Let’s Have a Wedding! Part 4: The Cakes

We’ve gone over quite a bit so far.  This week we are going to be talking cakes.  There are a couple of types of cakes.  You have the wedding cake and the groom’s cakes.  There are also a few interesting wedding cake traditions throughout the world that we will also go over.

The standard wedding cake is a multi-tiered cake.  These are normally three two-layer cakes that are a rich vanilla flavour.  Sometimes these layers in the tiers are a fruit or chocolate filling.  It’s the bride’s choice when it comes to that.  When it comes to the frosting, about 90% have a white base with accents of the bride’s chosen colours.  While we’re on the topic of the wedding cake, there few more things to know about them.  First off is the special thing about the top tier of the cake.  You see, guests are not supposed to eat that top layer.  That top layer is for the bride and groom to enjoy on their one year anniversary.  On top of this tier is the cake topper that are commonly modeled to look like a bride and groom.

Now at a formal wedding reception there is what is called the groom’s cake.  These cakes are either chocolate or sometimes cheesecakes. If they are going to not be  a cheesecake they can be decorated in something more manly.  More often than not, they are a sheet cake and no more than a two layers.  Some cakes are done in three dimensional shapes.  Being from the South, the best example that comes to mind is from the movie “Steel Magnolias”.  The red velvet groom’s cake was shaped like an armadillo. Awesome!

Now, if you are in certain parts of Europe you have what is called a Croquembouche or Croque-en-Bouche.  This cone shaped “cake” is actually a pile of pastries.  Choux pastries to be exact.  How are they held together though?  Caramel or other sticky syrup.  These are not just served at weddings though.  Other religious ceremonies have these served there as well.

Oh man, Norwegian’s have an awesome idea for the wedding cake!  Tårnkake are amazing!  These tower cakes are actually common in a lot of Scandinavian countries.  Like Croquembouche “cakes”, these are also seen at religious ceremonies.  They are also in the shape of a cone.  These are more cookie like than they are cakes.  They are held together with icing and sometimes placed around a bottle of wine for the bride and groom to enjoy.  The top layer is saved for the bride and groom to eat at the wedding.  The interesting thing about this wedding cake tradition is that when the top ring is lifted, the number of rings that stick to it is said to represent the number of children the couple will have.

Maybe cake isn’t your thing and you prefer more of a bread.  Well, the more Slovic European countries have you cover.  The korovai, or karavai depending on where you are, is a bread that is used at some wedding parties.  These are sometimes served with salt to dip it in to represent the “bread and salt” of life and marriage in general.  This tradition dates back many, many years and is said to date back before Christianity.

Since there are numerous varying traditions in Asian countries with wedding banquets, there isn’t a good tradition to nail down.  That being said, with a lot of Asian countries adapting more Western ideas into their weddings, the standard wedding cake and groom’s cakes are sometimes seen at Asian wedding banquets.

Delicious!  Now that you have read all about cake you can go out and test what kind of cake you want at your own wedding.  With many people having a variety of new ideas for cakes you see some pretty interesting things at wedding receptions for the cakes.  I’ve seen cake pops, I’ve seen cupcakes, and I’ve seen just a pile of cookies.  Really, the decision is up to you, but keep in mind that part of it, normally the top part, is saved for the one-year anniversary.