How to Save Wedding Cake for Your First Anniversary

A husband and wife eating their wedding cake on their first anniversary.

Saving part of the wedding cake to eat on your first anniversary is a tradition that’s said to have started back when brides were expected to give birth within the first year of marriage—and the leftover wedding cake would be saved for the child’s christening. Although times have changed (and some brides are either a long way from having children, already have them, or never plan on having them), saving the top tier of your wedding cake is still a fun tradition that helps you relive your wedding day on your first anniversary—but you can’t just stick the cake in the freezer and hope it’ll taste good one year from now! Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to do to save a couple slices of your wedding cake to enjoy on your first wedding anniversary.

Have Your Bakery Make a Cake for You Next Year

A young baker frosting a small wedding cake.

If the idea of saving your wedding cake and eating it a year from now doesn’t exactly stimulate your appetite, rest assured that you do have another option—having your baker make a small version of your wedding cake on your first anniversary. This idea may cost you more money, but it would involve a lot less work and it’ll likely taste way more delicious than painstakingly saving your existing one. Have a conversation with your baker before your wedding and ask if creating a small duplicate cake on your anniversary would be a possibility.

Ask Your Baker or Caterer to Preserve Your Cake

Often, couples will refer to their baker or caterer to take care of the cake storage—handing off the responsibility of wrapping to them and then receiving a tidy little package at the end of the evening. As with anything else in your reception, be sure to mention you’d like for them to preserve it for you and ask if this will be an extra charge.

Remove Decorations

Two slices of wedding cake on plates at a reception.

If you’re planning on DIYing the preservation of your cake, the first thing you’ll need to do is remove any decorative elements on the cake such as fresh flowers or any sort of ornament. The name of the game is to have a completely smooth surface to wrap up—because a smooth surface means less air bubbles.

Cool it Down

Before you start to wrap it up, you’ll need to significantly lower the temperature. Because the icing will be room temperature and creamy, you need it to harden in the freezer first so you won’t be dealing with a sticky mess.

Wrap it Up

You’re going to need at least two layers of wrapping to properly preserve the integrity of the cake and the flavor. Begin with a single layer of plastic wrap and (as tightly as you can) wrap it around the edges of your cake, pressing down so that you can avoid any air bubbles. After you’ve secured the plastic wrap around the entirety of the cake, you’ll need to wrap two layers of foil on top so that you can prevent freezer burn.

Have a Designated Cake Saver

You’re going to be busy at your wedding reception—to say the least. If you don’t have time to properly wrap and store the cake, be sure to appoint someone the job, whether it’s your MOH, mom, sister, grandma, or wedding planner. This is especially important if you’re heading right off to your honeymoon and won’t have anywhere to store the cake immediately. If you’re also already aware of an upcoming move of houses, you may want to have a parent or friend store your cake for you so that you don’t have to defrost it more than once. Although it can be done, it’s not advised and won’t hold up the flavor as well.

Watch Out for Other Scents in the Freezer

Unless you don’t use your freezer for much else besides ice, you’ll need to be careful of how you wrap things up as you’re storing your cake. Smells will transfer from other foods, so wrap them up tightly to ensure that no funky flavors will land in your preserved wedding cake.

When You’re Ready to Eat, Just Defrost

When you’re finally ready to eat your cake on your (can you believe it!) first anniversary, remove the cake from the freezer and then let it sit in the fridge overnight. Plan on the exact moment you’ll be eating your cake—because you’ll need it to sit at room temperature for at least five hours before you consume.

Once it’s finally properly defrosted, pop the champagne and celebrate your first year of marriage with the same tastes you had on your wedding night!

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