To Save or Not to Save? What a Sweet Dilemma


In many parts of our country it’s a common tradition for couples to save the top-tier of their wedding cake to eat on their one year anniversary. While some fear that having their cake in the freezer for a whole year will cause it to get freezer burn, there are steps you can take to help minimize the chances of ending up with a dried-out cake.

  1. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for about an hour, or flash freeze it for 30 minutes before wrapping it up. This will give the icing time to harden so that the wrapping won’t stick to the icing.
  2. Wrap the cake in several layers of plastic wrap – – don’t use aluminum foil because it can actually cause freezer burn.
  3. Put cake in bakery box if provided by your baker and wrap again with plastic wrap – Or – Slide the wrapped cake into a freezer bag and be sure to get as much air out of it as possible. You want the bag to be “air tight”.
  4. Place the bag in the freezer. If desired, take a piece of ribbon from your bouquet, the center pieces, your hair piece, or anything else from the wedding, and tie it around the bag so you won’t mistake it for anything else.
  5. When your anniversary rolls around, take out the cake, unwrap it and let it defrost overnight in the fridge. Enjoy a slice, or two, with a cup a coffee or favorite beverage while you watch your wedding video(s) and or photos together!

It is important to know your cakes shelf life. The more delicate the ingredients of the cake, the dryer it can become from being frozen. Cakes that have a longer shelf life include moist cakes like: chocolate, almond, carrot cake etc.

While saving the top layer of your cake is a nice tradition, you need to be realistic about how well the cake will hold up in your freezer. Deep freezers work better than refrigerator-freezer combos that you open more frequently and where the temperature will fluctuate and increase the risk of frozen-thawing-frozen, causing the cake to dry-out quicker. If you don’t think the cake will last, consider ordering a fresh baked replica for your one year anniversary instead. A good close-up shot of the original cake is helpful for your baker, especially if you’ve moved and need to use a different bakery than on your wedding day.

Here are some fun options of what to do with the top-tier if you don’t want to freeze it.

  1. Serve it at the wedding.
  2. Take it home and eat it with your parents- other family & friends the night after the wedding (unless you leave for your honeymoon right away, then let them enjoy it).
  3. Schedule a casual “coffee and cake” (Freeze the cake if more than a few days after the wedding) and invite a few friends in the area who were unable to make it to the wedding, – even though they weren’t there the day of, it can be a cute way to include them in the special occasion.
  4. Donate your cake to a soup-kitchen or shelter. Make arrangements in advance with the recipient of your choice & either the venue, caterer or someone in the family, to make the delivery the day of, or the day after the wedding.

What you choose to do with the top tier of your wedding cake is ultimately up to you. If you want to take it back to the hotel and eat the whole thing the night of the wedding, go for it. There is no right or wrong. Just be sure to properly prepare/store it if you do decide to freeze it.

One Comment
  1. A lovely tradition! We did it with our American Dream Cakes from our wedding in October o 2007. My mother kept it in her freezer until our first anniversary. By that time, we were living in Oklahoma, so my mother shipped it in dry ice overnight. To our delight, our cake was about as delicious as on our wedding day! We had not wrapped it as well as the directions above instruct, so I was not expecting just how good our cake was after a year. So good that I scraped every last bit of icing off the platter the cake was on!


Leave a Reply