Wedding cakes have long been a tradition, and back in Roman times, the cake was actually smashed over the head of the bride! Fortunately, this doesn't happen nowadays, and while a wedding cake is still one of the showpieces of the wedding, a popular trend is for couples to have a cupcake style of wedding cake in place of the more traditional iced, tiered cake. So what's your favourite?
The flavour of the wedding cake is a minor feat in regards to the entire scope of your wedding planning; often the yummy cake-tasting adventure makes up for it. But today, couples can jump on the bandwagon by offering your guest's alternatives to the traditional tiered, buttercream frosted, wedding cake. With artisan varieties in all flavours and textures, a hot new trend fresh out of the oven and on to your wedding dessert table are cupcakes! And these cupcakes are not your average Funfetti or Betty Crocker brand. The wedding planners at The Manor dish on the benefits of serving this decadent dessert at your upcoming wedding.
You wouldn't think the cake would cause such an uproar at a wedding, but by golly, it is a big deal. Be warned now! If you choose cupcakes over a traditional tiered wedding cake, you will be questioned–possibly even scolded for your choice.
For some reason, having cupcakes at a wedding is sacrilegious. Now that it's all said and done, I feel the need to list my reasons for choosing this unconventional cake choice for my wedding and defend it against the masses. Plus, it ended up working out perfectly, and my venue boxed up leftover cupcakes to give to guests as they went home.
I think cupcakes are a new, hip, younger generation idea. The only guests who seemed upset by the idea were older people. Yet as I've said time and time again, it's not their wedding and they aren't paying for it, so I did what I wanted.
Once you have decided on the perfect appetizers, entrees, and cocktails for your reception, you might be wondering how the wedding cake should look and taste. After all, the cake – namely the cake cutting – plays a large role in generations of wedding tradition. The choices are endless between cake flavours, design, and styles. Although cake has been a customary wedding dessert for centuries, recent years have shown an increasing interest in a different form of the pastry: cupcakes.
The two confections may be the same ingredient-wise, but the way they are baked changes everything. Maybe you prefer to slice it with your sweetheart before all of your guests or prefer for guests to come and grab a cupcake at their convenience. You might even think that multiple options are appealing and offer both selections to attendees. This decision ultimately depends on preference. Take a look at the following dessert choices if you are still unsure about which one you should pursue – it might help you settle on your answer!
Wedding cake is a timeless feature for any wedding regardless of theme. It never goes out of style and allows for the most creative ideas. Your cake can be adorned with an array of elements from blooms to fabric-like details, or may even help to illustrate a specific design, theme, or story for your wedding. Aside from aesthetics, it is important to note that although a cake makes great photo memories, it will take time to slice it and serve all your guests. A good tip is to have sheet cake – of the same flavours – already sliced and prepped to be passed immediately following the cutting. Flavours and food allergies are other important factors to be considered. You and your beloved might love coconut cake with pistachio filling, but others may better enjoy a simple, but delicious, all-chocolate cake.
Cupcakes are a wonderful way to embrace indecisiveness. You can have different flavours of cake and/or frosting while also including multiple colours and designs. They are easily accessible, easy to arrange in creative ways, and convenient for guests to grab instantly.
Cupcakes Offer The Same flavours As Wedding Cakes
It can be a challenge for a bride and groom to both agree on a flavour of wedding cake, or deviate from cliché flavours the vast majority of guests will enjoy (like vanilla or chocolate), but cupcakes can bypass this burden. Cupcakes aren't just for kids, but rather a unique way to set your guests on a taste bud adventure by introducing them to new cake flavours and fun fillings.
I love ALL THE CAKES, so why would I want one ginormous boring wedding cake flavour? Why not have seven flavours full of yumminess. Your guests get to choose their favourites, and you get to try them all. We had carrot cake, white, chocolate, strawberry with cream cheese filling, lemon, and red velvet cupcakes, and we could have had more than that! That's what I call a true celebration!
