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Eating cake is undeniably one of life’s guilty pleasures. The look, smell, and taste, of cake, never disappoints. It always provides sugary comfort, as well as connections to good times, and is practically available for any and all occasions—even when nothing is happening. Cake, in general, is an irresistible staple of our culture. I’m even enjoying a red velvet cake flavored protein shake as I type this.
Pure and simple—cake is beloved. As you can see below, it’s admiration has been documented in several forms:
Rhianna has a popular song about cake. (Yes, it may or may not be about actual cake, but for the purposes of this blog, the song DOES say cake. A lot.)
There are numerous cake shows. For your viewing pleasure, I’ve listed some of the Internet’s top recommendations:
Artists like Wayne Thiebaud and others worldwide have created countless works of you guessed it—Cake art!
Back to celebrations, though. Let’s take a look at weddings. These affairs, in particular, are special because wedding cakes are a huge symbol of the event. Weddings also offer the possibility of two cakes. There’s usually the wedding cake itself, which is often exquisite and on point with pretty much all wedding decor. Then there’s sometimes a groom’s cake, which is usually not part of the theme whatsoever, but still equally as delicious looking.
A wedding cake is considered a representation of love. According to Reader’s Digest, it all started in Ancient Rome when a wheat or barley cake that emulated a scone, was broken over a bride’s head. It remains unclear (to me, at least) who broke the cake over the bride’s head, but apparently, it was to symbolize luck and fertility. As to why those specific items were used, that’s still a mystery, too. Either way, upon the breaking of this cake, the couple had a few bites to show they were united in marriage and afterward, the guests ate the leftover crumbs, supposedly for good luck.
Over time, the wheat and barley creations went away, and wedding cakes transitioned into stacks of spiced buns, scones, and cookies. Sometime later, these pastry stacks began debuting fragments of a broom handle. I’m guessing for decoration? Regardless, it doesn’t sound remotely edible. Moving along, in the 1700s, someone introduced a bridal pie, which isn’t any more appealing than the pieces of broom, truth be told. Among the bridal pies’ ingredients were none other than oysters and male lambs’ reproductive organs. Eww.
I even read that single ladies at weddings had to eat their way through the same questionable pie to find a hidden ring, should they want to be the next to get married. (It was like their version of a bouquet toss.) Um, choking hazard, anyone? Thankfully, these pies eventually became a thing of the past and couples started opting for sugar-dusted pies filled with currants, which are either dried grapes like raisins or tiny berries.
Fast forward to around 1800—This is when our present-day tiered cake entered the picture. According to the story, a baker made a cake that resembled the spire of London’s St. Bride’s Church. What’s interesting is that he actually created it for his girlfriend as part of a proposal. Of course, she loved it and so did everyone else, and now, more than two centuries later, we’re still using the same design.
One of the most enjoyable tasks on your wedding to-do list is the cake tasting. This is something you generally want to schedule around six-months in advance, if possible. Keep in mind that with smaller companies or independent bakers, their openings may fill up faster. Below are some suggestions for the tasting:
Lastly, don’t forget that there’s more to the decision than the cake alone. It’s important to choose a vendor you both like and trust. After all, it’s your wedding—You deserve to have your cake and eat it, too!