How to Choose the Perfect Groom’s Cake

Wedding planning, traditionally, has been the responsibility of the bride-to-be. While most grooms help choose the venue and the caterer, the style, colors and theme are often left up to the bride. 

Even the cut and color of his tux may not be wholly his decision. So, if your soon-to-be husband wants the first and final say on at least one aspect of your wedding, a groom’s cake is the answer.

Not only is it the one part of the wedding that is completely about the groom, it’s a delicious tradition that you and your guests can enjoy together.

Groom's cake golf bag themed
Photo by Amy Cakes

What is a Groom’s Cake?

A groom’s cake is a second, smaller wedding cake entirely influenced by the groom. Not only does it contain the groom’s favorite flavor combination, it often represents something about him or one of his interests.

While your wedding cake is a more traditional dessert, a themed groom’s cake can be whimsical and humorous. It can be creatively shaped or decorated to represent a hobby or something else that’s important to him like his heritage or even a favorite sports team. 

Have more questions? We’ve got you covered. You can also learn more about:

  • The History of Groom’s Cakes
  • Answers to the Most Common Groom’s Cake FAQs
  • Groom’s Cake Flavors
  • Groom’s Cake Design

So if you’re ready to learn everything from the groom’s cake origins to the best flavor combinations and design options, read on!

The History of Groom’s Cakes

The groom’s cake dates all the way back to early 1800s England and later became popular in the Southern U.S.

When this tradition first surfaced during the Victorian era, there were two cakes served alongside the wedding cake at the reception: the groom’s cake for the groomsmen and the bride’s cake for the bridesmaids. The wedding cake was served to the guests.

The earliest groom’s cakes were often a liquor infused fruit cake, but they could also be made of dark chocolate with fruit or liqueur. 

Small pieces were then wrapped and given to the unmarried bridesmaids to take home to place under their pillows. According to Victorian superstition, if a bridesmaid slept with the cake under her pillow, she’d dream about her future husband or would meet him shortly after. 

Answers to the Most Common Groom’s Cake FAQs

Still not sure if a groom’s cake is right for your big day? Read on to learn more about this tradition and how to choose a groom’s cake for your wedding that your husband will love.

Should We Have a Groom’s Cake?

The key to planning a wedding day you’ll cherish is by making it about what you both want and like. So, if you want a groom’s cake, go for it! If you don’t, that’s perfectly fine too. 

A groom’s cake can come in handy, however, if you can’t decide on a flavor profile for your wedding cake. If you and your future husband are battling over flavors: chocolate versus vanilla, buttercream versus cream cheese frosting or chocolate ganache versus a raspberry filling, choosing two cakes may be the answer.

As long as your budget can stretch to two cakes, a groom’s cake is the easiest way to accommodate both of your tastes.

When is the Groom’s Cake Served?

Although it’s usually served alongside the wedding cake at your wedding reception, the groom’s cake can also be served at your rehearsal dinner. If you’re having a small wedding, serving the groom’s cake at the rehearsal dinner ensures you won’t have too much cake being wasted at your reception.

Should We Choose the Groom’s Cake Together?

There are no set rules for choosing the flavors or design of your groom’s cake. Some brides leave the groom’s cake design completely up to their husband-to-be while others prefer to contribute to the design of the cake so it complements the overall wedding theme. Other brides order a groom’s cake as a surprise for their future husband, choosing his favorite flavors and a design that reflects his personality or pays homage to a hobby or his profession.

Groom’s Cake Flavors

When choosing the flavors for your groom’s cake, some couples opt to have them complement and offset the wedding cake while others prefer a contrast in tastes. Another popular choice is to choose a seasonal wedding cake and a groom’s cake, offering flavors that match the time of year.

Let’s take a look at these three popular options. One of them may be right for you!

Complementary Flavors

If you’re a fan of matching colors, then complementary wedding and groom’s cake flavors will be right up your alley. Not only can you have the cake designs complement one another, you can take it a step further by having the tastes pair well together. This is a particularly good idea if you’re serving half slices of each cake.

That doesn’t mean the cakes have to be similar like chocolate and dark chocolate however. Instead, ask your baker what combinations will work well together. Here are some great flavor combinations to consider:

Classic Pairings

  1. Vanilla and chocolate swirl cake with chocolate ganache and white chocolate buttercream and

Dark chocolate and coffee cake with raspberry filling and dark chocolate buttercream.

  1. Lemon cake with lemon curd filling and cream cheese frosting and 

Strawberry champagne cake with strawberry mousse filling and champagne buttercream.

  1. Yellow cake with a fudgy ganache filling and milk chocolate buttercream and

Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

Non-Traditional Pairings

  1. Carrot cake with pecan cream filling and cream cheese frosting and

Pineapple coconut cake with pineapple filling and Swiss meringue buttercream.

  1. Almond cake with berry filling and white chocolate frosting and

German chocolate cake with praline filling and coconut buttercream.

