3 Ways to Turn a Grocery Store Cake into a Wedding Cake

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Using a plain grocery store cake and dressing it up well is an ideal wedding cake solution for any bride on a budget, but especially those who want to DIY their cake but don’t have the skills — or time — to bake everything from scratch.

Choosing a grocery store cake may be a compromise in cost and customization, but it doesn’t have to be a compromise in style. Here are three ideas for transforming a plain grocery store cake into a wedding-worthy cake no matter your style.

How to Turn a Sheet Cake into a Wedding Cake

Grocery store cakes, especially sheet cakes, are underrated and I can’t understand why. Most grocery stores bake their cakes and make their frosting in store and they are consistently good. Most stores have half sheet cakes or unfrosted rounds on hand at all times, which is good news if you’ve had some sort of wedding cake disaster and need one fast. With as little as 24 hours lead time, a grocery store bakery cake make any size cake in your favorite flavor. Ideally though, order your plain cake at least two weeks in advance.

Costs and Serving Sizes

Sheet cakes come in four sizes and serve anywhere from 15 to 80 guests. I called a few local grocery stores to ask for pricing and serving sizes. I’m sure prices vary by location, but this is a good reference. Keep in mind that custom flavors may cost more.

  • 1/4 sheet cake: prices start at $30, serves 15 to 20 guests
  • 1/2 sheet cake: prices start at $50, serves 35 to 40 guests
  • 3/4 sheet cake: prices start at $70, serves 55 to 60 guests
  • full sheet cake: prices start at $90, serves 75 to 80 guests

Our decor goals for these plain cakes is to keep the topping expenses low and easily available at either the same grocery store or with a quick run to the craft store. Here are three quick ideas for three different styles.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

1. Sweet and Dreamy

This is the cake for a romantic fairytale wedding. Use rock candy to create faux crystals and adorn the cake with fresh, soft flowers such as peonies or ranunculus.


  • Plain sheet cake in desired flavor
  • Rock candy
  • Fresh flowers — peonies or ranunculus

Directions: Use a small mallet or rolling pin to gently crack the rock candy into smaller crystals. Gentle press these crystals onto the edge/corners of the cake. Top the cake with a fresh peonies placed in two corners of the cake.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

2. Simple and Modern

This cake is perfect for the modern minimalist wedding. Whether you’re eloping and having a small party in an art gallery or you just want a sweet and simple cake, this is the grocery store wedding cake for you.


  • Round cake in the flavor of your choice
  • Fondant — most craft stores carry this near the cake decorating supplies
  • Pink food coloring
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Edible maker pen

Directions: Divide the purchased fondant into two proportions — a small one for the pink hearts and a large for the white hearts. Tint the smaller portion by kneading a drop of pink food coloring into it. Roll the fondant into 1/8-inch thickness and cut out heart shapes to edge the cake. You can use the hearts immediately or dry overnight to make them more sturdy.

Line the cake with the hearts, overlapping slightly. Use the edible marker to write the bride and groom’s initials on two hearts and use these to top the finished cake.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3. Romantic and Rustic

Fresh fruit, flowers, and herbs make this stunningly simple adornment for a sheet cake my favorite grocery store wedding cake. It would be as welcome at a backyard wedding as it would at a more elaborate party barn nuptial.


  • Sheet cake in desired flavor
  • Fresh herbs — thyme, rosemary, mint, and lavender work best
  • Fresh stone fruit, such as plums, peaches, and apricots
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Spray roses
  • Baby’s breath
  • Powdered sugar

Begin by edging the cake with the best and prettiest fresh thyme, rosemary, and lavender you can find. Top the cake in the center with a pile of apricots, peaches, strawberries, and raspberries. Stud with spray roses and baby’s breath. Dust with powdered sugar.