Ashburn, VA

Average cost for a Wedding Cake ranges from
$200 - $800

The average cost for a wedding cake is $500. Buying a wedding cake for your big day, you will likely spend between $200 and $800. The price of wedding cakes can vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). View our local wedding cakes or get free estimates from pros near you.

How much does a wedding cake cost?

Author: Jen K.
Millions of people ask Fash for cost estimates every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, then we share those prices with you.

Cakes have long been the center of many celebrations at different stages of life, including baby showers, birthdays, weddings, and milestone anniversaries. Out of this group, it is safe to say that the wedding cake will be the one that takes the most planning and costs the most. Outside of any extra costs for decoration work and special details, the general cost of a wedding cake is $5 to $8 per slice.

The Baker

After shortening your list of bakers to those that appear to fit your budget, be sure to make an appointment to taste their various offerings. See if the bakers will give you the contact info of at least five of their most recent customers to get a little more information on taste, final product matching the agreed design and colors, and flawless delivery.

Wedding Cake Baker

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The Cake

Number of guests (slices): The number of people coming to your special day will determine the base cost of the cake. You want to be sure that everyone has at least one slice, but it might be prudent to allow for a buffer of 15% to allow for the last-minute attendance of a few “maybes” and for the potential of “generous” slices carved by event staff.

Wedding Cake

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Flavors

Generally, the flavor of the cake won’t have much of an impact on the price per slice unless the baker uses premium ingredients affected by seasonality. Popular options for flavors include vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, carrot, lemon, and champagne. One option worth mentioning, which could affect the price per slice, is if you decide to mix it up and have a different flavor on each layer of the cake. One bakery whose owner has a background in chemistry boasts thirty-four possible flavors for your wedding cake.

Wedding Cake Flavors

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Ingredients

With the prevalence of food allergies, it would be a good idea to have a poll incorporated in your wedding invitation to determine if there is a high percentage of guests with nut allergies or gluten intolerance. Depending on the results, you may end up ordering an additional smaller cake to cater to those people. A specialty bakery that only bakes with organic and/or gluten free ingredients will have prices that already reflect this. If it’s not a specialty bakery, you should be prepared to see a moderate increase for nonstandard ingredients in your cake.

Wedding Cake Ingredients

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Number of layers

Unless opting to order a bride’s cake and a groom’s cake, which are generally single layer cakes, the traditional choice for most wedding cakes is a three-layer cake. In the case of smaller weddings, it is not uncommon that one or two of those layers are for display only and are not actually edible. In addition to the number of layers, the number of guests will also determine the diameter of the cake.

Wedding Cake Layers

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Frosting

For frosting, there is a range of standard choices with two clear leaders. Buttercream frosting (which is made from butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla) leads the pack and is a very cost-effective solution, and in close second place is fondant, which is popular because of its consistency—it can be rolled to create the desired thickness and can be crafted into all kinds of sculptures for the purposes of decorating the cake. Other options for frosting include royal icing, ganache, meringue, and cream cheese frosting.

Wedding Cake Frosting

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Design Elements

Colors

If you want custom artwork on the final product, and custom colors, then there may be an additional cost. Artwork using standard colors would be one cost, but if a baker needs to create custom colors for the purposes of representing college colors, or the flags from particular countries, etc., then there might be a time and materials cost involved.

Wedding Cake Colors

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Sculpting

As mentioned in the frosting section above, fondant frosting is a popular choice if you want any additional sculpted elements added to your cake guests—because of its texture and time to harden. For example, if you want a themed cake with elements included that are part of your story as a couple, such as the Eiffel Tower or the Golden Gate Bridge, fondant can be sculpted to show this.

Wedding Cake Design

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Pricing structure

The national average sits close to $500 for 100 guests but can range from around $200 to $800. These numbers are likely to increase, since every year the amount of money spent on weddings in the US continues to rise, with the current average at $35,000, with about $71 of that accounting for catering per person.

Wedding Cake Rustic

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Wedding Cake Delivery

This is an optional extra and comes highly recommended by the professionals. Your cake will remain in a temperature-controlled environment from the moment it is finished until it is delivered, and the bakery will have the experience and necessary skill to deliver the cake with flawless execution. This is a much better option than having a relative going to pick it up and sitting the unsecured cake on his back seat, the cake falling victim to his driving style, or to a traffic jam on the freeway allowing the blistering sun to turn the cake into soup.

Wedding Cake flowers

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Process

There is no substitute for a lack of planning. Start your search 6-8 months out from the big day. This is not because it takes that long to make a cake, but because you want to get your name and date on the calendar for your final choice early enough to ensure they will have the time to make it.

Make sure you and your intended can set aside time to schedule tastings with 3–5 possible bakeries for your cake. Think about making a rating system on 3x5 cards to determine a clear winner. This could include:

  • Bakery Name, Phone Number. Delivery Cost at the top of each card,
  • Space left to record the following for up to 4 or 5 samples,
  • Cake name,
  • Frosting type,
  • Cost per slice,
  • Taste (x/10),
  • Texture (x/10), and
  • Appearance (x/10).

Wedding Cake tiered

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Final thoughts

Regarding the cake delivery, no matter if you have it delivered by a family member (not recommended) or by the bakery, make sure there is room in the fridge at the venue. If not, then set a delivery time closer to the middle or end of the ceremony and before your guests make their way to the reception. Consider to-go boxes for guests to bring a piece home, and make sure there is a large box for whatever is left over after the event.

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