40 Simple Wedding Cakes That Are Gorgeously Understated
There are plenty of wedding-day "wow" factor opportunities, if you're into that sort of thing. Between the venue, the dress(es), and the floral arrangements, to name a few, adding drama through jaw-dropping details can be appealing. But some couples choose a more subtle route, making quiet statements that better suit their tastes. Or, soon-to-be-weds play a balancing act, walking the line between bold and simple. While there's nothing wrong with elaborate wedding cake designs (think: towering or colorful), a less intricate option might be more of what you're searching for. Are you set on preventing your confection from clashing or competing with other aspects of your big day? Or, are you a "less is more" kind of couple, with an affinity for minimalist and more organic designs? Perhaps your celebration is just casual and unfussy, and you need something fitting for your theme. Regardless, there's a cake out there for you, be it modest and reserved, beautifully understated, or short and sweet. There's something to be said about these simple cakes from real weddings—take a peek for some effortless inspiration.
Fig and Fondant Cake
This red velvet cake had a smooth and spotless fondant finish, decorated sparingly by Sweet and Saucy Shop with bright, juicy figs.
Flavorful Cake Trio
The complexions on these Lael Cake confections are undoubtedly understated, but the same can't be said for the flavors they contain. Each decadent cake (pear plus salted-caramel, chocolate plus rosewater-raspberry, and ginger plus lavender-rosemary) was topped with a handful of fruity add-ons.
Cookies and Cream Cake
Cake with Parisian Topper
Favorite Cakes made this modest carrot-cake groom's cake. The main attraction was the Eiffel Tower on top.
A focus on texture made this minimalist Sundance Resort-baked cake anything but lackluster.
What's more simple than an icing-free cake? The missing step means less fuss (and sticky mouths!), but actually makes the design more intriguing. This pretty confection was lemon-flavored and adorned with spray roses.
Dessert Designs concocted a cake with height for this wedding, but kept the cream cheese frosting beautifully simple. Inside hid vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry flavors.
Figgy Carrot Cake
The layers on this Cheryl Kleinman Cakes carrot cake are stark and short, but get a bump from beautiful figs.
This couple wanted something simple for their post-wedding farewell brunch. Their friend, Zoë François, made this orange-blossom-honey sponge cake—layered with kumquat-Champagne confit and topped with vanilla-bean Swiss-meringue buttercream—to suit their needs.
Talking Cake Trio
Fluffy Thoughts Cakes made this trio of white minis, which were chosen due to the number three symbolizing good luck in the bride's culture. Each dessert (white cake with passion-fruit curd, cake with blackberry-meringue buttercream, and almond cake with salted-caramel filling) hosted a charming (and on-theme) topper, too.
Blue Rose-Swirled Cake
Cake with Purple Flowers
Petaled Chocolate Cake
Minimalists love using as little as possible, and in that vein, this dessert did well. The basic chocolate icing on the Perfect Endings cake was spruced up using petals plucked straight from the wedding flowers.
Simple buckwheat was spiced up with pickled blueberry and lemon cream at this wedding, and decorated with just a small sprucing of flowers.
This classic confection was the bride's favorite part of her wedding. Almond cake with buttercream icing was wrapped in a garland of stephanotis vine.
This single-tiered olive oil cake was made by Beach Plum Bakery Café and topped with strawberries, macarons, and wildflowers.
Silver and White Cake
This sleek silver-bottomed cake was made by Martine Pasties and adorned with a single, big sugar magnolia.
Cake with Olive Branches
A sprucing of olive branches helped this clean-cut cake steer clear of boring. That, and the flavors (vanilla with chocolate ganache, peanut butter, and salted caramel filling) dreamed up by Sweet and Saucy Shop.
Cake Life Bake Shop took "wine and cheese" to a whole new level with this honey-lavender white wine-soaked vanilla cake with honey-goat cheese frosting. The naked styling kept the design simple to let the flavors speak for themselves.