Let Him Eat Cake
Groom’s cakes are more popular than ever at today’s weddings — whether as a prank, or a special (and fun!) way to toast the occasion
Groom’s cakes can represent a hubby-to-be’s occupation or hobbies — such as Corsino’s New York Fire Department ambulance above, and the Gretsch drum cake and rainbow trout by Maxine’s Bakers, below
In today’s vernacular, “how fun is that” pretty much explains the groom’s cake and the wonderful new ways that bakers apply their creativity to meet a demand. (I’ll spare you the history — you can read up on how groom’s cakes came to be at HudsonValleyWeddings.com). Today, the groom’s cake continues to serve as a gift from the bride to the groom — and provides some fun to an otherwise serious wedding reception.
Derek Corsino of Corsino Cakes in Red Hook says that “grooms’ cakes can really be everything and anything!” It can represent the groom’s occupation, like this New York Fire Department ambulance by Corsino (above) and the sculpted drum cake (below) by Maxine Stein at Maxine’s Catering & Bittersweet Bakers in Accord. The baker’s attention to detail can make the cake even more special. (Maxine’s drum cake was a “copy” of not just of any drum, but a particular type used by the groom.) Cakes can reflect the groom’s favorite hobbies, too (fisherman think Maxine’s rainbow trout cake is the catch of the day). Want a gag gift? Corsino’s Nightmare on Elm Street cake is a scream, and the wine bottle cake depicts a date worthy of a toast.
Drum cake and rainbow trout photographs courtesy of Maxine’s Catering & Bittersweet Bakers
Corsino and Stein have handled requests from the simple to the simply funny, and almost every one has a story behind it. More often than not, when a bride calls, she begins the conversation with “‘this may sound strange,’ or ‘I hope I don’t offend you,’ ” Corsino says. He describes his oddest request as “a cake for a plumber where we did the backside of the plumber.”
These two bakers agree that the groom’s cake should be ordered at the same time as the wedding cake, at least six months before the wedding date and no later than three months before. They also agree that prices vary and depend on the intricacy of the design, how many people the cake will serve, and who’s doing the baking. Cakes can start as low as $100 and go up. Most of the grooms’ cakes that Corsino Cakes makes are in the $200-$500 range; Maxine’s quotes go from $150 for a small, simple cake up to $300 or more. Stein pointed out that cakes that have special ingredients (or lack thereof) can be more expensive because they’re more difficult to make. (Her drum cake, for example, was egg-free and the trout was vegan-friendly.)
Crazy cakes (clockwise from left): Corsino’s cakes makes everything under the sun — from wine bottles to turntables to scary sweets, like this Nightmare on Elm Street cake
There are lots of choices for what goes inside the cake. Corsino says that most of his customers go for the basic chocolate topped with a thin layer of ganache, chocolate mousse, and Italian buttercream. Vanilla flavors are not quite as popular. Stein explained that she’s made traditional grooms’ cakes much like tiered wedding cakes, but in a darker color, iced in chocolate.
The creative baker enjoys making groom’s cakes because they are often “out of the box.” Lately, at Corsino Cakes, they find themselves making more grooms’ cakes than traditional wedding ones. (Corsino thinks the shift in numbers has occurred because more venues nowadays hire their own pastry chefs — and include the cake as a part of the wedding package.) That leaves the independent bakers to provide the groom’s cake.
Typically, the groom’s cake is served at the rehearsal dinner, or sometimes with dessert at the end of the wedding reception. In either case, more often than not, the cake is a surprise gift... and almost always a conversation piece!
Readers, what crazy groom’s cakes have you seen? Share your photos and comments in the box below, or submit your own question to the Wedding Guru by emailing Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.