Whether you’re planning a small, intimate family wedding, or you’re going to City Hall for a low-key private ceremony, you don’t need to skip the wedding cake.
You can have a pretty cake to celebrate your special day even if it’s only one or two tiers, and it definitely doesn’t have to look like a birthday cake!
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One-tier wedding cakes.
Single-tier wedding cakes are a good option for a small wedding with 15-20 guests, or if the married couple doesn’t want to save a top tier for the first anniversary.
You can get a single tier cake to serve any number of people, but if you have more than about 25-30 people attending you can go with a two-tiered cake to get a little height.
Check out this serving chart to see how many cake servings you can get from each tier: Cake Cutting Chart
White single-tier wedding cake with gumpaste flower.
If you want a wedding-y look for your one-tier cake, adding a fancy stand and lace designs on the tier can give you that feeling.
This was a single cake in a grouping of three, but it could easily stand up for itself at a small reception.
Chocolate transfer single-tier cake.
This cake was larger, and was also part of a group of three cakes.
The elements on this one that made it special were the chocolate transfer birds and butterflies.
Chocolate transfer is a method where you pipe the outlines, then fill in the colored details, then flip the piped piece upside down when the chocolate hardens.
It’s not something that a lot of people know how to do, but if you find a baker who says they understand how to make it work, it can give you a really unusual and special decoration that most people have never seen.
One-tier wedding cake with royal icing flowers.
This little single-tier cake was covered with royal icing flowers, and more flowers were piped on the sides of the cake to finish it off.
This is a classic and feminine type of design, and the flowers cake be made ahead of time.
One-tier cake with gumpaste flowers.
This single-tier cake had piped buttercream leaves and wisteria-type flowers, and then gumpaste tulips were added to the top edge to form a floral wreath.
Single-tier chocolate wedding cake.
A lot of my customers didn’t think they should have a chocolate wedding cake, but I told them that when your guests come in and see a chocolate cake, they would get really excited.
This one-tiered chocolate wedding cake was covered with chocolate fondant that had a chocolate lace imprinted drape on the top. The bow on the top of the cake was made from chocolate fondant with tylose in it to make a quick gumpaste.
Two-tier wedding cakes.
Small wedding cakes with two tiers are good for wedding receptions with 30-45 guests, but you can change the tier size to accommodate larger numbers.
If you want to save the top tier of your cake for the first anniversary, you’ll have to have at least a two-tiered cake!
Dramatic two-tiered cake with feathers.
This two-tiered wedding cake was covered in black fondant feathers that were dusted to look iridescent.
Click here for an article about how to get this effect: How To Make Iridescent Black Fondant Feathers.
Small wedding cake with gumpaste hydrangeas.
This pretty little wedding cake was covered with gumpaste hydrangeas, and had lace fondant strips on the sides of the tiers.
For another article with larger wedding cakes that also have hydrangeas on them, click here: Wedding Cakes With Hydrangeas.
Painted two-tier wedding cake.
For this two-tiered wedding cake, I painted little hydrangeas on it using colored buttercream.
Colorful two-tier wedding cake.
One good thing about smaller receptions is that the guest list is usually closer friends and family, so you can be a little less formal about your cake design.
This wedding cake had painted Koi fish on it, with some gumpaste waterlilies.
Ruffle wedding cake with two square tiers.
This little wedding cake was based on the bride’s dress design, and had fondant ruffles, flowers, and cutouts to mimic the designs on the dress bodice and skirt.
Chocolate clay-covered wedding cake.
This two-tiered wedding cake was covered in marbled blue candy clay, which gave it a modern and unique look.
Simple two-tiered wedding cake.
This little wedding cake had Swiss dots and a piped buttercream border, with a gumpaste focal flower.
Little wedding cake with red rose cascade.
This simple two-tiered cake had plain sides, a piped border, and a cascade of red candy clay roses.
The color and number of flowers gave it the drama of a larger cake, but it didn’t need the extra height to say “wedding cake.”
Extra-tall cake tier.
If you want to make a two-tiered cake seem larger, you can make a double-barrel tier, which is basically more cake layers than usual in a single tier.
This is technically a three-tiered cake, but it looks like two because the bottom two are the same size and are stacked to look like a single cake.
Small wedding cake with gumpaste peonies and lilacs.
This little two-tiered cake had pink gumpaste peonies and white gumpaste lilacs as the focal flowers on the tiers.