Cake toppers are a great way to add some extra personality and whimsy to any cake. They can turn any bland cake or cupcake into a fab confectionary. But finding the correct size for your cake topper can sometimes be a challenge.
You can find cake toppers in a wide assortment of sizes. The ideal cake topper size will be just as wide or narrower than the cake’s highest tier. For multi-tier cake toppers, the higher tiers should be slightly narrower or wider than the ones under them.
Don’t know what a cake topper is? Don’t worry—we’ll go over the basics later on. I’ll also explain how to find the perfect cake topper size for any cake you wish to bake. So, read on!
What Is a Cake Topper?
Think of cake toppers as the cherry on top of your ice cream sundae but for cakes! They make your cake look festive enough for any occasion, from birthdays to weddings and even funerals (sorry for your loss).
A cake topper is a decorative piece that you insert into the top of your cake with bamboo or plastic skewers. They can be letters or initials, ornaments, or even playthings. The point is, they’re there to make your cakes look fancy, regardless of which box you got your cake mix from.
Types of Cake Toppers
Cake toppers can be anything you want it to be! But if you really want to wow your party guests, consider adding any of the following toppers to your freshly baked dessert.
1. Edible models
Edible models are as delicious as they are a wonder to look at. They’re typically made of fondant, icing, wafer paper, or a mix thereof and shaped into anything your heart desires.
You’ll need a bunch of imagination to come up with something truly unique and spectacular, as well as a basic understanding of how the aforementioned materials hold together to form the cake topper of your dreams.
2. Printed toppers
These toppers are typically made from sturdy materials like cardboard, plastic, or Perspex (a type of acrylic glass), which can be cut and shaped into any desired design using specialized tools and techniques.
To make these toppers, you start with a template or design, then use a sharp knife or laser cutter to cut the material into the desired shape. You can add colors, details, and other decorative elements to make them look like anything you want, from cartoon characters and animals to custom designs and logos.
Photograph cake toppers are not like the photographs printed on a sheet of edible paper. Instead, they are actual photographs that stand atop your cake with the help of bamboo skewers or plastic rods.
Photograph cake toppers are perfect for commemorating special moments and occasions, like birthdays, weddings, graduations, and anniversaries. They add a personal touch to your cake, and they’re sure to make your loved ones feel special and appreciated. And best of all, they’re a playful and creative way to add some fun and nostalgia to your cake decorating!
4. Inedible floral cake toppers
Do you want your cake to look like a garden filled with luscious flora? Well, with inedible floral cake toppers, you can certainly achieve a more botanical look for your baked treat!
To make inedible floral cake toppers, you start with a base, such as a foam block or wireframe, which can be covered in decorative materials like moss, ribbon, or fabric. Then, you add your artificial flowers and greenery, arranging them in a way that complements your cake’s colors and design.
Cake Topper Sizes
If you visit a baking supplies store, you’ll most likely come across a wide variety of different cake topper designs, styles, and sizes. The most common cake topper sizes will be the exact width of the typical round cake pan, namely:
- 4 inches
- 6 inches
- 7 inches
- 8 inches
- 9 inches
- 10 inches
- 12 inches
However, knowing the typical cake topper size is one thing, but the real question is…
How Do You Choose a Cake Topper Size?
In all honesty, there’s nobody stopping you from choosing an extravagantly humungous cake topper for a single-portion cupcake. As long as the skewers are sturdy enough to prop the topper up, you shouldn’t have any issues. Go big or go home, right?
However, if you want to do what the pros do, then there’s a very specific set of rules when it comes to choosing the right cake topper size. Let’s take a look at what those rules are down below.
1. As wide as the cake’s highest tier
Let’s say you’re making a 3-tier cake for a wedding or an anniversary. The topmost tier measures 6 inches in diameter. That diameter should serve as your baseline for choosing the right cake topper. Feel free to make it slighter and smaller, but do not make it any wider.
2. The upper cake topper tiers should taper inward or outward
So, let’s imagine that you want to make the cake topper of the century—a cake topper with 3 tiers atop your 3-tier cake! The bottommost tier of the topper should be just as wide as the topmost tier of the cake per the previous rule.
Now, the second and third tiers of the cake topper should be wider or narrower than their previous tiers. In the end, the cake topper should taper outward, with the topmost tier being the widest of them all, or it should taper inward, with the bottommost topper tier being wider than the subsequent tiers. Basically, a multi-tier cake topper would look somewhat like a pyramid or an inverted pyramid when everything’s said and done.
3. Topper height by cake width
So far, we’ve only discussed how wide the topper should be, but how tall can you make it? Well, there’s a general guideline for that, too.
The height of the cake topper should be as wide as the cake. So, if you have a 20-inch-wide cake to feed the mouths of 40 hungry party guests, you’ll need a cake topper that is 20 inches wide as most.