30 Unique Cake Flavors for a Winter Wedding

It's the perfect time of year for peppermint, eggnog, and dark chocolate!

Updated 12/05/19

Photo by O'Malley Photographers

If you’ve decided on a winter wedding, then you're likely obsessed with the season. (It's OK: We are too!) Winter is a season about cozying up at home with a cup of hot cocoa, baking seasonal favorites like snickerdoodle and sugar cookies, and entertaining with specialty cocktails like eggnog and, well, pomegranate-infused anything! Your winter wedding should evoke those same feelings and flavors, which is why we encourage you to get creative with a unique, and possibly unexpected, winter wedding cake.

When choosing a winter wedding cake flavor, the options can seem almost endless. That said, it’s totally acceptable to bring in more flavor, more texture, and a bit more richness to the palate this time of year. There’s less fruit featured throughout the winter season compared to sweet summer weddings, and that leaves room to play with deeper flavors such as butternut squash, gingerbread, and anything that evokes a little bit of childhood nostalgia.

To find out the best flavors to feature in your winter wedding cake, we called on experts across the country to share their crowd-pleasing and seasonal favorites. Below, we present 30 cake flavor combos that are creative, cozy, and perfect for any winter wedding. 

Chocolate Matcha

layered wedding cake with fruit and chocolate drizzle
 Photo by Lindsey Roman Photography

Pair rich, dark chocolate cake with the nutty flavors of matcha icing for a unique combination your guests will surely love. Plus, this flavor pairs perfectly with raspberry jam and berries to bring a bit of summer into the mix. “My ideal flavor profiles for winter are made up of warm spices and decadent fillings finished with dark chocolate icing and gooey drips,” says Emily Lael Aumiller of Lael Cakes in Brooklyn, New York.

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle

layered cake with chocolate truffles
Photo by Tara Bielecki Photography 

For the chocolate lover, this cake is a dream. “The cake itself is a chocolate cake filled with mocha buttercream and chocolate ganache–full, rich, and decadent flavors that parallel a typically heavier winter menu,” says Moriah Tulier of Wildflower Cakes in Denver, Colorado. The cake is decorated with tricolored hazelnut truffles and lightly dusted for a snowy effect. Tulier adds, “This cake is perfect for a winter wedding in any setting, and it is a real treat for those who love both traditional wedding cakes and French pastry.” 

Spiced Carrot with White Chocolate Buttercream

Bring the classic flavors and spices of carrot cake to the table—but with a wintery white chocolate twist! “This flavor is the perfect combination of a warm and ‘holiday’ feel,” says Gabriela Szegner of Dulce Couture Cakes in Ottawa, Canada. “It brings memories of ginger cookies, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a tiny bit of hotness with my secret spice: cayenne pepper. Then, it’s paired with white chocolate buttercream between the layers.”

White Butter Cake with Eggnog Custard and Spiced Buttercream

winter wedding cake with flowers and candles
 Photo by Cat Dossett

Keep traditions going with a buttercream wedding cake but put a holiday spin on it by adding eggnog and baking spices. “Come winter, people tend to move towards rich comfort foods,” says Johanna Zuniga of Dream Cakes in Portland, Oregon. “Flavors that are nostalgic, or from the holidays like this, tend to remind us of family.”

Gingerbread with Pear Compote and Vanilla Buttercream

winter wedding cake with holly
 Photo by Lindsay Skeins Photography

Pair a boldly spiced cake with sweet winter pears and creamy vanilla buttercream. “For winter weddings, I love cakes that are rich in flavor but not overly dense and heavy,” says Dalana Fleming of The Cake and The Giraffe in Vancouver, Canada “A spicy and fluffy gingerbread cake paired with sweet pear compote just screams comfy and cozy to me.” 

Baklava

Ditch the fruit and go with a spin-off this classic dessert. “Unlike spring and summer, I usually encourage brides to leave the fruit flavors behind and go for rich and warm flavors in their cakes,” says Voula Tripolitsiotis of Blue Lace Cakes in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “This starts with a spiced walnut cake, with honey caramel sauce to add the honey flavor we all love in baklava and some extra sweetness. It’s then paired with walnut buttercream and finished off with cinnamon candied walnuts.”

Salted Caramel Banana

layered white winter wedding cake
 Photo by Christie Graham Photography

Although this combo isn’t exclusively seasonally, Fleming says it’s still a popular option with her clients this time of year. “It’s a richer flavor that’s a winter-appropriate fan favorite,” she says. I think we can all agree that vanilla bean cake—with caramel buttercream, banana caramel, and a salted caramel drizzle—is a rich, delicious option for any time of year. 

