In suburban Orlando, Florida, cake designer Larry Bach recalled creating his first divorce confection about eight years ago for a woman whose wedding cake he had made 18 months prior.
“She said, ‘Your wedding cake was the best part of my marriage,’” he recalled. “We came up with this upside-down cake, with the cake landing on the groom. I’ve repeated that design several times. I think it’s a healthy thing. When my sister got divorced about 25 years ago, she and my mother went into mourning. Divorce was so embarrassing in those days.”
Family law attorney Jennifer Paine in Ann Arbor, Michigan, sees the divorce cake — blood-themed or otherwise — as a fresh take on closure.
“For divorce, that means the final date of divorce, when all of the hard work and emotions are over,” she said. “It used to mean going out with buddies. Then there was the era of sending a divorce card, then the trip to Las Vegas, and now parties.”
Parties, O’Malley noted, that include cakes with the wife pushing the husband off the top tier or edible divorce decrees scanned on. Dessert chef Lisa Stevens in Tampa, Florida, makes one divorce cake a month now, a steady climb over the last year.
“We call them freedom cakes. The first one was maybe six years ago. It was ordered by a guy. It had a groom with a broken heart on his lapel,” she said. “I try to redirect the anger to a more positive place when it comes to the cake.”
Duff Goldman, chef and owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and Charm City Cakes West in Los Angeles, said he has been creating divorce cakes for a decade, with one or so orders a month nowadays.
“We’re thrilled to put a positive spin on what can be a difficult and stressful time for people,” said Duff, whose custom cakes were featured on the Food Network reality show “Ace of Cakes” from 2006 to 2011.