Japanese Wedding Cake
Japanese wedding cakes are a relatively new tradition in Japanese weddings. In fact, cutting the cake is not a tradition in Japanese weddings. It is adopted from the west due to the cultural influx and mixed marriages.
However, nowadays wedding cake is a common trend in most Japanese weddings. They mostly have Japanese symbols or writings on them. Some of the cake toppers include a Japanese couple with an umbrella, a Japanese bride in a kimono with a fan or something made from bamboo. Some of the Japanese wedding cakes are merely symbolic presentations that are inedible. However, real edible cakes are common now.
Although, cake is not a Japanese cuisine, many Japanese chefs flew to European countries in the 15th and 16th centuries to learn the art to bake a cake. Since then it is known in Japan; although, cakes were not very common then as they were very expensive.
Normally, most Japanese cakes are close to the two or three tier white wedding cake; although they are decorated in a different manner. Japanese wedding cake is decorated with specific symbols like cranes, cherry blossoms, orchids, apricot flowers, etc. All these could be made out of sugar and have a deeper meaning than mere decoration. Cherry blossoms indicate spring and are considered to bring good fortune. They symbolize the volatility of life and are also a symbol of true love. Cranes also symbolize peace and honesty.
These decorations could be made from edible sugar or origami which is a form of Japanese art. You could also have real flowers decorated on the cake. However, in case of real flowers you need to be sure that the flowers are thoroughly cleaned and do not have any pesticides on them.
Some of the Japanese weddings have fake cakes i.e. when the couple cuts the cake, smoke emits out of the cake. These fake sheet cakes are made out of insulation boxes that are nicely decorated. However, there is another cake which is cut and served to the guests. So, the guests do not leave the wedding venue without eating the sweet or dessert.
Nowadays, cupcakes are also commonly served. In fact, Japanese weddings have a tradition wherein the couple goes and lights candles at all the tables. They start from their parents' tables and then proceed with the other guests. It would be a good idea if they serve mini cakes that can be shared by 3-4 people each during or after this candle lighting ceremony. They can either serve individual cupcakes or mini cake for 4 people on a table. This would be a very nice gesture to offer the wedding sweet or dessert to all the guests. This could be especially done if the big cake is a fake one. This fake cake is at times made out of plastic or wax.
One of the traditional Japanese wedding cake is called "Azuki Mochi". It contains sweet adzuki beans covered with two layers of mochi. One layer is white while the other one is pink or reddish. A combination of red and white is known to be auspicious and is commonly worn in weddings. A wedding cake also could be in a combination white and red icing.
There are many places in Japan including some wedding planners that serve a big tuna fish as an alternative to a wedding cake! They have been doing this for years wherein the couple actually cuts the tuna instead of a cake. This is a bit strange though people find it as a treat there. Couples go for as big as a 100 kg tuna.
On the whole, Japanese wedding cakes do have their own symbols and designs. However, cake cutting ceremony is not originally Japanese. Japanese weddings largely have been influenced by western culture be it the cake cutting or other traditions.
Look here are some traditional japanese wedding cake pictures: