Other than the actual marriage ceremony, nothing symbolizes a wedding quite like the wedding cake itself does. This usually-large treat is more than a dessert. It’s something that the whole wedding party and guests gather around at the conclusion of the celebrate in order to honor the new couple. Often, the couple keeps a portion of the cake, and even more often, the keepsake topper that adorns it. It’s no surprise, then, that so much time and consideration are put into getting the right cake — almost as much consideration as the bride’s wedding gown! Because of this importance attached to the cake, we dedicate this site to getting the perfect one.
We can find the origins of wedding cakes way back in the Roman empire; it popus again in medieval times. Though not technically a cake as we think of it, at ancient Roman weddings, the groom would take
a special barley “cake” that had been baked for him. He would eat part of it, then break the rest of it over the bride’s head.
In medieval times, something looking more like what we consider a cake, but comprised mainly of wheat, was used much like the rice at modern-day weddings. . .that is, the guests threw it at the married couple.
We find the first tiered wedding cake in the 1660s–about the same time when people actually starting eating the cake. Before this tiered cake, the couple had been stacking large buns of bread on top of each other, as high as possible. If they were still able to kiss over this pile, without knocking it over, it was considered good luck for the newlyweds. A French chef took a cue from this, and instead began offering tall, tiered wedding cakes to replace the bun ritual. . . although they were reserved almost exclusively for royal weddings.
Today, multi-tiered wedding cakes are the norm at most weddings. The cake and icing themselves are usually white, since, as we all know, white symbolizes purity (and virginity, but let’s not go there).
As you plan (or maybe just fantasize) about your own perfect wedding cake, we hope you’ll let us join in on the fun.