A Sweet Battle: Cake vs. Cupcakes

Warning: You may not want to read this post if you are hungry.

I love wedding cakes. I love cupcakes. What’s a girl to do?

sources: cake & cupcake

I love going to weddings and seeing the big fancy cake. I don’t know about you, but I (unfortunately) do not have a lot of occasions that require multi-tiered, perfectly piped, expertly crafted cakes. So really, the wedding is a fantastic opportunity to get my own fancy-pants cake. Mr. Cheetah and I even love shows like Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes. On the other hand, Mr. Cheetah and I really love cupcakes. We love trying all the cupcake places around L.A. (some faves are: Sprinkles, Frosted Cupcakery, Famous Cupcakes, SusieCakes), and cupcakes are one of my favorite items to bake. So a battle has begun for our wedding dessert: wedding cake vs. cupcakes.

Some cakes I love:


source for two images above

Adorable cupcakes:




Here’s how the battle is breaking down:

Prettiness Factor: cake

Ease of Eating: cupcakes (you don’t need a plate and fork!)

Taste: tie

Price: cupcakes

Cupcakes are inching ahead. Since our dinner and dancing are in two separate (but connected) spaces, the “ease of eating” factor is huge for us. Dessert will be displayed near the dance floor, and it would be so easy for our guests to just grab a cupcake and return to boogying the night away. While a part of me is sad I don’t get to help design a glorious six-tiered cake, images like these make it all better:



Weddingbee’s own Mrs. Swan’s cupcakes

I want to eat them all! Nomnomnomnom…

Would you prefer to eat cake or cupcakes as a wedding guest?


Ms Cheetah

Los Angeles/Palm Springs
Wedding Date:
March 2011
Bridal Market 2010 - Ines Di Santo
Twine Time
Add a comment


  1. Member
    theeekingeek 520 posts, Busy bee @ 2:21 pm

    We did mini cupcakes :) Everyone loved it. We were able to have 6 varieties of flavors. Not to mention it was way cheaper. We paid like $350 with delivery for enough cupcakes to feed over 150 people.

  2. Member
    mjchexum 485 posts, Helper bee @ 2:24 pm

    hmm…this is a tough one. I love both as well. I agree with you on the whole “this is a once in a lifetime chance to have a huge fancy multi tiered cake” but on the other hand I have heard that cupcakes are somewhat cheaper. Cake brings that whole sophisticated,fancy vibe in my mind. And cupcakes bring a more fun vibe, but at the same time they can definitely be dressed up. The last wedding I went to they had cupcakes and they were super cute and tasted amazing! And the bride said they were way cheaper. I also think cupcakes give you more freedom to choose a variety of flavors. As a guest I really don’t care one way or the other, but for my own wedding I think we’ll be going to the cupcake route.

  3. Member
    redbullfanatic 489 posts, Helper bee @ 2:30 pm

    Every wedding I have been to that has had a traditional cake has tasted super bad. I assume it’s because it’s made a few days in advance etc. Beautiful yes but tasty no. As a guest I’d rather have a cupcake.

  4. Member
    TealChocolate 236 posts, Helper bee @ 2:32 pm

    We’re going the cupcake route as well. Neither of us have ever liked the cake at any weddings we’ve been to, but both love yellow cake cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Our baker conviced us to go for white cake instead, so we have white cake and chocolate cake cupcakes with a small round cake as a top tier for the cake cutting. Cupcakes rule!

    I’ll warn you that some bakers are kind of snotty about wedding cupcakes. I actually had a baker say “Sorry, I don’t like cupcakes for weddings”, and many of them said they’d charge more because they didn’t have enough cupcake-specific baking items (large enough baking tins, wraps etc) so it would be more difficult for them. We found a place that sells only cupcakes (though they do cakes for weddings) and got a decent price for drool-worthy cupcakes!

