Wedding cakes have changed so much over the last few decades and are now so beautifully decorated that many are left untouched and are used as a very stunning showpiece … but what is the meaning behind the wedding cake and why do we have them?
Origin of the wedding cake
We have the Romans to thank for the tradition of the wedding cake as back in the day, they believed breaking a wheat or barley cake (basically a scone) over the bride’s head would bring the couple luck and make them fertile. The newly-wed couple would then eat a few crumbs to signify their first act as a couple before the guests then eat whatever was left.
Image from Debbie Gillespie Cake Design (and not Roman times, obvs)
By the medieval times, the ‘scone’ had become stacked spiced buns (the original tiered wedding cake!) and the bride and groom would try and kiss over it without it falling over … if successful, it was said to bring the couple good fortune.
By the 1600s, the spiced buns were replaced with a Bridal Pie filled with such delights as oysters, lamb testicles, throat, and rooster comb … we can’t for the life of us understand why this traditional didn’t stick around too long and by the 1700s the Bridal Pie was replaced by a ‘wedding cake’ made by sandwiching two pastry crusts together filled with currants and sugar.
The wedding cake as we know it, first appeared in the 1800s when refined sugar become more common. A bright, white icing became the topping of choice to signify the bride’s virginity and a fruit cake to signify the family’s wealth.
Duke and Duchess of Sussex wedding cake. Image from Kensington Palace/Twitter
Today, wedding cakes have become a work of art with flavours beyond our wildest imagination. Traditional fruit cakes, which were used to form the structure of the ornate and heavy decoration of tiered cakes have been replaced with delicate flavours, dainty sugar flowers and hand-painted designs instead.
Debbie Gillespie Cake Design specialises in hand-painted cakes and sugar florals … she loves nothing better than anything that’s out of the ordinary so as far as she is concerned, the quirkier the better! (Which is perfect for our alternative brides and grooms as we have The Curious Place at September’s show).
Flavours are also out of this world from Courgette & Lime, Rich Chocolate Mud Cake and Sticky Toffee Cake (see their full list) and are made from using fresh quality dairy products from their local farm, UK-grown flour and sugar and free-range eggs. Debbie Gillespie Cake Design
Clean architectural lines combined with the softness and fragility of sugar blooms defines Boutique Bakery with a ethos to provide scrumptious and elegant cakes that help make your day perfectly memorable. With flavours such as Pink Prosecco, Raspberry Bakewell and Pink Grapefruit & Cardamon, alongside traditional Victoria Sponge Cake and Fruit makes their cakes a truly stunning centrepiece at your wedding.
So there you have it and now you know the reason why we have wedding cake … so get your’s ordered today and stick with the traditional that wedding cake brings you luck, good fortune …. and hopefully lots of happiness in your marriage.
Come along to The North West Wedding Show 18/19 January to sample these delicious cakes and speak face-to-face to the bakers who will design your wedding cake.