The Wedding Cake Prices Guide

Trying to estimate the average cost of wedding cake, has most couples scratching their heads, and some wedding cake prices have young couples running for cover. After all, aren't all wedding cakes made to order, and no one wants to screw up, right?

Fortunately, it isn't impossible to get an estimate. I've done some research on wedding cake costs to give the discerning bride an idea of what to expect.

Here are different sized tiers of wedding cakes to cater anything from a very small wedding, to larger affairs up to 350 people. Bear in mind, these costs are approximates. They are centred on a basic wedding fruit cake or mud cake covered with a buttercream frosting and decorated with seasonal flowers. Serving sizes are approximate finger-sized portions – to serve with coffee or tea.

If you're having problems choosing a wedding cake theme or shape? Just have a look through our gallery of wedding cake ideas, it will help you to decide on your wedding cake theme, size and shape. We've introduced some new ideas you didn't think were possible.

What Factors Determine the Overall Cake Price?

It's A Work of Artwedding cake prices

Wedding cakes are truly a work of art and many man hours can go into creating these masterpiece's. It's important to know though, that most of a the wedding cakes cost will be in the creating of your wedding cake and the least cost is in the actual ingredients.

This is were the costs come in: your choice of icing or frosting and how the cake is decorated ie: simple swirls or intricate artwork. The size of the cake and whether it is layered or tiered. The number of servings – this is a direct reflection of your guest list. And of course your choice in wedding cake topper – these do vary in price.

How to Determine Cake Price:

1. The wedding cake icing or frosting: as a bride-to-be you have the choice of rolled fondant icing, marzipan, white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate frosting, royal icing, chocolate ganache and flavoured buttercream. Rolled fondant and marzipan are the most expensive, as a fair bit of labour goes into rolling a perfectly smooth and even canvas for limitless cake decorating options. Rolled fondant and marzipan are quite delicate and can tear easily during the process if not applied with experienced hands.

2. Cake Decorating: cake decorations will vary according to which icing you pick. If you've picked rolled fondant, when it's completely dry – it's firm and perfectly smooth. The decorating ideas are limitless. However, if you prefer your cake covered in either buttercream or ganach, then your best choice for decorations are swirls, patterns, fresh flowers or silk flowers, decorative patterns or swirls and even decorative organza and satin ribbons.

Fairy Godmother tip; buttercream is a delicious choice, but if you're having a summer wedding, it's best not to choose buttercream. The buttercream will melt quickly and not stand the test of time. Best to choose rolled rondant or marzipan. You can still keep the costs down by decorating your cake with fresh or silk flowers and some lovely ribbon.

3. Layer Structure: the more cake layers or tiers your cake has, the more costly it becomes. The size of the tiers also increases the overall cake price.

4. Cake Shape & Novelty Cakes: simple round shaped cakes are the least expensive as far as shape is concerned. Most wedding cake bakeries will have all the round baking tray sizes. The square shape is also quite common but a little less than the round. However, if you are wanting an oval shaped cake, a heart shaped cake or something less common – these cake pans may need to be especially ordered to make your cake. When is comes to novelty cakes or special theme cakes – for example; a Topsy Turvy cake, then the cake will need to be cut in a particular shape and re-structured to take the shape of your special theme. This takes extra time to create and adds to the overall cost of the wedding cake price.

5. The Cake Size: the size of your wedding cake is a direct reflection of your guest list. The larger the wedding cake, or the more complex in design – the greater the chance of the cake collapsing. Extra measures and time go into securing the structure of the cake so it doesn't topple over – so huge cakes need more time to secure. And some complex wedding cakes can only be assembled at the wedding reception. These are just some of the hidden costs.

6. How Many Servings: this of course depends on your guest list – and whether or not you're keeping the top tier to celebrate your first wedding anniversary – if so, then you'll need to order an extra layer or tier to feed your guests.

7. Wedding Cake Toppers: the wedding cake topper can be as simple as a small bouquet of fresh flowers or silk flowers – to a crystal mongrammed topper, photo frame topper, heart shaped topper, blown glass topper, themed topper or customed made caricature topper of the bride and groom. Here are some cake topper categories that I've assembed together if you would like to take a peak.

Dream Wedding Cake - On A Shoe-string Budget

wedding cake pricesIf you're on a shoe-string budget, you can still have your dream wedding cake - just have one display cake and keep it small. To keep the wedding cake costs down, order a small wedding cake covered with your favourite icing and in the shape you desire – have it beautifully decorated. This cake will be on display and used for the cutting of the cake photo's.

Have extra slab cakes (or sheet cakes) made to feed the rest of your guests. They are baked in rectangular shaped baking pans, made with the same ingredients and frosted or icing as your display cake. There's no need to have it intricately decorated as it will just be used for cutting and serving.

slab cake or sheet cake

Sample Wedding Fruit Cake Slab
(The slab cakes can first be covered with buttercream or flavoured ganache,
and then with a fine layer of fondant or marzipan.)

