The 7 Best Wedding Cake Flavors, According to Professional Bakers

Narrow your search for the perfect cake flavor with these crowd-pleasing favorites.

bride and groom cake sharing at reception
Photo: Peyton Curry

Deciding what flavor wedding cake to serve at your reception can be one of the most challenging parts of planning your post-ceremony meal. You're looking for something that shows off your personality as a couple (whether that means classic, contemporary, or somewhere in between), complements the rest of your menu, and, most importantly, tastes delicious.

To help make it easier, we asked four cake bakers from around the country to share the most popular flavors their couples request. From can't-go-wrong classics to modern takes on tradition, these are the seven best wedding cake flavors to consider.

Vanilla Cake

textured wedding cakes
Callie Manion Photography

No surprise here: A guaranteed crowd-pleaser, classic vanilla cake is a go-to option for many brides and grooms. The deliciously simple, foolproof flavor works well with nearly any type of frosting and filling, leaving foodie couples plenty of opportunity to get creative—or to stick with a classic combination. "We get quite a few requests for vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream. It's a classic for a reason!" says Jennifer Toce, owner of Birchgrove Baking in Montpelier, Vt.

Chocolate Cake

chocolate cake with pink bloom
Katie Grant Photography

Like its counterpart vanilla, chocolate cake never goes out of style. The indulgent dessert is often complemented with buttercream, caramel, or raspberry. "Chocolate cake is a timeless flavor that goes well with basically anything!" says Betsy Thorleifson of Nine Cakes in Hudson, N.Y.

Variations of chocolate cake, including dark chocolate and German chocolate, also share the spotlight. "Our Chocolate Decadence Cake—a rich chocolate cake layered with chocolate ganache, chocolate buttercream, and crisp chocolate pearls—has also been a popular choice," says Thorleifson.

Cardamom Cake

Azuree Photography

Toce has noticed an uptick in "more subtle, grown-up flavors," including cardamom. "One cake that I love to sell is cardamom pistachio orange cake: cardamom cake with freshly ground cardamom and orange zest, with a pistachio diplomat filling and a thin coating of vanilla bean French buttercream," she says.

Thorleifson also recommends cardamom; her version is a vanilla cardamom cake with buttercream and fresh raspberries. "The vanilla cardamom is a delicious twist on a classic vanilla," she says. "In the fall, we do a version with mascarpone buttercream and roasted apples that's also delicious."

Almond Cake

jess todd wedding cakeslices
Belathée Photography

Along with Toce's pistachio cardamom cake and a hazelnut mocha cake that Thorleifson offers, almond cake is another popular wedding option. Toce gets frequent requests for almond cake with salted caramel and caramel buttercream, while Nellie Metcalf, owner of Nellies Custom Cakes in Claycomo, Mo., says her customers prefer almond cake with lemon and blueberry filling.

One of Thorleifson's newest confections is an almond cake modeled after an Italian rainbow cookie, where light pink almond cake is layered with raspberry purée, chocolate ganache, and vanilla buttercream. "It's one of my favorite combinations of flavors!" she says.

Lemon Cake

Wedding Cake with Berries, Grapes, Figs, and Pears
Romulo Yanes

The bright, refreshing flavor of lemon cake takes center stage at many warm-weather weddings, where it pairs well with lemon frosting, vanilla buttercream, raspberry filling, or fresh berries. "In the summer months, we layer in lemon curd, strawberry buttercream, and fresh strawberries, or our delicious lavender buttercream with blackberries," says Thorleifson. "In the winter, we layer in more citrus varieties: lime curd and orange-zested cream cheese. It's always a crowd pleaser!"

Funfetti Cake

wedding cake with sprinkles and flamingo topper
Justin DeMutiis Photography

While some bakeries have seen a decline in orders for Funfetti cakes, Lisa Lundin, head baker and cake artist at Just Desserts Bakery and Cafe in Bridgewater, Mass., says the festive cake remains a popular request. The colorful cake is characterized by its abundance of sprinkles, which are mixed into the batter prior to baking. "It's truly fun and always brings out smiles!" says Thorleifson.

Carrot and Spice Cakes

winter wedding cakes les anagnou stacked cake
Les Anagnou

Many couples take their cake cues from their wedding season and location, with comforting and festive flavors highly requested during the cold months. Metcalf says she sees many orders for carrot and spice cakes for fall and winter weddings. Toce agrees, adding that her most popular flavor during the cold-weather months is cinnamon spice cake—with maple buttercream, a nod to the location. "Being [based in] Vermont, we still sell a lot of cakes featuring maple!" she says.

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