The Evolution of the Wedding Cake

The wedding cake – what do you think of it?

Usually for most couples its great for taking photos with but little else. However if it is significant it’s likely to have a filling the couple will enjoy, but once the ceremony is over and the party is underway its usually long forgotten.

So how did the wedding cake come to be? Well cake maker Tracey Denise from The Indulgent Cake answers just that with her article on its evolution – enjoy.

Nowadays when we think of wedding cakes we think of them being a reflection of the couple or the brides personality by using colours, flowers or a more literal design.

However cakes of today are by no means a reflection of the past as you will be surprised to know that the earliest wedding cake was recorded as being a simple barley loaf that the husband would break over his wife’s head to show his dominance in the marriage. Nice!

This was followed by the bride’s pie in medieval England, which would either have a sweet (sweet bread or mincemeat) or savoury (meat) filling depending on the brides families budget and  was a feature in weddings up until the late 19th century when it was replaced with a single tiered plum cake.

In terms of decoration, Royal icing was created in the late 1880’s and as the wedding cake became associated with the bride and started being decorated, white was deemed an appropriate colour to reflect the purity of the bride and by this association the cake became centre stage at the meal, just like the bride at the wedding.

Once the art of stacking the cakes was introduced, the tradition of keeping the top tier for the christening of the first child  came into being.

And finally as the artistry of sugar work has progressed so has the decorations on wedding cakes, which brings us back to today with cakes often decorated to compliment the brides dress or the bridal parties’ colours. Just take a look at some I’ve created.

Tracey Denise

The Indulgent Cake


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