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What Is the Purpose of a Groom’s Cake?

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There’s a good chance that the first time you heard of a groom’s cake was when you started planning a wedding.

They don’t get as much attention as the wedding cake, but a groom’s cake is a cherished wedding tradition that people love.

The groom’s cake is a dessert made for the groom’s taste buds.

Usually, the bride gets to choose what flavor and style of cake they serve at the wedding. In return, the bride often surprises the groom with a smaller cake at the ceremony made with flavors he loves.

It’s a nice way to have more than one cake to give guests more flavor choices.

The tradition of the groom’s cake is rooted in Europe since the 1800s. People felt that the regular wedding cakes were too feminine, so weddings started having two cakes, one of which was the groom’s cake.

 Sports team themed groom's wedding cake

Having a groom’s cake today isn’t necessary, but formal weddings sometimes have them.

It’s a subtle way to have some fun and do something special for the groom on a day when so much attention goes to the bride.

Do You Have to Have a Groom’s Cake?

You don’t have to do anything at your wedding that you don’t want to. It’s your wedding, and you make the rules.

There are traditions, customs, and cultural norms, but you get to pick and choose which ones you honor as part of your event.

There may be some traditions like wearing white, wedding processions, first dances, etc., but the groom’s cake isn’t high on the wedding priority list.

No one will bat an eye if you decide to save trouble and money by not having a groom’s cake.

white naked cake decorated by cinnamon sticks and anise on cake stand with yellow leaves and decorative pumpkins above on black table, Dark rustic style cake

You no doubt have a lot on your plate already, so skipping the groom’s cake reduces stress.

If you want more variety in your wedding cake, you can always ask the baker to make tiers of different flavors.

Interestingly, more people in the South tend to order the groom’s cake. Traditions introduced by British colonists are likely more robust there.

Still, only a minority of wedding couples buy a groom’s cake.

Is the Groom’s Cake Supposed to Be a Surprise?

Traditionally, the groom’s cake was a surprise present from the bride. Brides usually want to keep the design or flavor a secret until they reveal it on the wedding day at the reception.

It’s seen as a lovely gesture and one of the first presents given by the wife after they’re married.

The primary cake is wheeled or carried out at most weddings with the groom’s cake just before the main wedding cake is sliced.

The bride and groom go to the cake to cut it and take pictures, and the cake is pulled out of a box or presented by a caterer.

If you are planning on serving a groom’s cake, here are some things to consider.


The groom’s cake is your time to have some fun at your wedding.

Many of us are still young at heart, so you can use the cake as a way to express love for something that gets your groom excited.

Whether it’s their favorite movie, sports team, or a restaurant they love, design the cake with a logo or something else fun.

Wedding day Groom cake on the groom's table with beer and crawfish theme


The cake doesn’t have to be that big. Usually, the groom’s cake is richer.

Centuries ago, people put alcohol and heavier chocolates in the groom’s cakes, while the primary wedding cake was lighter and had fruit.

Not everyone is going to eat the groom’s cake, so don’t spend a ton of money making an extra cake.


There are no rules regarding the flavors.

As previously mentioned, a groom’s cake often has stronger, richer flavors than a wedding cake. However, if your groom likes white cake, then make it white cake!

Who Is Responsible for the Groom’s Cake?

The bride is supposed to take charge of the groom’s cake effort. It can be done in total secrecy to avoid spoiling the secret reveal, or you can get helpful input from friends and family.

You may want to use the opportunity to make a funny cake based on an old passion of the groom that only his high school or college friends know.

Once you decide on the design and other details, you may want to ask someone in the wedding party to take charge since you have so much on your plate.

Still, brides usually are involved in the process because it’s supposed to be a personal gift.

A black-gloved chef is slicing a chocolate wedding cake

When Do You Serve Groom’s Cake?

There is no set time to serve the groom’s cake in the wedding custom. Some people served the cake alongside the main wedding cake to guests who wanted something richer.

Other times, weddings served groom’s cakes later in the evening when everyone needed a sugar boost to keep them dancing into the late-night hours.

In generations past, couples would serve the groom’s cake slices to single female guests to take home and put under their pillows at night. The superstition was that the cake would help them find a suitor and get married sooner.

Typically, couples now reveal and cut the groom’s cake just after the wedding cake tradition. Then, they leave the rest to the staff and let them serve it to guests who want either cake.

Choosing the Right Groom’s Cake

Decide early if you want to make a groom’s cake. It will make planning and paying for your catering much easier.

Ideally, you’ll book the same bakery for your wedding cake and your groom’s cake.

Having the same bakery means one less thing you’ll manage separately. It can also save you money. Both cakes will arrive at the same time and be handled by the same company.

Then, consider the size of the cake. Handing out slices of wedding cake as guests leave the reception is less common.

If you’re giving out the cake, then get a bigger cake. However, if you’re not, avoid overordering on the groom’s cake, so you’re not left with a ton of extra cake you don’t want.

football themed cake on the black background

Finally, choose when you want to serve it.

Some people feel like revealing the groom’s cake and the wedding cake together takes some of the shine away from the multi-tiered masterpiece you’ve looked forward to.

There’s no harm in holding the groom’s cake for later in the evening when people are in a good mood from dancing and partying.

They’ll love to see the fun, intimate moment when the bride reveals the groom’s cake and perhaps explains the significance of the design and flavors.

It will give them something to talk about and make them feel like they’re part of the wedding’s intimacy.

Summing It Up

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you serve the groom’s cake. No one will miss it or gripe if you don’t. Even your groom likely won’t mind at all.

It’s still something only a minority of weddings have, and usually, they’re more formal. It can be too much to deal with if you’re hosting a smaller, more intimate wedding.

Whatever you do, make sure you have the bandwidth to deal with designing and ordering the cake rather than letting it be something that stresses you out.