Tiered Cupcake Wedding Cakes

Stacked winter wedding cupcakes
Tieried cupcakes can be elegant.

Wedding cakes made from a tiered cupcake design are fun, creative alternatives to a traditional tiered cake. Wedding cupcakes are usually cheaper than full-sized cakes and offer a cost-savings option. By virtue of size, cupcakes are easier to serve and distribute to wedding guests. A bridal couple has endless possibilities for cupcake flavors, colors, frostings and designs.

Tiered Cupcakes for a Nuptial Celebration

If you're considering using a tiered cupcake wedding cake, it's helpful to have a clear idea of the designs you like best and your budgetary requirements before you sit down with potential bakers.

Buttercream vs. Fondant

When you're considering design possibilities for your wedding cupcakes, you'll also want to consider taste. Cake decorators traditionally use two types of frosting, buttercream and fondant. Buttercream is the frosting you most often see on cupcakes and birthday cakes. It's soft, smooth, creamy, and tastes sweet and rich. Cream cheese icing has a similar sweet taste and texture to buttercream.

Photo courtesy of Kylie Lambert

From a decorating standpoint, buttercream is not as versatile as fondant. It's fantastic for wavy designs and simple patterns, but it won't work well for cupcakes that have a lot of details.

Most people do not like the taste of fondant, a rolled sugar paste, as much as they like buttercream. Fondant can have a chalky or gummy texture and tastes very sweet. However, it's ideal for decorating because it provides a smooth, round surface for cupcakes, is easy to use for detail work, and can be used to make figurines and more ornate designs than buttercream.

Design Possibilities

Wedding cupcakes are extremely versatile. By topping them with figurines, flowers, or other embellishments, it's easy to match the cupcakes with a wedding's theme. Depending on how they're decorated, cupcakes can either look very classy and elegant or bold, colorful, and wild.

Photo courtesy of Sweetopia

For a spring or summer wedding, topping simple white or pastel frosted cupcakes with fresh, edible flowers or fondant flowers is a great way to call attention to the season. If you can't find (or afford) real flowers that have the colors of your wedding theme, talented decorators are able to use gum paste to form very realistic and completely edible models of almost any flower.

If you're not a fan of flowers, you can consider topping your cupcakes with edible photographs, tiny fondant figures, or wedding souvenirs. Another option is to reserve the top tier of your design for a small wedding cake. Since some brides and grooms who choose cupcakes lament the loss of a cake they can cut into at their wedding, selecting a design that includes both a cake and cupcakes is a good way to strike a balance.

Buying the Cupcakes

Photo courtesy of hello naomi

Tasting cakes and frostings is one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding. When you talk with a baker about the wedding cupcakes you want, bring along:

  • Ideas for favorite flavors
  • Textures you enjoy
  • Any dietary restrictions
  • Total number of cupcakes you want
  • How you'd like the finished design to appear

Showing sketches or color swatches of things you like best can also help the baker. Finally, be sure to share your budget so that the two of you can work out an affordable option.

Make Your Own Wedding Cupcakes

If you're an experienced baker and know your way around decorating equipment, you may be able to save a good deal of money by making your own tiered wedding cupcakes. A cupcake stand (also called a cupcake tree) will help with separating the cakes into tiers and creates a nice display. There are several significant upsides of making your own wedding cupcakes, including that you'll be able to control exactly what goes into them and how they look, as well as their total cost. Just make sure you'll have help to transport and assemble the cakes on your wedding day so that you have time to prepare yourself for the ceremony.

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Tiered Cupcake Wedding Cakes