DIY Wedding Cakes? Yes You Can!

You’re thinking about making your own wedding cake. Well, if you didn’t know before, let me tell you now, your wedding cake is one of the most anticipated parts at your wedding reception. So, of course it has to look and taste great! Cake decorators know this which is why the average price of a wedding cake in the US is $400 or more. Rest assured there is no need to worry about making your own wedding cake and I will explain why.

“It’s all about the Cake, about the Cake, No Worries!”

Meghan Trainor may have thought is was “all about that bass,” but not when it comes to your wedding cake! Baking anything may seem intimidating but the truth is that it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are making your cake from scratch or box you can handle it!

If you are on a time crunch with less than a week before your wedding with 200 attendees, I would suggest you bypass the following option and skip on down to “Is That a Real Wedding Cake?” or “Is Cake My Only Option?”

For those of you who have a few months before your wedding day, I would highly recommend at least attempting to make your wedding cake. No, you won’t be making your cake months in advance. However, if this is your first time baking you might want to try it out a few times before your “all in.” Let’s look at some options.

To Frost or Not To Frost

If you have seen anything “wedding” over the past 5+ years it is no surprise that “rustic” is a popular theme. This proves true in regards to your wedding cake as well. I love this option because it is safe, easy and beautiful! The cost for a wedding cake mostly goes into the “decorating” portion of the cake. Because, it is the hardest part.

If you choose to make a wedding cake without the fondant or butter cream you will save yourself a LOT of time and possibly frustration. A cake without frosting still has frosting, it is just in between the layers and normally decorated with fruits or flowers. This is a super simple way to make a stunning wedding cake while saving some serious cash.

You can make a 3 tier wedding cake (8″, 12″ and 16″ rounds) and serve 100 people for around $75 ($25 if you already have the round cake pans). The best part is you don’t even have to leave your house to make your purchases. now has Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry where you can buy everything you need.

  • Here is the shopping list for a 3 tier wedding cake;
    • 6 box cakes (My personal favorite is Betty Crocker Super Moist)
    • 6 containers of icing
    • vegetable oil
    • 18 eggs
    • 8, 12, and 16″ round cake pans (Ask around if you don’t have any cake pans. If you need to purchase them I would suggest getting the 16″ pan separately and then a 4 piece set (6,8,10 & 12″) for your other sizes. Total $50)
    • Fresh fruit or flowers

If you are thinking, “That sounds great Steph, but I don’t have the time or space to make my wedding cake.” Then the next option may be just what you are looking for.

Is That a Real Wedding Cake?

One thing I learned early on as a wedding professional is that, REAL = EXPENSIVE. Here’s how to get the look without the sticker shock.

We have all seen the beautifully decorated display cakes in bakeries. You can use such cakes for your wedding! Bakeries have rental options for the display cakes.  Purchase a real top layer for you to cut into. This will give the illusion that the entire cake is real. Once the pictures are taken and it is time to serve your guests the staff will take the cake to the kitchen and “prepare” the servings. What your guests will never know is that the cake they are being served is a sheet cake you purchase from your local grocery store, Sams Club or Costco.

You can easily serve 200 guests for around $150. If you have the time and space, make your sheet cakes instead of purchasing them. This will bring your cost to around $90.

Is Cake My Only Option?

With this final option you can choose to have a wedding cake or replace your cake with a different type of dessert. If you want the photos of cutting into a cake then get a small one just for that. If the cutting portion isn’t really that important to you then you can replace the cake with a different type of dessert. Your guests will be just as happy to eat; cupcakes, petit fours, or really any type of sweet treat. I have seen beautiful dessert tables that have a single tier cake for the couple and different dessert options for the guests.

  • This is what I did at my wedding and it was a huge hit! We had a small wedding with 60 guests and spent less than $40 on our cake and petit fours.

When you offer other types of desserts the cost for this portion of your reception dramatically drops. You can find bulk or wholesale gourmet desserts from places like Sams Club and Costco.

Saving money never tasted so good!

So there you have it. Three different options for you to save some cash and DIY your wedding cake. As always, I love feedback! If you have any questions or would like to leave a comment about the experience you had DIY’ing your wedding cake you can do so below.


9 thoughts on “DIY Wedding Cakes? Yes You Can!

  1. Love this! So, i’m a home baker and have been struggling with the idea that I can take orders for weddings. It just seems like there is just so much pressure to make someones big day special and it’s the highlight of the reception. After reading your post, I so can do this. Maybe i’ll try on my own wedding first, if all goes well, i’m on the market for wedding cake orders. Thanks for sharing and for your inspiration.

    1. Hey Jen!

      Thanks for your comment. I say go for it! There are so many different ways to make a cake and options for the cake/ dessert table that you could absolutely make it a business. In fact more couples are opting for small weddings and most of the time serve dessert options or mini cakes. Best of luck, let me know how it goes!


  2. Wow you have some amazing suggestions for wedding cakes!
    I love the rustic one and how easy it is to put together. It is great to not have so much frosting as this seems to be the part of cake that a lot of people don’t like – or at least that is how it seems at the functions I have attended.
    I love the idea of the cupcakes and petit fours. Would it be a bad idea to have cupcakes that are different flavors like chocolate, red velvet and white?

    1. Hi Irma,

      Thanks for your comment. I think it is a great idea to have different flavored cupcakes. We had 4 different flavored petit fours at my wedding. Everyone loved them!

  3. Wow! This was a really cool post, I wish it was around when I got married haha. I love the idea of a fake wedding cake. GENIUS!!!

    I will pass this along to my sister, she is getting married soon and I know my parents would love to save some money on something that will be eaten.

    This was a great post, thanks for the idea!

    1. Hey Madysen,

      Thank you for reading my post. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. When I found out about faux wedding cakes I was blown away. Tell your sister I said Congratulations! I hope they will be able to use some ideas from this post.


  4. Making cakes for someone’s big day must be fun. You get to make their dream wedding cake come true. You have so many beautiful ideas for a wedding cake, and I am sure they all taste delicious. It is always great to find ways to save money on the big day. I love all the wedding cakes.

  5. I absolutely love this article! I have never thought of making my own wedding cake when that time comes, but it makes so much sense and would be perfect for me. I love to bake along with other members of my family, so it could be a fun get together. Plus, I really don’t like cake that much so I don’t really want to spend $400+. I also like that you provided other options besides cake.

    Thank you for this wonderful article! It was awesome! Keep it up!

    1. Hi Colleen,

      Turning your DIY wedding cake into a family event would be awesome and a great bonding experience. Thank you for your comment.


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