Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

cake vs. cupcakes

I'm unsure of which way to go with this. I like the idea of cupcakes because we don't have to worry about cutting the cake and every one can have two individual cupcakes instead of just a slice of cake. I'm worried about getting a cake because at my SILs wedding my fiances grandfather made a huge scene because he didn't like the way the servers were cutting the cake. I do not want this to happen at my wedding.

But a wedding cake looks so classic, right? Cupcakes are a little less expensive. I just don't want to regret the decision. Big cupcake (flavors would be -- red velvet with cream cheese frosting & banana cupcake with caramel butter cream). I'm not so sure about the cake flavor yet though.

so cake vs cupcake.. which would you prefer?

Re: cake vs. cupcakes

  • Thank you for the feedback! I was worried about it being too messy as well.
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited August 2013
    I'm with scribe95.  Wedding cakes are beautiful and easier to eat without making a mess.  I think wedding cupcakes are trendy right now, but might not be in a few years.
  • I would do a wedding cake. The cupcake trend is very quickly dying. Just have someone keep gramps away from the cake cutting table. Or have sheet cake that's cut in the back room. He won't be able to see how it's being cut.

  • SouthernBelle - good idea! i do have a question about that though. Wouldn't the wedding cake be in the room and that's what is supposed to be cut and given out? I don't understand where the sheet cake would come in to play.
  • @SunriseAmber The idea with this is that you have either a smaller cake (maybe 2 tiers instead of 3 or 4) out and that is what is cut. It is then into the back room for cutting purposes, where there are sheet cakes as well. No one will know the difference, and it's usually MUCH less expensive. 

    Your venue might actually prefer to roll the cake into the back room regardless, just because it is easier that way. My venue did this - we had a smaller wedding so we didn't need any sheet cakes, but they still wheeled the cake into the kitchen so that they could slice it. They then brought the slices back out. I actually think this looks a lot nicer than having them hack the cake up in front of everyone :-)
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    We had cupcakes and had about 5 different flavors.  They were served on plates with forks.  I have eaten many a cupcake this way and have had no difficulties.  In fact it is just like eating a slice of cake to me.  And as for the trend.  Well a lot of things are trendy and then fade out.  Hell everyone's satin, rouched, mermaid cut, wedding dress with blinged out belt is a trend in my eyes but that shouldn't stop those girls from buying the dress that they love, right?

    Anyways, it really depends on the look you are going for.  I really don't think I would regret having cupcakes over a cake or vice versa.  What I was worried about was taste.  No matter what I got it had to taste amazing.

    As for when the cake is cut and served, I have never once seen it done by the staff out in the open.  They typically take the cake in the back cut it up and put it on place before bringing it out for all to enjoy.

    For flavor, definitely make sure to include a "boring" flavor like chocolate with buttercream or vanilla with chocolate icing as well.

  • If there are a lot of different flavors and I get to choose, then cupcakes. If it's basic, then I prefer cake. I feel like cupcakes are often dry and cakes usually taste better. But if they aren't dry, cupcakes are good too. It doesn't really matter to me as a guest.
  •  I am doing cupcakes because we can have more flavor options. They will be served on plates with forks so mess will be no more a factor then a regular slice of cake.
  • The advantage to cupcakes is you can have several flavors to choose from and lots of fun colors.  That said, we're opting for cake just because it's such a classic, traditional focal point for any wedding. 
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I prefer traditional cake for a wedding.  I love seeing the design a couple picks out and the's like a piece of art.  
  • Have you seen the cupcake tiers?  The top tier is a tiny cake for you two to cut.  Then lots of cupcakes.  You can have it all:)

    Personally, I love cupcakes at weddings.  So neat and tidy!  Wedding cakes look kind of sad and mauled when they get cut up.  Not to mention, wherever they are cut turns into a huge mess of crumbs, icing that falls on the floor, etc.  Cupcakes also taste better than fondant cakes.
  • I agree with SAH. :) 
    Married 11/12/05 ~ Renewed Our Vows 11/9/13. 

    "The LORD will fight for you, you need only be still."

