Cake Or Cupcake?
Our Cake Expert on this post is Amy Muench from Cake babes. Amy is as passionate about cakes as I am about space decor!
Cakes pictured above designed by Cake Babes
By Amy Muench
Cake or Cupcakes?
Each has its pros and cons.
When deciding between cake or cupcakes, or both, you will want to consider not only the style
and atmosphere of your wedding, but also your budget, your guests, and the ease of serving.
Price is often at the top of the list when it comes to comparing the two, and it really depends on how
you want everything decorated. All cake decorators do their pricing differently, but at Cake Babes, my
wedding cakes have a base price of $3/serving, and then it goes up based on decoration. Standard sized
cupcakes are $3/each, which includes some minor decoration (a small flower, heart, etc…) On the
simple end, a three tiered cake to feed 100, with a butter-cream finish and fresh flowers added, would
be approximately $325. For 100 cupcakes, price would be $300 even, however, with most cupcake
towers, the norm is to have a 6″ cake on top for the “Cake cutting”, which would add $40. If you are
looking for something more detailed and fancy, your three tiered cake could go up to a price of $400 to
$500. Cupcakes, if they were to be covered in fondant and decorated with sugar flowers for example,
could go up to $5/each. When you add a top cake to that, you could be looking at as much as $500 to
$600 for your cupcake tower.
Another thing to consider when comparing pricing is the display. A tiered cake can sit directly on a table
and you wouldn’t need a stand to display it on. That being said, most couples do opt to display it on a
stand as it elevates it off the cake table, and creates more of an eye-catching display. Cupcake towers do
require a display stand. You may choose to rent one, buy your own, or make one. There are several
options available, but some type of financial investment is required. Cake Babes has several cake and
cupcake stand available to rent for your wedding day, all require a security deposit and have rental fees
ranging from $20 to $40.
A very important factor in your decision will be the style and atmosphere of your wedding. Cupcakes
simply don’t go with some themes. A tiered cake has a much more elegant, classy, and timeless look and
feel to it, where cupcakes have a more cute, fun, and modern look and feel to them. There are design
limitations on cupcakes as well. A tiered cake can be designed more specifically for you and your theme,
while with cupcakes, there is only so much that can be done with them, especially if you are on a tight
budget. Each cake has its style and look, and, most times, every cake you see is different and unique,
whereas cupcakes, you often see the same, or very similar designs over and over again. Personally, as a
cake decorator, I prefer to create a tiered cake over cupcakes; that is when I can really let my creativity
Another major consideration should be how the cake is to be served. Does your venue or caterer offer a
cake cutting service, or would you be cutting the cake on your own? If your venue or caterer does offer
this service, how much do they charge for it? If you are planning on cutting/serving your cake yourself,
you may want to strongly consider cupcakes. Cutting a tiered wedding cake is not the same as cutting a small
round birthday cake. With Cake Babes, one of the things I provide you with at your consultation is
directions on how to properly cut your cake and get the correct number of servings, however, it is still a
difficult and time-consuming task, especially if you have never done it before. With a cupcake tower,
there is no cake cutting involved, your guests simply have to come up to the tower and choose a
cupcake. If you do decide to have a tiered wedding cake, and your venue or caterer is going to cut it for you, be
sure you are aware of the cost for this. Some charge as much as $2/serving, which can add up quickly if
you are feeding 100 guests. You should also ensure that they are going to cut the slices to the same size
that your cake decorator has sized your cake for. The industry standard for wedding servings is 1″ x 2″,
be sure your venue or caterer is planning to cut the servings to that size, or you may end up with not
One of the questions you should always ask a potential cake decorator is do they deliver and set-up your
cake or cupcakes? At Cake Babes, delivery and set-up is included, provided it is within HRM. Some cake
decorators either charge extra for this service, or do not provide it at all. If you are going to be
transporting your cake or cupcakes on your own, cupcakes are certainly a safer option. A tiered wedding cake,
especially if it is three tiers or larger, is heavy, and fragile. Cupcakes would simply be in boxes that could
be stacked. Do you also need to set-up your cake or cupcakes on your own? If you have brought your
own cake, chances are all you have to do is place it on the table or stand and it is ready for your
reception. If you need to set-up a cupcake tower, be prepared to spend a good 45 minutes to an hour
between assembling your display stand if necessary, and arranging the cupcakes and top cake on it.
In the end, it is really going to be up to you whether you want a tiered wedding cake or cupcakes for your
wedding. Cupcake towers have certainly been getting more and more popular over the last couple of
years, and based on current bookings at Cake Babes, it’s about 50/50 between tiered wedding cakes and cupcake
towers. Both can look stunning, and hopefully we have provided information to help make it easier in making the right choice for your special day!