I walked past a shop window during the holidays and couldn’t stop staring. My daughter had to drag me away. Do you know why? It was a Patisserie with real luxurious chocolate cakes on display. It’s in Lyon, where I come from in case you wondered. It’s called Maison Bernachon. More to the point, do you like chocolate? I mean, do you really, really like chocolate? You like it so much that you want a decadent, breathtaking chocolate cake that screams luxury for your wedding or your special occasions ? Then this is for you. I have put together a list of 17 luxury chocolate wedding cakes and design ideas below.
TOP TIP: need more inspiration? Get in touch: Tell me a bit about your story, where your cake thoughts are taking you, and together we can create your perfect cake.
But for now, here’s a starting point of some of the
Best chocolate wedding cake designs
including the latest chocolate wedding cake trends*.
Just a few important notes before we dive deep into chocolate decadence….
Bespoke chocolate cakes top tips
Chocolate jargon alert
You might come across a few words that sound a little alien in here. If you are unsure about any word, like Ganache or Bas relief (I know, people use those ALL the time, don’t they!), drop me a line by email or a tweet, or pop a question over on my Facebook page and I’ll can explain what it is.
You get what you pay for
I am a big advocate of using the best ingredients possible into cakes. Having tasted and judged quite a lot of cakes over the years, I promise you it makes a huge difference in the taste of your cake. Use real butter, full fat cream, free range eggs and top quality Belgian chocolate and chocolate products. I know it costs more. But it’s worth it. All my chocolate comes in bulk wholesale bags, from Callebaut or Valrhona.Probably too much for your house cupboards. But if you are making your own wedding cake for example), you can order those top brands of chocolate online in smaller quantities. try The Home Chocolate Factory or Sous Chef for great ingredients. Squires Kitchen also offer a lot of choice and great ingredients.
Mix it up – the ideas below are meant to get you on your way to create your dream chocolate wedding cake. You don’t have to use just one. Pick and mix them: Go for textured ganache with shards of chocolate printed in your favourite patterns…
Rustic look chocolate wedding cake ideas with a touch of luxury
Semi naked chocolate cake
Naked and semi naked cakes have been really trendy this year, especially for barn weddings and boho chic, festival style weddings. Opt for a semi naked chocolate cake with a white or fruity buttercream or ganache for an informal, rustic wedding cake look. Finish it with cascading fresh berries, cherries, figs or other fresh fruits. Or mix and match tiers of semi naked with tiers of solid ganache finish for an eclectic look. I personally often recommend a semi naked cake over a totally naked cake design: The cake will keep better and whilst retaining an informal look, I think it makes for more professional (even in a smart casual way) finish.
Drip wedding cake with chocolate ganache
You can add a drip effect to a lot of wedding cake designs, from the naked and semi naked cakes above to smooth ganache finish cakes. Drip wedding cakes have become so popular this year. I can see why as they add a little cheekiness to your design and make your cake look even more tempting (you first eat with your eyes). Ganache is wonderful as you can tint it with cocoa butter in any colour you want (more on tinting chocolate HERE by the way, if you wonder how to do it). So you could have a chocolate drip cake in dark chocolate, milk, white, or pink, coral, blush or even metallic colours like gold or silver or copper.
Abstract chocolate shards
A more modern approach to chocolate cakes, it’s a great way to design a real show stopper cake. You can have plain shards, different chocolate shards (including caramel “Dulcey” chocolate which gives that most wonderful light tan colour and tastes nothing short of heavenly in my view). You could also mix plain and printed shards to add a touch of colour or a pattern that links back to your overall wedding theme. Chocolate shards also lend themselves really well to designing a tall, tower like, Helter Sketler type of wedding cake.
Wavy and rustic ganache finish
For a more infomal look, if you love chocolate, then a wavy chocolate ganache wedding cake might be the right one for you. From regular romantic waves on a white chocolate ganache, mixed with edible organic fresh flowers and blooms (think David Austin roses, cornflowers, English Garden…) to a milk or dark chocolate ganache lightly textured in a pallet knife stroke style, those cakes immediately state that you are a serious chocolate lover.
