When your first anniversary comes around, interested and superstitious friends and family will come out of the woodwork to ask you about your wedding cake. Did you preserve the top tier? Are you going to eat it? How did it taste?
Tradition is to blame. A long time ago, couples would save the top tier of their wedding cake to save money during their first child’s christening celebration. If you do the math, chances are the baby was born nine months after the wedding and christened three months after that. Hello, first anniversary. Some also say the tradition started back in the 19th century, when wedding cakes were easily preserved because of the brandy-soaked fruit, and eating the top tier was believed to bring good fortune to your marriage.
These days, we just do it because it’s
fun sweet expected. But are we really doing the best thing for our cake? Some bakers say no.
“Because we don’t freeze our cakes, we don’t guarantee our cakes’ quality after having spent a year in your freezer,” says Amanda Oakleaf, owner of Oakleaf Cakes. “I don’t have control over your freezer’s defrost cycle or whether you store the cake next to a garlicky dinner, for example. Cake has butter, which is made of fat. Fats absorb odors and unwanted flavors.”
Instead of freezing your cake, she has a few other suggestions. How about eating your top tier the day after your wedding? “Sometimes couples get too distracted during the reception to fully enjoy a slice of their cake,” she explains. Or save it in the fridge for just a couple days after the honeymoon. She also loves the idea of ordering a small cake replica for your first anniversary. Fresh new year, fresh new cake.
If you do still want to follow the top Wedding Superstition Commandment of freezing your top tier, Oakleaf has some advice. First off, be sure to inform your venue that you’re saving the top tier. If they cut it up and serve it, then this is no longer a debate out of necessity. Once you have the boxed up top tier, when you get home, wrap the cake in several sheets of plastic wrap, and then foil. Then pop it into a small box to protect it for good measure. The day before you want to eat it, let it thaw in the fridge, and then warm up to room temp before serving. Hopefully it will taste just as sweet as it did on your wedding day.
That is, unless you kept it next to a jar of pickled garlic.
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