Decades ago most wedding cakes were made from dried fruit with white icing.
Designs have moved on a lot and now there are not only different types of cake but a whole load of colours, effects and icing techniques.
Some are so spectacular they are almost entire works of art. Think intricate sugar flowers, sculpted buttercream and even icing that resembles torn paper.
Wedding cakes and the latest trends in their design are now a big part of the theme of a wedding – be that with the colours, look or any botanicals added on top.
And in 2018, there are already some incredible new techniques and ideas emerging, some a smart twist on the classic white cake while others are totally out of this world.
1. Cakes that drip
Drips work with any cake base to create something really indulgent.
White chocolate dripping from this marbled cake by Cordy’s Cakes, plus a mix of fig and rose decorations, really make it a cake to remember.
Meanwhile, colourful drips on a classic white cake certainly make it eye-catching.
2. Shaggy cakes
Something more unusual is this insane ‘shaggy’ look, with each strand carefully frosted individually.
As with this couple’s wedding cake, it’s possible to incorporate your wedding colours into the design to make sure everything fits perfectly.
This cake was created by Alana Jones Mann.
3. Watercolour – or ‘graffiti’ – cake and gold leaf
If you love David Austin roses, the floral watercolour cake could be one for you.
The first cake here is in dusty pink with gold leaf detail, macarons and roses sweeping up the sides.
It’s made by Cordy Cakes based in Sydney.
The second is by Sweet Emma Lou and is more of mix of colours.
Some have taken the gold leaf thing further by covering an entire tier in gold – another hot trend in 2018.
4. Botanical cakes – especially cactuses, succulents or edible flowers
The top cake by Bees Bakery is made using herbs and edible flowers and is perfect for either an outdoors wedding or a rustic wedding theme.
Bees Bakery is based in the UK too, and has had features in Vogue Magazine and on the Jamie Oliver website.
The second cake combines cacti, a naked cake and metallic drips for something smaller but frankly pretty cool.
Succulents are also on trend for 2018.
5. A wedding cake made entirely from pancakes
Putting a new spin on the whole ‘wedding breakfast’ thing is this cake made entirely from layers of pancakes, cream and syrup.
And you don’t have to stick with your classic crepe suzette.
Pancake cakes emerge in all sorts of different colours and styles, from red velvet to chocolate.
The one above is by Red Bird Cakes but Sweet Violet Bride also makes them.
6. Ombre wedding cakes
Ombre cakes definitely have the wow factor – especially this unique cake by Bees Bakery, made entirely with edible cornflowers grown by Edible Flowers.
In case you weren’t aware, ombre is basically the gradual blending of different hues and colours.
The second cake is hand painted with metallics to create a stylish minimalist ombre look.
7. Cakes that are black or celestial
Forget a traditional white cake, this tiered wedding cake by Alice Broadway is midnight black with marbled layers.
It almost looks like you are gazing into the milky way (and not the chocolate kind).
Meanwhile, a black, ruffled middle tier draws out the colour in the flowers.
8. Metallic cakes made with buttercream
Metallic wedding cakes were trending last year and people’s love for the style is still going strong into 2018 and probably beyond.
This metallic buttercream cake by Shani’s Sweet Art has an unbelievable texture to it, with fresh botanicals and tiny fondant mushroom detailing.
The design was made for a winter wedding but could work for a more rustic or outdoors theme as well.
9. Wedding desserts instead of cakes – and this ‘cheesecake’
Cakes made with huge cheese wheels have been growing in popularity for year now – but this year could see a wave of desserts replacing wedding cakes.
Take this simple cheesecake is by Olive Garden, dusted with icing sugar and topped with flowers. Delicious.
10. Naked wedding cakes
Naked wedding cakes were around last year but they deserve another mention because, well, wow.
These have taken off as more couples ditch the traditional fruit cake base in favour of sponge.
What seems to be emerging now is a naked cake base with drips, figs, fruit, botanicals and even colourful graffiti icing to ramp things up a notch.
11. This brushstroke or ‘feathered’ wedding cake
Brushstroke cakes actually originate with Russian cake maker Kalabasa, who calls the design ‘feathers’.
12. Icing that looks like torn paper
The torn paper effect is a real showstopper and this scarlet buttercream cake with sugar flowers by Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium is nothing short of breathtaking.
And if you liked that, this white torn paper design by Jasmine Rae Cakes is almost too good to eat with its carefully crafted rice paper flowers.
13. Anything hand painted
Hand painted cakes are still making waves and this floral design by Maggie Austin Cakes is like an edible piece of art.
Maggie Austin, a ballet dancer turned artistic cake designer, has a whole portfolio of hand painted cake designs on her website.