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The Tradition Cutting of the Cake

04 jan 2018


One of the most delightful moments that add liveliness to any wedding is the cutting of the cake. Wedding cakes are enjoyable and appreciated for their remarkable taste. Professional pastry cooks go out of their way to create a unique-tasting wedding cake with panache. The ingredients used in most wedding cakes are fresh fruits, unsalted butter, pure cream, etc. and marks the wedding event unforgettable for its mesmerizing and delicious experience. Most people consider a wedding cake as being part of the wedding reception, without which a wedding would not be complete.


The wedding cake was created to bring good fortune and good luck to the new couple as well as to every wedding guest in attendance. But different cultures portray the wedding cake differently. Some cultures only serve the cake at a wedding breakfast which takes place a day after the wedding day. In other parts of the world, they only place the wedding cake on display, but none of the guests is permitted to eat of it. Some other cultures even have just one edible tier meant for the bride and her groom.

But when did the tradition of cutting cakes at weddings originate from? Which wedding was the first in which a cake was cut? Who started the cutting cake tradition?


The cutting cake tradition dates as far back as the days of ancient Rome. In those days, according to the custom of the Romans, the groom would eat one slice of barley bread or wheat cakes – which symbolized the wedding cake – and then break the rest of the bread over the head of the bride. This action is believed to signify the breaking of the bride’s hymen as well as to denote the authority or supremacy of the man over his bride. The breaking of the bread in this way was also believed to bring good fortune to the new couple.


Back in Medieval England, wedding cakes were stacked very high so that if the groom and bride kissed thoroughly over the stacked cakes, they were guaranteed to live a wealthy life together. According to some reports, it was stated that breakable cakes – which were sweet rolls – were used in weddings that took place in Scotland in the 19th century. The cakes were usually inedible after being dropped on the floor and trampled underfoot.

But as time went on, wedding cakes began to take a more contemporary version which made it impossible to ‘break’ over the head of the bride.


Then a French baker got tired of the mess created by broken pieces of pies littering the floors and then went ahead to start using columns, filters, and icing to hold several layers of cake together. At one time, these tiered wedding cakes were only used by the very wealthy or royalty. One of the layered wedding cakes is believed to be stimulated by a church on Fleet Street, London, called St. Brides Church and was created by Thomas Rich – a baker’s apprentice – for his bride.

Fruit wedding cakes became popular in the 1800s and were introduced to America. Thus, the beginning of the wedding cake tradition started in the United States of America.


Tradition also had it that the bride cuts the wedding cake in pieces by herself and distributes them to all the guests. But it became a cumbersome task for the bride alone. So the groom joined in.

Now, both the bride and groom cut the cake together to symbolize the first task they undertake as man and wife. Then they feed each other to signify their union and promise to provide for each other forever.


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