Winter wedding cake flavors are all about playing to the season. They tend to carry a unique, magical atmosphere inherent only to winter.
Leave fresh, fruity cakes for summer. Winter is the time for indulging in true luxury.
Winter wedding cakes aren’t about delicate flavors and light textures.
Instead, they manifest with heavy, smooth textures, rich and sweet flavors, and strong aromas.
Perhaps, the most popular winter wedding cake flavor is chocolate.
Any bride can find a chocolate cake to fit her taste: chocolate-peppermint, chocolate mocha truffle, and black forest cake are only a few examples.
Winter is also the perfect season for spiced wedding cakes, such as spiced almond, gingerbread, or eggnog-custard cakes.
And if you prefer timeless classics, opt for traditional red velvet cake – its maroon color is ideal for winter.
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1. Red Velvet
Red velvet is a truly iconic cake. It has a soft, velvety texture and balanced sweet flavor, featuring a chocolate sponge with red coloring and smooth cream cheese.
The rich color and heavy texture of the red velvet cake may be too intense for summer or spring weddings. But at winter, the red velvet cake uncovers all its best sides – mild cocoa undertones, slight bitterness, and creamy filling.
When cut, red velvet wedding cake has a celebratory, sophisticated look.
The cake exterior typically follows the same color code, covered in white cream cheese or smooth white chocolate and adorned with fresh red flowers, berries, or marzipan figurines.
If you fancy the red color but find the red velvet cake flavor too bland, you can go for a chocolate sponge cake layered with strawberry or cranberry buttercream instead.
A red food coloring will help to enhance the color of the filling.
2. Spiced Almond Cake
Almond cake is perfectly balanced as is and doesn’t demand additional ingredients. However, spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg, won’t hurt the taste, adding an unexpected twist to a traditional recipe.
The filling for such a cake should be neutral, not quite sweet, but not bland. Vanilla buttercream will do the job just right. Classical New York cheesecake on a spiced almond base is another delicious recipe.
Spiced almond wedding cake is versatile in terms of design, thanks to a neutral color combination. It will suit weddings in any style.
3. Chai Tea & Honey Buttercream
There’s nothing better than sipping a large mug of chai tea while sitting in a cozy café in winter, looking at falling snowflakes outside. Even if snow isn’t common in your area, you likely can imagine the scene.
Chai tea is a spiced drink made from black tea mixed with cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. Spices aren’t uncommon in winter wedding cakes, but black tea is a rather unusual note.
Liquid honey or honey buttercream filling balances the spiciness and reminds us of a hot cup of tea on a cold winter day. Grated ginger will add a slightly peppery but sweet flavor and make the cake even juicier.
4. Hazelnut Truffle Cake
Although the name of this cake doesn’t mention chocolate, it’s a real chocolate lover’s dream. Chocolate sponge layered with hazelnut buttercream and chocolate ganache, topped with truffles, is a truly indulgent choice.
Bear in mind that such an ingredient combination may be considered overly sweet by some guests.
The trick here is to find the correct ratio of chocolate to hazelnut buttercream and truffles that balance the flavor, giving the cake delicate bitter notes.
This cake features a beautiful, cozy combination of brown shades, so it’s a perfect flavor for an ombre wedding cake. The toppings don’t have to be too intricate – slight cocoa dusting and truffles will be just right.
5. Black Forest Cake
If you’re unfamiliar with the black forest cake, you’re missing out.
The traditional black forest cake recipe features a chocolate sponge layered with rich cherry filling and chocolate ganache. It has a rich, sweet, decadent flavor, balanced with delicately sour cherries.
It was created in Germany by Josef Keller with an original name, “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte,” literally translating as “black forest cherry cake.”
Some modern versions of this cake recipe include red wine or spices, such as cinnamon and cardamom. These ingredients make the black forest cake even more aromatic and savory.
Often, black forest wedding cake is topped with whipped cream and cocktail cherries. This classic design perfectly matches any wedding.
However, black forest cake is also a great base for extravagant designs. For an elegant but creative look, you may consider covering the cake with smooth dark chocolate and adorning it with red chocolate lace for contrast.
6. Eggnog Custard Buttercream Cake
Winter is the time for holiday cheer that extends far beyond the Christmas week. Mulled wine and eggnog are must-haves on the winter drink menu. But why not draw inspiration from these drinks for your wedding cake?
