Wedding Cake Traditions From Around the World

CaitlinCakesEditor
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Photo: Thuss + Farrell in Matthew Robbins' Inspired Weddings

Most cultures around the world include a wedding cake as part of the festivities, but multi-tiered, fondant or buttercream frosting, excotic fillings, and elaborate decorations are commonly American. Let's take a tour around the globe to see what others traditionally serve: 

ASIA: 

  • Japan - Disapprove of a cake! Instead they have artifical wax or dummy styrofoam cakes for newlyweds to cut into. Don't worry there's a slot where they put the knife. 
  • Korea - Opt for a cake made of ground steamed rice covered in red bean powder. 
  • China - "Lapis Surabaya" features multiple layers that each represent a ladder of success for the newlyweds. The cake is cut from the bottom up and served to the parents and grandparents first, who are also fed by the newlyweds. 

EUROPE:

  • Germany - A nut or "genoise" sponge cake is laced with liquoir and filled with jam or marzipan and decorated with fondant or ganache. 
  • France - A cone of cream-filled puff pastries laced together with spun threads of caramel is the "croquembouche."
  • Italy - A cake is normally not served, but a "mille-foglia" is made from three layers of filo pastry and two layers of cream. The top layer is topped with powdered sugar and glazed with icing in alternating white and brown stripes. 
  • Lithuania - "Sakotis" is a cookie-like pastry shaped like a Christmas tree with fresh flowers protruding from the top peak. 
  • Ukraine - "Korovai" or bread that is intricately woven with ornaments of baked dough: two doves to represent the newlyweds, and pine cones to represent fertility. 
  • Norway -  "Brudlaupskling" or bread that is topped with cheese, cream, and syrup. 
  • Denmark - A cornucopia cake made with almonds, pastilage, and marizpan is filled with fruit, candy, and sorbet. To avoid bad luck, the newlyweds must cake the cake together and all the guests must eat a piece.
  • Iceland - "Kransekake" or wreath cake is made of ring-shaped almond pastries piled on top of each other to form a pyramid. The hollow center is usually filled with chocolates and candies and even sometimes a bottle of wine. 
  • England - Besides orginating the nursey rhyme "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue," it is also where the "christening cake" orginated. A fruitcake with cognac-soaked dates, orange 
  • Ireland - A fruitcake filled with almonds, raisins, cherries, and spice, and laced with brandy and bourbon. 

MEDITERANNEAN:

  • Greece - A flourless almond wedding cake filled with vanila custard and fruit. For those that don't have a sweet tooth, there's also sourdough bread decorated with beads and flowers. 

CARIBBEAN:

  • BermudaCake toppers are small saplings. Following the wedding, it is to be planted at the newlyweds home so they can watch it grow along with their marriage.
  • British West Indies - The cake is hidden under a white table linen. Guests have to pay to take a peek. 
  • Jamaica - A dark fruitcake made with rum. Leftover slices are sent to those guests who could not attend. 

CENTRAL AMERICA:

  • Mexico - "Bizcochitos" or crescent-shaped cookies made with crisp butter or lard base and anise and cinnamin. 

SOUTH AMERICA: 

  • Brazil - "Casadinhos" or "happily married" biscuits made of two thin layers, representing the newlyweds being sandwiched together with a caramel sauce, jam, honey, or chocolate. 
  • Peru - Various charms attached to ribbons are placed in between the layers of the cake. Before the cake is cut, each singe woman pulls a ribbon out of the cake. The one who pulls out the ribbon with a ring is considered to be married within a year. 

 

 

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Last Updated: November 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm
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