All You Need to Know About Christening Cakes!
Marking the occasion of your child’s christening, baptism or naming day with a cake is a very popular tradition with a huge amount of significance. Therefore, unlike birthday cakes, your child’s christening cake is likely to be as important as a wedding cake.
A Christening or Baptism traditionally marks the day that a child is formally accepted into a religious community. It represents the washing away of sin, and purification of the child so that it may be free to enter the Kingdom of God, and the tradition follows the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist. These days, many people choose not to have their child christened due to personal beliefs, but still wish to commemorate the birth of the child in some way, so celebrate instead with a naming ceremony.
Following each ceremony, there is usually a lunch or dinner party hosted by the child’s parents for family and friends, and a central part of this feast is the Christening cake.
In Victorian times the Christening cake would have actually been the top tier of the couple’s wedding cake. A child from a young married couple would often follow within a year or so of their wedding, so due to wedding cakes generally having more than enough tiers to feed everyone at the wedding, the top tier of the cake would have been preserved and used as the christening cake of the couple’s first born child.
In the late 19th Century this practice of saving the top tier of the wedding cake for a Christening became a justification for brides and grooms to have more and more elaborate multi tiered wedding cakes (usually 3 tiered). Traditionally, the first tier would have fed the guests at the wedding, the second tier would have been distributed as gifts to those who could not attend, and the top tier preserved for future use as a Christening cake.
In the 21st Century, the wedding is more associated with a couple’s love for another, than an imminent birth of a child. Children, if any, often come along many years after the marriage ceremony, making the preservation of the top tier as a christening cake very difficult. In today’s society, in line with tradition, the top tier of the wedding cake is more often kept for use by the newly married couple on a future happy occasion, such as the first anniversary.
So, as the top tier of your wedding cake is rarely used for Christening cakes these days, it does mean that you have much more choice with what you can have for your Christening cake, taking on any shape or form that you would like. The cake can be customised entirely in a variety of flavours, colours, sizes and décor, and can range from a single tiered Victoria sponge cake to an extravagant tiered cake.
A very traditional shape for a Christening cake is that of a cross, which can look beautiful in white with some simple piped icing. More modern varieties of cake are more likely to perhaps feature individual cupcakes stacked on stands, with buttercream swirls and sprinkles, a shaped cake to look like your child’s favourite toy, or a simple square or round sponge cake decorated with such things as booties, teddy bears and building blocks.
The one thing that is pretty much guaranteed with most Christening cakes is that they will probably be decorated with pastel colours, particularly blue or pink!