Cheap 'n' Quirky Wedding

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The Top Layer August 7, 2011

Not everyone is aware of this, but it’s traditional to save the top layer of your wedding cake for your first anniversary. This tradition started back when it was also traditional for the top layer of your cake to be fruitcake. Yeah, fruitcake. Like the one your great-aunt sends you at Christmas and no one eats. While I don’t eat much fruitcake, I assume that one can spend a year in the freezer without it’s flavor or consistency changing much. But what about a marble cake with ganache filling and buttercream icing? How would that survive a year in the freezer?

There are sites with instructions on how to freeze the top layer of your cake. These instructions include tightly wrapping the cake in multiple layers of different wrapping materials. While these methods probably help preserve the cake a lot, I’m also sure the cake would be a little bit “off” by the time you try to eat it.

Our cutting cake and cupcakes.

At our wedding, we had cupcakes with a small cutting cake. As would be expected, we cut pieces out of the cutting cake to feed each other. Unfortunately, our venue was a bit too eager to clean everything up and they threw out all cupcakes that weren’t eaten within the first 10 minutes after they were put out. Many people who got up to dance and expected to eat their cupcake on their return to their table were greeted with an empty space. In fact, the only cake my husband and I got to eat all day was the tiny slivers we fed each other. While the venue threw out tons and tons and tons of our cupcakes, they at least saved our cutting cake (presumably so we could freeze it.) After all that wedding planning, I was really excited for the cake and I wanted to eat it now, not in a year. As soon as we got back from our honeymoon and picked up the leftover cake from my in-laws, we ate it. It was delicious even at a week old, but already starting to taste it’s age. I knew there was no way to successfully wrap it: with pieces missing, it had plenty of surface area to get hard, crusty, and freezer-burned. There was no saving it so we ate the whole thing over a few days. Plus our freezer space is at a premium, we just lacked the room.

Fear not, if you’re not saving your top tier for a whole year, there are ways that you can still partake in this tradition. Friends of ours ate their top layer on their six-month anniversary so that it didn’t have as long a time to deteriorate in the freezer. If you’re doing cupcakes for your cake, maybe save a couple in the freezer in case not every one is perfectly preserved. My plan is to go back to the same bakery that made our cake, order the same type of cake (though in the smallest size possible since there’s just two of us) and eat that on our first anniversary. We get the memories of our wedding and a fresh cake, it’s a win-win.

I’m curious, has anyone successfully frozen, defrosted, and eaten their wedding cake? What are you planning on doing? Remember, you deserve good cake, so make sure that you do something that will have delicious results.

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