A history of Wedding Cakes
A wedding cake is the traditional cake served to the guests at a wedding reception (or in parts of England, at a wedding breakfast) after a wedding. In modern western culture, it is usually a large cake, multi-layered or tiered, and heavily decorated with icing, occasionally over a layer of marzipan or fondant, often topped with a small statue representing the couple.
Other common motifs include doves, gold rings and horseshoes, the latter symbolizing good luck. Achieving a dense, strong cake that can support the decorations while remaining edible can be considered the epitome of the baker's art and skill.
Tradition generally requires that the first cut of the cake be performed by bride and groom together, often with a ceremonial knife or even a sword. An older, archaic tradition had the bride serve all portions to the groom's family as a symbolic transfer of her household labor from her family to the groom's family.
Tradition may also dictate that the bride and groom feed the first bites of this cake to each other. Again, this may symbolize the new family unit formed and the replacement of the old parent-child union.
Other guests may then partake of the cake. Portions may be taken home or shipped to people who missed the festivities. An old tradition held that if a bridesmaid slept with a piece of wedding cake beneath her pillow she might dream of her future husband!
A portion may be stored and eaten by the couple at their first wedding anniversary or at the christening of their first child. Sometimes this portion is the top tier, and sometimes a portion of the piece from which the bride and groom fed each other, depending on the local customs. The portion of the cake may be frozen for this purpose; the top tier of the cake may sometimes consist of fruitcake, which could be stored for a great length of time.
At Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses you can choose from a selection of beautiful wedding cake designs. We’ve been baking wedding cakes for well over 110 years! Wedding cake flavours have expanded over time to include chocolate mud cake, orange mud cake, vanilla and chocolate sponge and of course the traditional fruit cake. You can find all of these and more at your local Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse.
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