Who knew that something so simple (and delicious) could be so deeply rooted in tradition and superstition? At one point or another every couple will hear that they are to save the top tier of their wedding cake for their one year anniversary – but why?
Historically, saving of the cake was done so that when the couple had their first child (usually expected within a year’s time, around their anniversary). Although in modern times the cake is saved to celebrate the anniversary itself. There is sentiment and the superstition of good luck and prosperity that is believed to occur when couples enjoy a piece of their cake one year later. Quite literally, enjoying a slice of your wedding cake on your anniversary brings your wedding to life once again.
Although saving the cake isn’t the only tradition this wedding centerpiece entertains. Along with the first dance and bouquet toss, cutting the cake is a charming tradition that graces the pages of many wedding albums. In terms of married life, cutting the cake is one of the first things a couple does together as newlyweds. Sometimes this is followed by feeding one another cake, but depending on the couple this could be more or a cake face smashing. For some, this is a very romantic and sweet symbolism of commitment, and others this is a great show of love and affection in a fun way.
To give your cake the best chance of staying fresh 365 days later, follow these tips carefully.
- Put someone else in charge of taking the cake at the end of the reception. The last thing you’re going to want to think about on your wedding night is packing up your cake and keeping it refrigerated. Assign this ahead of time to a family or wedding party member or your caterer. We recommend you assign someone that is NOT staying in a hotel. How unfortunate would it be if your cake was left in the in-room hotel refrigerator after check-out?
- Remove any decorations. Decorations, as beautiful as they are, can get in the way of proper freezing.
- Before you wrap up the cake, freeze it for 30 minutes. This helps the icing to harden so it’s easier to wrap.
- Remove from the freezer and wrap tightly in at least 3 layers of plastic wrap. Then wrap it in 1-2 layers of aluminum foil, and stick the whole thing into a freezer-safe bag.
- Place the cake in the freezer away from any strong-smelling foods, so the cake doesn’t absorb those flavors.
- To enjoy the cake on your anniversary, remove from the freezer 24 hours beforehand to thaw.
- Unwrap, pop some champagne, and enjoy!
Some types of cake will hold up better in the freezer than others. Light cakes like angel food cake or cakes with fillings like custard won’t keep very well, whereas dense cakes like chocolate, pound, and carrot will do better.
It is also possible that the cake will never make it to the freezer because it may be devoured late at night after the wedding… that’s okay! Rather than preserving the actual wedding cake, order a smaller version of it for each and every anniversary.