Wedding cakes around the world

Lindsey Schwarck

Just as wedding colors, dress and customs vary across the globe, “traditional” wedding cakes are also different in every culture. The following is a “taste” of traditions from heritages around the World.


Wedding cakes are often symbolic and superstitious. In earlier centuries, traditional American wedding cakes were baked with ribbons in the bottom layer of the cake. The bride’s attendants and friends were invited to pull the ribbons, in hopes of finding the ribbon containing a ring or charm. This was an indication that the maiden would be the next to marry.


The bride and groom have separate cakes, each symbolic to the couple’s future. The bride’s cake features the small sapling of a cedar tree, which is replanted after the ceremony to signify growth. The groom’s cake is adorned with a gold leaf to represent prosperity in the marriage. 


Lapis Surabaya is a massive, multi-layered cake that takes center-stage at Chinese wedding receptions. With as many as 10 layers, each level of the cake represents a stepping stone to overcome for the young couple to thrive throughout their marriage.


Cream-filled pastries and caramel layers are stacked into a pyramid shape to create croquembouche, a delicious and impressive wedding cake traditionally served in France.

Great Britain

Who said fruit cakes are just for Thanksgiving? The fanciful confections of a traditional British wedding cake include nuts, prunes, dates, orange peels and marzipan frosting to be served for guests in celebration of the abundant life the bride and groom will experience together. The top tier is often frozen and eaten after the birth of the couple’s first child.


The rich, dark cakes served at Jamaican weddings take some preparation. As a gift, guests often send cake ingredients, such as dried fruits, that are soaked in rum for up to a year. The cake is a very prominent part of the wedding celebration and slices are often cut and mailed to guests who cannot attend.


Brudlaupskling is a Norwegian wedding cake made of bread. The recipe dates back to early days when white flour was a rarity on farms across the country. Foods that contained white flour were considered a great treat, only to be served on special occasions. Today, the bread is topped with a mixture of cheese, cream and syrup, then uniquely folded and cut into small squares.