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What was the grooms cake in Steel Magnolias?

When it comes to iconic scenes from the 1989 film Steel Magnolias, the bleeding groom’s cake takes the… well, cake. This unforgettable scene features Shelby’s wedding reception, where her husband Jackson’s eccentric groom’s cake is cut into, causing a red velvet filling to gush out and shock the guests. But what exactly is a groom’s cake, and how did this particular cake become such a memorable part of the movie?

What is a Groom’s Cake?

Traditionally, a groom’s cake is a secondary cake served alongside the wedding cake. It’s often a surprise for the groom and is typically designed with his interests and tastes in mind. As a southern wedding tradition, the groom’s cake dates back to the 19th century and was typically a dark, dense fruitcake meant to be served to the bachelor party.

Today, groom’s cakes have become more diverse in flavor and presentation. Some cakes are designed with a specific hobby or interest in mind, such as a football-themed cake for a sports enthusiast. Others are more whimsical, like the infamous bleeding groom’s cake from Steel Magnolias.

The Bleeding Groom’s Cake

The bleeding groom’s cake from Steel Magnolias was designed to look like an armadillo – a nod to Jackson’s unusual profession of working in a slaughterhouse. The red velvet filling was meant to represent the “blood” of the animal, adding an extra layer of shock and surprise to the already strange-looking cake.

The idea for the bleeding cake apparently came from the screenwriter of the movie, Robert Harling, who drew inspiration from a real-life experience. Harling’s friend had requested an armadillo cake for their groom’s cake, and when it was cut into, the guests were shocked by the red velvet filling.

The cake, which was made by Louisiana-based bakery Weinzettle, was a hit on set. The armadillo design and the bleeding filling made the cake an instant classic, and it’s become one of the most memorable parts of the movie.

The Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Red velvet cake has become a popular cake flavor thanks to its unique flavor and striking red color. It’s a simple cake that’s easy to make at home, and if you’re brave enough to try, here’s a recipe for a classic red velvet cake:


– 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
– 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
– 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
– 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
– 2 large eggs, room temperature
– 1 tablespoon red food coloring
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon white vinegar


1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease two 9-inch cake pans.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vanilla extract, and white vinegar.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three parts, mixing after each addition until just combined.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Allow the cakes to cool before assembling with frosting.


The bleeding groom’s cake from Steel Magnolias has become a cultural icon, a cake so unusual and memorable that it’s remembered decades after the movie premiered. While groom’s cakes themselves have a long history, none have been quite as notorious as the armadillo cake with its gory filling. But whether you prefer a traditional fruitcake or a whimsical armadillo, a groom’s cake is a fun way to personalize your wedding and surprise your guests.


What is the point of the groom’s cake?

The groom’s cake is a unique element of a wedding reception that often adds a special touch to the celebration. The tradition was first established in England in the late 19th century and then gained popularity in the American South during the same time. Essentially, the groom’s cake is another cake served at the wedding reception, in addition to the traditional wedding cake. Typically, the groom’s cake is presented at a separate table from the wedding cake and is meant to provide a more masculine or personalized vibe to the event.

Historically, the wedding cake was seen as a very feminine element of the wedding celebration. As a result, to balance the wedding celebration between the bride and groom and to provide more manly or masculine flair, the groom’s cake was introduced. The cake is typically chosen and designed entirely by the groom, with the aim of representing their personality or interests.

Traditionally, the cake is a dark, dense fruitcake made with brandy and topped with marzipan and usually covered in white icing. However, contemporary groom’s cakes have evolved beyond the fruitcake. Chocolate, vanilla, and carrot cakes are some of the other popular flavors, while sports themes, hobbies, and favorite pastimes are often popular design motifs. For example, a groom who loves golf may choose a cake shaped like a golf bag or a golf course. Alternatively, a groom’s cake could be shaped and decorated like a favorite football team’s logo or a guitar if he loves to play music.

The groom’s cake is a unique way to add a personal touch to a wedding reception, and it provides a more masculine vibe to the event. It’s a tradition that is now a part of wedding celebrations, particularly in the United States. So, if you’re planning your wedding, consider adding a groom’s cake to your reception, as it will help to create a lasting memory for you and your guests.