Cupcake options are endless; bakers can incorporate any flavour imaginable into a sweet and spongy masterpiece. By offering different varieties of cupcakes, guests can pick and choose a new flavour and indulge. Wedding day cupcakes may include red velvet with cream cheese frosting, champagne flavoured, white mocha, cannoli cupcake with tasty cream filling, pistachio with chocolate sour cream frosting, peanut butter with jelly filling, or how about blueberry with blueberry cream cheese frosting?
Cupcakes Are Easy To Eat
There's nothing like a tasty cupcake to bring back fond memories of childhood birthday parties and other celebrations. Unlike traditional wedding cakes, cupcakes do not require a fork and knife; at times, plates aren't even necessary because the wrapper acts like one.
Since cupcakes are individualized, guests receive the perfect portion with fewer leftovers. You can opt for traditional sized cupcakes, extra-large, or mini cupcakes. Not sure how many cupcakes to order? A good rule of thumb is to assume each guest will eat two cupcakes. But don't be surprised if they devour more of these tasty treats. If there are extras, assemble to-go boxes to give as favours.
Cupcakes Can Create A Unique Presentation
Unlike the typical two styles of wedding cake shape; tiered or sheet cake, there are many ways to display cupcakes at your wedding reception creatively. A few options include tiers, creating a monogram layout across a table, or assemble cupcakes in a wedding dress shape. So long as guests can easily access the cupcakes, they are sure to be a success.
Second, to mouthwatering flavour, you can decorate cupcakes to blend with your wedding's colour scheme and theme seamlessly. Numerous cake decorating tools create dazzling designs. For example, piping bags have a variety of tips for elegant or whimsical piping techniques, or you can order cupcake toppers your wedding date and monogram. Furthermore, you can coordinate the cupcake liners with your tablecloths, or choose to frost them to match the centrepieces; it will completely tie the look together while creating a beautiful wedding memory.
Cupcakes Are Cheaper
This is the number one reason we chose cupcakes over a traditional wedding cake. I learned the slice charges that wedding cakes and each slice are around $2.50. Cupcakes, however, are charged by how many you have, and only cost about $1 a piece. Can you see the massive price difference there? We saved hundreds of dollars just by choosing a different style of cake.
Cupcakes Don't Require A Cake-Cutting Fee
Another way cupcakes save money is they omit the cost of a cake-cutter. Even though cake-cutting was included in the price of our all-inclusive venue, some reception halls charge for cake-cutting services. There's none of that bull crap involved with cupcakes. Guests grab a cupcake and go. No time, effort, or clean-up needed.
Cupcakes Are Easier Clean-up
There were a lot of kids at our wedding. Thank the Lord for cupcakes. Kids are much better about cupcakes than typical slices of cake. It was much easier to clean-up around the kiddos throughout the wedding.
- You would expect cupcakes to be cheaper, and sometimes they are. Still, some bakers are cottoning on to the fact that there is often more work involved in making 100 individual cupcakes, often with different flavours and fillings, than there is in making three tiers.
- If you're planning on making the wedding cake yourself, then cupcakes are easier to manage at home in your kitchen and don't require such a high level of skill.
- Cupcakes are extremely versatile and give you more options when it comes to colour and icing options and can be tied in well with a particular wedding theme.
- Cupcakes suit an informal wedding as guests can simply help themselves and even eat them while grooving on the dance floor.
- Cupcakes are whimsical and fun, and having your own little cake to unwrap takes you back to your childhood.
- A cupcake can't be considered in the cut caking ceremony, and many couples end up with a small traditional cake for this part of the proceedings.
- If you've opted to make the cupcakes yourself, they can be extremely time-consuming to decorate and one extra chore to stress you out before your wedding.
- Cupcakes may not impress everyone and can look too casual at a formal wedding. Some guests may think they look cheap, whereas others will love them.