  1. Spice cake with pineapple filling and cream cheese frosting and

Banana chocolate chip cake with chocolate ganache and white chocolate buttercream.

Contrasting Flavors

Cakes with contrasting flavors are great for couples who like variety and prefer unusual flavor combinations. As different as your flavor profiles are, they should still taste good together, even though the flavors are vastly different. Here are some bold choices that pair well together.

  1. Apple spice cake with apple cinnamon compote and cream cheese frosting and

Chocolate cake with peanut butter cup filling and peanut butter frosting.

  1. Matcha cake with blueberry filling and Swiss Meringue buttercream and

Orange chiffon cake with orange marmalade and chocolate buttercream

  1. Chai latte cake with milk chocolate ganache and vanilla buttercream and

Vanilla bean cake with mocha cream filling and chocolate buttercream. 

Seasonal Flavors

You can’t go wrong with choosing cakes that match the time of year you’re getting married. Not only does it ensure a cohesiveness among your cakes, but the flavors will blend well if you serve small or half slices of each to your guests.

Here are some unique flavor pairings for each season:


  1. Margarita cake with lemon curd and lemon cream cheese frosting and

Vanilla bean and blueberry swirl cake with blueberry filling and white chocolate buttercream.

  1. Pistachio cake with orange marmalade and orange pistachio buttercream and

Lemon cake with triple berry filling, mascarpone cream cheese frosting and fresh berries.


  1. Strawberries and cream cake with whipped strawberry mousse and Swiss meringue buttercream and

Mango chiffon cake with a whipped mango and coconut filling and coconut buttercream.

  1. Coconut cake with raspberry filling and raspberry coconut buttercream and

Mai tai cake with pineapple filling and rum-infused buttercream.


  1. Maple walnut cake with pear compote and cream cheese icing and

Apple cake with a pecan pie filling and cinnamon buttercream.

  1. Cardamom vanilla cake with apple compote and vanilla bean buttercream and

Pumpkin ginger cake with pumpkin pie filling and mascarpone cream cheese frosting.


  1. Cranberry cake with coconut cream filling and cranberry cream cheese frosting and

Peppermint and white chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache and peppermint buttercream.

  1. White butter cake with eggnog custard and spiced buttercream and

Gingerbread cake with pear compote filling and honey buttercream.

Groom’s Cake Design

While your wedding cake will likely be designed to complement your wedding theme or color scheme, the groom’s cake doesn’t have to adhere to the same rules. Here are some of the most popular groom’s cake designs:

Sports Themed

Whether the groom is an NFL fan or loves baseball or basketball, you can pay homage to his passion with a sports themed cake. Whether you shape the cake like a ball, a stadium, a jersey or simply choose a cake emblazoned with his favorite team’s logo, your future hubby will be sure to love it. 

Car Themed

If your man is in love with cars, why not ask your baker to make a replica of his favorite model? Whether it’s a sports car or an old truck, your groom will get a big kick out of his edible ride.


If your husband-to-be loves his job, why not choose a cake that celebrates his profession. If he’s a mechanic, carpenter, plumber or electrician, a tool box cake is always a hit. If he’s a doctor, a medical bag with his stethoscope peaking out is perfect.  

Lawyers will enjoy law books topped with a judge’s gavel while a police officer, firefighter or paramedic will get a kick out of a uniform cake or a cake shaped like their emergency response vehicle. Your baker should be able to come up with something creative no matter what the groom’s job.

Country Themed

If your future spouse is a farmer, a tractor cake will have him grinning while ranchers or cowboys will enjoy a cowboy hat, cowboy boots or even a bucking bronco cake.

Movie Themed

If your soon-to-be husband is obsessed with a particular movie or movie franchise, a movie-themed cake will bring a smile to his face. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, James Bond and The Avengers are all ideal for a themed cake. Even if your man likes something more obscure, your baker is sure to have lots of ideas to bring his favorite movie to life.

Other Great Ideas

  • The barbecue aficionado — If your man fancies himself a grilling expert, he’ll love a cake shaped like a barbecue.
  • The jogger — A replica of his running shoes of choice is sure to make him smile.
  • The woodsman — A lumberjack cake complete with tree stump and axe is always a hit.
  • The golfer — A cake depicting the groom’s favorite putting greens or a golf bag and clubs is a great way to recognize his passion.
  • The fisherman — His tackle box or boat are great inspiration for a groom’s cake.
  • The traveler — A suitcase, a passport or a cake that depicts his favorite vacation spot will all put a grin on his face.
  • The boater — If your fiance loves boating, a cake shaped like his boat will make him smile. Other options include a sea themed cake or a life vest.

The Takeaway

If you want to add a light-hearted focal point to your reception or are seeking a way to surprise or honor your future husband, then you can’t go wrong with a groom’s cake. The key to success is simple: throw out the wedding rule book and focus on fun. Your groom and your guests will love it.

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