What is a Groom's Cake? 8 Theme Ideas For Your Wedding

Your soon-to-be hubby will love this tradition

Updated 09/10/17

Meredith Hilleary

The groom's cake is a golden opportunity to let the groom's tastes and personality shine through! This is one wedding detail that is all about him. Read on to learn where the groom's cake tradition comes from, when to serve the groom's cake and more, plus 16 examples of real groom's cakes to inspire you!

Groom's Cake Tradition: What. is. a Groom's Cake, Anyway?

Like many popular wedding customs, this practice is rooted in tradition and has a special meaning. The groom's cake tradition started in England in the late 19th century, and gained popular in the American South during that same time. The traditional wedding cake was considered too feminine for the groom and it was thought the groom should have a cake of his own. Enter the liquor-infused fruit cake, which served as a groom's cake. In later years, the groom's cake flavors also included chocolate and red velvet.

Another old tradition from that time was for single women to take it home and sleep with the (hopefully still boxed!) groom's cake under their pillow in order to have a dream about their own future groom.

Today, the groom's cake is simply a cake entirely influenced by the groom, representing his tastes and favorite hobbies. The groom's cake can range from a chocolate replica of a sports arena to an edible homage to Star Wars. It's often presented to the groom as a present from his new wife.

When Do You Serve the Groom's Cake?

Traditionally, slices of the groom's cake were boxed and given to guests as favors, so there aren't any established rules for serving it at a wedding. It makes the most sense, though, if both of you cut the first slice together right after you've cut the wedding cake. Then leave it up to the caterer to slice and serve the rest.

Do You. Have. to Have a Groom's Cake?

Absolutely not. Like almost every other wedding tradition, it's entirely optional. But if you and your family are having a tug-of-war about wedding cakes (chocolate versus vanilla, carrot versus custard), the groom's cake can be a simple way to satisfy nontraditional tastes without upsetting the wedding-cake cart.

Get Inspired!

The groom's cake is one big-day touch he will care about and a fun way to infuse the groom's personality into your celebration. Whether you unveil a delicious confection made from his favorite flavor combination or a creative-shaped cake representing his biggest interest, this special treat just for him is sure to be a hit. Here are some deliciously-executed groom's cake ideas for you to use as you plan for the big day.

Fast Food Fandom

They say a way to a man's heart is through his stomach—you're already designing a cake just for him, but why not reinforce that by asking your baker to play off of his favorite restaurant?

Image of Waffle House groom's cake at a wedding

Francis Joseph

Pop of Culture

Is your soon-to-be hubby really into a certain movie or TV series? Take a hint from these masterpieces: one is Star Wars-inspired and the other is fit for a hobbit:

One Tree Studios

Angela Zuill Photography

Hard Working Hubby

Want to celebrate what your fiancé does for work? Try something like this luscious chocolate cake with an oil rig topper.

Image of groom's cake that looks like an oil rig

Photo: Renee Lorio | Cake: Baking on the Bayou

Man's Best Friend

It might be tough to cut into such a cute face, but this theme is perfect for a dog-lover!

Amy Karp

The Great Outdoors

If your beau likes to be one with nature, transport him to wilderness—tree trunks are impressively replicated with decadent chocolate icing!

Angela Zuill Photography

Sports Buff

You can't go wrong with a cake that reminds the groom of his favorite sport or team. Get inspired by one of these:

golf-themed groom's cake at a wedding

Meredith Hilleary

Angela Zuill

Angela Zuill | Cake: Alanna Tyler

Angela Zuill

Angela Zuill

Chocolate on Chocolate on Chocolate

If you're at a loss for ideas, try combining his favorite desserts, like a chocolate-covered strawberry/chocolate cake mashup or tried and true doughnuts.

Angela Zuill Photography

Amy Karp

The Old Ball and Chain

When in doubt, classic marriage jokes are sure to please.

Photo: Karen Anderson | Cake: The Sweet Apron

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