How Much Does a Wedding Cake Cost (On Average) (2024)

Wedding planning involves a lot of budgeting, and you may be wondering – how much does a wedding cake cost?

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to how much is a wedding cake. The price depends on a multitude of factors.

The creation of a wedding cake involves so much more than baking. The baker must also communicate with the couple, arrange a tasting, provide consultations, and come up with the design.

Let’s not forget that ingredients aren’t free and can largely affect the total cake cost. Decorating the cake typically takes more time than baking it, and the baker’s hard work should be compensated.

Then, the cake should be delivered to the venue by a professional team. Some couples also rent utensils and tableware. Estimating the wedding cake price can get tricky with so many points involved.

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Average Wedding Cake Price

Baker rates vary drastically and are based on numerous factors, but what is the average cost of a wedding cake?

The standard price of wedding cake in the U.S. is about $340, although some couples pay under $100 and others may spend well over $1,000. It’s important to note that wedding cakes are typically priced by slice.

A slice of wedding cake costs anywhere from $1.25 to over $13. The average wedding guest count in the U.S. is about 167, so a wedding cake for a typical wedding may cost from $208 to $2,171 and higher.

That’s a pretty wide range that likely isn’t of great help in estimating your wedding cake budget. However, the average price is a great point of reference when evaluating your options.


A wedding cake’s price largely depends on the ingredients. For instance, such a seemingly minor detail as frosting can skyrocket the cake’s price or help you save a good sum.

Most wedding cakes have either fondant or buttercream frosting. Buttercream cakes cost $4 per slice on average, and fondant cakes cost slightly over $5 per slice.

The difference may not seem high, but the numbers quickly add up when you consider the necessary serving size. While a buttercream cake for 167 guests may cost you about $670, a fondant cake of the same size may cost over $835.

The filling also plays a significant role in the wedding cake pricing. A cake with luxury ingredients like Yubari king melon, saffron, or edible gold will always cost more than a cake from common ingredients because its base price is higher.

Generally, traditional wedding cake flavors like vanilla buttercream, chocolate, and confetti are the cheapest because the ingredients are relatively affordable.

Pistachio, almond, peanut butter, pumpkin spice, and coffee cognac flavors lie in the higher price range.

The cost of a wedding cake also depends on the ingredient quality. A cake made with regular pistachios and rare Iranian pistachios may differ drastically in price despite a similar flavor.

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Cake Size & Tiers

Perhaps, the most apparent factor affecting the wedding cake price is the size. Logically, the bigger a wedding cake is, the more it costs. Often, wedding cakes feature multiple tiers to accommodate the serving count.

For example, most bakers recommend getting a four-tier cake with 12-inch, eight-inch, six-inch, and four-inch tiers for 100 guests. There are also equivalent alternatives with three or five levels.

The tricky point here is that a multiple-tier cake will always cost more than a single-tier cake, even if the serving count is the same. Creating a tiered wedding cake is significantly more complex than a regular cake.

The baker must make multiple cakes and assemble them, ensuring structural integrity. It requires a certain level of expertise from the baker.

Couples looking to save money often order a cake twice smaller than recommended and cut it in half servings.

That’s a valid option because most guests won’t eat an entire serving after appetizers and main entrée anyway, and some will refrain from dessert altogether.

Design Intricacy

Wedding cakes often have elaborate designs, and it’s no wonder – every couple wants to have a special cake for such a big day. However, design intricacies tend to be labor-intensive, increasing the total cake price.

Suppose you want a 50-serving vanilla-buttercream wedding cake. If you opt for simple decorations such as a textured surface and ready-made topper, you may only pay about $200.

On the other hand, a cake of the same size and flavor with realistic sugarcraft, fresh flowers, edible gold, chocolate lace, and other complex design elements may cost you well over $350.

The price difference can be explained not solely by the labor intensity. The baker often needs to develop multiple design options and discuss them with the couple, which takes time and effort.

Some decorations are expensive as is, even if adding them to a cake is relatively simple. For instance, the retail price of a single rose stem is about $1.50 at wholesale.

If you want to adorn your cake with 100 roses, you’d have to pay at least $150 in addition to the base cost of the cake, delivery, and other fees.

However, sugar flowers are even more expensive, especially if they’re ultra-realistic. Overall, the price of sugarcraft largely depends on the artist’s expertise, but it’s never cheap.


Prices are affected by supply and demand; that’s the basic rule of economics. Wedding cakes are no exception, and the prices tend to rise during peak wedding season.

May to October are the most popular wedding months, so bakers are extra busy. Many raise their rates due to the increased demand. On the other hand, couples getting married in off-peak times can save on the cake and other wedding features.

Note that a baker’s workload depends not solely on weddings unless they specialize in wedding cakes. Demand for bakers is also higher during major public holidays, such as Saint Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, and Christmas.

Getting married on Saint Valentine’s Day may seem like a great idea. However, you can expect to pay 10%-15% more for the cake than you would on a regular day.

How long in advance you order the cake also matters. Some bakers are ready to take rush orders, but they always come at an extra fee.

Add-Ons & Delivery Fees

You aren’t paying solely for the sponges and filling when you order a wedding cake. The price also includes tasting, communication, delivery, and other add-ons.

Meetings in person, texting, emailing and communicating over the phone take time the baker could otherwise spend working.

Bakers don’t typically count the exact time spent talking with the couple and don’t have an hourly rate for communication.

However, communication is always included in the cake’s price. This explains why wedding cakes are so expensive.

Some bakeries offer wedding cake tasting for free, but the price is actually included in the price of a cake. Still, most bakeries charge individual tasting and consultation fees to avoid losses if the couple doesn’t place an order.

The pricing models of wedding cake tasting vary. The bakery may offer multiple samples for free and additional flavors for a fee, charge an all-inclusive fee for unlimited favors, or a set price for a specific flavor count.

Either way, you should consider the wedding cake tasting price when setting your cake budget. Remember that your wedding cake will also need to be delivered to the venue.

Delivering a cake on your own isn’t at all simple, especially if you need to transport a tiered buttercream cake on a hot summer day.

Professional delivery drivers have special portable fridges and know how to handle cakes correctly to ensure they arrive in perfect condition. Cake delivery isn’t worth sparing on.

The wedding cake delivery price may vary depending on the bakery and your venue location. For instance, some bakeries include the delivery in the cake price but have a limit on the distance.

Meanwhile, others charge a flat fee for any distance, typically ranging from $20 to $60. Other add-ons that affect the price include cake toppers, stands, a box, and utensil rent.


Prices in different towns and states differ; that’s no secret. Couples in cities such as New York and Washington D.C. pay more on average than couples from small towns due to the different costs of living.

As a rule of thumb, bakers in southern states have lower rates than bakers in northern states. California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maine have the highest wedding cake prices on average.

Do You Need to Tip The Baker?

You likely plan to tip your hair and makeup artists, catering staff, and other vendors. But do you need to tip your wedding baker?

Tipping your baker isn’t mandatory, but it’s a great way to express your gratitude for their hard work. As a rule of thumb, tip 10%-15% of the total wedding cake cost. You may also tip the delivery staff – about $5-$25 per person.

Note that some bakers include the tip in the cake price. Check your contract for the “gratuity” line – it’s synonymous with a tip. If your agreement mentions gratuity, you don’t need to tip anything.

How Much Does a Wedding Cake Cost (On Average) (2024)
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