I would like to add to the points that housebee:
made back at Reply # 18
In truth the Groom’s Cake tradition began in the UK during the Victorian period… and was adopted in North America… and yes it was fruitcake originally… one light & one dark served at the Wedding.
The light fruit cake (much like a pound cake but with fruit) was the Wedding Cake… the dark fruit cake (laced with lots of alcohol) was the Groom’s Cake. And it was this cake that was cut, boxed and sent home with the Ladies to dream upon (and in some cases it was the a dark fruitcake that was the smallest top layer of the Wedding Cake… so with all the booze in it, it would keep well, hence the tradition of the couple having some of their Wedding Cake to serve at the Christening of their first child).
Where I grew up in Canada, there is a strong Scottish-English connection… and very much a Victorian influence. So when I was married the first time (circa 1980) this tradition of having a fruitcake Wedding Cake was very much alive. As was the idea of having a slice to take home to dream upon / for good luck.
PHOTO – Circa 1980s. Bride & Groom Ceremonial Cake Cutting. (Not my personal photo… but one that clearly captures what that era looked like… the Wedding Cake layers on pillars, Fruitcake with Royal Icing. And the Bride & Groom fitted out in their Wedding Attire of the time)
Therefore, a slice of the Tiered Fruitcake Wedding Cake was served at the Reception, and an additional small “finger” slice (maybe 2″ W x 1″ D x 4″ H) was pre-cut from an iced sheet cake, wrapped in saran, folded into a paper doily, tied with a ribon (which sometimes had tiny plastic silver colour horseshoes attached), and then packaged into an appropriately sized souvenir box for just this purpose (either in one’s Wedding Colours, or printed withe B&G Names & Date) and given out to the Guests as a favour to take home… for them to enjoy later, dream upon… or share with someone who wasn’t invited.
Infact, often the Bride & Groom would mail out these small boxed bits of cake to the Guests who hadn’t been able to attend… so they too might get “a taste” of what they sadly had to miss.
Back in 1980, the whole traditon of the “Southern Groom’s Cake” was just becoming known in my neck of the woods… and the idea that a Wedding Cake could be something other than Fruitcake. In which case, the Groom’s Cake was a chance to have perhaps Chocolate or Spice Cake for the guy at the Wedding, while the Wedding Cake would be a White Pound Cake.
It wasn’t until the 1990s or so that Wedding Cakes with layers of many flavours came into fashion. I think this is because baking / presentation techniques got better as well. Prior to then a “stacked” cake just wouldn’t have survived (lol, I know because I asked a similar Question back in 1980… when my Ex inquired about us going with the new trend of a White Cake vs Fruitcake… and he wondered if we could get a layer in chocolate… we were told it wasn’t do-able cause of the density / weight of the varying layers)
Lol, just another trip down memory lane…