Traditional Wedding Cake Pros
- This type of cake suits a formal wedding and has more of a wow factor than a cupcake style of wedding cake.
- If you love tradition, then this type of cake has this in abundance.
- The top of the cake has plenty of room for a cake topper or a vase of fresh flowers.
- The top tier of the cake is kept for the first anniversary, and you can't do this with cupcakes.
Traditional Wedding Cake Cons
- A tiered cake is more difficult to transport to the reception and harder to set up than cupcakes.
- Not as versatile as cupcakes.
Planning Your Wedding Dessert Menu
With the ease of eating and endless options for flavours and filling, offering cupcakes at your wedding can please both adult guests and children. Not sure what to serve? Why not opt to feature both cupcakes and a small-tiered cake? Feature a three-tier display with a 6-8inch cake as the top tier, and cupcakes are spiralling down. Many couples feature cupcake displays alongside other favourite deserts, for example, slices of carrot or red velvet cake. You can also display a tier with mini tarts, truffles, and other bite-sized desserts to offer guests more variety and room to try all the desserts.
With cupcakes growing in popularity over the past few years due to cost and convenience, many people have been substituting cupcakes for cakes (as the main dessert and centrepiece) at large functions like weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. Using cupcakes as an alternative to the traditional large wedding cake, a tiered cupcake wedding cake is not only original and trendy but also great for your budget. Cupcake wedding cakes are doable for even the most average baker, with the added benefit that cupcakes can be made and frozen ahead of time, as well as dressed up or down. Because you are not limited to overpriced costly designer made cakes, the cupcake wedding cake is a sensible and creative choice as you can make them yourself and avoid expensive cake cutting and serving fees in the process.
The big argument over cupcakes vs. wedding cakes is that alternately versus a cheaper cost and tradition. If you are concerned about the "cake-cutting" tradition, have the top tier of your cupcake cake, be a small fondant cake (as pictured above).
Overall it seems if you're stuck between cupcakes and cakes, there's just a bit more punch to a cupcake cake.
As things progress, I'm feeling better about my cupcake decision. I can have several different flavours to make sure there's a little bit of something for everyone, and we also have cobbler included with the meal (which also makes me feel like I don't need as many cupcakes). There are a lot of cute tablescapes that you can put together with cupcakes, which is also exciting.
Maybe you've come to a point where you cannot choose between the two because you admire both aesthetics and accessibility. If so, there are many fun and creative ways to feature the two pastries at your reception, as seen on Pinterest. Guests will also be able to choose between a cupcake, a slice, or can enjoy both!
What is better than a cupcake? A late-night cupcake prepared "to go" in a cute little cheap box placed close to the door after the reception! This will cut back on my leftover cake pet-peeve, and I think it's also pretty considerate for the guests.
Frequently Asked Questions
The average U.S. wedding cake costs around $350, according to Thumbtack, an online service that matches customers with local professionals. On the lower end, couples spend around $125 and on the higher end, they typically spend upward of $700—often over $1,000! —on their wedding cake.
In 2022, you can expect to pay an average price of between $650 and $700 in the US for the wedding cake size shown above. Metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles or New York tend to be more expensive, the prices could be up to 25% higher than the average price.
The question that she had was around how many cupcakes to bake: there are about 125 people invited, with no more than 10 in the wedding party, so around 135 in total at the absolute most.
How many cupcakes do you need for a wedding? It's recommended that you order 1.5 standard size cupcakes or 3 mini cupcakes per guest. If you're having a dessert bar with other treat options in addition to cupcakes, you can size down. Just ensure you have enough desserts so that each guest can have at least 1.5.
Multiply your cupcakes per day, by your minimum cost per cupcake. For example, if it costs you $0.75 to bake a standard cupcake, and you can bake 100 cupcakes per day, then your cost per day will be $75. Finally, add your cost per day to your profit goal, and divide that number by your cupcakes per day.