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Tips For Storing Your Wedding Cake

Saving the Top Tier of Your Wedding Cake

It's de rigueur for newlyweds to save the top tier of their wedding cake to enjoy on the first anniversary. The idea behind this tradition, which dates back as far as the late 19th century, is for couples to savor the cake once again — as well as the memories of the big day and the first year of marriage.

Enjoying a well-preserved piece of wedding cake should be a pleasant reminder of your big day, so make sure it isn't ruined by a dry, smelly cake wrought with freezer burn. Learn how to properly store the top layer of cake when you


To store the cake:

  1. Designate a person to save the top tier once the cake cutting begins.
  2. Set aside any fragile and large ornaments or decorations, such as the cake topper.
  3. To avoid a stale cardboard taste, ensure the cake sits on wrapped cake board. A cardboard cake board should be wrapped with foil.
  4. Place the cake in a freezer until the icing becomes firm, 20 minutes to three hours, depending on the icing.
  5. Cover all of the cake's surface area with a generous amount of plastic wrap, avoiding air pockets.
  6. Follow plastic wrap with two layers of aluminum foil.
  7. Place wrapped cake in an airtight storage container and freeze for a year.

To enjoy the cake:

  1. One day before your first anniversary, begin defrosting the cake: transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator.
  2. After two hours, remove the cake from its wrapping. Continue to defrost in the refrigerator.
  3. Bring the cake to room temperature before consuming.
  4. Serve and enjoy.

If you know you'll be moving within your first year, lack the freezer space, or simply don't want to bother with the process of freezing your wedding cake, order a small, six-inch anniversary cake from the same bakery. Ask for similar cake flavors and fillings and have it adorned like your wedding cake (you can even save your cake topper to be placed on it). Use the cake knife and serving set from your wedding, and enjoy the memories of the special day with fresh cake.

Did you celebrate your first anniversary with the top tier of your wedding cake? What are your cake-preserving tips?


