Southern Wedding Tradition: The Groom’s Cake

April 11, 2014 | By | Comments (11)

The groom’s cake is arguably the best-known Southern wedding tradition, thanks to staff favorite Steel Magnolias! Today we’re sharing the scoop on all the details behind this quirky and deeply-seated sweet.

southern wedding armadillo cake Southern Wedding Tradition: The Grooms Cake

Armadillo groom’s cake photo by Matthew Johnson Studios

Groom’s cakes can be traced back to England’s Victorian era, when there were three cakes at a wedding – the wedding cake, which was served to the guests; the groom’s cake, which was served to the groomsmen; and the bride’s cake, which was served to the bridesmaids.

The earliest groom’s cakes were actually fruitcakes! Thankfully, fruit cake no longer rules as the flavor of choice, but groom’s cakes are still usually made of dark chocolate with fruit or liqueur, perhaps to contrast with the white or light-colored traditional wedding cake. These days, almost anything goes for the groom’s cake, from intricate designs customized to the gent of honor’s favorite hobbies, to the red velvet armadillo made famous by Steel Magnolias. Some groom’s cakes aren’t even cakes at all but towers of Oreos and glasses of cold milk, hot doughnuts passed on trays, or a spread of favorite childhood treats baked by mama.

Groomsmen everywhere would no doubt be terrified to learn that the male half of the bridal party used to be responsible for whipping up the groom’s cake on the morning of the wedding, but it’s true! Legend also holds that if an unmarried woman sleeps with a slice of groom’s cake under her pillow, she’ll dream of her future husband.

We can’t support singling out your single friends, but we think to-go boxes filled with cake would make any wedding guest quite pleased at the end of the night. Whatever sweet you decide to serve, and whenever or however you choose to serve it, make sure the groom’s cake is an obvious nod to your handsome beau. This one’s all about him!

Looking for more groom’s cake inspiration? You can search for real weddings that included one in our gallery. And tell us: Did you serve a groom’s cake at your wedding?  What did it look like? What’s the most interesting groom’s cake design you’ve ever seen?


  1. Rachel & Walt, A Paducah Kentucky Wedding » Rachael Houser Photography

    […] And YES that is an armadillo cake! […]

    December 9, 2015 at 9:52 pm
  2. Billy10

    Of course we had a groom’s cake. We completed it with a very humorous groom’s cake topper. I personally believe a groom’s cake is not compete without a topper. The topper added so much fun to the ceremony.

    You can find more about groom’s cake and unique toppers on here.

    October 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm
  3. Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine

    […] rounded up our favorite custom koozies. We chatted about the Southern groom’s cake tradition. We admired McKinley and Zach‘s colorful Texas wedding. Have a wonderful weekend […]

    April 19, 2014 at 5:01 am
  4. Beth

    My husband loves cake, so thinking about the groom’s cake was a fun part for both of us ! I found the most amazing wedding guide, we took so many ideas from this site, and it was really helpful finding our wedding planner as well:

    April 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm
  5. Amy

    Steel Magnolias, of course! “Grooms cake is on the carport.” “How do you even make gray icing?” And my favorite quote from Drum to Wheezer, “I ALWAYS like a good piece of tail.” Yes, I’ve seen the movie a few times.

    April 12, 2014 at 4:17 pm
  6. Sally

    We had one too! It was an Italian creme cake, in the shape of and decorated like a poker table. He loves to play Texas Hold ’em, and on the night we met, he taught me to play!

    April 12, 2014 at 5:30 am
  7. Bev

    Both my son’s weddings had a groom’s cake.

    April 11, 2014 at 4:51 pm
  8. Tish

    We had a groom’s cake at our wedding way back in 1977. We had just graduated from Texas A&M so the groom’s cake was the traditional block ATM. It was chocolate cake white icing outlined in maroon icing. Whoop!

    April 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm
  9. Kari L. Jaquith

    a snake.

    April 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm
  10. Elizabeth Ford

    Steel Magnolias, of course. But what could she not make because she didn’t have the counter space?

    April 11, 2014 at 2:13 pm
  11. Mary English O’Malley

    We sure did have a grooms cake! It was chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and in the shape of a bed! Now you may think that was a nod to our sex life but actually, it was a nod to my husband’s favorite hobby…SLEEPING!

    April 11, 2014 at 1:48 pm

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