Updated: Oct 19, 2020
You might think the name is a clue? But in fact, it’s the shape of the spire built on top! It was built in 1675 after the previous building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren.
The spire was added in 1703 making it the tallest church in London after St Paul’s [which he also famously designed]
It’s easy to see where the idea comes from. The pale coloured, tapering four tiered spire does a pretty good impression of the iced cake that brides and grooms are often seen sinking a knife into!
The story goes that, towards the end of the 18th century, an apprentice baker named William Rich, who worked nearby at 3 Ludgate Hill, fell in love with his boss's daughter, Susannah Prichard. In order to impress her, Rich decided to make an elaborate cake for his nuptials. In previous centuries wedding cakes usually took the form of a 'Bride Pie', which could be a sweetened or savoury mincemeat rather than the elaborate cake we know today.
So looking around for inspiration, he caught sight of the nearby steeple, and the rest is history.
It's a lovely story, and may well contain a “Crumb“ of truth. Though sadly, there seems to be no documentary evidence to back it up that hasn't already been eaten!