Modern day wedding cakes run the gamut of classic to comic
In medieval England, simple flour based unsweetened biscuits or scones (provided by guests) would be piled high––a prelude to today’s cake toppers. If the couple could kiss over the top, good luck, prosperity, happiness, and many children would follow (or so it was believed).
First appearing in the seventeenth century and lasting for the next 200 years was a common dish called the bride’s pie: a meat pie with sweet bread, mincemeat, or mutton with the secret ingredient being a glass ring.
By the nineteenth century single tiered plum cakes gained popularity replacing the bride’s pie. Sugar coated with white icing, plum cakes were reserved only for the wealthy and graced the tables of the affluent symbolizing the family’s position in social circles. Before the Victorian era, ingredients were difficult, if not impossible to acquire for cake making, particularly those required for icing. White icing required the use of the finest refined sugar. The whiter the cake, the more affluent the family appeared. For the more modest, the bride’s pie remained a mainstay. The plum cake stayed the cake until the late nineteenth century when multitiered cakes began their rise in history.
British royalty were the first to introduce multitiered confections. Upper layers were made from spun sugar with pillars used for reinforcement. To prevent the pillars from sinking into the bottom tiers, the icing was hardened providing the necessary support. From the early twentieth century to modern times, wedding cakes have evolved into sumptuous confections while honoring representation and tradition.Cake (6) Juniors Bakery
Click here for more about more recent cake traditions, including royal wedding cakes, and much more in the full article by Karen Sturtevant.