Wedding Etiquette Forum

Cupcake/cake etiquette

Similar to a post below, but a bit different.

We're planning on having a small cake and cupcakes.  I was thinking we would get enough cake plus cupcakes to serve all the guests (that is, if we are having 100 guests, we'd have a small cake that could serve 25 or so and then 75 cupcakes).  Reading the earlier comments, I'm now thinking this might be considered impolite?  That we should maybe just get enough cupcakes for everyone and have a small one-tier cake to cut and save but not serve?

I hope this post makes sense!  Thanks in advance for your help :)

Re: Cupcake/cake etiquette

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    We cut our small cake but only served the cupcakes. It was only 1 tier, and we took the whole thing home. And I am not ashamed to say that I spent the next several days eating the whole damned thing myself. I love cake!
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • I'm not a fan of this plan, to be honest.  The fact that certain people get cake, and everyone else is demoted to cupcakes doesn't feel fair to me.

    I'm personally not at all a fan of cupcakes though, so if I wasn't on the 'special cake people' list, then I'd be stuck with nothing at the reception.  That wouldn't feel awesome, and I would wonder why the event was planned in this way when it's so easy to just make sure everyone has cake if they want it (or just skip it altogether).
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cupcakecake-etiquette?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:0c516c37-6fb3-41d2-a48e-a8314c630c03Post:2e28d4ee-7266-4d47-aa50-b17408e158ca">Re: Cupcake/cake etiquette</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm not a fan of this plan, to be honest.  The fact that certain people get cake, and everyone else is demoted to cupcakes doesn't feel fair to me. I'm personally not at all a fan of cupcakes though, so if I wasn't on the 'special cake people' list, then I'd be stuck with nothing at the reception.  That wouldn't feel awesome, and I would wonder why the event was planned in this way when it's so easy to just make sure everyone has cake if they want it (or just skip it altogether).
    Posted by Peledreamsofrain[/QUOTE]

    <div>Yes, this is what I was starting to get worried about . . . To be honest, the cupcakes we are planning on getting sound way yummier than just plain cake and so I was thinking more that people would be upset that they didn't get a cupcake!  Part of the appeal of cupcakes to us is being able to have all different flavors and types that people can choose from.</div><div>
    </div><div>Neither FI nor I particularly like cake but we feel like our family and guests will appreciate it if we have something cake-like at the wedding, so our compromise was going to be small cake (for tradition's sake) + cupcakes.  But if I'm hearing this right -- the fairest way to do that would be to have a very small cake for cutting purposes only, and then cupcakes for everyone?  Or do you think we risk offending people no matter what we do if we don't have a huge cake that will serve everyone?</div>
  • I don't know if you can look into this but the bakery I'm likely booking with has "rental" tiers so you can have a larger-looking cake (even if it's just a small two tier) and just have one layer be real for cutting purposes and that can be taken home by the two of you.  I'd serve all the guests the same thing, however.  Good luck!


  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cupcakecake-etiquette?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:0c516c37-6fb3-41d2-a48e-a8314c630c03Post:23130ce5-36fc-4864-95c0-4f59fdaa7505">Re: Cupcake/cake etiquette</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cupcake/cake etiquette : Yes, this is what I was starting to get worried about . . . To be honest, the cupcakes we are planning on getting sound way yummier than just plain cake and so I was thinking more that people would be upset that they didn't get a cupcake!  Part of the appeal of cupcakes to us is being able to have all different flavors and types that people can choose from. Neither FI nor I particularly like cake but we feel like our family and guests will appreciate it if we have something cake-like at the wedding, so our compromise was going to be small cake (for tradition's sake) + cupcakes.  But if I'm hearing this right -- the fairest way to do that would be to have a very small cake for cutting purposes only, and then cupcakes for everyone?  Or do you think we risk offending people no matter what we do if we don't have a huge cake that will serve everyone?
    Posted by elplute[/QUOTE]

    Yes, I think that would probably be the fairest approach.  Just have a cutting cake that you don't serve.  It's just for the pictures and for the anniversary. 

    I do like the fact that you are serving cupcakes in different flavors.  The only reason I don't like cupcakes is because of the traditional frosting, which is usually teeth-squeeking sweet and messy to unwrap while I'm wearing formal wear. 

