Worldly Batters: 5 Wedding Cakes from Around the Globe
British Bride's Pye
As far back as 1685, the British served “bride’s pye,” a large, round pastry filled with pine kernels, sweetbreads, oysters, spices, and lamb stones (you don’t want to know). One hundred years later, as preserved fruits replaced the savory filling, the pie evolved into the fruitcake, a symbol of fertility and prosperity. Our reinvention mixes dried fruits, almonds, and pecans into the batter. The cooled cake is brushed with a sugar-brandy syrup and covered with almond-flavored fondant and white marzipan accents.
Japanese Sponge Cake
More delicate and aromatic than their European counterparts, Japanese sweets often reinterpret Western desserts using popular Japanese flavors. We added white peach, green tea, and cherry blossom extracts to traditional Japanese sponge cake. The mini treats, perched atop rice paper–lined lids from balsam wood craft boxes, feature a paper band stamped with the Japanese character for love. Gum-paste decorations indicate the peach and cherry-blossom cakes; the bunny and pig, both green-tea flavored, represent the Chinese zodiac signs of the couple’s birth years.
Rare is the Norwegian or Danish couple that says “I do” without serving a kransekake, which means “wreath cake.” The tasty tower has been around since the 1700s and consists of concentric rings of marzipan biscuit topped with party crackers or flags. The bride and groom pull off the top rings with their hands in a customary scandinavian ring-breaking ceremony; the number of layers still attached predicts how many kids they’ll have. Our kransekake makes a modern statement with intricate royal-icing piping inspired by Northern European folk patterns and a duo of wood-paper lovebird-flag toppers.
The centuries-old Italian wedding cake called millefoglie (“a thousand layers”) contains endless tiers of puff pastry, pastry cream, and fresh fruit that result in a perfect storm of scrumptiousness. Our rustic take on the cake injects a little zing without sacrificing authenticity. We added tangy lemon to the filling and replaced the traditional strawberries with ripe red currants and juicy raspberries, just right for a summer soirée.
Mexican Tres Leches Cake
The origins of Mexico’s tres leches cake, baked with three kinds of milk, may be disputed. Some say it came to Latin America via European colonists and was popularized when Nestlé printed the recipe on condensed-milk cans in the 1960s. Others say it started south of the border. But one thing is certain: offer this on your big day and you’ll hear “muchas gracias.” This recipe has a tropical twist, infused with passion fruit and finished with whipped cream frosting.
Whether you decide to go big or small, seaside or mountainside, bohemian or black tie, find more wedding inspiration in our fall Real Weddings issue by downloading our app and buying the digital issue for only $.99.