  5. Member
    Statutory Grape 2566 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:32 pm

    We’re doing petit fours–cute, inexpensive, and really tasty. It’s kind of the best of both worlds–they look like elegant little cake slices but you can just pick them up and eat them like a cupcake. :)

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Talya, Guest @ 2:35 pm

    We had this delimia too. I wanted a nice big cake and my fi didn’t. I was a little heartbroken but we managed to compromise. We are going to do a small 2-tier cake for us to cut into and then we are going to do 3 flavors of cupcakes (undecided as of right now) that fit into our fall themed wedding. I love that we’re getting the best of both worlds! As for breaking it down price wise, my grandmother did wedding cakes for many years and has agreed to come out of retirement for us so the cake is being done as a gift.

  7. pashmina Member
    pashmina 190 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:39 pm

    I’m all about the oversized cupcake — it is like a slice of cake & a mini version of a cake!

  8. Member
    cafegirl 1021 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:40 pm

    I personally prefer cake to cupcakes because I find cupcakes to be a little messy (unless you get mini cupcakes). Also, I *LOVE* frosting so I always like to eat the cake with my fork first and save the frosting for last. You can’t do that while standing up and eating a cupcake. However, it sounds like cupcakes might be more feasible in your situation. I most definately would NOT complain if given a cupcake so either way is a big win in my opinion!

  9. scissors Member
    scissors 7343 posts, Busy Beekeeper @ 2:40 pm

    i do love cupcakes, but i think as a guest i prefer eating cake. i’m awkward and not in public appropriate when eating cupcakes, so fork + cake is better for me. :p (i usually lick the icing off the top, then eat the bottom. i feel gross doing that in public! i usually end up getting crumbs everywhere with cupcakes.)

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Margarita, Guest @ 2:49 pm

    Try vanilla bakeshop in la. (near 3d street in Santa Monica. ). Seriously my favorite place ever. I’m doing my cake/cupcakes from them (haven’t decided wither- but it’ll be from there!)

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    JW, Guest @ 2:49 pm

    We’re doing cupcakes. It’s much cheaper, more flavors (7 dozen cupcakes with 6 different flavors), free delivery, and even better no cake cutting fee because we have no cake to serve so we save some money there as well. Talk to your venue they might cut that fee out because it saves them too.

  12. Member
    HELLOLVR 49 posts, Newbee @ 2:53 pm

    as a guest, i’d prefer a traditional cake. any OTHER time, i’m TEAM CUPCAKE, but for all the reasons mrs scissor listed, i have to go with the cake. me+cucpcakes= eye death. licking the frosting and crumbs in the cleavage is not so cute. but as a bride, i’m definitely going with BOTH!

  13. Member
    Minutiae 2416 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:56 pm

    I’d prefer to eat cake too! Easier to eat. The plate and fork are a good thing in this case. :)

  14. Member
    teaandhoney 3311 posts, Sugar bee @ 3:01 pm

    I did both and it was a hit! http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=13820658&l=0e62452c68&id=540985054

    We cut the cake and then froze it for our one year and only TWO cupcakes were left.

    I just went to a wedding with cake and I would say 75% of the cake was left over :(

  15. ostrich Member
    ostrich 2402 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:02 pm

    team cupcake! we’re having a little cake at the top and lots of different flavored cupcakes on a tiered stand, just like your lovely photos!

    either way, your guests will be thrilled! such delicious ideas :)

  16. Member
    CupCakeMeg 3595 posts, Sugar bee @ 3:11 pm

    This is just my opinion but Ive always figured, you can whip up a batch of cupcakes anytime, but a wedding cake! NO WAY! Its a once in a life time thing! Experience it! Embrace it! And if you really want cupcakes, Id have a SMALL wedding cake to cut, and then cupcakes for guests to eat easily!

  17. starfish Member
    starfish 1902 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:24 pm

    I usualyl prefer cake, unless its a really awesome and unique flavor. You have so many pretty inspiration photos!

