A Gentleman's Confection

Rylan Lee
Andrew Belt's cake featured his favorite spirit.

If the idea of a groom's cake makes you think of the “bleeding armadillo” cake from “Steel Magnolias,” rest easy; the odds of your husband-to-be insisting on such a creation are slim.

But what exactly is a groom's cake, anyway?

As Laura Kick Molter of Dublin-based Our CupCakery explains, groom's cakes are smaller, thematically decorated cakes that “celebrate the interests or successes of the groom.”

Celebrating his interests can take many forms—and hopefully none include armadillos—but the focus is almost always on the cake's outward appearance. And there's really no limit to what shape it takes; as Kick Molter puts it, “it's whatever the customer can dream up.”

For Kortney and Andrew Belt—married Oct. 7, 2016—that meant a lifelike Maker's Mark bottle cake. Maker's Mark is the bourbon of choice for Andrew, who Kortney describes as looking “Mad Men-esque.”

Showcasing the groom's interests doesn't stop at the outward appearance, though. Unique flavors are also a hallmark of groom's cakes. Buckeye—an Ohio classic featuring chocolate and peanut butter—is a popular flavor for both Kick Molter and Sue Baisden, owner of Capital City Cakes.

One flavor stood out to Stefan Thomas during his tasting with now-wife Aureyl at Our CupCakery: a gingerbread cake with raspberry filling, topped with a cream cheese frosting. It's a flavor that had only Stefan and Aureyl's mom as fans. “They were the only two in the world who would've enjoyed this cake,” says Aureyl.

While they ended up going with a different flavor for their guests' cupcakes, Aureyl thought using it in a groom's cake would be a chance to incorporate an aspect unique to Stefan in the wedding. “To see that little element added was just really warming,” says Stefan. And although the groom's cake for their Dec. 12, 2015, wedding featured Stefan's choice of flavor, the outward design incorporated the couple's shared love of the Harry Potter franchise.

Baisden says groom's cakes, which start at $150 at Capital City Cakes, often are designed by the bride. “They like to surprise [the groom],” says Baisden. “It's like their gift to their new husband.”

Kortney is known for surprising Andrew with little presents, so Andrew expected to see a “modest, little groom's cake” at the wedding. But when the cake was revealed at the couple's reception, Andrew was amazed.

“I really wanted it to be about her and her day,” he says, “so I was very surprised to see something really impressive as my ‘little' groom's cake!”