The Groom’s Wedding Cake: Everything to Know About the Southern Tradition


At a Southern wedding, there are many moments for the bride to shine, but one edible practice highlights the groom. The groom’s wedding cake has evolved, but its history and lore contribute to the grand spectacle it has become. From crawfish pots to alligators, groom’s cakes get more realistic and ludicrous as the years progress.

What is the Groom’s Cake

To pay homage to the husband-to-be’s personality, the bride gifts him a custom wedding cake called the groom’s cake. The groom’s interests and hobbies inspire the cake’s theme and design, typically resulting in memorable life-like confections. Guests can appreciate and indulge in the groom’s cake at the rehearsal dinner or the wedding reception.

The History of the Groom’s Cake Wedding Tradition

Similarly to cake pulls and second lines, the southern wedding tradition of groom’s cakes has deep roots in history. During the Victorian era in England, weddings had three cakes: the bride’s cake, the wedding cake, and the groom’s cake. While the bride’s cake fell out of popularity, the groom’s cake prevailed.

Initially, the bride provided the groom’s cake for the groomsmen to eat, containing fruit, chocolate, and liquor. The cake’s color and richness added contrast to the traditional white wedding cake. Louisianians tend to add a New Orleans flare to every ritual and naturally, the groom’s cake evolved into a unique and eccentric Southern tradition featured at many weddings today.

The Lore of the Groom’s Cake

Some people claim that if an unmarried woman places a piece of the groom’s cake under her pillow while she sleeps, she will dream of her future husband. Like the bride throwing her bouquet, the lore surrounding the groom’s cake adds an element of superstition to a traditional wedding.

Iconic Southern Wedding Groom’s Cakes

At a Southern wedding, anything goes for the groom’s cake, even a red velvet armadillo with red raspberry filling. Popularized by the cult film Steel Magnolias, the armadillo cake has become one of the most iconic groom’s cakes in the South. The silly ideas don’t stop there. Brides often order cakes constructed with elements of their spouse’s favorite hobby, such as fishing or boiling crawfish.

Sports and Hobby-Themed Groom’s Cakes

For the grooms that love football, basketball, baseball, or soccer, gifting a sports-themed cake will knock it out of the park. In Louisiana, also known as a sportsman’s paradise, fishing and hunting-themed cakes are abundant. Television or movie-themed groom’s cakes are also a hit.

New Orleans-Themed Groom’s Cakes

Many couples add a New Orleans twist to their groom’s cake by making it a king cake. The sugary cinnamon pastry is a delicious way to commemorate Mardi Gras at a southern wedding. Another famous groom’s cake in Louisiana is a hyper-realistic crawfish pot full of tiny fondant crawfish. Sometimes the crawfish-themed cakes are so life-like guests think they are real.

Classic and Traditional-Themed Groom’s Cakes

The groom’s cake can quickly become a distracting spectacle, so some couples opt for a more classic version. A simple icing design paired with the groom’s favorite flavors, such as chocolate or caramel, is always in good taste.

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