Elegant Minimalist Wedding Cake Ideas

A minimalist wedding cake is a refined style of cake that focuses on simplicity in decoration. Here are a few of our favorite minimalist cake ideas.

By Amanda Mitchell

Minimalist Wedding Cake
Photo by Zola

Not everyone wants their wedding day to be a huge, over-the-top endeavor with florals, lace, jewels, and gems. For those who are taking a simpler approach to their wedding decor and day, a minimalist wedding cake can emphasize the approach. Just because no-frills or fireworks are coming out of the cake, doesn't mean that it has to be a boring dessert. A more minimalist cake can not only be sophisticated but can also have a vast array of options for decorations. We talked to Tamara Brown, owner of Mwokaji Cakery, about the best ways to make the minimalist cake of your dreams for your wedding reception.

Elegant Minimalist Wedding Cake Ideas Photo Credit // Run Away With Me

What Makes a Cake Minimalist?

Minimalist wedding cakes are most notable for their refined, sophisticated, and modern wedding cake style. “This decorating style allows for the focus to be on the cake body, the layers, and tiers,” Brown explains. Using a more minimal style can allow your cake decorator to convey the sentiments and the spirit of the wedding with a minimal amount of accent decorations, really emphasizing the details. “For example, when you have an over-the-top cake with dozens of flowers as cake decorations, one doesn’t notice if a leaf or flower bud is out of place. But in a minimalist wedding cake, even the most minute detail can change the design effect,” says Brown.

Minimalist Cake Ideas

Elegant Minimalist Wedding Cake Ideas Photo Credit // Achong Photography

Smooth or textured cakes with small floral accents: Brown recommends a cake in a natural tone, such as white buttercream, that’s been decorated in a texture, rather than with rosettes. Uneven icing or frosting on the outer edge or a jagged texture running over the circumference of the cake to make it look like folded fabric are all wonderful options. Top them with berries, greenery, or a small bouquet that match your minimalist decor.

Keep it one color: Most minimalist wedding cakes come in simple white buttercream or fondant, and that’s the point—one shade or color, that’s it. If you’re still looking to get a little wild (or are keeping whites to the dress only), an all-black wedding cake, or a simple, one-tiered, multi-layered watercolor cake in one of your selected wedding cakes can be a beautiful and eye-catching option.

Shapes, lines, and stripes: Embrace neutrality by decorating your wedding cake with alternating stripes. If you’re using geometric vases or Himmeli ornaments on your wedding day, replicate that same design in lines and textures on the cake. Textured edges with gold edging on a white cake can be regal and sophisticated.

Pick an accent, and stick with it: It can be tempting to see every little detail and replicate that in your wedding cake decorations, but try to resist that temptation. Use monochromatic and muted colors, or find a detail in a texture—your table runner, the leaves you’re using for your archway, the lace in your veil—and use that detail on one or two tiers of your cake. It’s a little Easter egg for your guests, and those who notice will appreciate it.

Marble is magical: This isn’t the marble cake from your childhood with the vanilla and chocolate (although that does sound like a delicious cake). Using buttercream frosting to create a cake that looks marbled or like a watercolor painting is one of the new, rising cake trends, and is a great way to have a cake that’s both minimalist and a standout. If you want your cake to be a talking point, go with this effect. This is also a great way to use one of your accent colors from your minimalist theme without being too over-the-top.

Embrace the nude: Speaking of hot trends, naked cakes and semi-naked cakes are rising in popularity for weddings, both minimalist and elaborate. Brown explains that these types of cakes “are a great option for the discerning couple that desires a beautiful wedding cake with an understated sophistication.” If that’s you, consider giving your cake just the faintest layer of frosting. What makes these cakes “naked” is that the only frosting in between the layers of cake and on the top, which can be decorated with flowers and pearls. In that same range, a semi-nude cake may have a light layer of frosting around the circumference of the cake itself, but either way, a naked cake is the perfect low effort, high-reward element of a modern minimalist wedding.

Alternate the tiers: Can’t make up your mind in terms of what you’d want for your wedding? Pick one of each. Alternate a four-tiered wedding cake with solid colors and textures, or go from a smooth texture to a lacey-textured tier. If you’re having a big wedding, Brown suggests multiple cakes. “For larger weddings, I often suggest my couples have a trio of cakes—three smaller cakes instead of one massive cake conveys an entirely different message at the cake table, and still keeps the couple in the minimalist niche of design.”

The two P’s: Polka-dots and pearls can make for a classic, whimsical wedding cake design. Using pearls to rim a solid-frosted white wedding cake, or polka-dots as both a design and textural element can be a cute concept, even for the most sophisticated of days.

Friendly fruit: If you’re having a “naked” cake, try incorporating fruit—think dark, rich fruit such as blackberries and raspberries—on top and between the layers. It’s a great way to add a pop of decoration and color without the use of frosting. Mix them with flowers for an even more stunning decoration.

Taking a minimalist approach to your wedding day can be simple—but even the most simple of ideas can be complex. A minimalist wedding cake design can be sophisticated, elegant, and most of all, a great way to reflect you and your partner on your wedding day.

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