2019 Wedding Cake Trends

by | Mar 1, 2019

Choosing a wedding cake is a bit like choosing a husband. A lot of thought goes into it. Even some pre-tasting. You really, really hope you’ve made the right decision. Who knows what lies underneath the beautiful icing? Will it deliver on all the expectations?

In this blog we guide you  – so many choices and oh so many new trends to choose from  – as many as the rainbow and the Pantone Colour book with all its contents and trends combined.

Some of the top trends to emerge in wedding cakes this year include cakes with wording, geometric shapes and marble cakes. Even simple elegant one layer cakes and cakes with floral or foliage decoration are still very much on the wish list.   Let’s start with my favourite, the cake with wording.

Calligraphy wedding cakes


Who doesn’t love a beautiful poem, a few carefully chosen words done in beautiful calligraphy or quirky handwriting? Possibly one of the best ways to personalise your wedding cake is to choose your favourite lyrics, perhaps a Bible verse or just a romantic quote. Keep in mind that one generally has limited space, but still, the creative options are endless.

If Fondant is a new word to you, let’s pause a moment with Wikipedia:

“Fondant icing, also commonly referred to simply as fondant (/ˈfɒndənt/, from the French: [fɔ̃dɑ̃]  is an icing used to decorate or sculpt cakes and pastries. It is made from sugar, water, gelatin, vegetable fat or shortening, and glycerol. It does not have the texture of most icings; rolled fondant is akin to stiff clay, while poured fondant is a thick liquid. The word, in French, means “melting,” coming from the same root as fondue and foundry. However, what the French call “fondant” is sugar glaze, which has to be applied hot on pastries like “mille-feuille,” while fondant icing would be referred as “pâte à sucre,” meaning “sugar dough.”

Now that we have our French language lesson out of the way, LoveIncMag has several interesting tips on how calligraphy is done on fondant:

  • Use an edible ink marker – it’s much easier than using a paintbrush.
  • If you use a fine paint brush, make sure it’s new.
  • Be gentle and light-handed.
  • Practice writing the words
  • First “sketch” the word with lighter edible paint. (you will later trace over the light guide using bolder edible paint)
  • Working in small sections.
  • A calligraphy stencil can also be used for the not too steady of hand and short words.


Geometric shapes


Décor trends tend to spill over to wedding cakes and wedding themes, and 2019 is no stranger to this idea. DecorMag reports that the use of Geometric patterns in interior design is even bolder than before. In wedding cakes we see geometric patterns added with fondant strips to the cake, but also in cake stands and layers in between cakes. The use of metallic colours is often seen with the Geo trend.

Sweet Alchemy’s Wedding cake pictured above epitomises everything the Geometrical cakes stand for  – the design is even repeated in the octagonal cake stand between the second and top layer as well as geometric shapes on the base layer of the cake.

What we love most about this trend is that it injects some much-needed masculine energy into a very feminine energy dominated day. Adding metallic in décor or even colours, is a welcome way of adding a bit of male energy and a slight industrial look to a wedding.


Succulent cakes


Another super way to bring in a bit more masculine energy into a wedding is the use of succulents. Succulents have graduated from little cacti in pots as wedding favours, to wedding cake décor.  It’s oh-so South African, extremely practical and very cost-effective. Choose between adding the real life article as décor or a butter-icing version.

What’s not to love about these mini little succulents which can be served up as dessert or an alternative to cake cutting.  Spoiler alert – it’s all edible, from the cutesy cacti to the ‘soil’. For those who want to try their hand at making this, follow CakeCentrals link here.

 Succulents have graduated from little cacti in pots as wedding favours, to wedding cake décor


Marble cakes

 The edible “metals” with the marble “stone” is modern look

“2019 moves towards fresh, natural materials such as stone, copper, concrete, and granite. These elements will help bring an organic and serene ambiance to any space while reflecting the world around your home,” according to Décor Mag. How does this interior decorating trends translate to the wedding industry you may ask? Hello marble cake.

Katie Rosarie, a food stylist, cake decorator and wedding planner with a self-admitted sweet tooth, finds that her biggest thrill in this creative process is that you never get the same effect twice when working with marbleised fondant.  She explains on her website: “The twisting and swirling of the many colours into white fondant is a beautiful thing. Add some edible gold flakes to highlight the marble design. The edible “metals” with the marble “stone” is modern look that is perfect for an industrial look.

Ever wondered how it’s done? Have a look here – its looks like SO much fun to make.

 Watch the video


Single tier cakes

 the love for naked cakes and single-tier cakes continue

Simplicity is never out of fashion and so the love for naked cakes and single-tier cakes continue. This chic minimalistic look is often it is combined with other current trends such as the marble effect. More and more the wedding cake is a token of tradition – a photo opportunity which has stood the test of time.

What to do then with feeding the wedding guests, when only a small token wedding cake is on display? Behind the scenes you baker would use exactly the same flavourants and filling as seen in your wedding cake, but in a large baking tray. Small squares are served in individual portions and every single guests has the opportunity to taste some wedding cake.