These slab cakes are only seen by the kitchen staff. This saves on wedding cake decorating costs and wedding cake layering or tier assembly. You get to have your dream cake on display in any theme you want and enough slab cake to serve all your guests. It is by far the least expensive and most elegant way to feed many guests while keeping the costs down.

So How Much Do Wedding Cakes Cost?

For the purpose of pricing a wedding cake, we are setting our example below on a buttercream covered wedding cake decorated with flowers. Below you will find approximate serving sizes and approximate wedding cake prices for:

buttercream wedding cake price1. A tiered wedding cake.
2. A choice of wedding fruit cake or mud cake.
3. Finger size portions, to serve with coffee or tea.
4. Vanilla buttercream frosting.
5. Minimal cake decorating.
6. A choice of local in-season fresh flowers or man-made silk flowers.

The prices below start from a simple two tiered fruit or mudcake with vanilla buttercream icing, at $5.50 per finger size slice. As we're going up another tier, we've added $0.50 to each slice.

Wedding Cakes Cost Examples:

Approximate Wedding Cake servings for Small Finger Sized
Portions for a Round Tiered Wedding Cake

Servings Round Tier Cake Approx Prices AU$
up to 30 people 5 and 8" (2 tier) $165
wedding cake prices
up to 50 people 6 and 10" (2 tier) $275
wedding cake prices
up to 75 people 5, 8 and 10" (3 tier) $450
wedding cake prices
up to 100 people 6, 9 and 12" (3 tier) $600
wedding cake prices
up to 125 people 6, 9 and 14" (3 tier) $750
wedding cake prices
up to 150 people 6, 10 and 16" (3 tier) $900
wedding cake prices
up to 175 people 7, 12 and 16" (3 tier) $1050
wedding cake prices
up to 200 people 5, 8, 12 and 16" (4 tier) $1300
wedding cake prices
up to 225 people 5, 9, 12 and 18" (4 tier) $1,450
wedding cake prices
up to 250 people 6, 10, 14 and 18" (4 tier) $1,625
wedding cake prices
up to 300 people 5, 9, 12, 14 and 18" (5 tier) $2,100
wedding cake prices
up to 350 people 6, 9, 12, 16 and 20" (5 tier) $2,450
wedding cake prices
Approximate Wedding Cake serving for finger size portions for a Square tiered Wedding Cake
Servings Square Tier Cake Approx Prices AU$
up to 25 people 5 and 8" (2 tier) $165
wedding cake prices
up to 50 people 6 and 10" (2 tier) $275
wedding cake prices
up to 75 people 8 and 12" (2 tier) $450
wedding cake prices
up to 125 people 6, 9 and 12" (3 tier) $750
wedding cake prices
up to 250 people 6, 8, 12 and 16" (4 tier) $1,625
wedding cake prices
*All prices quoted based on research done in 2007.
Prices may fluctuate due to inflationary pressures or from region to region.*

Summary On Wedding Cake Prices

And Hidden Wedding Cake Costs

Complex cakes take more time to create and decorate – large cakes on the other hand need to be structured so they do not collapse or topple over. Some huge and elaborate cakes can only be assembled at the wedding reception, this means your cake maker will need to attend with a least one assistant to assemble the cake (extra man-hours). These are just some of the hidden wedding cake costs.

Below are examples of additional upcharges per cake slice.

Examples of additional upcharges per slice:
Fondant covered frosting:
Chocolate ganache icing:
Marzipan frosting:
Cream cheese icing:
Creamy or chocolate ganache fillings:
Liqueurs shots:
Flavour shots:
Fresh flowers:
Fondant or sugar flowers:
$50 - $125.00
Chocolate hand made flowers:
$50 - $125.00
Custom made toppers:
$50 - $125.00
Custom cake plate:
$25 - $125.00
Fondant bow topper:
Chocolate bow topper:
*All prices quoted based on research done in 2007. Prices may fluctuate due to inflationary pressures or from region to region.*

Make Your Own Wedding Cake

wedding cake prices

Fairy Godmother tip; if you love do-it-yourself projects, you can try to make your own wedding cake.

A video tutorial with step by step instructions on how to make a two tiered wedding cake, recipe included. It's easier than you think.

Average Cost of Wedding Cake

Note: Wedding cake prices vary greatly from the ordinary wedding cake bakery to the designer wedding cake bakery. If you already know what you want you could save on the designer costs simply by finding wedding cake pictures and showing them to your wedding cake maker.

Below you'll find different themed wedding cakes to get you started on your dream wedding cake search.

decorative stars

More ideas and pictures of wedding cakes


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