Is an armadillo cake really a Southern tradition?

The groom’s cake, a tradition that originated in the American South, has been a staple at weddings for a long time. This special cake is designed to reflect the groom’s personality or interests, and is usually served alongside the main wedding cake.

One variation of the groom’s cake that gained national attention was the armadillo cake, featured in the movie “Steel Magnolias.” In the movie, the armadillo cake served as the groom’s cake and was designed to reflect the bride’s Southern roots. While the movie helped popularize this specific design, it’s important to note that the armadillo cake itself is not necessarily a true Southern tradition.

Southern wedding culture is known for its distinctive traditions and customs, including the serving of the groom’s cake. The groom’s cake is typically dark, rich, and made with chocolate. In many cases, it’s designed to be different and unique from the main wedding cake. Couples can choose to decorate the cake with their favorite sports team or activity, or any other design that speaks to their interests.

While the armadillo cake may not be a traditional Southern groom’s cake design, it’s certainly a popular one. The cake’s appearance in “Steel Magnolias” put it on the map and the armadillo cake has become a cult favorite among fans of the movie and cake enthusiasts alike. Whether it’s an armadillo cake or another fun design, the groom’s cake remains a beloved Southern wedding tradition that adds a special touch to any celebration.

Where did the groom’s cake originated?

The history of the groom’s cake can be traced back to England’s Victorian era. During this time, there were three cakes at a wedding – the wedding cake, which was served to the guests; the groom’s cake, which was served to the groomsmen; and the bride’s cake, which was served to the bridesmaids. The wedding cake was typically a fruitcake that was rich and dense, and it was often decorated with marzipan or royal icing. The bride’s cake was also a fruitcake, but it was lighter and more delicate, and it was usually decorated with flowers or intricate designs made out of sugar paste.

The earliest groom’s cakes were also fruitcakes, and they were typically smaller than the wedding cake and the bride’s cake. They were usually made with dark, rich ingredients like chocolate and stout beer, and they were often decorated with simple designs like a monogram or the groom’s favorite sports team. The groom’s cake was originally served during the wedding breakfast, which was a meal that was typically held after the wedding ceremony. It was a way for the groom to show his appreciation for his groomsmen, and it was also a way for him to offer them a little bit of sustenance before the long day of celebration ahead.

Over time, the tradition of the groom’s cake evolved, and it became more elaborate and decorative. Instead of being a simple fruitcake, it could be any type of cake that the groom desired. It could be a decadent chocolate cake, a flavorful carrot cake, or a light and fluffy sponge cake. It could be decorated with any number of designs, from intricate sugar flowers to humorous figurines that represented the groom’s hobbies or interests.

Today, the groom’s cake is still a popular wedding tradition, although it is not as common as it once was. It is often served during the wedding reception as a second dessert option, and it is usually chosen and designed by the groom himself. Some grooms choose to include a personal touch by incorporating their favorite flavors or other elements that represent them into the cake’s design. No matter what type of cake is chosen or how it is decorated, the groom’s cake is a way for the groom to add his own personal touch to the wedding celebration.

What is armadillo cake?

Armadillo cake is a type of cake that gained popularity after it was featured in the 1989 movie Steel Magnolias. In the movie, the groom’s cake was a red velvet cake shaped like a giant armadillo. The cake became famous not only for its unique shape but also for the comedic impact it had in the scene.

The armadillo cake is typically made of layers of chocolate or red velvet cake, filled and frosted with cream cheese frosting, and covered with fondant to give it an armadillo-like texture. The cake is then decorated with edible features such as scales, eyes, and ears to enhance the armadillo’s appearance.

Apart from its appearance, the armadillo cake has become a part of wedding traditions in the Southern United States. The tradition involves cutting a piece of the cake and placing it in a small box, which is then presented to an unmarried woman attending the wedding. It is believed that the woman who receives the box will be the next to get married.

In recent years, armadillo cakes have become a popular choice for events and celebrations in the Southern United States. Some people even choose to make them for birthdays, parties, and other special occasions. The armadillo cake’s unique appearance and the significance attached to it have made it an icon in the world of cakes, especially in the Southern United States.