How Much Does a Wedding Cake Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

According to Perfect Wedding Day, the cost of a cake can vary greatly based on your choice icing or frosting, decorations, and the number of tiers.

Cakes by Phillie Casablanca, on Flickr
Cakes” (CC BY 2.0) by  Phillie Casablanca

How much do wedding cakes cost?

A basic cake will usually cost between $2 to $10 per slice.  According to this range, a wedding cake meant to feed 100 people would be between $500 and $700.  According to the Huffington Post, the number one rule to keep in mind is that it’s the labor driving up the costs.

If you prefer cake with a fruit or cream filling in each layer, add about $0.50 per slice.

Different type of frosting, such as fondant or marzipan, will add about $1 per slice.

More elaborate decorations will add $25 to $150 total depending on the decorations desired as well as the time of year since this affects the type of fresh flowers available.

A cake that contains fruit or cream filling, fondant icing, and specially designed decorations and will feed 125 people will cost about $1,200.

The cost of a wedding cake will vary depending on the number of tiers on the cake as well as the diameter of each tier. Different flavors may be a factor for the price but the cake dimension usually dictates the price. A 2 tier cake that measures 5 & 8” usually costs $165 to $270.

A 3 tier cake measuring 6, 10 and 16 inches will be between $900 and $1,000. This cake can be fed to 150 guests.

A 4 tier cake measuring 5, 8, 12 and 16 inches can serve up to 200 guests and is priced at about $1,300 to $1,400.

If you are expecting at least 300 guests, a 5 tier cake measuring 5, 9, 12, 14 and 18 inches will cost you around $1,450 to $1,600.

According to the Bridal Association of America, the average wedding cake cost can be between $500 to $600 on average.

Round Cake

ServingsTiersPrice Estimate
20 to 30 peopleTwo$125 to $190
40 to 50 peopleTwo$250 to $325
65 to 75 peopleThree$400 to $550
75 to 100 peopleThree$550 to $650
100 to 130 peopleThree$650 to $800
140 to 160 peopleThree$850 to $1,000
165 to 180 peopleThree$900 to $1,100
185 to 210 peopleFour$1,200 to $1,500
210 to 230 peopleFour$1,300 to $1,600
230 to 250 peopleFour$1,500 to $1,700
270 to 300 peopleFive$1,800 to $2,200
320 to 350Five$2,300 to $2,600

Square Cake

ServingsTiersPrice Estimate
20 to 30 peopleTwo$125 to $190
30 to 50 peopleTwo$225 to $275
50 to 80 peopleTwo$400 to $500
100 to 125 peopleThree$650 to $800
150 to 200Four$1,500 to $1,800

What are the extra costs?

Most cake shops charge an additional fee for delivery of the cake as well as setting up and tearing down the equipment used to display the cake.  Plan on spending $100 to $175 for this.

Some bakeries charge a fee to cut the cake, but this will also provide someone to be at the wedding to help when it is time for the cake.  This can either be a per-slice charge or a one-time fee.

Added ingredients and ornaments such as sugared flowers, figurines and nuts can cost from $1 to $15.  Frostitcakery.com, for example, charges $15 per flower.

Complicated designs would often cost you at least $15 – $20 depending on the complexity of the decoration.

Upgrading the frosting can increase the slice cost by $1.

A bow topper can be an additional $50 to $150.

Factors that affect the price:

Decorations

The number of decorations on the cake can greatly affect the price.  On average, the more decorations a cake has, the more it’s going to cost.  The type of decoration can be a factor, too.  For instance, fresh silk flowers will cost more than the ribbon.

Icing

There are many types of icing that can be applied to a cake.  This can include chocolate, fondant, royal icing and more.  Fondant icing, for example, can be harder to perfect, and because of this, the price can be higher.

Shape

A complex shape outside of a round cake is generally going to cost more.

Topper

The most important part of the wedding cake is the topper.  See:  “How much do cake toppers cost?”

Tips to know:

Don’t purchase a cake based on the decoration or the price alone.  Remember, your guests are going to be eating this cake.  A cake that tastes bad will leave a bad impression.  Most decorators will be more than happy to provide you with a free sample.

Before choosing a baker, make sure that you look at their feedback online.  It also doesn’t hurt to look at their portfolio.  Who have they worked with?  How long have they been in business?

If you come across a deal, it’s important to get everything in writing.  Get every little detail.  These details can include the pricing, the final cost and when the cake will be delivered.

The cake will include the basic design and a couple of figurines resembling the couple.  This design can either be a standard design found in a book at the bakery, or it can be customized to your specifications. Bakeries often recommend checking out Pinterest to look at millions of wedding cake pictures.

How can I save money?

Sometimes, using a smaller bakery can save you a lot of money.  These small mom-and-pop type shops will usually be about 40% cheaper; however, the quality may not be as great.

It is possible to make your own wedding cake.  Pastry Wiz provides step-by-step instructions for the many different cake decorating styles.

If you insist on having the professionals make it, you may want to have them supply you with a blank cake.  That way, all you will have to do is the decorating.

Always know the headcount of the people invited. You can indicate that the celebration is RSVP and they can only bring 1 person to accompany them. Cutting down on guests will save you money from buying bigger cakes.

Wedding cupcakes can be a feasible replacement for a wedding cake.  The same can be said about doughnuts.

Check out your local culinary school.  Many soon-to-be couples found that great looking cakes could be purchased for as little as $2 per slice.

Instead of using sugar paste decorations, consider decorating your cake with real flowers or chocolate fruit.

Try to choose premium flavors for the small tiers, while sticking to the standard flavors on the larger tiers.

There’s no need to go to a specialty bakery since many traditional bakeries can create a cake as well.

Watch your frosting and cake flavor as this is a large influence on the final estimate.


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