Groom’s Cake – The Story

October 21, 2008 — Leave a comment

The other day I had this flash of a memory of my parents coming home from a wedding with a little white box that I was so excited to get.  Not for the contents though, because it was a dense, dark and fruit filled cake that smelled of rum.  I was excited for the fact that I was going to put it under my pillow and dream of my future husband.  At age 10 that was a very exciting prospect.  In that little box was the Groom’s cake.  

It seems the story behind the groom’s cake is sketchy.  Here’s what I found about it’s origin and evolution.  

1. During the Roman Empire the wedding cake was a loaf of barley bread which the groom would break over the brides head. Nice.  Guests would scramble for the crumbs since they were apparently good luck. Smart idea to get your guest to help with  clean up after a party.   

2. The other explanation was that crumbs of the cake would be passed through a wedding ring whose owner was happily married. Not sure how they could be certain on that but anyway. Then the unmarried women would sleep with these crumbs under their pillow – to dream about their future husbands. I have to say that I have on occasion slept with crumbs under my pillow …  and in the sheets and on the comforter.  I sometimes like to eat in bed.  But superstitions around taking of a wedding ring of soon put that to end – or maybe they were afraid of losing there ring in the pile bread crumbs.  Kind of like Kerri Walsh when she lost her wedding ring in the sand at the Olympics.

3. So the bread somehow grew up one day into a cake and no longer broken into crumbs that the guests had to fight over.  And apparently made it’s way to the top of the cake.   It wasn’t eaten at the wedding and saved for the first anniversary.  I don’t know about the refridgeration during those days but even if the cake was heavy with brandy do you think you’d want to eat that thing a year later?

Sometime in the 1970’s it evolved from the hard-as-your-head fruit cake to more tasty varieties.  Groom’s cakes now represent more of the groom himself and his interests.  


What have you heard about Groom’s cake. Have you been to many weddings where there was one?

images Cake Channel

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