  • Personally I prefer cupcakes. :) But I'm not a traditional type. :)
  • We are having a traditional, black tie wedding, but are opting for cupcakes verses a wedding cake. Not because it's "trendy" as some other posts have mentioned, but because its our personal preference. We both love cupcakes, and dislike wedding cake. We tried a variety of bakeries so we could pick the one with the best texture and flavor, then ordered hundreds of mini-cupcakes in six different flavors. Our guests can choose the flavors they want, while not worrying about it being messy. 

    We ordered a large, 10 tier server to display them and will have a small bouquet of fresh roses for the top tier. 

    If you love cupcakes, get the cupcakes. If you love cake, get the cake. Eat what you want, keep grandpa distracted, and enjoy your day :)
  • cideficidefi member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited September 2013
    Well dang u ladies just fixed 1 of my problems...cupcakes vs cakepops. I kept thinking that I would serve the CPs because their on a stick, hence less crumbs less mess. Duh never ever thought about just adding a fork to the plate. CUPCAKES IT IS!!!

    Now I'm thinking I'll add a handful of CPs for my little people guest in 1 kid friendly flavor (my girls will be in charge of that decision). Aaawww yay 1 more hurdle jumped...thanks guys
  • maryemoomaryemoo Fort Wayne, Indiana member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper

    I know this is an older thread but please no one crucify me, because I started my own and didn't get very concrete answers...

    SAHoehle, is the top piece that you cut also the piece you save for your anniversary, or would you save cupcakes for that? People have been telling me that once a cake is cut/frozen and then unfrozen it won't taste good at all.

  • maryemoo you save the top for your anniversary. I wouldnt save a cupcake. 

    Married 11/12/05 ~ Renewed Our Vows 11/9/13. 

    "The LORD will fight for you, you need only be still."

  • Me and my FI have decided to go both directions in a way. We are doing a two tier cake, top for anniversary then second layer for cutting. Then the rest will be an array of cupcakes. My reasoning for this is I have family members who like to finger swipe icing at any gathering plus we are going to have little ones there as well. The set up of the cupcakes still keeps with elegance but is easier and cheaper for everyone.

  • @poetrygrl that's exactly what we are doing too.  Also, as others have stated above, they can be served on a plate with forks and they really wouldn't be that messy.  I also like the idea of being able to have different flavors instead of just the traditional "wedding cake flavor".  My cousin just got married a few months ago and had cupcakes and it was just a pretty as a regular cake. :o)


  • I don't think you could go wrong with either.  Cupcakes are a growing trend for weddings right now, and there are so many classy and elegant ways to display them.  I also noticed someone posted about a tiered stand with a small cake on top to do the cutting which is a great idea.  

    Have you thought about doing a very small 2 tiered cake surrounded by cupcakes that match the cake style.  That way you have a cake and can cut it and even save the top tier for your anniversary but you can also have all the cupcakes to serve your guests.  
  • Argument for cake: less waste (can be cut into different sizes for different appetites)

    Argument for cupcakes: Does your venue charge a cake cutting fee? Not for cupcakes! :)

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Both are valid options.  I agree that cake looks more classic and may be neater and less wasteful, while cupcakes may be cheaper and come in more flavors.  Maybe you can have a small tier of cake to cut, over a cupcake display.
  • We are going a small cutting cake and a tower of cupcakes. Yes a fork and a plate with the cupcakes or minis is a great idea! The tiered cake is art, if you absolutely won't feel married without it and you have the money, go ahead. But if all you want is a sweet treat, think about something less expensive. Don't bother saving the top tier of your cake, it will be gross, dry and frost bitten a year later, just order a fresh one!
  • melbensomelbenso Hoth, apparently member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    I went to a wedding about a year ago that had not just cupcakes, but a cupcake food truck with 6 different cupcake options.  We loved it.  It was also a more casual wedding with a lot of kids at it.  The kids thought it was the greatest thing ever that they could go up and order cupcakes.  The adults really liked it too.  Between my FI and I, I think we tried all of the cupcake flavors.  So if you think that sort of theme, might work for your wedding, I'd definitely look into it.  We still talk about it now (in a very good way), so it would certainly be memorable.

    However, my FI and I decided to go with a standard wedding cake.  (Had food trucks been an option at our venue, we might not have.)  We explored both options.  But since our venue will also provide an additional dessert for guests who want something a little less traditional as a part of our regular food costs, we opted for the traditional cake.  If we had gone with cupcakes, we were still going to get a small cake for a cake cutting.

