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2021 Wedding Cake Trends + Unique Cake Topper Ideas
If you’re planning a wedding for 2021, you’ve got a lot of wonderful trends, themes, and style ideas to comb through when it comes to choosing a venue, what to wear, and how to decorate your ceremony space. Just don’t forget about one of the most important details of all—the cake!
A wedding cake definitely isn’t just a wedding cake when it comes to 2021 wedding cake trends. Here are our top 10 wedding cake trends for 2021, as well as five unique cake topper ideas that are perfect for the year ahead.
10 Wedding Cake Trends for 2021
From details you’ve never seen before, like translucent decorations, to mini cakes that are perfect for post-pandemic life, these are the 2021 wedding cake trends that you can use to inspire the creation of your own beautiful, delicious wedding cake.
Wedding Cake With Sugar Crystal Details: Cakes Decor
1. Translucent Details
If you’re after a wedding cake trend that you’ve probably never seen before, look to translucent details. Made out of sugar, these swirling chunks of transparent candy are going to be a popular and unique way to decorate 2021 wedding cakes. From mimicking modern art to waterfalls and even crystals, this trend is sure to wow your guests and look great in pictures for many years to come.
Mini Wedding Cakes: Martha Stewart
2. Mini Cakes
It should come as no surprise that 2021 wedding cake trends are influenced by the roller coaster of a year we had in 2020. Brides and grooms are going to continue to look for ways to keep guests healthy and safe at their wedding in 2021, and mini cakes are a great way to do that. No cutting is needed, because each guest gets their own pre-served cake, making it more sanitary than the traditional way of cutting and serving cake.
Mini cakes will be just as beautiful and detailed as their larger cousins. In addition, serving individual cakes gives brides and grooms the chance to create multiple designs instead of sticking with just one design on a single cake.
Painted Wedding Cake: Ruffled Blog
3. Painted Flowers and Designs
It’s true that three dimensional details add depth to a wedding cake, and many brides and grooms will continue to opt for fondant flowers, edible pearls, and piped details, but painted details are among the top wedding cake designs for 2020.
Painted details turn any wedding cake into a true work of art, as it requires someone who has skills with a paintbrush to pull off this trend. If a painted cake is a little too minimalistic for your tastes, consider painted flowers instead. Fondant and frosting flowers take on new depth when they’re painted instead of being constructed out of tinted frosting.
Wedding Cake Featuring Pressed Flowers: Green Wedding Shoes
4. Edible Flowers
Flowers are a staple on any wedding cake, but gone is the requirement that flowers have to be made out of ingredients that we eat. Real edible flowers are having a real moment when it comes to 2021 wedding cake trends.
There is a surprisingly long list of edible flowers to choose from! They can be pressed and laid on top of the icing, or they can be left in their natural state and perched on each tier of the cake. It’s a great option for any garden or outdoor wedding if you’re going for a look that’s straight from nature.
Cake Featuring a Tier of Macarons: Singapore Brides
5. Decorating With Other Foods
Dessert tables have been popular for many years, but the new 2021 wedding cake trends involve combining the cake with treats that would normally be separated on the table. For example, macarons may be arranged as their own tier on a traditional wedding cake at a brunch wedding, dried fruits can be used to decorate the sides of each tier on a fall wedding cake, and even donuts can be used in various ways to make a cake look completely unique.
Minimalist Geometric Wedding Cakes: Wedding Wire
6. Minimalist Cakes
Just because you aren’t into making a fuss about your wedding cake doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful design. While a modern wedding cake in 2020 and before was all about the naked cake, 2021 comes with even more stunning minimalist options.
Think ombre cakes, all white cakes, and cakes that feature simple geometric designs in frosting. If you’re looking for a few three dimensional details, add non-edible decorations that can be pulled off of the cake before cutting.
Two Tiered Wedding Cake With Dripping Details: Elegant Wedding Blog
7. Perfectly Imperfect
When most people visualize a wedding cake, they imagine a pristine white tower of perfectly smooth frosting with details that have been painstakingly added by hand. These cakes will always have a place in the wedding world, but 2021 wedding cake trends dictate that wedding cakes this year are perfectly imperfect. Details might include a jagged, organic line of frosting instead of a perfectly straight line, drippy icing, and randomly placed flakes of gold foil.
