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Groom's cake in the shape of a Texas Longhorns football helmet
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In the United States, a groom's cake is a wedding tradition typically associated with the American South. While a wedding cake may often be decorated in white and light in texture or color, the groom's cake can take a variety of forms, many incorporating chocolate or fruit. Cheesecake sometimes serves as a groom's cake. The groom's cake is often served at a table separate from the wedding cake at a wedding reception, though it may be served as a dessert for a rehearsal dinner.
Groom’s cake is a tradition most popular in the southeastern United States that began during the Victorian era. During the Victorian era, the first groom’s cake was a very heavy and dense fruit cake that eventually became a flour cake, either white or chocolate. The tradition was to cut a piece of the cake and put it in a small box, and then give them to the unmarried women that attended the wedding. The cake was never eaten, but put under the pillow of the single woman giving them the hope that they would find a husband. In the 1890s, a choice of cake had already been established in America. In the 1890s, the groom’s cake was referred to as the “Lady Cake or Plain Bridegroom Cake”. This recipe was published in the “The British Baker" in 1897. In those days the cake was cut by the bridegroom and served with wine to the bridesmaids before going to the church. In England neither practice was met with success, but in the United States, especially in the southern part of the United States, the two cakes did become very popular with the bride's cake being light and the grooms' being dark.
From the mid-century the two cakes have been described as follows: the bride's cake would be on the bottom, and the grooms' cake would be on the top. The bride and groom would cut the cake and then give pieces to each other to eat. It then would be served to the guest. The groom’s would be mounted above the bride's cake and saved for later to be eaten. Many different customs were used by Southern Americans during that time period thee fruit cake, pound cake and chocolate cake. This tradition was around for many years even in the United States in the southern states.
The groom’s cake is not a southern tradition, but a British tradition that has been forgotten in England. It now continues to be a part of American wedding tradition.
- "What is a Groom's cake?". WeddingChannel.com. Retrieved 2009-01-08.
- "US-style 'groom's cake' for William and Kate". The Daily Telegraph (London). 2011-03-28.
- Bette, Mathew (2000). Cake. New York: Friedman/Fairfax.
- Gray, Melanie (05/28/1998). "Wedding cakes sharing space with a groom's cake". The Time Union.
- Charsley, Simon R (1992). Wedding Cakes and Cultural History. London and New York: Routledge. p. 23.