Traditional Wedding Cakes

What we think of today as a traditional wedding cake, usually a large, tiered white cake with pearls or other decorations and heavy piping featuring a cake topper of a small groom in a tuxedo and a bride in a white dress became popular in the 1950’s as a symbol of the start of the new couple’s life together. Throughout the centuries, wedding cakes have come in many shapes, forms, and flavors.

Traditional wedding cakes are usually simple and elegant, and evoke images of a classic wedding motif.  Sometimes the bride may have the cake decorated in her wedding colors but usually white is the color of choice for a traditional wedding cake.

The Groom’s Cake

Traditional weddings will often also incorporate a groom’s cake into the reception to provide an option for guests and to keep up tradition.  The groom’s cake tradition stems from Victorian times when, instead of the bride and groom cutting the cake together and the whole party enjoying the cake, the wedding cake was broken over the heads of the bride and groom.

That tradition evolved to making two separate cakes for the wedding reception. The groom’s cake was created to be the cake that got broken over the heads of the bride and groom while the bride’s cake would be sliced and served to guests.

Traditionally the groom’s cake is chocolate, and is usually a very dark, rich chocolate that is a nice contrast to the bride’s cake, which is usually light and airy.  Groom’s cakes are no longer broken over the heads of the bride and groom but a groom’s cake is often served in conjunction with the traditional tiered wedding cake. 

In the United States, the use of a groom’s cake is a regional tradition and in some parts of the country grooms cakes are practically unheard of while in other parts of the country groom’s cakes are a requirement at any wedding reception and the cake designers compete with each other to see who can design the most unique groom’s cake.

While groom’s cakes are not a tradition that is practiced everywhere, for brides who want a traditional wedding, a groom’s cake is a must have for the reception.  Having a groom’s cake is also a nice way for a bride to have a traditional wedding reception but add a unique twist that reflects the personalities of her and her new husband.