Ombre Wedding Cake With Metallic Details: One Fab Day
8. Metallic Touches
Speaking of randomly placed flakes of gold foil, metallic touches are definitely among the most popular 2021 wedding cake trends. Metallic details have been popular at weddings for a while, so it should come as no surprise that you’ll see touches of metallics on wedding cakes this year.
Edible gold foil is popular, but hand painted gold details, smears of copper, and silver dust are all great ways to add a little shine to your cake.
Rustic Wedding Cake Featuring Buttercream: Junebug Weddings
9. All About Buttercream
Fondant is out and buttercream is in, much to the joy of every wedding guest! Although fondant can create some stunning cakes, nothing beats the taste of actual buttercream, which we’re seeing emerge as one of the most popular 2021 wedding cake trends.
Have favorite wedding cake flavors from 2020? No problem! This trend is more about the type of icing used and less about the flavor of the cake or the icing itself. From standard buttercream to blueberry buttercream and everything in between, it’s all about ditching the fondant and embracing traditional frosting, no matter what the flavor.
Wedding Cake Featuring Dried Orange Slices: Most Curious
10. Meaningful Details
Choosing a wedding cake used to mean picking something beautiful and delicious. Although that’s still the case this year, meaningful details are also emerging as one of the 2021 wedding cake trends.
The trick to adding meaningful details to your cake is that most guests won’t know the meaning behind the details you choose unless you tell them. For example, you might adorn your cake with pressed lilac buds to honor your late grandmother or dried orange slices as a nod to your favorite vacation spot in Florida.
Small Cake Featuring an Acrylic Cake Topper: Oh So Beautiful Paper, Simple Floral Wedding Cake Without a Topper: Wedding Chicks, Edible Cake Topper Featuring Macarons and Fruit: Whimsical Wonderland Weddings
5 Unique Wedding Cake Toppers for 2021
The cake and the topper are two distinct elements that should complement each other, but there are a million ways to do it! Here are five of our favorite wedding cake toppers for 2021 that will look great with the other wedding cake trends on this list.
Cake with Paper Flower Topper: Bespoke Bride
Florals are perfectly paired with popular wedding cakes because they never go out of style. However, if you want to do something a little different than piling roses on the top of your cake, consider using pressed flowers, edible flowers, or paper flowers that can be saved as a memento of your big day.
Edible Cake Topper Featuring Macarons and Fruit: Whimsical Wonderland Weddings
You can pile more than just frosting on top of your cake! One of the biggest 2021 wedding cake trends is adding edible decorations, and one of the best places to add them is at the top of the cake.
Obvious choices, like cookies and candy, can be piled on top of your cake, but you can also think outside the box and create an arrangement of dyed pear slices, candied fruits, and more!
Rustic Wedding Cake With Wood Topper: Sarah Folega Photography
3. Rustic and Woodsy
Rustic and woodsy weddings are still having a moment, which means finding the perfect woodsy cake decorations. Laser cut wood cake toppers are a classy and rustic way to add a little pizazz to your cake. Plus, your topper can be removed and kept for many years to come.
Don’t forget underneath your cake! A round wooden cake slab can tie the look together if you’re using a wooden cake topper or are decorating the top of your cake with other wooden details, like grapewood branches.
Small Cake Featuring an Acrylic Cake Topper: Oh So Beautiful Paper
4. Custom Keepsakes
Custom keepsakes will always have a place at weddings, whether you’re thinking of 2021 wedding cake trends or the years ahead. However, exactly what those keepsakes are changes with the times. Custom figurines are out and more modern keepsakes are in.
Acrylic cake toppers are especially popular, as are laser cut and 3D printed toppers. Less is more, which means only featuring your wedding date, a simple monogram, or a short phrase.
Simple Floral Wedding Cake Without a Topper: Wedding Chicks
5. No Topper
The trendiest of the 2021 wedding cake trends—when it comes to toppers—is not having one at all! This concept follows the minimalist trend that is having a real moment right now, and it also makes mini cakes more doable. After all, creating a topper for dozens of mini cakes can be difficult, and it can get expensive!
If you opt for no topper at all, make sure your cake stands out in other ways. That might mean focusing on the details on the cake or choosing a bold flavor, like crème de menthe or spice cake.