Vintage, classic and luxurious chocolate wedding cake design ideas
Vintage style chocolate wedding cakes
For a real vintage look, you can opt for a chocolate cake with different finishes for each tier. It will instantly give your chocolate wedding cake a vintage chic, “brocante” feel.
I spend a lot of time at auctions and treasure hunting at brocantes and bric ad brac! I always come back with a lot of inspiration for vintage wedding cakes, even if I haven’t had a very successful hunting day. For an amazing vintage style wedding cake, You could take your inspiration from vintage fashion and prints from a specific era like Revival years or the 1920’s with an Art Deco theme. Chocolate is so versatile you can “print” it into really thin sheets with incredible patterns. I have selected a few below to get your imagination going hopefully….
Woodland tree trunk chocolate wedding cake
This is one of my favourite type o cake design, and it’s so versatile. Think anything from Midsummer Night Dreams to Alice in Wonderland (or other classic stories) inspired tiered cakes. Create a nature inspired look with a tree trunk chocolate base tier: Think mini meringue toadstools and edible fairy dust details; then pick a contrasting white chocolate tier next with an abundance of gilded chocolate leaves or a a few mini “Queen of Heart” cards dotted around, then a “distressed” chocolate tier, with a matt finish and an etched message on top…..This could be perfect for your wedding if you are having a theme around old books and children classic stories, like Alice in Wonderland, Roal Dahl stories, Hansel and Gretel….)
Smooth ganache sharp edges chocolate wedding cakes
For a classic, Haute Couture feel chocolate wedding cake look, how about tiers finished in chocolate ganache with a really smooth and straight edge? The understated look gives a classic and chic feel. You can add a little metallic dust,a stripe, or just a few sugarpaste or chocolate flowers with pearl centres to finish it off in an effortlessly chic way. or even just a giant and crafted chocolate flower at the top….With this design, I really think less is more when it comes to dressing it up. Think Chanel rather than Dolce & Gabbana!
Chocolate cigarillos designs
Elegant and classic – plus don’t forget that, as all of the outside of your cake tiers are finished in cigarillos, you can have pretty much any recipe for your tiers. They don’t have to match or even in terms of colour. Actually I think it’s rather cool when you cut the different tiers, to expose different colour sponges and fillings for each tier. For me it adds to the excitement and anticipation of eating a piece of your wedding cake.
Floral and romantic chocolate tiered cakes
Painted ganache cake designs
Did you know you can paint on chocolate? Using…more chocolate. Actually you use cocoa butter mixed with dust colours. The results are so beautiful, and the design can be anything you can draw or copy from a drawing, a wallpaper pattern, stationery, a card….It can match some of the detail of your wedding dress. It could draw from details like a tapestry or a painting from your wedding venue. The possibilities are endless.
Piped ganache on ganache designs
It you prefer a little more texture to your cake design, rather than hand painting on it, you can have delicate ganache patterns pipped on top of your chocolate cake (whether the base is a ganache cake
Think Helter Skelter, weaving tall towering designs and soft draping effects. You can create a chocolate ruffle look either with tempered chocolate (dark, milk or white) – which can be tinted ) or with chocolate modelling paste, which is like chocolate play Doh really. You can roll and bend the pieces of chocolate paste to achieve a softer look. Then finish your cake with chocolate flowers, characters of your choice for a more rock n’roll bride look, or tumbling fresh fruits. Chocolate cakes with designs like this obviously need to be completely finished and assembled before leaving your cake maker’s kitchen so it’s likely to need extra structural support to make sure it travels safely. It’s likely to push your wedding cake budget up a bit, but what an amazing show stopper to have on your wedding day.
Romantic soft floral white chocolate
Chocolate modelling paste is extremely versatile, can be moulded in many shapes and especially into softer finished like in the cake below. The ones I use come in dark, milk, white, pink (strawberry flavour) and mint green (which I flavour with a hint of garden mint). I don’t make my own as I think it’s best left to professional from a texture and cost point of view. I use the top quality ones from Squires Kitchen, just so you know.
