The wedding cake tradition dates back to Ancient Rome where it was used to symbolise the breaking of the bride's virginity, the dominance of the husband and good fertility and fortune to any guests lucky enough to gather the cake crumbs. While this tradition might not apply to the modern world, the cake is still one of the most memorable features of a wedding. There is no standard look for a wedding cake, so couples have the freedom to decorate the cakes as they want. A frequent choice is a white cake decorated with fruit, most often berries.
Rinse the fruit and let it air dry until dry to the touch, usually no more than 10 minutes. Cut the fruit into bite-size pieces, if necessary. Most berries do not need to be cut, but large strawberries or anything larger should be cut in halves or smaller.
Apply a quarter-inch layer of frosting to the cake with a frosting knife. Use a half inch of frosting where the tiers meet if you want to pile fruit along the tops of the tiers. If the cake is fondant covered, apply frosting only in the areas where the fruit will go.
Place the fruit in the desired spots and press it gently into the frosting to hold it in place. If piling the fruit at the top of the tiers, add the fruit one or two pieces at a time to ensure a sturdy structure. Be as gentle as possible to avoid breaking the berries and staining the frosting.
Stick the fruit to the cake as shortly before the wedding reception as possible. The longer the fruit sits, the more likely it is to lose its flavour and stain the frosting. If you want strategically placed fruit on the side of a fondant covered cake, apply icing to the back of the fruit and hold it against the cake for five seconds. The icing acts as an adhesive. If using sliced apples, peaches, pears or any other similar fruit, soak the cut pieces in a mixture of one part lemon juice and 16 parts water. According to the University of Illinois Extension, the lemon juice will help prevent browning of the apple flesh. For a lighter cake, use fresh whipped cream in place of frosting.