We’re so over the moon that The Great British Bake Off is back that we’ve got a bit cake crazy in the office. You may think that your wedding cake is just a beautiful creation that tastes yummy, which would be true, but did you know that traditions surrounding the wedding cake go way back to medieval times?
Check out our top five ˜Did You Know’ facts about wedding cakes!
1. Wedding cakes were a symbol of fertility
From medieval times, wedding cakes were made from only wheat which was said to be a symbol of fertility. At the wedding, these cakes would be thrown at brides (albeit they were a little smaller back in the day!).
Later, the cakes became edible and would be broken over the bride’s head to symbolise the bride losing her virginity, and the beginning of her husband’s power over her.
Since then “ thankfully “ things have changed!
2. It was all white, everything
They loved their symbolism back then and the white icing on a wedding cake represented (you guessed it!) purity, innocence and virginity.
During the Victorian period, the fine sugar that’s needed to make icing wasn’t readily available, so it was said the whiter the icing on the cake, the wealthier the family was.
3. Wedding pies were all the rage
In the 17th century, a popular dish for weddings was a pie filled with sweet breads or mutton, and it became known as the bride’s pie.
Inside the stew filling, a glass ring would be hidden and the saying goes that the lady who found the ring would be the next to be married. We like a pie as much as the next girl, but we’ll stick with red velvet for now, ta.
4. Cake cutting is your first task as a married couple
Ever wondered why the couple stand together with their hands on the knife to cut the cake?
Cutting the cake together symbolises the first task that the couple will complete together. The task was originally delegated to the bride who cut the wedding cake alone, but as time went on and cakes became more elaborate and larger, the cutting became a joint responsibility!
5. The top tier was traditionally saved for a baby
In the late 19th century, wedding cakes and christening cakes became one in the same.
Around this time, three-tiered cakes became popular: the bottom tier was for cutting, the middle for distributing to guests and the top tier was saved and frozen for the arrival of the firstborn child which was expected to happen after marriage.
This tradition has carried on to the present day but nowadays, couples often keep the top tier to share on their first wedding anniversary.
Thankfully, wedding cake traditions have pretty much evaporated and you can do whatever you like with your cake “ just make sure it’s tasty!