Modern and metallic chocolate wedding cake design ideas
Printed chocolate patterns
Did you know you can print on chocolate? Using something called chocolate transfer sheets (which are ready made print sheets made of cocoa butters), you can add so many patterns to your chocolate cake, from safari prints to summery stripes; Botanical patterns to music sheet….Here are just a few of my favourite current ones for inspiration….
Textured and gilded ganache finish
Fancy something a little bit more “Oh la la!”? Then top your textured ganache chocolate wedding cake with a metallic -edible- lustre finish. One tier, every other tier or…the whole cake. This is such a powerful “statement” wedding cake style that I would personally go light on the finishing details in terms of decorations. Let your cake speak for itself. OR ….go the complete other way and add lots and lots of leaves and flowers and details from the bottom up, so that your gold or silver painted chocolate cake emerges like magic from a woodland canopy. I don’t think you can go middle of the road here. For me it’s all or nothing.
“Thank you so much for our beautiful wedding cake sketch. We are going to frame it in our kichen!” . I realise that picturing all those cakes, especially this type of design, is a little tricky even with example photos. That’s why I always create a hand painted sketch of your wedding cake. More and more of my customers actually ask for the original sketch to be posted to them, so they can frame it as a keepsake of their wedding (or you could hide it until your first wedding anniversary and use it as a present – as I think the theme is PAPER).
If you’d like to discuss your very own design, just drop me a line.
Paillettes coated tiered chocolate cakes
I love chocolate paillettes (they are also called splitters). Like sugar confetti, you can use them to completely coat a cake tier, giving it shine and texture all at once. You can use them plain, or you can bling them with a coat of metallic gold, silver, rose gold or pewter chocolate spray
Sprayed and flicked cocoa butter modern chocolate cake Art
this is one of favourite addiction! Using tinted cocoa butters you can create Jason Pollock style design – and the ultimate bespoke cake as no 2 strokes are ever the same. Here’s how it looks, taken from a cake I made this summer:
Chocolate wedding cakes 2018 latest trends
Bas relief and theatrical chocolate wedding cakes
Bas Relief is one of the newest and fast growing trends* for weddings and celebration cakes at the moment and I LOVE IT. A French term from the Italian basso-relievo (“low relief”), bas relief is a sculpture technique in which figures and/or other design elements are just barely more prominent than the (overall flat) background. Marry it with chocolate techniques for theatrical cakes with a guaranteed wow effect.
Brushstroke chocolate cakes
Alongside the Bas Relief cakes, this is one of the newest and most show stoping trend for chocolate cakes, especially wedding cakes. I love how versatile this technique is and what a striking, modern finish for a chocolate wedding cakes. I even teach how to make chocolate brush strokes at my chocolate art classes if you’d like to know more and make your own.
image credits – Pinterest
Monochrome, super white chocolate wedding cakes
The last of the wedding cake trends I have spotted through social media monitoring and real wedding couple enquiries in my inbox. Chic, understated. All white chocolate cake. I am talking about super white here, for which you actually need to tint white chocolate whiter. Oh yes that’s a thing. And It think it’s an incredibly elegant option for a wedding cake.
Right, I hope this gave you a few ideas to get started on your own chocolate wedding cake. I have just realised that I actually listed 18 and not 17 cake design ideas. Got carried away again talking about chocolate it seems!
For more ideas, check out my board on Pinterest : “gateaux trop beaux au chocolat” – I have collected well over 100 chocolate cake designs on there.
Finally, don’t forget, you can always, always get in touch with me for a chat about your wedding cake.
I’ll send you some ideas based on your style, mood board and budget at no obligation at all.
It’s one of the best ways to figure out if we are made for each other from a cake making point of view! and it’s totally free bien sur. Here’s how to can get in touch…
Ask me your chocolate and wedding questions
By email firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter – @lauremoyle
On Facebook – /PuddingFairy
On Instagram – /pudding_fairy
By phone on 07766 188219
NOTE: Having been chatting with Vicky, the Powerhouse mum and blogger you may know better as Honest Mum, about decadent and divind chocolate wedding cakes recently, I wanted to link this post to her Brilliant Blog Post Linky – Voila! for more Brilliant blog posts click on the image below