  18. Member
    feministbride 283 posts, Helper bee @ 4:01 pm

    Why not do a combo?! One small but beautiful cake for cutting, with bonus cupcakes in various flavors?

  19. glasses Member
    glasses 2749 posts, Sugar bee @ 4:26 pm

    I totally had (and posted!) this debate too! In the end we are going with cupcakes with sheet cake for cutting. If you do go with cupcakes, I wonder where you’ll get yours from? We are baking ours!

  20. Member
    allibee 29 posts, Newbee @ 4:36 pm

    I’m still torn between the two. At a bridal show I went to recently a woman had a pretty tower with the yummiest cupcakes I have ever eaten. Plus, cupcakes allow you to pick lots of flavors. Must…find…sweets

  21. Member
    tocarat 324 posts, Helper bee @ 4:37 pm

    I never remember the wedding cake so we are going with cupcakes. Plus I think they are just so cute. We are making our own in advance to save money too. I agree that your wedding day is a fine time to have a fancy cake, and if I had a bigger budget I think I would go for this route.

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Teresa M, Guest @ 5:00 pm

    Cake. It looks better can be more delicious… and, I’m sorry, I just think the cupcake trend is wearing me out a little…

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    ae, Guest @ 5:15 pm

    Just get a pretty cupcake tower and have a normal cake “top tier” to cut into, and you have the best of both worlds 😀

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    Eva, Guest @ 5:28 pm

    I’m a bakery manager and while cupakes are delicious are very adorable, I DO get snooty about wedding cupcakes for many reasons.

    1. They usually appear messier to your guests, not simpler. Because when you’re done with a piece of cake, your plate is clean and you’re ready to move on. With a cupcake you’re left with a (dirty) wrapper. Worse, if you don’t get a fork, there is a chance you’ll also be left with crumbs on your clothes.

    2. They are NOT less expensive a lot of couples go in thinking this an end up over budget and overwhelmed. When you choose cupcakes you also have to rent (or buy) stands to put them on. You also pay extra for fancier liners. Then, most people choose to add gumpaste or fondant flowers to each one which adds about $3-$6 per cupcake. Other adornments (diamonds, hand piped monograms, buttercream flowers) all add up too.

    3. Cupcakes are forgettable. We have customers come in and tell us they had a great cupcake at a wedding, but beyond the fact that it was a cupcakes, they can’t recall anything about it. On the other hand, we have a plethora of cakes about which our sales clerks constantly hear, “I still remember the first time I tried this…”

    4. Guests don’t also know when to take the cupcakes. A cake is served, but cupcakes sit out in a very tempting “serve yourself” fashion. Some take more than one before the bride and groom even make it to the reception and some never take one because they’re chair-dwellers, never going near the table to get their dessert at all.

    Ultimately, your wedding should represent you and if cupcakes do it best, you should serve them. I just thought I’d take a second to explain why some of us bakers do get a little snooty about wedding cupcakes.

  25. lioness Member
    lioness 819 posts, Busy bee @ 5:44 pm

    Awesome inspiration photos! We’re leaning towards cupcakes for the same reasons you broke down.

  26. Member
    jordynrose 6351 posts, Bee Keeper @ 11:07 pm

    Love the cupcake/cake heart balloon display! I saved that one when I saw it online too.

