Have you ever been to a wedding where the only memorable thing about the cake was the bride and groom cake-smashing each other’s faces?
The newlywed cake smash tradition goes back to a slightly bizarre, centuries-old wedding ritual of ancient Rome.
New brides got barley cake crumbled all over their heads to show submission to their husbands and encourage fertility… because nothing says babymaking like crumbs stuck in your hairline!
Well, maybe you don’t want to submit to tradition. Or you’re the radical type (go, girl!) who actually wants to savor a deliciously untraditional wedding cake without sticky white icing marring your newlywed glow.
In that case, we have a cutting-edge wedding cake idea that’s sophisticated, stylish, and kinda naughty.
Let’s hear it for black wedding cakes!
We’ve got some dark and delicious wedding cake ideas that are sure to amaze everyone on your special day. Enjoy!
What’s Great About Wedding Cake
Before we hit the list, let’s acknowledge why the wedding cake tradition still serves an essential purpose during your reception.
Firstly, a wedding cake helps proceedings to move along smoothly. When a couple cuts their cake, it’s a signal to your guests that the “formal” dinner portion of the evening has ended.
Some guests (particularly the older crowd who grew up on wedding etiquette) stay to watch the cake-cutting. They then exit gracefully before the wild partying starts (although your crazy, chicken-dancing Uncle George might be the exception).
Secondly, it’s all about photography! When your photographer captures that formal shot of your cake-cutting, it’s a priceless memory you’ll cherish forever.
There are, however, points to consider with the whole traditional wedding cake thing.
Many couples debate the need for an elaborate, multi-tiered wedding cake (it can get crazy expensive if you’re on a budget).
More and more couples are preferring to opt for a more affordable dessert bar because they realize that guests like variety, and that many others get too busy partying to even bother with cake.
So how do you have your cake and eat it too?
That’s easy, and it’s trending.
You choose one single-layered cake in a style, flavor (and color!) that you and your spouse desire—no worries about whether anyone else likes it because this cake is for the two of you.
The other tiers are realistically fake, although we prefer the term “ceremonial” to faux.
Multi-tiered or individually stacked ceremonial cakes look astoundingly genuine in person and pictures, and when they’re in a dramatic shade of black that just turns it up a notch.
We’ve helpfully paired our list of ceremonial cakes with yummy suggestions for the actual (edible) cake you and your new spouse cut and eat together.
It’s your first dessert as newlyweds, so make it spectacular!
Cake for Lovers of Luxury
This ceremonial cake is like a romantic midnight backdrop with golden stars in your eyes, and it provides a luxury look at a fraction of the cost.
High-quality cocoa powder and black gel icing make up the base, followed by smooth, dark chocolate buttercream frosting for your delectable, edible cake layer.
The gold is a white chocolate ganache infused with almond or clear vanilla extract that gets “painted” with food-grade gold luster dust.
Four-Tiered Over the Top Black Cake
Hey, this is your day, and if you desire a four-tier ceremonial wedding cake decked out like it’s for royalty…who’s going to stop you?
The dark chocolate and edible gold recipe above works equally well in this stunning concoction. You can even get the cake batter infused with yummy almond liqueur.
A Goth Girl’s Dream Wedding Cake
This miniature round cake prop gives you a great idea of the moody and highly decorative ceremonial cake that a faux cake artist can customize for your goth wedding day.
To balance the flavor in the edible version, order dark chocolate unsweetened and combined with a nuttier flavor like matcha icing. Your mouth will revel in the taste.
An Offbeat and Unforgettable Cake Creation
Yet another standout with a black and gold theme, this fully customizable ceremonial cake is #rulebreaker for the rebel bride in you.
A great flavor profile in your edible layer would be dark chocolate fudge with the refreshing kick of peppermint mousse.
Dress Up Your Cake with an Edible Sheet
If you’ve got the confidence of a gourmet baker (or someone you love is baking your cake), serving a homemade-with-love wedding cake is a proud and special moment.
With edible sugar paper, you can achieve the black and gold cake effect without artistic skills.
The sugar paper comes in sheets that you carefully wrap around the cake, resulting in that same unique, dramatic look, but far more affordable.
Black Cake with Cascading Ivory Roses
Gold accents are more subtle on this black ceremonial cake. However, the showstopper is the faux frosting ivory rosettes that cascade artfully from the top tier to the base.
For your real cake, consider something fun like a s’mores dessert for two! The mixture of graham crackers, tasty dark ganache, and a toasted marshmallow buttercream filling is a lip-smacking treat.
50 Shades of Great Cake
For lovers of romantic history, a dark grey Victorian-inspired ceremonial cake is pure pomp and circumstance.
You can customize multiple tiers with faux rosettes and piping, and because this style is made out of foam, it’s as light as a dream.
A novel touch for the accompanying edible cake might be dark chocolate batter infused with warm spices and mixed berry layers; light and refreshing but not sugary sweet.
Cake with a Hint of Black
You might want a hint of drama without going too far into the risqué territory. In that case, consider a square, multi-tiered ceremonial cake.