The cake below from Weddbook captures the elegance of a single tiered wedding cake, but features a touch of marble and another of the wedding trends, adding natural elements to the wedding cake.

Black wedding cakes

While the verdict is still out on black wedding cakes as predicted by Theknot.com, one can but love the drama and statement made by this bold cake choice.

darker wedding cakes are trending this season     

“I have definitely noticed that darker wedding cakes are trending this season,” wedding cake baker Grace — owner of GracieCakes — admitted to ELLE towards the end of 2018. “Brides are moving away from the traditional white wedding and embracing something edgier. As the deepest black is best achieved using dark chocolate ganache, I find that most couples will choose a rich flavour, like a double chocolate mudcake,” she told ELLE

“The moody decor trend gets the blame for wedding cakes with a gothic-style makeover in 2019, with the help of black fondant according to weddingwire.com. It’s one of the best 2019 wedding cake trends if you’re getting married in fall or winter.  This dramatic look is easily toned down with fresh flowers, calligraphy or pastel colours.

Still undecided as to which trend your favourite is? We compiled a fabulous Pinterest Board called “Wedding Cakes to dye for”,  with close to a 100 amazing wedding cake styles to choose from.

Decisions, decisions – cake flavourants

Cakes Devine with branches in Uvongo, Shelley Beach and Margate reports that the South Africa market is still quite traditional in its choice of cake flavours. Vanilla, Chocolate, Red Velvet and Fruit cake still top the list, but owner Hendrik van Tonder loves it to play around with exciting flavours such as white velvet, Hazelnut Praline and fresh orange butter with fresh orange juice and grated orange peel.

He adds that most bakers are very flexible in accommodating bridal requests given enough warning. “Our ideal lead in time is three to six months”, van Tonder chuckles but more than often we get frantic calls three weeks before the wedding.

Trends aside, this is where your personal taste plays a big role. Love dark chocolate, then that’s your go-to. More of a milk chocolate kind of vanilla girl – we won’t hold you back. But there are some seriously good flavour combos out there, Stephanie Weers of WeddingWire mentions a few fabulous flavour combinations . We pick six of the yummiest:

  • Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake : A decadent chocolate cake brushed with Chambord Liqueur and filled with dark chocolate ganache and a hint of raspberry preserves.
  • Chocolate Cappuccino Torte : One of the best wedding cake flavor combinations, this rich chocolate cake with cappuccino mousse that’s a lovely choice for an evening reception.
  • Lemon Summer Berry : A summertime favorite, this light, tender vanilla cake is accented with lemon mousse, fresh strawberries and raspberries.
  • Cookies & Cream: A throwback to your childhood favorite, this rich chocolate cake includes crushed chocolate cookies inside sweet vanilla buttercream.
  • Tuxedo Torte : A perfect evening indulgence, this rich chocolate cake features vanilla mousse filling.
  • Cafe Latte Cake: A decadent layered chocolate cake and roasted almond cake brushed with Kahlua and filled with chocolate espresso buttercream and dark chocolate ganache.

So you had a meeting with your baker, you provided detailed images of what the cake must look like and discussed the flavours in length. What could possible go wrong, go wrong, go wrong.


Real life wedding cake disasters


Having just seen Sandra Bullock fall backside first into her sister’s wedding cake in a state of drunkenness in her block buster movie 28 Days, I feel this is a topic we need to address. Because as the saying goes, Sh…stuff happens.

Firstly. Do not try and transport your own wedding cake. The room for disaster is as wide as the ocean.

Leave this tor the professionals. Their vehicle is specially fitted for the transportation of fragile wedding cakes. There won’t be any slipping and sliding (foam mats are ideal to make the cake stay put), the temperature will be correct and more importantly there will be enough hands on deck to carry and perhaps even assemble the cake.

  • Never-ever put a cake on the front seat of a car – the seats are not level and low behold the first time to take a quick corner or swerve…
  • Always make sure the venue has a cart or trolley available to get the cake into the venue.
  • Tiered cakes should travel in their separate boxes and be assembled at the venue with final floral or foliage décor touches a few hours before the wedding.

Marriage Meander explains in their blog the reason why so many brides (or the poor people tasked with delivering the cakes) misjudge the transportation of the wedding cake: Tiered wedding cakes can weigh as much as 10 to 15kgs. Cake boards separate the cake layers for support and dowels hold up the weight of each tier. It’s a small architectural feat even before the finer touches are made.

So if all of this leaves you even more confused, we have a fun solution. Ever thought of choosing your wedding cake according to you star sign? Go on, give it a try! It’s as much fun as choosing a husband and a wedding cake!



She knows her Merlot from her Mojito, her hotel from her motel. From craft food to caviar, her innate curiosity about life and wanderlust provide inspiration for her blogs, articles and press releases about the travel, wedding and Spa industry. Over twenty years in the hotel marketing & PR arena with impressive hotel groups, from Dubai to Durbanville, has evolved into the pure enjoyment of freelance projects under the banner of About Branding.


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