Make dessert unforgettable with a wedding cake unlike any other. If you're feeling a little daring, are an ultimate foodie at heart, or want a cake as unique as your love story, you've come to the right place. In the past, you might have focused your attention on some of these classic, traditional cake options:
• Vanilla Buttercream
But 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 31 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.
Speaking of a splash of liqueur, a chocolate Bailey's cake is sure to please any cocoa lovers in your midst. But that would be far too simple. With the addition of a chai-spiced buttercream the chocolatey confection is elevated to ultra sophisticated heights.
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."
Consider this an ode to New England summers. A blueberry-buttermilk cake with blueberry-jam filling practically burst with the taste of freshly foraged finds. A luscious maple buttercream injects richness in every bite.
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."
Keeping with the more sensual side of wedding cake flavors, these flavor profiles are sure to elevate any mood. A dark chocolate raspberry cake is quite scintillating to the senses. Now combine it with a layer of strawberry champagne cake and you've got the most romantic confection in town.
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."
Honey and lavender make just about anything sound more ethereal and dreamy. While the combination pairs beautifully with most spring and summer flavors, we're partial to a lemon-blueberry cake with honey-lavender buttercream filling. Swoon.
"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. Or, opt for a white velvet cake by omitting the traditional red dye to up the visual ante.
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.
All the nostalgia of fireside s’mores and ghost stories gets mixed into this crescendo of wedding cake flavors. Layer chocolate cake with dark chocolate mousse and graham cracker cake, add marshmallows, and top with vanilla buttercream and you've got a stack that rivals even the most professional s'more construction.
Did that send you spiraling into a delicious rabbit hole 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, 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.
If you're hosting a destination wedding south of the border, or simply love the flavor profiles of the region, this one's for you. A Mexican chocolate sponge cake with cocoa crumble and tamarind coulis will certainly make your taste buds dance. If you're partial to a little kick, add cinnamon and Mexican chili powder or cayenne pepper.
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."
A touch of whimsy can go a long way in wedding choices. Take a blackberry and elderflower sponge cake, for example. It presents a far more airy dynamic to the grounded richness of other wedding cake flavors. Add cascading fresh fruit and you've got pure poetry.
If elderflower is a tad floral for your palette, a strawberry and rhubarb pairing can offer a more grounded effect. A delicate almond cake with strawberry-rhubarb jam and lemon-curd buttercream tastes just as divine as it sounds, take it from us.
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.
Floral and captivating, cardamom is a spice unlike any other. Its aromatic profile lends itself nicely to flavoring wedding cakes where its intensity can be softened within the batter. Pair with fresh raspberries and vanilla bean french buttercream for a rich evolution on the palette.
Carrot and Brown Butter
All hail the homiest of cakes. Traditionally overshadowed in the wedding space by its more posh counterparts, this familiar favorite has been making quite the resurgence. The comforting carrot cake of old gets a substantial glow-up thanks to the addition of punchy spices like cinnamon and cardamom as well as an injection of nutty brown butter components.
Olive Oil and Rosemary
For more homespun, cottagecore wedding cake flavors, or just a mediterranean vibe in general, look no further than the olive-oil cake. A vanilla rosemary olive-oil cake is oh-so herbaceous and surprisingly sophisticated on the palette. Lighten things up with lemon, raspberry, and ricotta flavors for a dash of freshness. You can also swap the lemon for blood orange to substitute more sweetness.
White Chocolate Raspberry
Raspberry lovers, this scrumptious cake flavor is for you. For a fanciful cake with a twist, add some raspberry filling (or chunks of raspberry) mixed in with each layer of icing. Additionally, the white chocolate will lend some chocolate goodness to your icing.
For the fall bride (or groom!) who is always in a PSL state of mind, you won't find a better option than a maple pumpkin wedding cake. Entice everyone's taste buds further by adding maple syrup to the icing. Don't expect leftovers with this sweet and savory combination.
A popular cake for any occasion, so why not feature it during your wedding? This crowd-pleaser features layers of whipped cream and cherries between chocolate sponge cake, along with a clear German brandy called kirschwasser, which translates to cherry water. Top it with cherries, or even strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries for an elegant touch.
If you haven't had a praline, here's a quick lesson. Pralines are a combination of syrup, nuts (pecans, hazelnuts, or almonds), and either milk or cream. All together these create an extra-sweet, fudge-like treat. Now, combine that with a hazelnut cake and you've got a mouthwatering combo for your wedding cake.
You might be wondering what exactly makes up a Hawaiian wedding cake. There are different variations, but common elements include coconut and pineapples. This combo of ingredients gives the cake a taste evocative of a piña colada—a perfect dessert for any summer or destination wedding.