The Wedding Cake: A fertility symbol and tasty treat
That's right; the wedding cake started out as a fertility symbol and was a major part of the ancient marriage ceremony.
Ancient Romans would bake a cake made of wheat or barley and break it over the bride's head as a symbol of her fertility. (Why is it always the bride?)
It became tradition to pile up several small cakes, one on top of the other, as high as they could, and the bride and groom would kiss over the tower and try not to knock it down. If they were successful, it meant a lifetime of prosperity.
In the 1660s, a French chef was visiting London and observed the cake piling ceremony. He conceived the idea of transforming the mountain of bland tumbling biscuits into an iced, multi-tiered cake sensation.
The British hated the idea, but before the close of the century, British bakers were offering the very same French creations.
Questions for your Baker
Be sure to ask plenty of questions and make sure that your final order is in writing showing all charges for fillings, delivery, and/or elaborate decorations.
Most bakeries will and should let you sample their choices of frosting and some even prepare a small groom's cake for you. Look through their cake portfolio to see what styles are available. If you cannot find one that you like, go through cake decoration books and magazines for ideas.
Stacked cakes are becoming more popular because of the shapes they are available in. Hearts and squares are prevalent, as well as the more traditional circles. Small details such as ribbons, lace, charms, beads, tulle, bows, fresh flowers and streamers add a festive touch.
Time of the year will determine fillings. For instance, mousse does not do well in summer, especially Vegas.
Once you decide on a bakery, reserve your date. You will need to order your cake in advance, some bakeries require as much as six months to a year in some cities.
Most bakeries will also deliver and set up your cake at your reception location. Be sure to ask them if there are any fees involved in doing so.
When you are deciding on the size, style, and type of your wedding cake, there are many things to consider.
Traditionally, wedding cakes have three tiers and are covered with Royal Icing. this doesn't mean that your cake has to be traditional. Colors, chocolate and fresh flowers are gaining much popularity.
There is no right or wrong way to decorate you cake, so have fun while you explore your options.
Write the directions and time of day for the delivery. Be specific.
Starting price for a traditional cake is about $2. a slice. That goes up to over $15. a slice as the cake becomes more intricate in the design. The number of slices will be determined by the number of guests.
The topper is usually purchased separately and not included in the cost per slice as is the groom’s cake.
Other options, have a number of small cakes, or offer a dessert bar . . . or, you could always bake your own.