If you’re engaged, there’s no doubt that you have the wedding cake firmly imprinted in your mind. But, if you’re unfamiliar, the average price of a wedding cake could come as a surprise.
Average prices for wedding cakes vary greatly depending on if a friend or family member is baking for you or if you’re purchasing from a professional, and how many guests you are planning on feeding.
We’re here to break things down so that you know exactly what to expect.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most popular wedding cake?
The vanilla cake has remained the most common cake flavor at weddings since the 1960s. Chocolate and red velvet have gained popularity over the years.
When should you order a wedding cake?
Most bakeries suggest placing your wedding cake order about six months before your wedding day.
What Is The Average Price Of A Wedding Cake?
There are a lot of factors that go into determining the average wedding cake prices. The average overall cost landing at $540.
The Average Cost Of Wedding Cake Per Slice
The range is as low as $1.50 and as high as $12.00 per slice. It’s always best to have a clear idea of how many guests you are expecting before you book your catering or put a deposit on your banquet hall.
This is the best way to think about planning for your wedding cake.
What Impacts The Cost Of A Wedding Cake?
At this point, you’re probably wondering “why can’t I get a straight answer?”
You’re constantly running into huge ranges because of all the variables. We’ll walk you through each of them so that you have a better understanding of what side of the range you should be concentrating on.
Wedding Cake Ingredients
Butter, flour, sugar, eggs, right? Yes, those are the basics, but even those have a range of quality. The more upscale your baker is the higher end their ingredients are going to be. Now add in the fancy stuff like extracts, creams, icing, and all of the specialty utensils needed to make it happen, and you begin to see the difference between a $100 and $1000 wedding cake.
Wedding Cake Design
A plain wedding cake with some ornamental edges will keep things on the lower end of the average cost of a wedding cake. Adding pearls, fondant, icing flowers, 3-D wafer paper, hand-painted elements, and the years of experience needed to make it all work and you’ll quickly find yourself on the high end.
Wedding Cake Tiers
Adding a few tiers may not seem like a big deal, but the higher you go the more chance there is for disaster. Only the skilled (and expensive) hands of a master can recreate Queen Victoria’s 300-pound marvel.
Wedding Cake Frosting
There are 5 types of common wedding cake frosting:
- Whipped Cream
- Fondant Icing
Each requires unique ingredients, and some are easier to work with than others. Of course, you can always opt for the increasingly popular “naked” look to keep costs down.
Wedding Cake Delivery Fees
The cost of the cake usually doesn’t include delivery fees. Choosing the most sought-after baker in the city is going to add to the expenses if they have to deliver it all the way across town, and it’ll be more than a regular delivery fee. Why? They have to keep it at the right temperature and they’re responsible for making sure it stays completely intact.
Cake Equipment Rentals
Cupcake displays, cake stands, and cake toppers will all add to your wedding cost if you’re planning on renting these items from your baker.
Wedding Dessert Types And Cost
If you’re looking to switch things up with something unexpected at your wedding, these wedding cake alternatives are just what you’re looking for.
- Cake pops
The first 2 will thrill both the guests and the happy couple. Wedding cupcakes and cake pops add a welcomed splash of color to dress up vivid wedding theme colors and come with the benefit of being super simple to predetermine portions; 1 per guest with a few extra just in case.
The second 2 are unexpected, glamorous, and pair excellently with vintage themes like Gatsby or anything from old-world France or Italy. It’s a little more effort to calculate portions but it’s well worth it.
It’s always a great idea to deliver something unexpected, but if you’re looking at this option to reduce the cost of wedding cake you’ll have to turn somewhere else. These wedding cake alternatives come in at $2.50 – $4.00 per service which is on par with a traditional wedding cake.
Wedding Cake Serving Sizes
It’s fairly simple to calculate how much square cake you need to satisfy all your guests, but it gets a little more complicated when you’re dealing with circle cakes and multiple tiers.
Wedding Cake Serving Chart
Use this chart to figure out how much wedding cake you’ll end up with.
- 5” – 8 servings
- 6” – 12 servings
- 7” – 16 servings
- 8” – 24 servings
- 9” – 32 servings
- 10” – 38 servings
- 11” – 47 servings
- 12” – 56 servings
- 13” – 67 servings
- 14” – 78 servings
- 15” – 89 servings
Keep in mind that these figures are based on the average portion size and deal with average cake depth. A deeper cake means thinner slices which alters these recommendations. Make sure to consult with your baker who will be more than familiar with how many people their wedding cakes cater to.
As a starting point, keep in mind that a standard size 3-tier wedding cake will serve 50 to 100 guests. If you’re planning to go off the beaten path with a sheet cake, use these figures as your bases.
- Quarter Sheet Cake – 54 servings
- Half Sheet Cake – 108 servings
- Full Sheet Cake – 192 servings
How Much Is A Wedding Cake For 100 Guests?
$365 – $570
Working with the average wedding cake cost, you can feed up 100 guests for a moderate price.
How Much Is A Wedding Cake For 150 Guests?
$525 – $840
This may be the most flexible option, achievable with a variety of tier and shape choices.
How Much Is A Wedding Cake For 200 Guests?
$765 – $1080
The cost of the wedding cake range comes from where you purchase the cake and how complex your design is.
How Much Is A Wedding Cake For 250 Guests?
You would assume that it would be double the cost of feeding 125 guests, but economies of scale start to kick in with this many guests.
As always, we recommend that you plan for 5-10% more than what you calculate you’ll need. There’s a good chance that you’ll cut a few too big, some unexpected guests will show up, or some sneaky guests will find their way to a second slice.
Of course, you’ll also want to plan for even more for anniversaries or keepsakes.
Tips On Saving Money On A Wedding Cake
If you’re looking to come in lower than the average cost of a wedding cake, keep these tips in mind.
- Keep it simple: The more tiers and elaborate design, the more expensive it will be.
- Get 2 cakes. Baking a smaller tiered cake for the photos and anniversary, and serving your guests the same flavors via sheet-cake will keep costs to a minimum.
- Think fresh. Real flowers are less costly than those created with icing.
- Decorate with buttercream. This is less costly compared to traditional icing. When you’re serving 200+ people this can add up to a considerable amount.
This post will help you estimate the average price of a wedding cake so that you can add a reasonable figure to your budget and incorporate the cake into your planning.
When it comes time to work with final figures, start with making sure that you have enough for all of your guests, and then make decisions about design and ingredients until you reach the cake of your dreams that is also the cake of your budget.