'Tis the Season for Wedding Cakes!!


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'Tis the Season for Wedding Cakes!!

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Giu 28, 2013, 9:36am

Here's an article on the history of wedding cakes. Princess Vicky's cake sounds pretty good, not sure about the meat wedding cake. Have a slice. http://www.thesmartset.com/article/article06261301.aspx

Giu 28, 2013, 1:43pm

What a very interesting article. Although it seems obvious, I hadn't realized the origin of royal icing. Thanks for posting.

Giu 28, 2013, 3:06pm

I think I was an adult before I ever ate a slice of wedding cake. We always brought the cake home wrapped in a fancy paper napkin, and placed it under our pillows so we would dream of our future spouses. I don't remember ever having such a dream, and by morning the cake was a crumbled mess. But tradition is tradition!

Giu 29, 2013, 3:25am

PhaedraB - that must have been a good solid traditional fruitcake, not the light sponge that seems to be more usual in the US, and which would be pulp after 5 minutes under a pillow.

In the highly unlikely event that I ever marry, I'm having 1 tier of seriously traditional fruitcake (with marzipan and royal icing - none of that fondant stuff) topped by a smaller tier of Wensleydale cheese, the perfect accompaniment to a seriously traditional fruitcake.

Giu 29, 2013, 2:40pm

4 > Sovay, I was an adult before I ever knew that wedding cakes were fruitcakes anywhere. It was good old layer cake with buttercream between the layers--here in the States I've never encountered anything else--and yes, it was a crumbled mess in no time at all. For the longest time I was under the impression that no one actually ate wedding cake, as I never saw anyone eating it, only bringing it home.

It is also traditional here for the bride and groom to take the small top layer home, put it in the freezer, and then eat it on their first anniversary. One day I finally realized that custom probably started with fruit cakes, which can hang around for a long time without going into the freezer.

Modificato: Giu 29, 2013, 10:55pm

When I was a child, at least in our circle of aquiintances, wedding cakes were strictly fruit cakes. I think there were usually two of them. One was for display/eating/saving for later, and the other was cut up into little rectangles and tightly wrapped in tinfoil and a little paper doily for the guests to take home and put under their pillows. Being an inquisitive child, I was constitutionally incapable of leaving any parcel wrapped, so I always checked out the fruitcake, but I can't remember if I actually ate any. My mother was adamant that the cake was for sleeping on, not eating.

Things have changed, though, and in the last 25 years or so the only fruitcake I've seen at weddings has been for couples from West Indian backgrounds.

Edited to turn triangles into rectangles.

Giu 29, 2013, 5:48pm

I've only seen this at one wedding but the groom's cake was put in a little box to take home. In this case it was actually pumpkin bread.

Giu 29, 2013, 5:56pm

In my part of the US, groom's cakes were unknown. I never even heard of them until I saw the movie Steel Magnolias.

Modificato: Lug 3, 2013, 4:38am

For me also, a traditional wedding cake is a solid fruitcake with marzipan.

If, however, you want a non-traditional wedding cake, and you happen to be in Norfolk* in England, you could talk to my friend Sarah Pettegree at Bray's Cottage. How about a four layer pork pie wedding cake?

click image for link to her website
image © Sarah Pettegree 2011

*Which is in the east. Don't ask.

Lug 7, 2013, 12:00pm

justjim - I LOVE that cake! :)

I don't think I've ever known anyone who slept on the wedding cake, unless they passed out at the reception. I'm from California and though I have heard of that tradition in a vague way, it was never practiced that I know of. I'm also 50 years old.

My sister and I used to make wedding cakes, in fact, we made our own. We used the layercake/buttercream frosting method, only, if it was vanilla cake, we might put lemon pudding or homemade apricot-pineapple jam in the middle. Bride's choice. Often each layer would be a different flavor and the top was saved in the freezer for the first anniversary. My husband and I ate ours when we got home from our honeymoon though, because even in a freezer it isn't going to taste very good after a year!

We started in the 70s and used either royal icing (my sister was great with that, but I never could make it work) or buttercream for the decorations. When I married in the early 80s it was in style to have fresh flowers on the cake which I loved.

Anyone here ever go to Cakewrecks.com? a website with cake tragedies which have been purchased from professional bakeries. Loads of sarcastic fun.

Lug 7, 2013, 4:21pm

Cakewrecks is one of my favorite sites.

I had fresh flowers topping my wedding cake in 1986. I thought it was beautiful and novel. The Cakewrecks gal thinks it's gross to have plant material touching the frosting. Maybe I grew up in a less germaphobe era (I'm 61).

Lug 7, 2013, 10:14pm

Me too, PhaedraB. As long as you use edible plants/flowers. No oleanders, please. I still have a type of green vine growing in my yard which was used as the bottom trim on my grandmother's wedding cake in 1926. She said it was used on every special occasion cake back then. A lovely, lacy, delicate thing.

Lug 8, 2013, 4:09pm

You mean the flowers weren't edible? Nasturtium, Day lilies, and many others are great to eat although they are light on flavor, except of course chive blossoms.

Lug 9, 2013, 12:01am

Honestly, I have no memory of what kind of flowers they were. I'm no flower gardener & don't have names for most of them. But there was no discussion of their edibility, just their beauty.

I don't have a picture of it, either. It was pre-digital, and the ex-husband got the wedding album.

Lug 9, 2013, 11:08pm

I used red roses on my own, which technically are edible, but these were from a florist, so heaven only knows what was on them. Innocent days. :) I was too busy eating the buttercream icing and chocolate cake to worry about the flowers.

I did make a lovely chocolate ganache cake for my daughter. It had sugared violets and chocolate leaves (real leaves painted with chocolate, then peeled off so only the chocolate remained). If I were ever to get married again, that would be my wedding cake. Those flowers were lovely with a delicate violet taste to them.