Wedding cakes were historically a part of a tradition aimed at bringing good luck to all the guests at a wedding, whereas nowadays wedding cakes have become more the centerpiece of the wedding ceremony. The modern modern wedding cake takes it origin in many traditions throughout different historical periods in Europe. For examples, in ancient Rome bread was broken over the bride’s head in order to bring good luck and fortune. Similarly, in Medieval Europe wedding cakes were stacked high as an obstacle for the bride and groom to kiss over, if the bride and groom succeeded in kissing without knocking the cake layers down then they were destined to have a happy and fortune laden life together.
The modern wedding cake took it’s most similar form in 17th to 19th century England where the bride’s wedding cake began as an offshoot from the more common ‘bride’s pie.’ Soon thereafter, both the groom’s cake and bride’s wedding cake became a tradition. Here, in 18th to 19th century England, layers of edible cake were used as well as tiers to separate them – all of which became a status symbol since only the rich and well off could afford multi layered wedding cakes with tiers and support systems.
For the wedding cake tradition starting in the Ancient Roman times, the breaking of
the bread over the bride’s head by the groom symbolized both the breaking of her virginity as well as his dominance over her moving forward. As for more modern wedding cakes traditions, the white color of most traditional cakes was meant to represent the purity of the bride. As the typical wedding cake started out as the bride’s cake, the symbolism was especially relevant then. Early on in the life of wedding cakes, pieces of the cake were to be handed out by the bride which would ensure fertility to those guests. Finally, the sharing of eating the first piece of the wedding cake symbolizes the union of the newly weds, a tradition which continues to this day.
Wedding cakes come in all shapes, styles and sizes. The purpose of custom wedding
cakes is for the freedom for the bride and groom to use their creativity in planning the centerpiece of their wedding – and wedding cakes can get quite over the top. For the more common styles of wedding cake there is the traditional type of cake with white or off-white colors incorporating multiple round layers stacked upon each other and usually adorned with more elegant decorations such as beads, pearls, cake jewelry and more. These traditional wedding cakes can have more of a floral theme to them, incorporating floral accents throughout the layers of the cake. Whereas multi-layered wedding cakes are the norm with most traditional weddings, smaller cakes and even individual wedding cupcakes have become more and more popular. These smaller cakes and cupcakes can at times be cheaper and more efficient in their ease of distribution, which of course is a factor to consider when planning a wedding.
As for wedding cake flavors white, vanilla flavored cake is customary but a lot of other flavors have taken on popularity over time. Chocolate flavored wedding cakes have become popular, as well as strawberry and other flavors. What’s perhaps the more notable trend for wedding cakes is not the cake flavor, but the addition of wedding cake fillings in assortments of different flavors. Vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and all the basics are of course widely chosen, but other more untraditional wedding cake filling flavors have become even more popular. At Palermo’s Bakery, dulce de leche cake filling flavor has in recent times become one of the most popular wedding cake fillings.
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