As a bakery owner, you know you’ve succeeded when the aroma of your freshly baked artisanal bread has lured a long line of customers leading out your door. But once you’ve gotten customers into your bakery, it’s your ambiance that will ensure that they come back again. Studies have found that 60% of the way we perceive food is based on the store environment, and what could be more important to your shop than your bakery display cases?1

When executed well, small bakery display ideas can set you apart in a saturated market. The bakery and cafe industry grew to to $11.7 billion as of 2021.2 Creatively displayed baked goods result in more overall sales and certainly more impulse buys.3

To get your creative juices (or cream filling) flowing, we’ve rounded up 10 bakery display case ideas that are sweet as pie.

Unique bakery display ideas

  1. Lighting — Whether or not your customers have jumped onto the sourdough bandwagon, it’s undeniable that artisanal bread has become a household staple. Proper lighting will showcase the freshness of your baked bread. Like Ponsonby Central bakery, make sure to keep your lighting consistent and set it at the appropriate brightness level for maximum appeal.
  2. Shelving — Angled shelves allow everyone in the bakery to see what you’re selling, no matter their place in line. Check out how Lavender Bakeries in Berkeley, CA uses their shelves to mix and match their comestibles for a stunning effect. Plus, bakery shelves can be as functional as they are design-friendly. Use heated shelves that keep sweet treats warm for customers and give your goodies the perception of being freshly baked.
  3. Showrooming — Roughly three-quarters of your customers are likely to “showroom,” meaning they browse products in your store to get a sense of what they want to buy online.4 Make sure your online marketplace nods to the in-store experience as closely as possible to make it a seamless experience for your customers. And share photos of your baked goods online like Chicago’s Westown Bakery does just to amplify the drool factor a bit.
  4. Pops of color — Color has a bigger effect on your customers than you might guess: Up to 90% of immediate product judgments are based on color alone.5 Every color has a story. For example, red is typically associated with excitement, while purple means tranquility. Big Bakes Bakery draws customers in with bright, inventive color schemes.
  5. Shapes — Interesting patterns can calm the brain, provoke our curiosity, or make us feel inspired. JCakes in North Branford, CT understands this and uses it to their advantage to make compelling cake designs. You can even take it a step further with Instagram-worthy designs borrowed from the art world, as with this epic Mondrian square cake.
  6. Themes — Using display themes that make sense for your brand can help you provide a unique experience for your customers. New York-based Le Pain Quotidien reinforces its brand identity with a rustic theme in all of its stores. During the holiday months, you can borrow a page from Sweet Lady Jane Bakeries in L.A. to create compelling themes to increase foot traffic.
  7. Designer partnerships — Partnerships are a great way to bring in more foot traffic or build hype around your baked goods. Commission a specialty cake designer on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis to dream up some custom creations likely to reel in your audience.
  8. Bakery decor — While the bakery display should be your business’ focal point, leverage the real estate surrounding the case to build excitement. Add in funky lighting, create eye-catching designs on a chalkboard menu, or bring in balloon installations.
  9. Whimsy — Showcasing a (literal) upside-down cake? Presenting customers with a surprise gift? It’s all possible when you lean into whimsy. With enough seriousness in this world, consumers need some levity. Nashville’s Five Daughters Bakery uses out-of-the-box displays to keep its customers on their toes and coming back for more.
  10. Hype — Leverage your social media channels — especially photo-centric platforms like Instagram and TikTok — to build some hype around your unique bakery display ideas. Share drool-inducing photos with your followers or, like Huntington Park’s Los Angelitos Bakery, go behind the scenes to show how favorite creations are made.

Have your cake and eat it too

As a small bakery, the key to building your customer base and increasing revenue is introducing the world to your products. With unique bakery display ideas, you can build excitement around your goodies, develop a strong brand identity, and exceed customers’ expectations to keep them coming back again and again.

While you’re dreaming up your next bakery display, you’ll also want to make sure you protect your store. Like icing on a cake, Thimble’s Business owners policy (BOP) insurance has you covered by combining commercial property insurance and general liability insurance.

With Thimble, you can choose from a policy by the job, month, or year. Just click “get a quote” or download the Thimble mobile app. Answer a few questions, get your quote, and purchase — all within minutes. Pretty yummy deal, huh?


  1. Bake Mag. Inventive Displays. 
  2. IbisWorld. Bakery Cafes in the US – Market Size 2002-2027. 
  3. Bake Mag. Inventive Displays. 
  4. Bake Mag. Eye-catching displays keep customers coming back. 
  5. HelpScout. Color Psychology in Marketing and Branding is All About Context.