Why do we have wedding cake?

Image: Andy J Photography

Wedding cakes have changed so much over the last few decades and are now so beautifully decorated that many are left untouched and are used as a very stunning showpiece … but why do we have wedding cake and what is the meaning behind the them?


We have the Romans to thank for the tradition of the wedding cake as back in the day, they believed breaking a wheat or barley cake (basically a scone) over the bride’s head would bring the couple luck and make them fertile. The newly-wed couple would then eat a few crumbs to signify their first act as a couple before the guests then eat whatever was left.

Image from Debbie Gillespie Cake Design (and not Roman times, obvs)

By the medieval times, the ‘scone’ had become stacked spiced buns (the original tiered wedding cake!) and the bride and groom would try and kiss over it without it falling over … if successful, it was said to bring the couple good fortune.

By the 1600s, the spiced buns were replaced with a Bridal Pie filled with such delights as oysters, lamb testicles, throat, and rooster comb … we can’t for the life of us understand why this traditional didn’t stick around too long and by the 1700s the Bridal Pie was replaced by a ‘wedding cake’ made by sandwiching two pastry crusts together filled with currants and sugar.

The wedding cake as we know it, first appeared in the 1800s when refined sugar become more common. A bright, white icing became the topping of choice to signify the bride’s virginity and a fruit cake to signify the family’s wealth.

Queen Victoria’s Wedding Cake – Victoriana.com

Duke and Duchess of Sussex wedding cake. Image from Kensington Palace/Twitter

Today, wedding cakes have become a work of art with flavours beyond our wildest imagination. Traditional fruit cakes, which were used to form the structure of the ornate and heavy decoration of tiered cakes have been replaced with delicate flavours, dainty sugar flowers and hand-painted designs instead.

Johanna Steward Photography

We work with a truly talented bunch of bakers which means you really can have your cake as we have done the research for you!

Debbie Gillespie Cake Design

Debbie Gillespie Cake Design specialises in hand-painted cakes and sugar florals … she loves nothing better than anything that’s out of the ordinary so as far as she is concerned, the quirkier the better! 

Flavours are also out of this world from Courgette & Lime, Rich Chocolate Mud Cake and Sticky Toffee Cake (see their full list) and are made from using fresh quality dairy products from their local farm, UK-grown flour and sugar and free-range eggs. Debbie Gillespie Cake Design. Image by Vicky Dubois Photography

Boutique Bakery

Clean architectural lines combined with the softness and fragility of sugar blooms defines Boutique Bakery with a ethos to provide scrumptious and elegant cakes that help make your day perfectly memorable. With flavours such as Pink Prosecco, Raspberry Bakewell and Pink Grapefruit & Cardamon, alongside traditional Victoria Sponge Cake and Fruit makes their cakes a truly stunning centrepiece at your wedding.

Boutique Bakery

Emerald City Cupakes

From cupcakes to cake buffets, cupcake towers to multi-tier cakes, Emerald City Cupcakes create unique and bespoke cakes that taste as good as they look.

Emerald City Cupcakes

The Sweet Tooth Bakery

A family run business, The Sweet Tooth Bakery design your wedding cakes around your colour scheme and are filled with lots of love and attention to detail. From traditional wedding cakes to fun cake pops, you are in for a treat!

The Sweet Tooth Bakery

That Little Cake Place

Dreamy Vanilla! Chocolate Orange! Red Velvet! Our mouths are watering just reading this .. and these are just some of the amazing flavours That Little Cake Place can bake for you. Add Lemon & Elderflower, Cherry Bakewell and Chocolate Mud into the mix and you really are spoilt for choice.

That Little Cake Place

So there you have it and now you know the reason why we have wedding cake … so get your’s ordered today and stick with the tradition that wedding cake brings you luck, good fortune …. and hopefully lots of happiness in your marriage too.

And if you want to find out why bridesmaids traditionally wear the same colour dresses, then click here – it makes a great Quiz Questions!

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