Blackwidowchick Blackwidowchick 8 years
oh and btw, if any of you are interested, in my photo gallery there is a pic of my wedding cake. It was white with black and yellow.Those were our colors.
Blackwidowchick Blackwidowchick 8 years
My husband and I got married last August, and apparently there is still a lot of freakin cake left! His mother must have read this article because she wrapped it just like you said yum. We went over to their house for father's day and the gave us all our frozen cake to keep at our house, my eyes nearly popped out of my skull. I told my husband we should have a cook out on our first anniversary and serve everyone all the left over cake as dessert just to get rid of it.
suziryder suziryder 8 years
We're not saving the top layer. I want to get a fresh "top layer" made by the bakery that's making the wedding cake, for our 1 year anniversary. The thought of freezing a cake for a full year sounds like a bad idea. More than likely, I imagine, it turns out badly and is disappointing. I'd rather just have a yummy fresh cake that looks like the top layer, rather than a stale year-old cake from the wedding itself. We may want to take the top layer on the honeymoon with us :D (And LOL @chiefdishwash!)
muse2323 muse2323 8 years
I never had a cake at my wedding; we got married in Mom & Dad's living room and our little group of attendees joined us at a favorite Italian restaurant for dinner. I don't even think we bothered with dessert. (We'd been driving for 30 hours straight--we really just wanted to go to bed and sleep!) I am, however, all in favor of everyone doing their own thing. So when I heard a friend's daughter had opted not to do a cake because it was out of her budget, I offered to try my hand at it, as long as she was okay with something simple. Wish me luck!
jessie jessie 8 years
we were going to save ours..but we ended having more people then we had to cut and serve it. :) oh well...we both had that bite we served each other!
Daisy-Duke Daisy-Duke 8 years
I would definitely suggest NOT saving it and just asking the baker to send you a first anniversary cake. I haven't heard of anyone that did freeze it, liking it. Yuck!
goldiecar goldiecar 8 years
We saved a "chunk" of the top layer. Froze it. Had it with the bottle of Dom we got as a gift. The cake was AWFUL! Freezer did not help it. And the Dom... The cork just "fell" out and was sour. Let's just say, that we tossed the whole thing, went to the store, bought a new mini-cake and a new bottle of (much cheaper) champagne and celebrated that way. We still laugh at the whole ordeal!
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 8 years
My mommy took care of ours and for a year joked that she was going to eat it (we lived in a small apt with a small freezer so my parents kept it for us). She wrapped it about 50 times with cling wrap, foil, then in a freezer bag, etc. And the cake traveled all over, from Louisiana to TX, back to LA, then to FL where we spent our anniversary. It was still DELISH! We even shared it with my parents. I thought it was a really fun thing to do and remember our wedding day!
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 8 years
I should like to know how people in the 19th century stored their cake. Did they pickle it?
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
we just had a destination wedding and we weren't allowed to bring food back with us, so the top tier of our cake was left behind. it was actually sad but what can you do right? the worst part is that since there weren't a lot of people there, we really didn't even eat that much of the cake to begin with so the resort was left with it. i hope that someone enjoyed it.
cmill38 cmill38 8 years
I haven't even thought about what I'll be doing with the top tier. I'm thinking that I'll be too busy socializing to try it myself during the wedding, and end up eating it for the next few days.
lemuse20 lemuse20 8 years
Good tips :D I think I'm going to save the tier on my cake just because it would be interesting to unthaw it in a year, though I'm not sure if we will actually "eat" it. Who knows
syako syako 8 years
Our baker made us a new "top tier" on our 1 year anniversary. We just had to go pick it up. It was really fun, and not freezer burnt! ;)
doogirl doogirl 8 years
We saved our top tier, I got it out on our 1st Anniversary to let it thaw and ants got into it. But we've been married almost 13 years, so I guess we did something right! And I love chiefdishwash's comment about wasting vodka space! Genius!
kia kia 8 years
Did not do this. Had a croquembouche in the tropics. We had no desire to keep any of that and bring it back to the U. S. We made a mini-croquembouche for the 1-year anniversary.
scorpstar77 scorpstar77 8 years
My baker wisely advised making the top tier out of pound cake, which freezes really well. So we had the bottom three layers made out of various yummy flavors (the biggest was dark chocolate cherry for choc-o-holic me!), and then the top layer was pound cake with the same icing and decorations. My mom wrapped it and froze it beautifully, and we enjoyed it on our anniversary AND for several days after.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
We saved our top tier and had it on our First Anniversary. We were really surprised at how good it tasted.
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
We chose to keep two bottles of champagne from our winery wedding instead. We had one bottle on our first anniversary and we're saving the other for our 10 year anniversary. We just thought the idea of year old cake sounded gross and this was a more fitting way to remember our wedding anyways.
dclsweetspot dclsweetspot 8 years
My preserving tip is don't let your drunk inlaws be in charge of getting the top tier for you because you are leaving on your honeymoon. They went home and ate it that night. I never did taste that cake or anything else at my wedding for that matter.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
I like the sentiment behind saving the top tier...but my BF (and husband one day) not only do not like cake very much, but old cake (even if frozen or refrigerated) just doesn't sit well with us!
tsp tsp 8 years
uh, my husband and i ate ours the day after our wedding, lol. we saved it with the intention of preserving it, brought it home and it either got bumped in transport or during packing, but it was banged up. we had a day or two before we left for our honeymoon abroad, so we ate it (shared with some family). it was delicious. And you know, our whole wedding people kept coming up and saying "oh, the shrimp is wonderful!" or "the dessert buffet is so amazing, you have to try ____"...and we'd get there and it would be gone. so it was actually kind of satisfying to sit there and relax with a big hunk of yummy cake. :-)
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
Ordering the same recipe sounds the best to me. Why waste valuable vodka space in the freezer?
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