Wedding Cake Traditions and Transitions

Wedding Cake Traditions and Transitions

Chefs & Experts

Wedding Cake Traditions and Transitions


Times have changed.

I remember well when my sister got married in the 70s (my older sister, thank you very much). She wanted to serve root beer and chocolate chip cookies at her laid back, flower child-style wedding.

You would have thought she’d asked for cold beer and caviar. My mother, who was generally pretty accommodating, drew the line when it came to wedding tradition. We had white cake with white icing, served with mixed nuts.

When it was my turn to get married, I knew better than to ask for anything outside of tradition, although I dreamed briefly of a groom’s cake in chocolate. In retrospect, that probably would have been OK—served with punch, of course, not root beer.

Over the years I watched as the food trends changed, and brides began adding flavored layers to their cakes, using fruit and cream fillings, and sometimes even deviating  from a cake all together.

This year my own daughter got married, and we had a fun discussion around the wedding “cake.” It is now acceptable in polite society to serve something other than white cake; even if it were not, I suspect my daughter would want to push the limits.

“We’re not cake people,” she told me, in no uncertain terms.

“Fine,” I said. “What kind of people are you? Do you want root beer and chocolate chip cookies?”

She looked at me strangely, then moved on. “We like cheesecake and pie,” she said.


For her destination wedding we had cheesecake, complete with a trio of sauces: praline, chocolate, and raspberry. For the local reception we had a selection of cobblers, pies, and ice cream. Not a speck of wedding cake in sight.

My mother, by the way, loved it.

There are all kinds of new desserts being served at weddings. Check out our 2011 Dessert Trends for all the details!


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