I was so excited when I saw a Southern Tradition feature on our calendar, as tradition in any form is one of my favorite things! I especially love how strong and deep tradition lies here in the South — it’s woven right into the fabric of our days.
When it comes to Southern wedding traditions, I find the groom’s cake to be an especially fun one! Groom’s cakes can be traced back to England’s Victorian era, when there were three cakes at a wedding — the wedding cake, which was served to the guests, the groom’s cake, which was served to the groomsmen, and the bride’s cake, which was served to the bridesmaids.
The earliest groom’s cakes were actually fruitcakes – ick! Thankfully, fruitcake no longer rules as the flavor of choice, but groom’s cakes are still usually made of dark chocolate with fruit and/or liqueur, maybe to contrast with the wedding cake, which as y’all know is usually white or light colored.
We’re happy to say that even after the popularlity of groom’s cakes lessened elsewhere in the U.S. after making the hop over from England, this sweet tradition is still going strong in the South. We like that it’s a special way to give recognition to the handsome beau on a day that can be a bit bride-centric.
Clockwise from top left: Chocolate and fruit cake photo by Picotte Weddings via Style Me Pretty, chocolate and peanut butter cake via Ashton Events, petite chocolate cake photo by Tanja Lippert via Southern Weddings, Guinness chocolate cake by Call Me Cupcake
Clearly, you can’t go wrong with a chocolate cake! These days, though, we’re seeing an influx of groom’s cakes customized to the gent of honor’s favorite hobbies and flavors. Think the red velvet armadillo (or armadilla, as we say around these parts) cake in Steel Magnolias. Alma maters and favorite teams are ripe for the picking, too!
Georgia cake photo by Scott Hopkins via Southern Weddings, Alabama cake photo by Spindle Photography via Southern Weddings, Texas cake photo by Dustin Meyer, Tennessee Titans cake photo by Kristyn Hogan via Southern Weddings
When researching this Southern tradition, we dug up this funny little fact: apparently, the groomsmen used to be responsible for decorating the groom’s cake the day of the wedding! Can you imagine?? I don’t know if they’d be able to replicate some of these fabulous designs…
Book cake photo by Jonathan Canlas via Southern Weddings, soccer cake photo by Ali Harper via Southern Weddings, sandwich cake photo by White Rabbit Studios via Southern Weddings, gator cake by Stephen DeVries via Southern Weddings, ham cake photo by Oh, Darling via Southern Weddings
Have a groom that doesn’t love cake? (My handsome hubby is in that camp!) We love these clever groom’s “cakes” that earn their quotation marks — a crepe “cake” on the left, and an Oreo “cake” on the right!
Crepe cake photo by Eric Kelley via Southern Weddings and Oreo cake from Martha Stewart
Like most traditions, the groom’s cake has evolved over the years, and sometimes, it’s not a cake at all! Try serving his favorite dessert, or ask his mom to whip up some of his childhood sweets, like MarLa and Sager did, below. I could definitely get on board with those Krispy Kremes!
Childhood sweets photo by White Rabbit Studios, mini banana puddings photo by Landon Jacob, and Krispy Kremes photo by The Schultzes
Wondering when the perfect time to serve the groom’s cake is? Many couples prefer to offer the groom’s cake at the rehearsal dinner, a fitting time, since the groom’s family often hosts that evening. That way, you also won’t have to worry about the aesthetic of the wedding and groom’s cake clashing, since they’re often very different!
Our final favorite, hilarious piece of lore surrounding the groom’s cake is this: Legend has it that if an unmarried woman sleeps with a slice of groom’s cake under her pillow, she’ll dream of her future husband. Not sure how your single friends would feel if they were singled out (haha) for a boxed slice of cake, but it could be cute to tie on a little tag explaining the tradition!
What’s the craziest groom’s cake (or groom’s sweet) you’ve seen? The last wedding I went to, the groom had a life-size guitar made of cinnamon roll cake – it was divine!
Landon Jacob, Scott Hopkins, Spindle Photography, Ali Harper, and Ashton Events are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!