It’s hard to imagine a wedding without a cake.
But have you ever thought about where this tradition actually came from? Let’s take a look back at the history of the wedding cake to get a better understanding of why it’s such an important part of every wedding celebration.
The tradition of serving a special cake during weddings dates all the way back to ancient Rome. During these ceremonies, couples would break barley cake over their heads to symbolize happiness, fertility, and prosperity in their lives together.
Medieval England saw newlyweds exchanging kisses on top of bun piles as an omen for prosperous futures. Even unmarried guests took home slices of cakes to place beneath their pillows or luck. Although this was probably better than consuming any early British "Bride's Pye" recipe that featured cockscombs, lamb testicles and oysters amongst other ingredients - not to mention another version with boiled calf feet!
Fast forward several centuries later and we find ourselves in Medieval England. Here, cakes were served at weddings but they were quite different from today’s cakes. They were usually made out of fruits, nuts and spices and were more like fruitcakes than anything else. Guests would eat these small spiced “bride pies” both during and after the ceremony as a sign of good luck for the newlyweds.
The Modern Wedding Cake
It wasn’t until the 17th century that the modern wedding cake we know and love today started to take shape. The first multi-tiered cake was served in England during the marriage between Prince William and Princess Catherine in 1662. This four-tiered creation was made up of sugar paste, which was essentially sugar mixed with gum tragacanth (a type of plant extract). It also featured marzipan decorations on each tier, as well as icing roses that were arranged in tiers to resemble columns supporting a dome-like roof.
This eye-catching design quickly caught on with other well-to-do families and soon became one of the most popular elements at weddings throughout Europe.
By the 19th century, bakers started using white sugar icing to decorate their cakes and tiered cakes had become so commonplace that Queen Victoria even served one at her own royal wedding in 1840! To this day, many couples try to emulate her iconic cake style when planning out their own nuptials.
Today, there are countless unique designs available when it comes to wedding cakes - from geode cakes and macaron towers to multi-tiered masterpieces adorned with fresh flowers or intricate piping work - allowing couples everywhere express their love story through dessert!
Wedding cakes have come a long way since they first appeared centuries ago - but no matter how much they evolve over time, they will always be an essential part of any couple's big day!
Whether it’s simple or elaborate, every wedding cake is sure to bring good luck and prosperity to newlyweds everywhere and make your guests oohh...and aaahhh...over its beauty.
So, grab your forks, everyone – it’s time for some delicious history!