Singaporebrides | Essentials

January 2011

It’s Not Just Dessert, You know

Some women think weddings cakes are a frivolity, and that the pretty 4-, maybe 5-tier dummy cake provided by the hotel for the banquet is more than enough. With the gorgeous designs and variety of flavours (not just boring fruit cake) available and made lovingly by home bakers and patisseries today, can you really resist having them on your wedding day?

Before we dive right into the icing on the cake, let’s get acquainted with the history of the wedding cake. Haven’t you ever wondered about the significance of the ever-present, heavily-iced, multi-tiered cake at all weddings, whether traditional or modern, ethnic or western, real or otherwise?

White Fondant Cake with Pearls from Happy Bakes

The Story of the Wedding Cake

Since antiquity, wedding couples have celebrated their matrimony with some form of cake baked specially for their wedding. The Ancient Romans broke wheat or barley cakes over the bride’s head as a symbol of good fortune. When there are not enough cakes to go around, guests were supplied with handfuls of mixed dried fruits and almonds, known as confetti, to throw about the ceremony enthusiastically. Eventually, the mixture was replaced with rice, flower petals and coloured paper.

Left: Pink and White Fondant Cake with Ribbons and Pearls from Sugar Inc Cakes. Birdcage and cherub figurine from Egg3. Right: White Fondant Cake with Pink Bows from Centre-Ps. Guestbook from Yovell and potpourri favours from Round wedding cakes are the most traditional of wedding cake styles.

When the Romans and the French invaded Britain, many of their traditions become deeply enrooted into English customs. An early version of the wedding cake from medieval England involved a tower of spiced buns stacked as high as possible. If the bride and groom were able to successfully kiss over the tower without toppling it over, they were guaranteed a lifetime of prosperity. We know this tower as the traditional French croquembouche today.

White Cake with Powdered Icing and Olive Ribbons from Pine Garden’s Cake. Favour boxes from

Many superstitions have been associated with the wedding cake. The cake should be shared with family and friends to ensure prosperity. The bride should never bake her own wedding cake because it would bring her bad luck. The newlyweds must slice the first slice of the cake together and distribute it to every single guest at their wedding so that the couple would be blessed with many children.

Left: Blue Fondant Cake from Cake Avenue. Bottled cocktail as favours from Do Me A Favour. Right: Green Fondant Cake from Cake Avenue. Chic and sophisticated, a square wedding cake is perfect for an elegant affair.

The Wedding Cake As We Know It

The first wedding cake to be covered in white icing appeared in the seventeenth century. It was frosted with a mixture of egg white and sugar that came to be known as royal icing. Bakers sought to achieve a pure white colour of icing, as white subscribes to the Victorian notion of purity and virginity. The whiter the icing was, it meant that the better the quality of refined sugar was used, thus a pure white wedding cake became a status symbol. The royalty began to show off their fortunes by fashioning cakes with pillars and multi-layers, each tier elaborately patterned. Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip in 1947 with a cake that stood three metres high and weighed 230 kilograms!

Cupcake Tier from Pine Garden’s Cake. Wedding bear plush toys and favour boxes from Tiara cardholder fromYovell. Pretty cupcakes are a perfect alternative to a wedding cake because it is mess-free.

Today, there are no traditions when it comes to wedding cakes. They can be of any colour, flavour, shape, design, and you’re no longer stuck with fruit cake. Wedding cakes, like the bridal dress, has become a very important part of weddings and are also subject to the many vagaries of fashion. Like celebrity gown designers, we see the rise of celebrity cake designers and you can look no farther than our local baking scene to discover many talented pâtissiers and home bakers. They are more than willing to customise your cake to your preference because they know it is as personal as your wedding dress. Why settle for a dummy cake? Make your wedding even more special with a delicious wedding cake of your own.

Photography by Michael Tan of Mika Images
Floral arrangements by Fleur D’sign
Location courtesy of EggThree Cafe, 231 Mountbatten Road #01-06 Block D, Mountbatten Centre. Call them at 6241 3823 for venue enquiries.

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It’s Not Just Dessert, You know