5 Wedding Cakes from Around the World

Posted in Decorations and Favors

Black Wedding CakeIf you’re from the U.S., odds are when you think of a wedding cake you imagine three round tiers, mostly white, decorated with a floral motif. But in other cultures, wedding cakes are substantially different–some are pastry, some fruitcake, and some aren’t even edible. Here are a few wedding cakes from around the world to add a cosmopolitan, globe-trotting feel to your special day.

Norway: Kransekake

Kransekake is the traditional Norwegian wedding cake, also used for other festive occasions such as Christmas or New Year’s. It’s a tower of almond-flavored, dense cake rings, decorated with swirls of white icing. Since the cake is ring-shaped, the center is hollow. It’s customary for it to be built around a wine or champagne bottle, to hold the cake’s structural integrity and to provide a gift for the couple after the cake’s been eaten. If the happy couple are teetotalers, it can also be filled with chocolate, candy, or other treats.

France: Croquembouche

France’s traditional wedding cake is less a single dessert and more a tower of tiny puff pastries held together with honey or glaze. The elaborate construction can be several feet tall, comprised of hundreds of cream-filled pastries, and is served with a number of dipping sauces. If your guests don’t mind the sticky fingers, it’s a light and airy alternative to traditional dense cake. It certainly makes for a striking centerpiece to a reception.

Jamaica: Black Wedding Cake

In Jamaica, the traditional wedding and Christmas cake is a dark, dense bread-cake made with rum and tropical fruit. It’s topped with nuts and pineapple, and more resembles English fruitcake than a traditional wedding cake.

Japan: Too Beautiful to Be Real

In Japan, the wedding cake presented at the reception is an elaborately-decorated phony. The “cake” is covered in gold leaf and other fancy refinements, but it’s inedible. Sometimes it will have a groove built into it for the bride and groom to mime the cake-cutting ceremony; other times, it’s purely decoration. The guests at the reception dine on plain old sheet cake brought from the kitchen. It’s a tradition that looks more tempting as modern cake decorations get more and more elaborate and less and less appetizing. Wouldn’t you rather have a frosted piece of sheet cake than have to peel fondant from a cake made primarily for its structural stability rather than flavor?

Bermuda: His and Hers Cakes

In Bermuda, there are two cakes: one for the bride and one for the groom. The bride’s cake is a multi-tiered fruit cake which is frequently covered in silver leaf. The groom cake is a pound cake, smaller, but covered in gold leaf. Instead of a plastic bride and groom for a cake topper, the topper is traditionally a live young sapling, which the bride and groom can plant together so it can grow as their love grows.

Whether it’s a spice cake, a fruit cake, or a towering pastry construction, the wedding cake provides a centerpiece for the reception and a sweet treat for the end of an exhausting day. Just don’t feel bound to that multi-tiered classical cake. If you’re feeling adventurous, one of these cakes could make your reception that much more memorable.

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