It is said that during Victorian times the tradition was to break the wedding cake over the heads of the bride and groom. Then bakers concocted the Groom's cake for "breaking" and decorated elaborate wedding cakes for eating. Another tradition was that groom's cake was sliced and boxed for the unmarried girls at a wedding. They put the cake under their pillows and dreamed of their future husbands.
Originally from England, the groom's cake was a dense, fruitcake usually cover with smooth fondant or marzipan icing. When people complained that they didn't care for the taste, groom's cakes were made in various flavors of rich chocolate. Some online companies still sell them this way. However, most bakers will make them in any color, shape or flavor. They can also be sliced, boxed, and tied with a satin ribbon to serve as wedding favors.
Today the cake is meant to reflect the groom's interests and can include one of his hobbies, vocation, favorite sports team or alma mater. You can honor him with something humorous like a beer keg, teddy bear, sports car, cowboy boots, cigar, football or a computer. Go online to view samples, ask his friends for suggestions, and check with your baker for photos of previous work.
The groom's cake can be served at the rehearsal dinner or at the wedding reception. Because the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom's family, and involves a smaller number of guests, this would be a good time to serve the groom's cake. However, many couples choose to serve the groom's cake right alongside the wedding cake, and after the wedding cake cutting ceremony. Other couples will choose to partake of their groom's cake after-hours with just the wedding party and close family.