  27. Member
    theresa1078 194 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:17 pm

    We did a cupcake tower also with the cake tier on top…while I thought that the cupcake trend was a little overdone by the time my wedding rolled around, I was a bit surprised to find out that most of my guests had never seen one or even heard of one before (guess that’s what happens outside of wedding blog world!). We got so many compliments on our cupcake tower. I am so happy that we did that over a tiered wedding cake. Wedding cupcakes, when done right, can really outshine a tiered cake (unless you have thousands of dollars to spend on a sculptural or intricately hand painted cake). And speaking of Ace of Cakes…one of the cast members is a friend of mine and was at our wedding, and she was totally impressed by the cupcake tower :)

  28. Member
    Phofe2774 674 posts, Busy bee @ 12:45 am

    LOL I love the “Nomnomnomnom…” totally cracks me up!
    I, and by I, I really mean we, finally decided that we would have cake for all of the reasons you listed. The FH thinks we can have cupcakes any time….. so I will be using that argument to eat cupcakes from every fancy cupcake shop I ever see when we are together….. for the rest of our lives. (YEAH!) I guess in the end it is the best of both worlds for me. Good luck in deciding! I am sure you will love which ever way you go. :)

  29. Member
    lawdog462 7 posts, Newbee @ 10:20 am

    Depending on your budget, you could always do a faux wedding cake (Styrofoam) which would give the fancy-pants wow factor that your looking for in decoration. Usually people serve sheet cakes, but there’s no reason you couldn’t have your fancy decorated “cake” surrounded be delicious cupcakes.

  30. Guest Icon Guest
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  31. cheetah Member
    cheetah 297 posts, Helper bee @ 2:08 pm

    Everyone has such great points! I have a feeling this battle may rage on…
    @Margarita: I’ve been meaning to try that place!
    @Baileyh: Your cake & cupcakes look great!
    @Miss Glasses: Home baked is the best!

  32. Member
    marieta 339 posts, Helper bee @ 6:14 pm

    I’m torn as well, but I think we’re going the cupcake route for a couple of reasons. More flavors is a big one. Groom doesn’t like that many cakes, but likes cupcakes. He hates fondant and buttercream… cream cheese is the only frosting he likes (same with me but not as visceral a reaction). I also don’t like most typical wedding cake flavors with that goopy filling that’s supposed to be so awesome. Meh. But I LOVE the decorations on cakes! I love watching Ace of Cakes and all those Challenge cakes. I think practicality wins, though.

    Speaking of practicality… I’d be careful thinking that cupcakes are less messy and don’t require a plate/fork. I’d strongly recommend at the very least a plate. Cupcakes are messy! Unless they’re mini-cupcakes, there’s no way to eat one in just one bite, which means crumbs. Lots of crumbs. Falling, falling… crumbs. I think at a wedding a fork would be nice, too, to take smaller and politer bites. That’s me. But I do think there should be at least a plate.

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    Tracy D, Guest @ 8:01 pm

    Cupcakes all the way! I’m partial, since (as you know Ms. Cheetah) I had cupcakes for my wedding. My mom talked me into a tiny 6 inch cake for the top tier of the cupcake display for me & hubby, and our parents. Our bakery flat our told me that they would not work with fondant because it tastes bad! LOL! So, as pretty as sculptural wedding cakes are, I have to admit, most of the time they don’t taste good because they’re prepared more as a work of art and less as a tasty dessert.

    You can’t go wrong with cupcakes. They’re pretty, tasty, inexpensive, and there’s no bogus cake cutting fee since there’s nothing to cut! :)

  34. Guest Icon Guest
    Valentine, Guest @ 6:26 pm

    Why choose?!

    We did both!


  35. Guest Icon Guest
    Valentine, Guest @ 6:29 pm

    Dang the picture didn’t come through. Well we had two kinds of cakes and two kinds of cupcakes. It was awesome.

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  39. Member
    katjobin 77 posts, Worker bee @ 10:31 pm

    I couldn’t pick so we are having both. I’m going to make a small simple cake for our wedding (since we figure most people won’t want cake in the morning). Then at the bbq after party that we’re going to have in the afternoon, we are going to have a dessert table with cupcakes. I can’t wait. I’m going to gain so much weight that day and I don’t care, lol.

  40. Guest Icon Guest
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    […] cake vs. cupcakes battle is […]

  41. Guest Icon Guest
    power washing lancaster, Guest @ 4:18 pm

    I like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon.

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