiration in these 30 small wedding cake ideas that are beyond sweet and stylish.
Combine Buttercream With Blooms
Buttercream is a classic choice for a reason. Just look at the elegance of this two-tiered cake that was served at a romantic North Carolina micro wedding. This style is versatile and therefore will fit most wedding themes, thanks to the small pearl detailing and fresh blooms (here, a seasonal choice of hydrangea and dogwood) that can be adapted for any celebration.
Place Two Mini Cakes Side-by-Side
Want to stick with the look of a small cake, but still have plenty of slices for your guests to enjoy? Consider having two small, one-tier cakes on your serving table. In order to bring some beautiful visuals to the overall look, place one cake on a cake stand and the other on the table, so that you have variation in heights. Top with fresh florals for a classic look.
Go With White and Green
One of the prettiest ways to compliment a naked cake is a classic white-and-green color scheme, which you can achieve with fresh white flowers (consider something romantic and delicate like peonies or ranunculus) and abundant fresh greenery or even dried herbs.
Debut a Work of Art
If you really want to wow your guests with your small wedding cake, consider hiring a cake designer who specializes in buttercream painting. We love the way painted layers of buttercream create so much texture—and the pops of color are stunning.
Embrace Delicate Accents
If you're hosting a garden wedding or want a super romantic cake, embracing delicate accents (think flecks of gold, teeny-tiny flowers, or pearls) is the way to go. We love the way these small white wedding cakes have just a touch of color with gold leaf and small pink flowers.
Use Dried Botanicals
Perfect for a rustic or outdoor wedding, a small wedding cake can be elevated with delicate decorations like dried plants, flowers, and fragrant herbs.
Channel the Ocean
Ideal for a beachside or nautical wedding, this small wedding cake features seashells as a cake topper—a sweet nod to the sea, and a decoration element that gives the tiny cake so much texture and dimension.
Use Plenty of Petals
For brides and grooms who are flower enthusiasts, instead of just placing fresh flowers on and around your small wedding cake, consider using fresh flower petals to decorate the cake in its entirety. The pops of color are stunning, and you can use as many or as few as you'd like.
Bake With Berries
If you're hosting a summer wedding, why not embrace one of the season's best ingredients? Fresh berries! We love the way that this cake came together with naked layers (for a rustic look) with the berries peeking out and used as decoration on the top of the cake.
Add Tonal Flowers
Flowers are an easy way to upgrade an otherwise plain cake. Follow this Malibu couple's lead by incorporating blooms from the ceremony for a double design win at the reception.
A small cake doesn't necessarily have to be a single-tier! For a new take on the trend, consider ordering a confection that's long, lean, and monochromatic as this couple did for their modern rooftop wedding in New York City.
Play Up a Theme
Sure, you can always top a cake with flowers or decorate it in your wedding's color palette, but how can you make it meaningful beyond the wedding day? Here's an idea: This couple, who eloped on a mountain in Malibu, chose to top a mini cake with cherries to honor their new last name, Cherry.
Make a Macaron Tower
Here’s a plot twist: Make your small wedding cake your cake topper! These grooms, who hosted a jazz-brunch wedding in New Orleans, placed their frosting-whipped confection atop a tower of chocolate, blackberry, orange blossom, and mint tea macarons. It’s a genius way to give a tiny cake some height.
Can’t decide on a dessert? Meet the ultimate compromise: a donut cake! Stack all tiers except for the last with the glazed confections, finishing the donut tower off with a real piece of wedding cake. Sprinkle miniature blooms throughout the display for an extra sweet touch.
Create an Individual Experience
Why have one cake when you can have multiple? Consider serving mini wedding cakes (you could choose one flavor or offer several!) to each guest to give them a personal experience. We love the sweet and minimalist look—especially the dainty rose toppers!
This small wedding cake is stunning and chic in all of its monochrome simplicity, featuring an all-white color scheme. Orchids and cream roses cascade down pleated fondant, adding a stylish twist on traditional white.
This mini cake packs a punch of summer flair. Mint-colored icing drips down the cake’s rustic body, while a bold white bloom and tropical greenery grab attention on top in a way that makes the cake seem larger than life.
Want to make a statement with your small wedding cake? Colorful blooms are a surefire way to liven up a white or naked cake. Consider this single-tiered confection, which gets a playful pop of color with fresh pink and coral flowers.
Decorate With Pearls
This one-tiered chocolate brown butter cake with Tahitian vanilla buttercream may be small, but it’s big in personality. Tiny white pearls scattered across the top whisper classic elegance, while orange marigolds and fresh kumquats scream whimsy and fun.
Channel Southern Charm
This vanilla-flavored naked cake is the epitome of Southern charm. Fresh pink roses and simple vines of greenery adorn two small tiers on the outside, while a decadent bourbon caramel fills the cake on the inside.
Add a Geode Feature
We’re loving this small wedding cake for a bohemian or indie wedding! A metallic geode-inspired finish takes center stage, accented by a fern painted gold. Place such a masterpiece on a subtle wooden cake platter that won’t detract from its beauty.
This three-tiered wedding cake takes classic white for a spin with different textured layers that add volume and thickness to its small size. Inspired by the destination wedding locale, Antigua, the couple's cake emits nautical vibes thanks to its rope-like designs and topper of local foliage.
Sometimes, less is more. This naked chocolate cake looks delicious in all its minimalism, complete with a subtle topper of tiny blooms. If you opt for a simple cake, you can always add extra pizzazz to the cake display—like the potted cacti accents on the table.
Create an Elaborate Display
A creative cake display can make all the difference. This petite dulce de leche cake looks all the more eye-catching perched on a gilded bar cart accented with lush beds of ferns.
Pick Bold Blooms
A swath of magenta blooms and accents of oranges dominate a lemon custard and berry-flavored naked cake with vibrancy. We love how the green cake stand adds an extra punch of color to complete the relaxed look.
A glazed caramel drip takes this spring confection to the next level, accented with delicate floral accents in a pastel palette for a dash of springtime sweetness.
A pleated single-tiered white cake with botanical touches is perfect for a garden-inspired wedding. Add a simple wreath of organic greenery and two white roses to elevate its style while maintaining an unfussy look.
A petite wedding cake is sometimes best left untouched. Instead of dressing up your cake, focus on the cake table. Bud vases boasting long-stemmed roses frame a simple one-tiered almond cake with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting for a minimalist, modern look.
Pile on the Fruit
Don’t be afraid to let your toppings overpower a small wedding cake. Clusters of grapes, pomegranates, and foraged leaves at the base and on top add the illusion of additional layers. The jewel-toned palette also adds dimension while evoking a fall feel.
Add a Statement Topper
One way to give a small wedding cake some flair? A statement cake topper! Sparkling gold flamingos add a glitzy tropical twist to this simple white cake accented with a few flowers.