What To Consider When Choosing A Round Vs. Square Wedding Cake

For true loves (and those who truly love food), when planning a wedding, the cake is often top of mind. Though some critics dare to say that buying a wedding cake is a waste of money, a nuptial celebration would not be complete without a delicious layered dessert centerpiece.

Though the biggest wedding trends have changed over the years, recently, the square cake, with its crisp, boxy edges, has risen in popularity. If you're planning your dream wedding, and groaning at the introduction of yet another choice to make — square vs. round cake — here's some help.

When deciding what cake shape to go with, there are a few simple considerations to keep in mind: the look and theme of your wedding, your budget, and the number of guests joining you for your special day. Through all the trends, round cakes remain a classic. Square cakes can be a bit more unique, visually interesting, and therefore costly, but provide more servings — which could be great for larger weddings.

How to pick your cake shape

While traditional round cakes are tried-and-true (seriously, you can't go wrong with this route), a square cake offers an artistic twist, which could be perfect for those looking to introduce unexpected culinary touches. Square cakes are great for elegant black-tie evening weddings, while round cakes may be better suited for a more free-flowing, casual celebration.

Since square cakes are more rare, they are sometimes considered a specialty item. Frosting or covering a square cake in fondant is not quite as seamless (literally) as decorating a round cake, and a bakery might charge you more for this more time-consuming technique.

Due to the larger surface area of a boxy design, however, square cakes offer a better utilization of space and more servings, which is especially useful for weddings with a high guest count. It may seem like a small difference, but ten or fifteen extra slices in a square cake vs. round could add up when feeding a crowd. Check with your bakery (and your budget), to see whether they charge by the serving or the size of the cake.

Round cakes are generally more versatile too. Bakeries are likely to offer a wider range of circular size options, while square options can be more limited. If you're working with a local at-home baker who's just starting up their wedding cake business, they may need to buy square pans if they've never made the shape before.

Customize your cake as a culinary work of art

Whatever the shape, a wedding cake is the perfect way to showcase your style and taste individually and as a partnership. If your vibe is funky and creative (or you don't want to be boxed in to one cake shape or the other), choose to feature both square and round tiers, with alternating flavors in each cake (think: chocolate raspberry for the squares and lemon olive oil cake for the rounds).

For those who want multiple options and variety, go with an elegant square design for the main cake and reserve the simple round edges of a classic circular cake for the couples cake, to be enjoyed just for you two (or frozen to eat on your anniversary). Plus, there's always room for a square Nutella Boston cream pie for the groom's cake.

And, don't let artistic freedom scare you. Instead, use this as an opportunity to build upon your celebration's mood, adding cascading greenery and flowers to your cake for an outdoor wedding that leans into the natural landscape. If you're going for a more ethereal or childlike imaginative theme, top your cake with a variety of fairytale-inspired cake toppers and colorful streamers. Whatever shape cake you choose, remember to tap into your creative expression, and enjoy the sweetness of the process along the way.