Cakes have always been a characteristic of wedding parties, although in times past they weren’t always eaten. Originally made of wheat, a symbol of fertility and prosperity, they would have been thrown at the bride!
Around 100B.C. The Romans started baking wheat and salt into small cakes to be eaten, although some would have been crumbled over the mind of the bride as a sign of good luck. The early Greeks used a sweeter mixture of wheat and honey, however all these’cakes’ would have been more like a biscuit as opposed to a soft cake. In medieval England flour based sweet foods were included in many celebration feasts.
In some places it was customary to place the cakes in a pile. A tall stack of cakes was an indication of wealth. From the 17th century the plum cake has been introduced into England from France, although less affluent ceremonies sometimes had a”bride’s pie” as the centrepiece of parties. This was a type of mince pie, made with sweet breads or a savoury mutton pie and inside would have been placed a ring. Custom says that the lady who found the ring will be alongside wed..
In the middle of the 19th century it became customary to send a portion of cake to people who couldn’t attend the wedding. Hence it became necessary to make bigger cakes with more tiers. The tiers gradually becoming divided by columns. Although this style of white tiered cake is now traditional in many countries, in different cultures wedding cakes are made of many different different ingredients and shapes and are often more colourful.