This option trimmed in black with intricate flairs of piping is a perfect mix of modern dark and traditional light.
The flavor possibilities for the edible white tier are endless! How about savoring the decadence of vanilla bean cake layered in banana buttercream and salted caramel?
Luscious Black Lace Cake
The twist on this elegant cake is the lacy black overlay on gold-painted foam. Not to mention, the decadent grey piping takes it up another notch!
This look is ideal for a holiday or winter wedding. We think it looks festive when individual cakes get displayed on plates of varying heights to look like fancily wrapped gifts!
If you’re having a winter wedding celebration, a delicious flavor combination you might consider is sugar cookies and “snickerdoodles” smothered in cream cheese and cinnamon icing.
A Black Cake Bouquet
This simple black ceremonial cake gives a sassy nod to your inner bad girl. Let your imagination go wild by decorating with faux or fresh flowers of your choosing. The effect will be gorgeous.
For the edible portion of your divine “cake bouquet,” consider a Torta Divina cake of chocolate mousse and liqueur!
The Cool Chalkboard Wedding Cake
"Let them eat Cake ... and wash it down with wine" Funny chalkboard style print to spice up your party or wedding reception-- choose wine or whiskey for the last line.
We adore chalkboards signs like this for welcoming guests to your wedding, but did you know you can enjoy a chalkboard-style wedding cake too?
This example is another “faux” cake, but it’s easy (and pretty affordable) to have an edible, rectangular version made with matte black icing.
The only adornment you need is a “handwritten note” in matte white trim that declares your love.
It’s super unique and deliciously different!
The Love Birds Cake Topper
A moody gothic wedding deserves quirky touches of humor, and that’s on perfect display with this gorgeous pair of newlywed black crows.
Complete with a white veil on the “bride” and a white bowtie on the “groom,” this cute bird topper injects some fun into a black color scheme!
We think a perfect flavor for a gothic wedding is anise licorice! Yes, it may not be appealing to everyone—but that’s pretty much the point. A cake like this is a special secret to be enjoyed only by you two lovebirds!
Order up an Edgy Wedding Cake
Did you think a wedding cake with an industrial theme didn’t exist? Think again!
Chic brides can definitely opt for a dark grey-toned color palette with something like this ceremonial cake.
The metallic fern details give subtle sprigs of greenery and add an ethereal quality.
An option like this is actually better as a photo-worthy ceremonial cake. At the very least, it’s a cool point of conversation in your post-nuptial decorating scheme!
A Cake Kissed by Butterflies
Are you dreaming of decorating your own off-white wedding cake? Gold accents or fresh blooms aren’t your only option.
These delicate feathered butterflies look beautiful against a black backdrop, and they’re a wedding cake memory that can be repurposed for seasonal decorating.
This Inscription Takes the Cake
Cake toppers with an inscription are a hit in modern weddings, and this sophisticated, black-on-gold-toned ceremonial cake comes with an inscription built-in!
Perfectly Naughty for Your Halloween Wedding
For cheeky couples getting married around Halloween, this is scary cake perfection!
The tongue-in-cheek inscription is dead-on, and this ceremonial cake is topped with blood-red roses and dripping in faux black icing.
It would make a fantastic Halloween wedding decoration placed next to a genuine pumpkin-spiced layer cake.
Cake Topper for Shoe Lovers
Does your partner love to joke that there are three of you in this relationship: you, him, and your shoes?
Make a humorous statement at your reception with this cheeky black stiletto cake topper.
The Mirrorball Moment Cake Topper
Some engaged couples endure enough ballroom dancing lessons to grab the Dancing with the Stars Mirrorball trophy as a wedding gift!
If you’re pretty sure that’s not happening at your reception, then a “disco mirror ball” cake topper like this one is fun, photogenic, and very fitting as your newlywed trophy on top of a simple black cake!
Tuxedo Cake for You
These ceremonial cakes feature a black sparkle tuxedo design effect, and they make exquisite, “dressed to impress” decorations that will have your guests raving.
If you’ve decided to go the dessert buffet route, setting out these miniature cupcakes is a guaranteed hit.
Full-on Glamor Cake Topper
A wildly colored peacock feathered cake topper? Yes, please!
The simpler your black cake is, the more vivid you can turn up the design. Add pops of color and make sure your glamor-stacked cake is unforgettable.
Dramatic Cake Accents
I think we can all agree, a black ceremonial wedding cake takes real bridal commitment.
If you’re still a bit unsure about it, try adding a flourish of dramatic black icing rosettes for an equally stunning effect. Black on white is simple elegance.
It’s Like Wallpaper for Your Cake!
Three sheets of printed wafer paper with a large rose pattern and various colors in the background
Can you believe that someone created this stunning image of bright flowers on a black backdrop… and it’s actually made of edible sugar paper?
Again, if your wedding cake is being made at home, wrapping a plain cake in sugar paper is much easier and less time-consuming than the typical and painstaking method of intricate piping or rows upon rows of rosettes.
The sugar paper effect on your cake is as stunning as a professionally made creation, and the delicious memories will last a lifetime.