Eggnog is traditionally made with eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar, some sort of alcohol, usually rum, ale, or brandy, and spice: cinnamon, clove, cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla.
Eggs, sugar, and milk are common in cake recipes – this won’t surprise anyone.
But these ordinary ingredients combined with rum or brandy and spices create distinctly savory, warming, rich flavor awakening associations with late evenings near a crackling fire.
Custard buttercream is the perfect match for eggnog. It has a similar vanilla flavor undertone and creamy texture but is less spiced and sweet.
Thus, it can balance eggnog taste that may be a bit too intense for a wedding cake.
Be aware of the alcohol content in your cake. If you have kids attending the wedding, ask your baker to reduce the alcohol amount or use rum or brandy food flavoring instead of a real drink.
7. Gingerbread Cake with Pear Compote
What’s the wintriest dessert of all? Perhaps, many would reply with “gingerbread.” A solo-gingerbread cake, however, may be too Christmassy for a wedding.
Pear compote balances the spiciness of gingerbread and doesn’t let the wedding cake turn into a gingerbread house.
Gingerbread cake with pear compote will impeccably match rustic weddings, featuring a “naked” design, dripping caramel, and caramelized pears on top.
Alternatively, decorate the cake with heart-shaped gingerbread cookies, buttercream swirls, or spruce branches.
8. Dark Chocolate & Peppermint Cake
The dark chocolate and peppermint combination is a timeless classic that never fails to surprise. Indeed, the harmony of delicately bitter, sweet, mellow dark chocolate and refreshing mint is one-of-a-kind.
The most common variation of this cake involves a chocolate sponge layered with peppermint-flavored buttercream or cream cheese. But this isn’t the only way to combine chocolate and peppermint in a wedding cake.
If you’re concerned about the peppermint becoming the leading note in your wedding cake, opt for a chocolate sponge with subtle peppermint flavor instead.
The layering options are endless: lemon curd, raspberry jam, and orange buttercream are my personal top picks.
The flavor isn’t the only great thing about chocolate-peppermint wedding cake. These ingredients create a contrasting color combination that makes even the simplest chocolate-peppermint cake remarkably beautiful and unusual.
Such a cake will suffice with minimum decorations – a smooth mint-color surface or a “naked” striped design topped with mint leaves and some berries is an impeccably elegant choice.
9. Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake
Most winter wedding cakes are heavy and sweet, often overboard-sweet. The orange-cranberry cake, on the opposite, is sour and light, though no less suitable for a winter wedding.
No holiday meal is complete without a cranberry sauce with orange zest.
Both cranberry and orange are slightly sour, so delicately sweet plain cream cheese or buttercream will do a great job and balancing the flavor. Chiffon is a better base than an ordinary sponge for such a fresh filling.
The colorful combination of cranberry and orange frees you from the need to come up with intricate designs. Use the main ingredients as a decoration on a textured cream cheese or buttercream surface for a buoyant, vibrant look.
10. Caramel Pecan Cake
Brides and guests with sweet tooth will appreciate the caramel pecan wedding cake. It’s just as sweet as chocolate cake but is less common and has more different flavor undertones.
Depending on the chosen textures and additional ingredients, the cake taste may differ.
For instance, chocolate sponge cake with liquid caramel and chocolate ganache layering and caramelized pecans will be much sweeter than caramel mousse cake with a pecan-biscuit base.
Hiding a caramel-pecan cake under plain white fondant or buttercream should be considered a sin in the baking world.
Glossy caramel dripping from the sides of the cake and topped with pecan nuts will instantly cause your guests to forget about their diets.
11. Dark Chocolate, Fig, Blackberry Cake
Wedding cakes, like wedding dresses, are traditionally white. But traditions aren’t laws, and you can go against them to express your personality.
Dark chocolate, fig, and blackberry cake is a perfect match for dramatic brides.
The combination of pulpy, sweet figs with crunchy seeds, juicy but subtly sour blackberries, and bitter dark chocolate is too sophisticated to be described.
The dark purple figs with vivid orangey flesh, blackberries, and nearly black dark chocolate carry unique, mysterious aesthetics.
Such a cake can’t be light and dreamy like traditional wedding cakes, but it’s remarkably beautiful in its decadent allure.
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