Ask any bride or groom what their favorite part of wedding planning is and you'll most likely hear them say, cake tasting. How many times in your life do you get to sit down and sample a multitude of flavors until you have found the one?
Today's wedding and groom's cakes are not as traditional and classic as the 1970s and '80s white-vanilla cakes with white frosting our parents had. When it comes to the flavor and design, husbands- and wives-to-be can practically choose whatever they want. It's their wedding after all.
Here are the most popular and in-season flavors for both the wedding and the groom's cake:
Wedding Cake Flavors
Honorable Mention: While it is still summer, and will be for a few more months, spice cakes are some of the most popular cakes - more so during the fall. Cinnamon, apple, and spice cake flavors pair deliciously with a simple vanilla butter cream or even a chocolate ganache.
A lot of brides and grooms want an in-season flavor and citrus, lemon cakes with a lemon curd or vanilla butter cream frosting are all the rage for summer weddings. The sweet and tart lemon cake paired with a refreshing, tart and smooth lemon curd is perfect for the hot season. Many brides and grooms like to add fresh fruit to the cakes, such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries for a nice complementary flavor.
While this is a popular wedding cake flavor, sometimes the groom's cakes will be lemon because the bride cannot resist having chocolate in the main cake. Ain't nothing wrong with that.
Which brings me to the next popular wedding cake flavor - chocolate. This is definitely non-traditional, but if the couple loves chocolate, then who should tell them no? Many brides will choose to pair the chocolate cake with a fudge filling, chocolate ganache and even mocha mousse. Go big or go home, right? Janice Jucken of Three Brothers Bakery says, "I did a seven layer mocha cake for my wedding. Each layer had mocha and fudge in it."
In fact, many wedding cakes today pair two flavors into one cake by stacking different cake flavors on top of each other so each slice has both. Nadine Moon of Who Made The Cake! says, "We have a lot of brides, especially if they are not doing a groom's cake, do a combination flavor." Many times the cake will have white cake with chocolate cake, or cinnamon with chocolate. Having more than one flavor in a cake gives guests more options in one slice, too.
Three local bakeries, Who Made The Cake!, Satin Slices and Three Brothers Bakery, all said raspberry fillings are quite popular in wedding cakes today, especially during the warmer months. Jucken of Three Brothers Bakery says you can eat their black raspberry cream filling like pudding. For the ultimate raspberry cake, you can pair a raspberry or black raspberry cream filling with cream cheese (for smaller cakes, of course) and raspberry cake.
As soon as I asked Gabriel Garcia of Satin Slices what the most popular flavor is today, without missing a beat, Garcia said, orange-flavored cake. The orange cake at Satin Slices uses an orange marmalade filling instead of a whipped filling, so with each citrusy bite you get pieces of orange preserves. It's refreshing, sweet and a perfectly surprising flavor during a summer wedding. Satin Slices also adds Cointreau giving the cake a nice crisp flavor.
While this falls more so along the lines of traditional wedding cakes, amaretto seems to be one of the most popular cake flavors. Whether it is the flavor of the cake or the flavor of the filling, many brides and grooms choose amaretto to be a star in the cake. Jucker says she thinks it is best to pair an amaretto filling with a basic cake so that there isn't an amaretto-overload. Garcia says amaretto with pistachios is a great combination and lets the cake stand out from the super traditional white cakes. Groom's Cake Flavors
Anything is possible with a groom's cake. Like Garcia says, "The groom's cake is the guys opportunity to enjoy the party." While the actual wedding cake is classy, sophisticated and elegantly-designed, the groom's cake can literally be whatever the groom wants; it's a way to show off his personality. Oh and chocolate is not always the fan favorite.
Many grooms like to add a little pizzazz to their cake by incorporating their favorite alcohol. Moon says that anything goes with the groom's cake and her bakery has even made a bourbon chocolate cake. It's a little out of the ordinary, but it's a way to add a personal touch to the groom's cake.
Why not go with a fun cake flavor for a fun cake? Carrot cake is such an unexpected flavor to have at a wedding, especially if you are expecting to have chocolate for the groom's cake. But, if the wedding cake has a bold flavor like chocolate, fudge or caramel, it's appropriate to contrast that cake with something light. The spices in the carrot cake are perfect for the fall and winter, and the soft cream cheese frosting makes it perfect for the summer or spring.
Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate
If a groom wants a chocolate cake, he usually goes all out for it, and that means chocolate is used in every way, shape and form. From the chocolate cake to the chocolate filling to the chocolate frosting, most groom's cakes are covered head to toe in the decadent flavor. For a little variation, some grooms will choose to add caramel or cinnamon to the chocolate. If they are going to add a fruit, raspberries are the number one pick, just as they are preferred on a wedding cake. Garcia says that strawberries, while they may seem popular, are not the number one pick for fruit, and cherries are too strong for some people's taste, but raspberries come out on top as the choice berry.
Now, I know that coloring a cake doesn't always change the flavor, but sometimes all a groom wants is to have the cake in his favorite color, or the color of his favorite sports team, so many bakers will fulfill that request by dyeing the batter a certain color. A simple French vanilla cake is transformed into a fun cake that shows off the personality of the groom. It's his day too, after all.
Who can resist the classic Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting? Usually a groom's cake is smaller than the wedding cake, so it is easy to decorate with a cream cheese frosting. Not only does the cake taste incredible, but it is colored. And Red Velvet is always a crowd-pleaser in Texas.
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