    Also, thumbs up to you for being concerned with the comfort and happiness of your guests :).  Believe me, they'll appreciate it, and talk about your awesome wedding for years.
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cupcakecake-etiquette?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:0c516c37-6fb3-41d2-a48e-a8314c630c03Post:8c9c0430-c033-4ac8-99cf-7b2fa0c99027">Re: Cupcake/cake etiquette</a>:
    [QUOTE]We cut our small cake but only served the cupcakes. It was only 1 tier, and we took the whole thing home. And I am not ashamed to say that I spent the next several days eating the whole damned thing myself. I love cake!
    Posted by AddieL73[/QUOTE]



    I did the same thing! Just spend the extra few dollars on 25 cupcakes so that each guest gets a cupcake and so that the two of you can save (or eat the days following) your top tier.

  • We are doing a small 1 tier cake to cut then save, then serving cupcakes. The only 2 people with "special" cupcakes are 2 people that are gluten free (our bakery makes gluten free on a daily basis and offered to do them separate for our gluten free guests).
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  • I think the small cake/cupcakes is fine. I'm doing the same because I'll be traveling with the cake and so will be getting a small one that's easier to transport/set up.  I don't think there's any need to be "fair" with who gets wedding cake and who gets a cupcake. Personally, I'd hope for a cupcake but be happy with either. You can't please everyone. If someone thinks they aren't "special" because they got cake instead of a cupcake, they need to get over it/themselves. 
  • edited December 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cupcakecake-etiquette?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:0c516c37-6fb3-41d2-a48e-a8314c630c03Post:2e28d4ee-7266-4d47-aa50-b17408e158ca">Re: Cupcake/cake etiquette</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm not a fan of this plan, to be honest.  The fact that certain people get cake, and everyone else is demoted to cupcakes doesn't feel fair to me. I'm personally not at all a fan of cupcakes though, so if I wasn't on the 'special cake people' list, then I'd be stuck with nothing at the reception.  That wouldn't feel awesome, and I would wonder why the event was planned in this way when it's so easy to just make sure everyone has cake if they want it (or just skip it altogether).
    Posted by Peledreamsofrain[/QUOTE]

    I'm confused, and I promise I'm not trying to be snarky, cake and cupcakes are the same thing. Cupcakes are just cake batter in a cupcake tin. As long as they have the same frosting and such, what's the difference? Is it because they're messy? Or smaller?
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cupcakecake-etiquette?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:0c516c37-6fb3-41d2-a48e-a8314c630c03Post:56ee645a-d0de-4420-a872-32863727eb71">Re: Cupcake/cake etiquette</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cupcake/cake etiquette : I'm confused, and I promise I'm not trying to be snarky, cake and cupcakes are the same thing. Cupcakes are just cake batter in a cupcake tin. As long as they have the same frosting and such, what's the difference? Is it because they're messy? Or smaller?
    Posted by Sorcha77[/QUOTE]

    I honestly wouldn't care which I was served if both were there. Some people might see it as only "special" people are getting cake, the rest are just cupcakes and they aren't as special as other guests.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I think everyone should have the same thing. That's why we didn't actually serve the cake that we cut, even though it was the same flavor as one of the cupcake flavor options. That was just for us to do the cake cutting thing. It never occurred to us to serve any of that cake; we always knew it would be ours to take home. I agree cake and cupcakes are the same, but I just prefer the idea of all the guests having the same form of cake so nobody MIGHT wonder if there was a difference. You never can tell what people might be thinking.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • edited December 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cupcakecake-etiquette?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:0c516c37-6fb3-41d2-a48e-a8314c630c03Post:56ee645a-d0de-4420-a872-32863727eb71">Re: Cupcake/cake etiquette</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cupcake/cake etiquette : I'm confused, and I promise I'm not trying to be snarky, cake and cupcakes are the same thing. Cupcakes are just cake batter in a cupcake tin. As long as they have the same frosting and such, what's the difference? Is it because they're messy? Or smaller?
    Posted by Sorcha77[/QUOTE]

    They may both be a baked good, but they aren't the same at all.  It's the same difference as between a formal gown and a sun-dress.  Both are made out of fabric, both are sewn, but one is more formal  than the other.  One you could run into during your daily life, and one is for special occasions only.  Maybe it's an arbitrary destinction, but it's one that society has definitely made, and that definitely exists.

