By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Photos by Clara Cooper Photography
When it comes to the cost of wedding cakes in the UK, prices can really vary. So if you are about to set your wedding cake budget, allow me to share the average spend and what you can expect to pay for your sweet treats.
Photo: Hayley Baxter Photography via Sperry Tent Wedding
According to Bridebook’s January 2023 survey of nearly 4000 UK couples the average wedding cake spend in 2022 was £304.
The most expensive average cost of a wedding cake was in London at £361 and Yorkshire and the Humber was the cheapest at £251.
According to their survey, 63% of couples hired a professional cake baker, therefore 32% of couples opted to DIY their wedding cake.
Photo: Emily & Steve Photography via Floral Barn Wedding
A wedding cake can cost as little as the ingredients if you are baking yourself, expect to pay £50+ for good quality ingredients and iced decorations. Don’t forget to factor in equipment too.
Supermarkets in the UK used to offer wedding cakes for sale, but currently, there aren’t any that are stocking them.
However, there are some online companies that sell off-the-peg ready-to-order wedding cakes from £60 for a single-tier plain cake to £250+ for larger serving sizes.
To hire a professional wedding cake baker, expect to pay £350-1000+ for your wedding cake. Many factors will change the cost of a wedding cake, such as the size, style and location of your wedding/cake designer.
Photo: Lauren Marchant Photography via Trafalgar Tavern Wedding
Let’s dive into wedding cake costs by serving size and break down the costs a little more. I’ve researched costs and used common sense here. These are estimated figures and when you receive real-life quotes they are likely to vary. But hopefully, this will give you a really good idea of what to expect.
Please bear in mind these figures may change and may vary depending on many external factors. The cakes featured in the images are for illustrative purposes and are not related to the cake costs in the feature.
|Cake Serving Size||Minimum Price||You Could Spend|
|1 Tier - 50 Servings||£100||£450+|
|2 Tier - 50 Servings||£250||£650+|
|3 Tier - 100 Servings||£350||£800+|
|4 Tier - 150 Servings||£450||£1000+|
|5 Tier - 200 Servings||£600||£1500+|
Photo: Ana Pastoria via Quinta Da Fonte Fria Wedding
There are many factors that change the price of a wedding cake, which is why it’s hard to give a firm estimate. Let’s face it, each and every wedding is unique, therefore so are the cakes.
One of the perhaps more obvious factors is the size of a wedding cake changing the cost. Fundamentally, the bigger the cake, the larger the cost.
Time to make the cake, as well as ingredient costs increase as the size gets larger.
Photo: Danielle Leslie Photography via Netherdale House Wedding
The more complex a cake design and decoration, quite simply the more it will cost.
So if you’re on a tight budget a naked wedding cake may be perfect. But if you are looking for an amazing, intricate design with sugar flowers, patterns or textures, your budget will need to be on the larger end.
Photo: Jarek Lepak via Burgundy Barn Wedding
The location of a. your wedding and b. your cake baker can determine the cost of your cake. A luxury cake designer with a beautiful shop in a city centre could mean your cake costs more.
However, a local, Facebook-based cake maker may mean you pay a little less. If your cake needs to travel more miles, there will be a delivery cost implication too.
The same goes for the season, getting married in high season; April-September and your cake could cost more due to demand.
Photo: Photography by Bea via Soft Spring Wedding Ideas
The higher quality of ingredients used to make your wedding cake, the higher the price will be. Especially if you are looking for luxurious sponge and buttercream flavours.
Photo: Hé! Capture via Vibrant Multicolour Wedding Ideas
You could always have a cutting cake for show and then behind the scenes a delicious cake for guests to tuck in. That should save you some money as the main cake will then be smaller in size.
Photo: Joshua Rhys Photography via Old Barn Wedding
It goes without saying that you don’t actually have to have a wedding cake at all if you don’t want one.
Alternatively, if you are on a really tight budget, here are some ideas to keep your cake spend under £200.
I’ve seen couples have wedding cakes outside of the traditional tiered sponges such as:
Some of these alternative wedding cakes could save money. Especially if made yourself, they can be easier to bake en mass and store/keep.
Photo: Rebecca Carpenter Photography via Hoop Wedding Ideas
Keep your actual wedding cake bake simple but then enhance with your decoration.
Create a beautiful display accessorising with:
📌 Top tip – whenever using flowers to decorate, do make sure they are edible.
Photo: Angela Ward Brown via Clock Barn Wedding
Wedding cake bake-offs have been popular for a few years now. Asking guests on your invitation to bring a baked good for a contest, is not only a great entertainment idea but can save you money. Your baker guests are sure to be thrilled to be involved and have a little bit of fun.
Your array of cakes can then be displayed, with cute signs and allergy info. Before you announce the winner and give out their prizes. Of course, you and your guests can then dig in too!
Photo: Kari Bellamy via Boho Tipi Floral Wedding
Being a coeliac myself, it can be tricky to be catered for gluten-free. So without a doubt on your wedding invitation wording do ask guests for their dietary requirements.
A lot of allergies are serious and will need careful consideration. If you are nervous about catering for different diets, try to make one cake that eliminates all allergens. That way there is less risk of cross-contamination and you don’t need to bake multiple sweet treats.
Alternatively, provide a small safe cake or mini cakes for guests with a special diet. If you are catering for special requirements, be sure to keep the bakes separate and if possible sealed in a box for your guest to feel totally safe eating.
Photo: Albert Palmer Photography via Anran Wedding
If you are aiming to spend less on your wedding cake, don’t forget to factor in the cost of your time. Making your own cake could take a fair amount of time and planning.
You can make some cakes in advance and freeze them. But be realistic, will you have time in the days before your wedding to spend a day baking and decorating your cake?
Then there is the fact that you may not be an experienced baker. If not, get practising or kindly ask a loved one to help you. You may need to be more relaxed about the end result, typically only the pros can get that completely polished finish.
Photo: Will Patrick via Bonhams Barn Wedding
Do you have the right equipment to make your dream wedding cake? You may need the following:
Costs can escalate quickly if you don’t have the right equipment so bear that in mind when you are costing up a DIY wedding bake.
Photo: Katherine Newman Photography via Ethereal Romantic Wedding Ideas
Now that you know the cost of a wedding cake, you should be able to budget accordingly and go ahead to plan your dream sweet treats.
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