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Old-Time Favorites: Wedding Cakes

Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2004

Sometimes the best cake for your wedding is more than just delectable and beautiful -- it is also rich in meaning.

Cakes like Grandma used to bake are the kind of desserts cherished as much for their nostalgia value as for their delicious, homemade taste. A generously frosted layer cake, a moist marble cake, an airy angel food confection -- these are the sweets that evoke childhood birthday parties and other gatherings, happy times shared with family and friends. So why not serve one at your wedding, perhaps the happiest day of all?

Whether you choose a cake that you loved when you were young, one that's traditional to your hometown, or a classic American favorite, its history becomes a sentimental part of the day. And if you adapt a treasured family recipe, your wedding cake can make a heartfelt "something borrowed" -- one that is fittingly shared with the special people in your life.

Transforming a homespun cake into one that is worthy of being the centerpiece of a wedding takes only a little bit of imagination. Here, we've presented cakes that have stood the test of time and given them a refinement that suits a grand occasion. Often it was just a matter of using additional layers and being creative with the embellishments: Gorgeous ruffles of white frosting, darling sugared flowers, or exquisite flourishes such as Swiss meringue fleurs-de-lis take a much-loved cake to a glorious, new level.

With the contrast of wedding elegance with familiar goodness, your cake can poignantly tie the past to the present -- and may just be a harbinger of many wonderful celebrations to come.

Strawberry Shortcake
Lady Baltimore Wedding Cake
Lord Baltimore Wedding Cake
Mini Angel Food Wedding Cakes
Red Velvet Wedding Cake
Marble Wedding Cake

Comments (1)

  • 25 May, 2008

    This will be my wedding cake in July! I have loved strawberry shortcake since I was tiny, and I didn't know I was allowed to do something so out of the box until I saw this on the Web site. If the raw sides bother you for a wedding, we decided to combine this with the Charlotte by adding lady fingers to the sides of the shortcake and tying bows around the tiers. We also used a cake stand resembling the one in the Charlotte picture.