How Much Does a Wedding Cake Cost?

Prices for wedding cakes will vary depending on the type of cake, the kind of baker, and the geographic region, so here is a guideline to help you understand how much a wedding cake will cost!

Typical Costs
  • The national average cost for a wedding cake in 2016 is $582 according to The Knot.
  • Most bakeries and pastry chefs charge wedding cake by the slice.
  • A low-end option is a smaller tiered cake in standard flavors for the reception, paired with a sheet cake for cutting in the kitchen. This costs around $3-$4 a slice.
  • A mid-range option is a two or three-tiered cake in standard flavors, such as chocolate, vanilla, carrot cake, or lemon poppy seed, with buttercream icing or minimal fondant decorations. You will be charged around $6-$8 per slice.
  • A high-end option is a multi-tiered gourmet cake that has fondant icing, flavored fillings, and elaborate sugar decorations. You will be charged around $10 or more per slice.
Additional Fees
  • Decorations make a considerable difference in the per-slice rate. One of the least expensive ways to decorate your wedding cake is to use fresh flowers.
  • One of the most expensive decorative options is the use of fondant. This covers the cake in a smooth, satiny shell, and can add $1 or more to the per-slice cost. For elaborate fondant decorations, the rate will be even higher.
  • Cakes with dried fruits, nuts, or special cream fillings can add $1 or more per slice.
  • Most tiered wedding cakes must be delivered and assembled on site by the baker or a staff member. Depending on the distance and size of cake, delivery charges can run $50-$100 or more.
  • Some caterers may include a cake-cutting fee when calculating the total cost of your wedding cake. You can be charged $1 or more per slice for cake-cutting fees.
How to Cut Costs
  • Large catering companies and hotels often have an in-house pastry chef. By having your caterer also serve as your wedding cake baker, you will be able to eliminate both cake cutting and delivery fees.
  • If you want the look of a tall, multi-tiered wedding cake but without having to pay the high price, consider this trick: ask your baker to put one tier of real cake, which you will cut into during reception, on top of fake tiers made of Styrofoam and icing; then have a sheet cake waiting in the kitchen to be cut.
Find the Right Wedding Cake Baker
  • Ask for references and portfolios to review.
  • Arrange cake tastings with several bakers before narrowing it down to one. While many bakers may offer free cake tastings, some may charge a fee.
  • Begin your search for a wedding cake baker as early as possible. Most bakeries will only make cakes for a few weddings per week, which means that days can be filled fairly quickly.

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