     A wedding cake has special social connotations, takes longer to make, takes more skill to make, and is not as messy to consume as an item that requires hand-peeling.  That's why I personally would choose it over a cupcake if I could.  If it were not available at all though, no skin off my back, I just wouldn't have dessert.

    HSAmber, I would point out that telling  guests to 'get over themselves' is not good etiquette advice.  If you present people with a situation of inequity, you have to expect that some people won't be excited about it.  It's just a reality.   It's also the same reasoning behind not having a B-list, or teired receptions.   If we were going by the 'get over yourself' theory, then both of those situations of inequity are A-Ok.  Which they aren't.
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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  • Is it possible to have guests RSVP on whether they'd like cake/cupcakes, and then have a cake large enough for the guests who prefer cake (or a hidden cake pan ready in the back), and cupcakes for the rest?

    If you're concerned about the cost/appearance/whatever of cake vs. cupcakes, I'd just do cupcakes for everyone (with the small cake for yourself).
    Don't mind me... I haven't slept since last Wednesday.
  • A lot if these posts fall into the category of "over thinking it." OP, just because its easier, I would suggest having a small cake for you to cut, but serving the guests cupcakes. Then no one has to mess with cutting and plating the cake.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cupcakecake-etiquette?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:0c516c37-6fb3-41d2-a48e-a8314c630c03Post:f7743432-c10d-49c0-a0c1-b0ea90678616">Re: Cupcake/cake etiquette</a>:
    [QUOTE]I honestly think this is over-thinking it. I don't think one guest having a slice of cake and one having a cupcake will offend or inconvience anyone - just have enough forks and plates for all! The simplest solution is probably just to have cupcakes for all the guests though. It just seems a little easier to me.  Pele - just want to point out that sundresses tend to be made out of cotton and formal dresses from satin or chiffon or something like that. I don't think the comparison between cupcakes and cake and sundresses and formal dresses holds up there. 
    Posted by laurelrenee1[/QUOTE]

    I agree that it's just safer and easier all the way around to have a small cutting cake for pictures and to take home for the anniversary, while having the guests have cupcakes.  That would satisfy etiquette nicely.

    Though I never touted the comparison as perfect beyond reproach (comparisons rarely are.),  I can however point out that wedding cakes are often decorated with fondant, which is extremely rare on a cupcake.  Fondant is usually an expensive ingredient as well, if you want to make a direct comparison to a more expensive formal structured fabric such as satin and velvet.

    Hrm... this is kind of fun actually!  It's interesting to see how far the metaphor can be taken. 
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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  • Oh goodness, this ended up being more involved than I realized it would!

    I've realized through this process of wedding planning that nearly everything you do when planning a wedding can cause offense to somebody somehow.  Having said that, I'd like to be as conservative as possible to avoid hurting any feelings!  If there are some people here that would be upset at there being a limited amount of cake, then I am sure there are people who will feel the same way at my wedding, and I'd rather just have cupcakes for everyone to avoid stirring up bad feelings!

    StageManager, the reason we're not JUST planning on doing cupcakes is because there are some members of my family who are sad at the idea of not having a cake.  While we prefer cupcakes for the reasons mentioned about (ie, there are some fabulous cupcake shops near us that make a variety of delicious cupcakes -- margarita cupcake, anyone?? -- so people can have something cake-like but still have a choice of traditional or more exotic flavors), I think there are some members of our family who would like it if we have at least a small cake to cut for tradition's sake :)

    In any case, I really appreciate all the advice -- I realize this might be overthinking a bit, but the most important thing for me is that our guests have a good time at the reception, and I certainly don't want to do anything to jeapordize that.  I suppose there are benefits and drawbacks to either having a cake or cupcakes -- with cupcakes, some people might be disappointed that there is no traditional cake.  For myself, I'd prefer a fancy cupcake over a boring old cake any day -- especially when I have a choice between a traditional vanilla cupcake or something more interesting :)

    Thanks again!  Appreciate you!
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