I recently saw a really cute image of a groom’s cake that was made from Oreo cookies. It looked divine, but it got me thinking… what is a groom’s cake and why would you need one? As with most things wedding, the groom’s cake is tradition that can be traced back to Victorian times. Then, there wasn’t just a groom’s cake, but a smaller bride’s cake too, both in addition to the normal wedding cake. Talk about cake overload! I guess wearing a corset during that era was certainly no accident.
During those times, these smaller cakes were meant for the groomsmen and bridesmaids. So, what is the purpose of a groom’s cake today? Groom’s cakes are much more prominent in the south than anywhere else in the country, and many brides believe that it’s a special way to recognize their husband-to-be during the big day when, let’s face it, most of the attention is showered on them. Common ingredients for groom’s cakes include dark chocolate, fruit, and liqueur, homage to its 18th Century predecessor, the fruit cake. However, people love to get creative and I’ve seen groom’s cakes in the shape of alligators, beer cans, and even an Nintendo remote control.
Cakes in these funky shapes and sizes just weren’t a reality during the Victorian Era. Why? Well, baking soda and processed flour didn’t exist until later in the 18th Century, which is when wedding cakes as we know them today were born. Interesting! And much like the top layer of the wedding cakes we know and love today, the groom’s cake is not traditionally eaten during the reception. It is either saved to enjoy together, or slices are boxed up and given to unmarried women during the party to take home with them. What’s more—legend says that if an unmarried woman sleeps with a slice of groom’s cake under her pillow, she will dream about her future husband.
Hey, that’s reason enough for me to keep the spirit of the groom’s cake alive!