Proof you don’t need towering tiers to make a statement
If you’re looking for a unique alternative to the traditional multi-tiered wedding cake, consider serving several smaller, one-tier cakes. Not only can you offer guests more cake and filling flavors (yum), but opting for single tiers will also very likely save you money.
If you’re worried that smaller cakes won’t make as much of an impact as a larger, multi-tiered confection, not to worry—these examples below are proof that one-tier desserts can be just as stunning and eye catching. In fact, we’d argue these cakes work as standalone pieces of art.
A few tips if you’d like to go the single-tier route: Collect cake stands in different heights to create visual interest on your dessert table. Another idea would be to display pretty cake stands in the same color to help unify the assorted cakes. Alternatively, you could ask your baker to create several near-identical cakes (with different flavors inside), then display them on identical stands for a polished, elegant look. Finish things off by decorating the tiers with fresh flowers or adding greenery garlands to the dessert table.
Mix both mod and natural elements by combining gold and silver leaf detailing with statement flowers and lithe branches.
Inspired by Chantel Lauren Designs’ wedding dress, this gorgeous confection is a new take on ombré.
We love this modern moody style—the black icing makes any foliage pop, no matter how simple.
Simple and elegant, this ladylike one-tier cake is perfect on its own or paired with other white confections.
With a completely signature style, Maggie Austin’s designs are immediately recognizable with ethereal frills, dreamy watercolors, and lifelike sugar flowers (check out her new book for more wild inspo). This one looks like it came straight out of Marie Antoinette’s fantasies, no?
Talk about a statement flower. The sugar kind, of course.
We love the combo of semi-nakedness, citrus, and copper leafing for an unexpected lightness.
8. Julián Ángel
Dubbed the “Cherry Bomb Cake” by its Colombian creator, Julián Ángel, “this cake seems both romantic and rude at the same time,” he says. Delicious layers of white chocolate cake meld with red berries and white chocolate buttercream.
Annie Pugmire created this sweet pink lady for a photoshoot inspired by La La Land. We love the minimal fresh flowers that allow the vibrant color of the cake to shine.
10. Annie’s Cakes
Lovely hand-painted flowers adorn this simple one-tier confection.
11. Annie’s Cakes
Photo by Connie Balluff; florals by Himila Adams
We’re head over heels for this blue-edged watercolor cake—it has just the right amount of color for the minimalist bride.
12. Fleur and Flour
An ultra modern take on the somewhat traditional lace cake, this incredible desert focuses on bas-relief which is a sculpture carving technique with classical roots.
13. Fleur and Flour
This “pretty in pink” cake makes the sugar flowers the focus, and is a fun example of making a specific color the central element.
14. Alana Jones-Mann
For this crystal cake, baker Alana Jones-Mann first made the sugar candy and then cut, carved, and colored the candy pieces into crystals. Perfect for the boho(ish) bride.
15. Cakes by Cliff
For the bride that loves her neons, create a vibrant contrast to minimal/white décor and attire with this semi-naked red velvet column.
16. Cakes by Cliff
Another way to showcase your beloved peonies are atop layers of red velvet with pink chocolate sails.
17. Julián Ángel
Revel in the unexpected with a soft and fluffy gingerbread cake. Add in caramelized green apples and brown butter frosting for major impact, along with some fragrant dusty roses.
18. Cakes by Cliff
Let the adventure begin with semi-nudity and draped ferns.
19. Cakes by Cliff
Texture is everything with this little cake. Hazelnut praline and textured Nutella buttercream come together for a big impact.
20. Alana Jones-Mann
Hand cut and detailed feathers were made from modeling chocolate, then gently positioned around a vanilla buttercream cake.
21. The Butter End
We’re obsessed with this ultra-modern number. The wraparound sugar suggests the cake could fly away at any moment‚ if only the industrial concrete stand weren’t anchoring it down.
22. Julián Ángel
Rocks, glitter, and chocolate—all you (hypothetically) need to create this show-stopping geode cake.
23. Whipped Cake Co.
This trio finds a common thread in a neutral color palette accented with shining copper. Take a cue from the varying sizes, shapes, and textures featured while still being cohesive.
Bet you’ve never seen a wedding cake in this shade before. We love the dusty, earthy, natural tones of this sweet thing.
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