Butternut Squash with Candied Hazelnuts, Wild Mountain Sage Caramel, and Hazelnut Praline Buttercream

white wedding cake with decorative branches
 Photo by KT Merry Photography

“This time of year, the days fade quickly, and the air is much colder,” says Megan Clark of Megan Joy Cakes in Vail, Colorado. “So we naturally seek warming, comforting flavors like this.” This combo brings in the unique flavors of a favorite winter squash, all dressed up with plenty of sweet hazelnuts, caramel, and a flavorful, comforting buttercream.

Chai Spice

layered cake white drip and greenery
 Photo by Snowdrop Photography

There’s nothing better than sitting with a huge mug of chai tea and sipping on it during winter, and you can bring that feeling to your wedding. Tripolitsiotis says this cake is made with brewed chai tea, as well as chai spices that are baked into the cake. As a final touch, it’s paired with a honey buttercream to round out the flavors. “The spices in the cake provide the warm flavor and adding honey to the buttercream enhances the chai,” she says.

Dark Chocolate with White Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream

tiered wedding cake with black and gold flecks
 Courtesy of Ashley Cakes

This was the flavor that Ashley Lattier of Ashley Cakes in Raleigh, North Carolina made for her own wedding and it turned out to be such a hit. To make this creation, which she advises you against for your own wedding, she added peppermint to fluffy white chocolate buttercream and then layered it between a rich, dark chocolate cake. “Pairing the dark chocolate with white chocolate and peppermint seemed like the perfect combination for our winter wedding, and it’s a flavor we’ve been making ever since," she says.

Hazelnut-Cinnamon with Hazelnut Praline Filling and Coffee Buttercream

Recreate one of the best feelings of winter all in one with a spiced cake with sweet praline filling and coffee buttercream to complement and round out the flavors. “One of my favorite parts about the onset of winter is cozying up at my favorite coffee shop and getting an indulgent latte,” says Bria Helgerson of Flourish Cake Design in Chicago, Illinois. “This cake combination is like a spiced hazelnut late on a snowy day, which is great to enjoy with a cup of coffee at the end of a winter wedding surrounded by friends and family.” 

Snickerdoodle with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

tiered marble wedding cake with flowers
 Photo by AJ Dunlap Photography

For a winter cake that incorporates baking spices with a little nostalgia, this is the flavor. “My mom always baked batches of snickerdoodle and sugar cookies during the holidays,” says Lattier. “So this cake flavor always brings back those childhood memories of waiting for fresh cookies to finish baking while watching Christmas movies!” The cake incorporates the sweet and spicy flavors of snickerdoodle cookies, all while being layered with a cream cheese icing with a kick of cinnamon.

Amaretto Nutella

tiered hand painted wedding cake
 Courtesy of Soul Cake

For a sweet, flavorful option, consider incorporating almond liqueur into your cake choice. “We recommend Amaretto Nutella as a great flavor to enjoy during the holiday season,” says Gayoung Kim of Soul Cake in Boston, Massachusetts. “The cake is infused with Amaretto, which is a sweet Italian almond flavored liqueur, and filled with Nutella flavored Swiss Meringue buttercream. We think the combination of almond liqueur and chocolate hazelnut is scrumptious.”

Fudge with Peppermint Chocolate Mousse and Meringue Buttercream

winter wedding cake with mountain design
Photo by Once West Photography 

“As the weather turns colder and snow starts to fall, I love sipping peppermint hot cocoa with my son,” says Rachal Teufel of Intricate Icings in Denver, Colorado. “I love taking those special memories and translating them into cakes.” She layers rich chocolate fudge cake, light peppermint chocolate mousse, and a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream reminiscent of whipped cream. “I sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on each plate when it’s served for a pretty finish,” she says. 

Chai Tea and Honey Buttercream

"Our most popular winter wedding cake flavor is our spiced Chai tea cake with honey French buttercream," says Lexi Mota of The Cakerie in Birmingham, Alabama. "We balance the spices in the cake with the light honey flavor of the frosting. It's a classic combination that reminds us of a hot cup of tea on a chilly day, and the spices give the cake a speckled look that is beautiful when you cut that first slice!"

S'mores

If your groom is considering a classic chocolate cake, he'll love the s'mores cake. "We layer a graham cracker cake with dark Valrhona ganache and toasted marshmallow buttercream," Mota describes. "It's a play on a classic dessert that can be changed to suit the couple, too." She recommends flavoring the marshmallow filling with peppermint or orange. Yum!

Vanilla with Coconut, Pecans, and Bourbon

And for a Christmas-time wedding, look no further than Mota's twist on the Alabama state cake, the Lane Cake. "Our classic vanilla cake is made decadent with a mixture of coconut, toasted pecans, bourbon, and bourbon-soaked golden raisins," says Mota. "We do a vanilla French buttercream border to lock in the filling between the layers, and recommend this cake be naked to allow the coconut and pecans to drip down the sides."

