Italian wedding cake

Wedding cakes are a pretty big deal in Italy. And not just because they appear in most of the wedding photos!


This pic is of my parents at their wedding in the 60s with the all-important cake.

Traditional Italian wedding cake

Debora’s parents with their wedding cake

The wedding cake was invented by the Romans


The history of the wedding cake dates all the way back to the Roman Empire –  after the wedding ceremony, a loaf of bread was broken directly over the bride’s head and then passed around to the other guests. This symbolised the sharing of happiness and fortune and was an important part of the day.


In Roman times, the bread would have been made from wheat, which was the food of fertility. This tradition was brought to Britain by Julius Caeser but has transformed over the centuries.


The bread became sweeter and sweeter over time. Raisins and sweet red wine were added first. Next, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds found their way into the mix – yet more symbols of fertility.


In the 18th Century, the French introduced icing to the traditional wedding cake and it started to resemble the cakes we see today.


The modern Italian wedding cake

Italians still like to keep their wedding cakes a little different from the traditional English and American-style cakes. If they’re iced, it’s generally plain. In fact, most Italian wedding cakes stay closer to the Roman tradition, keeping it simple.


They are usually BIG, to feed everyone in attendance (typically there are a lot of guests). But often they are only one very large, flat tier.


Popular  Italian wedding cakes include Millefoglie, layers of puff pastry and delicious crème pâtissière. You’ll often find Italian wedding cakes topped with lots of fresh fruits.

Millefoglie topped with fruit

Millefoglie topped with fruit


If you’re planning a wedding and not sure how you want your cake to be, check out our tips on how to choose a wedding cake here.