Groom’s cakes are a fun way to showcase the groom during the wedding. There is quite a bit of history that goes along with the tradition of the groom’s cake that most people do not know or overlook. Traditionally, the groom’s cake was a dense fruitcake with fresh fruit, which then evolved to a combination of chocolate cake with fresh fruit. During the wedding, the cake was then cut up and given to the groomsmen. The remaining cake was divided and placed in individual boxes, and given to all the single women wedding guests. They were then to place their piece of groom’s cake under their pillow in hopes of dreaming of the man they would marry.
I sat down with Dana Herbert owner of Dessert by Dana in Wilmington, Delaware to get his take on the transition of the tradition of the groom’s cake and his experiences working with real brides and grooms to make their groom’s cakes! Dana, also known as “The Sugar Daddy”, and Delaware’s “King of Cakes” has an impressive resume. Most notably he won TLC’S Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker, and just last week appeared on The Rachael Ray Show. On the show, Designer Nate Berkus tasted wedding cakes from Dana and two other bakers, choosing Dana’s as his favorite! I was so excited when Dana said he would love to speak with me concerning this month’s Groom Zoom featuring the Groom’s Cake.
Well, the groom’s cake really began as a southern tradition. Usually they were very simple. Now we see the cakes to have much more design to them. They are 3-D and showcase hobbies of the groom such as cars or sports. We see a lot of chocolate and red velvet, but we are seeing other flavors as well. If the groom loves orange creamsicle flavor, we can do that. It’s all about what the groom.
How would you like to see more brides and grooms incorporate the groom’s cake into their weddings?
I mostly see the groom’s cake presented at the rehearsal dinner. That’s what I did for my wedding. It’s nice to have it then because it doubles as a dessert at the rehearsal dinner and gets more attention.
There are so many. Usually they are sports or college themed, especially when the college had a huge football program. One cake I created for a couple was based off this house from their college. They gave me a picture of this old house with dirty, old couch on its porch. The groom and groomsmen that had lived there were blown away when the cake was brought out. That was a really fun cake to design.
Which detail, if any, of the tradition of the groom’s cake would you like to see be brought back into style?
I’m really indifferent to bringing anything back into style. I love to design and bake unique cakes. I guess it’s the artist in me, but groom’s cakes now are just so much more detailed and that is what I love to design. It would be funny though to see the single ladies taking the cake home to put under their pillows.