    One thing I will say is that if you are on a tight budget or want multiple flavor options, cupcakes are the way to go. Less expensive and, in my experience, sold by the dozen, so it's easy to order a little bit of everything.
  • I think I'm having cupcakes because I'm ordering a dozen vegan cupcakes for certain guests and I thought it will look nicer if all the cake is the same instead of 2-3 tiered cake then random cupcakes. Any thoughts?

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  • laurenstlouislaurenstlouis member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited December 2013
    I'm a Wedding Coordinator for a cupcake bakery, and my fiance's the Head Baker of the same cupcake bakery--so cupcakes are kind of a "must" for us! However, I'm not really a huge fan of the cupcake tower look, and I still really love the look of having an actual cake, so I think we're probably going to end up doing a mix of both. The plan is to have about three or four different cupcake flavors for our guests, while having a three-tiered cake for us to cut. Obviously, I wouldn't need a cake AND cupcakes, so the bottom two tiers on the actual wedding cake are going to be fake (check into your local bakeries about this if you're into the idea of a cake AND cupcakes, but don't need all that extra cake! Some bakeries are able to create "fake" cakes, where they use styrofoam cake dummies instead of actual cake. When it's all frosted and finished, no one except you and the baker know that it's not a real cake under all that gorgeous frosting!) while the top/first tier of the cake is the only real one (that's the one we'd cut in to!) I plan on having the cake in the middle, with the cupcakes on cake plates of varying heights/sizes around it. Hopefully it turns out as cute as I picture it!

    The great thing about cupcakes is their versatility. I've done cupcakes for black tie weddings, couples on super tight budgets, and from chic loft-style weddings to Great Gatsby inspired and even homestyle, rustic weddings. The cupcake wedding displays I've worked with couples on have all really reflected both the couple, as well as their overall theme for the wedding, which I think can be a challenge when you're working with just a cake and a table. On top of that, the decor options are practically endless! Whether you're wanting a simple cupcake with minimal decor on it or you want to go all out with dyed frosting and edible glitter (it's a real thing!), cupcakes can easily take on the mood or theme you're going for. Often times, cupcakes are also more cost-effective, as they're usually cheaper than cake and everything is already cut and portioned out in a pretty, presentable way; and it's a super easy way to provide multiple cake flavors for your guests, so there's bound to be a flavor for everyone. You also don't have to use cupcakes as the actual "cake" part of your wedding! Get creative with it! You can always use cupcakes as adorable escort cards (you can make little escort card picks to stick into the cupcake--it's a cute little DIY project you can do with your bridesmaids, Mom, whoever!) or even use them as favors for your guests (one past bride bought a bunch of individual-sized cupcake boxes and made custom stickers to put on the outside of the boxes to dress them up.) Cupcakes are just fun all around!

    On a side note, if anyone has any questions or needs advice about wedding cupcakes, feel free to send me a message! <3
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  • As an elementary school teacher, I associate cupcakes with kids' birthdays, and with big messes of crumbs and frosting all over desks. We will not be having cupcakes!

    (But most other people don't have these associations, so my opinions wouldn't help them make this decision!)
  • We're doing both. 3 tier cake & the rest are cupcakes!
  • @amakayeb I'm a teacher too, and that is precisely the reason I couldn't do cupcakes for our wedding. Or even worse than crumbs on desks, the inevitable dropped cupcake en route from table to eating place.
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  • @tcnoble Ah yes, inevitably landing frosting side down! And of course, there not being an extra one sent in, because why would you ever need more than exactly the number of students that there are!

    (Off topic teacher cupcake nightmare story: We had had a crazy day, schedule-wise, and all day long I was shuffling lessons trying to get the most important things done. My kids were out at their last recess, and I had just finished figuring out how we could get the last 2 essential things done in the last 40 minutes of the day, when the secretary brought down a box of cupcakes that had been dropped off for a student who had a birthday the day before. So there goes getting both of those things done! Then, I open the box to find 4 fancy cookie dough cupcakes, 10 fancy Oreo cupcakes, and like 12 plain white cupcakes. I had 15 students. Yep, enough fancy cupcakes for all but one student... Thankfully, I had one very polite little girl who volunteered to take a white one.)
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