Make dessert unforgettable with a wedding cake unlike any other. If you're feeling a little daring, are an ultimate foody at heart, or want a cake as unique as your love story, you've come to the right place. Long gone are the days of chocolate or vanilla as wedding cakes have ascended the confectionary ranks to true masterpieces, both inside and out.
"I've been so happy to see more teas, herbs, and ingredients that are typically considered for savory food incorporated into cake flavors," says cake designer Jasmine de Lung. With a menu full of options like blue cheese, earl gray tea, sesame, coriander, and feta, she is definitely a tastemaker when it comes to brilliant, one-of-a-kind flavor profiles and nudging clients out of their comfort zones. "The most unusual flavor combination I made that a couple actually ordered for their wedding was a sake wine cake with black sesame paste, wasabi buttercream, and nori flakes," recalls de Lung. "Suffice it to say, it was controversially loved and hated."
Meet the Expert
Jasmine de Lung is a cake artist with over 15 years of experience creating bespoke confectionary masterpieces. She is the owner of San Francisco-based Jasmine Rae Cakes and teaches workshops on the art of cake design.
If this is your first time traversing the landscape of interesting wedding cake flavors, de Lung recommends you ask yourselves as a couple if there are any tastes that hold special meaning to you and see if a baker can create something unique. You may end up surprising yourselves with what you ultimately fall in love with.
Remember that each tier acts as its own individual cake giving far more opportunities to experiment with wedding cake flavors.
With a little expert guidance, we've rounded up 15 of the best wedding cake flavors that are truly one-of-a-kind.
Peanut Butter Cup
Sweet, salty, nutty—this decadent delight checks all the boxes. Layer a chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream and chocolate and peanut butter ganache, then top it all off with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups."This is my husband's favorite," says de Lung. "Naturally, we include extra chocolate and salted caramel." Yum!
Give your wedding cake a little French panache with the citrusy flavor of Grand Marnier. The cognac provides dimension to simple cake flavors and adds a little je ne sais quoi. If you're not big on the Grand Marnier, any type of brandy can also be used to amplify the flavor of a wedding cake.
Tropical Coconut Guava
This flavor combination calls for a coconut sugar cake (which de Lung says tastes like graham crackers), coconut sugar caramel, and guava or passionfruit curd. "Coconut sugar does not liquify as easily as cane sugar," explains de Lung. "So be sure to use an inherently moist cake recipe."
Here's the breakdown on this sexy little number: dark chocolate cake, cabernet curd, fresh raspberries, and french buttercream. If you're feeling extra adventurous, de Lung recommends pairing with goat cheese.
If you're on a budget, de Lung advises that "opting for sheet cakes to feed guests may help with the caterer's cake-cutting fee."
Bananas Foster may have been born in the French Quarter, but you don't have to be in New Orleans to enjoy the classic treat. Build these quintessential NOLA flavors into your wedding dessert by combining a butter cake with a caramel and banana filling, plus rum and cinnamon.
This isn't just any run-of-the-mill pistachio cake. This delicious dessert incorporates balsamic-soaked strawberries and refreshing rose buttercream. "For the cake, be sure to use a recipe that gives ample latitude for an enormous amount of nuts," advises de Lung. "Also be sure to use more salt than usual, otherwise the pistachio flavor will be too subtle." This is especially important if, like de Lung, you aren't keen on extracts and opt for the real deal.
Try a chocolate cake topped with coffee buttercream for a buzzworthy dessert. Incorporate a coffee meringue buttercream, espresso Kahlua ganache, and hazelnut mousse all atop a chocolate torte.
"Did you say Meyer lemon?" asks de Lung. "Even if it's a Eureka lemon, I love lemon to be super tart, darkened with burnt caramel and softened with something creamy. Lemon pretty much goes splendidly with any flower, herb, or tea flavor."
"Salted Caramel" honestly doesn't do this combination justice. Think: Vanilla-bean-browned-butter cake (drool), salted caramel mousse, and a baked crumble (yes, like the topping of a pie). Our tastebuds haven't been able to recover after de Lung dropped this one on us.
Spiked Red Velvet
Whether you hail from south of the Mason-Dixon line or not, rich layers of red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Take your icing to the next level by lacing the cream cheese with decadent amaretto. This is a great way to gently push the flavor-profile envelope when hosting a bevy of picky eaters.
Chocolate and Vanilla Swirl
Ah, the taste of every childhood memory. However, this consummate crowd-pleaser need not be ordinary. "Since these flavors are so common and so familiar, it is imperative to use the absolute finest ingredients," says de Lung.
Did that send you spiraling into a delicious spiral of autumnal reveries? If your nuptials are scheduled for the fall and all of its scrumptious splendor, we recommend you take note: An apple spice cake with roasted apples, brown sugar mousse, and topped with caramel buttercream. Now all you need is the matching rustic venue.
"I actually love Kalamansi limes, which I believe are native to the Philippines," says de Lung. But naturally, our flavor expert won't settle for just any key lime confectionary concoction. "I love to infuse the cream element with something like oregano," she admits.
That's right, we're spilling all the tea on this one. De Lung suggest a pairing of Osmanthus tea cake with roasted apricots and Osmanthus tea icing. "Because Osmanthus tea is so delicate, you need at least two cake elements to include the infusion," she explains. "I might also recommend introducing something with texture, but still delicate in flavor, like sliced almonds."
For those of you that like ginger and spice and everything nice, a punchy ginger spice cake is ideal for any autumnal fêtes. Pair with seasonal flavors like maple frosting and vanilla bean icing for a festively decadent finish. We get all cozy just thinking about it. "I advise my couples to consider the time of year or if they're getting married by the ocean because depending on the heat or whether certain flavors may be more challenging for the cake-maker to create," says de Lung.