Peppermint and Double Chocolate

Winter wedding cakes are all about rich, indulgent flavors. "Something about cool peppermint just makes it feel like the holidays," says Elysia Root of Chicago's Elysia Root Cakes, who pairs the wintry flavor with decadent double chocolate cake, pink peppermint buttercream, crushed candy canes, and dark chocolate ganache. "It's sweet and refreshing, and when paired with the chocolate, it's a delicious way to savor the season and finish a wedding meal!" The crushed candy canes and rich peppermint buttercream are an unexpected textural contrast your guests will love.

Brown Butter Spice Cake with Cream Cheese and Maple Buttercream

Root's brown butter spice cake, frosted with cream cheese and maple sugar buttercream fillings, combines cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, and fresh ginger with rich molasses and brown butter. "This warm flavor is amazing for a cold and snowy night," she explains. "Spice cake is a timeless winter classic, and the brown butter adds some extra depth, alongside a little tang from the cream cheese and the sweetness of real maple syrup."

Mexican Chocolate

For an adventurous couple looking for something unexpected, look to the spicy-sweet combination of Mexican chocolate in Root's chile chocolate cake with Mexican chocolate buttercream and chocolate fudge. "We spice chocolate cake with cinnamon and cayenne, then pair it with cinnamon-spiced Mexican chocolate buttercream and a single layer of bittersweet chocolate fudge," describes Root. It's not for the traditionalist, but it's a winning combination that will surprise your guests and become their new favorite wintry treat.

Butter Almond and White Chocolate Ganache Filling

"Our most popular winter wedding flavors are warm and inviting," says Erin Holloway of Art of Cakes Bakery in Maryville, Tennessee. "Butter almond cake is our most popular traditional wedding cake flavor, and in the winter we top it with a creamy white chocolate ganache filling." A rich update on a classic is always a good idea!

Sugared Pecan and Brown Butter Filling

"I also love our sugared pecan cake with brown butter filling," says Holloway. "It's something you might eat after a Christmas meal. It has a warm, toasty pecan flavor and the browned butter filling really sets it off."

Bourbon Vanilla and Raspberry Filling

For a little kick, Holloway recommends bourbon vanilla cake with raspberry filling. "The bourbon vanilla cake is a punched-up twist on traditional vanilla. Raspberries add some sweetness and tang, and the red rue brings Christmas colors inside the cake," she describes. Make sure to get pictures of the cake-cutting!

Devil's Food and Peppermint Buttercream

"We have a few flavors that just say 'winter,'" says Jennifer Luxmoore of Sin in Providence, Rhode Island. "Our soft, fluffy devil's food cake with peppermint buttercream is one of them. The buttercream is white and creamy, with pieces of candy cane mixed in." It looks just like drifts of snow against the dark chocolate cake!

Spice Cake and White Chocolate Chai Ganache

"One we love to curl up with in front of a fireplace is our spice cake. It combines warm, fragrant spices like cinnamon, mace, allspice, and nutmeg, and is filled with a rich white chocolate chai ganache and dark chocolate buttercream," Luxmoore describes. That one-two punch of spices will definitely give your guests a warm and cozy feeling.

White Chocolate and Pomegranate Curd Filling

"Finally, couples love our white chocolate cake with tangy pomegranate curd filling," says Luxmoore. "The red filling against the white cake is a beautiful contrast, and that fruity filling is a nice flavor change from the season's more expected rich, chocolate flavors."

Gingerbread and Eggnog Creme

"We love creating cakes that are winter in a bite," says Kristina Serfass of Baked. Custom Cakes in Seattle, Washington. "It's fun to put a unique twist on more traditional holiday flavors!" For a serious dose of holiday nostalgia, try the gingerbread cake with a creamy eggnog creme, which will take you straight back to childhood.

Cranberry Orange and Cream Cheese Filling

A more adult palate will love the cranberry orange cake, a vanilla cake with fresh cranberries frosted with an orange zest cream cheese filling. A totally classic combination of holiday flavors, presented in a new and unexpected way.

Chocolate Peppermint

Love chocolate? "Guests of all ages will love the chocolate peppermint cake, with dark chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, and peppermint cream," Serfass describes.

Bourbon Caramel Pecan

"Winter is the perfect time for rich flavors," she says of her bourbon pecan cake. "The pecan cake itself is light in texture, but the flavor of roasted pecans and bourbon caramel is quite decadent." Layers of pecan cake, bourbon caramel, and chocolate ganache are best enjoyed while sitting by the fire!

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