WEDDING CAKE HISTORY, TRADITIONS AND HOW TO SAVE THE TOP TIER FOR YOUR 1ST ANNIVERSARY
So you are thinking of saving the top tier of cake for your 1st anniversary. Today we go over some history and how to properly store that cake!
TRADITION & HISTORY
Wedding cakes have been part of wedding ceremonies dating back to Greek and Roman times. In the beginning the Groom broke bread over the Brides head. This was a symbol of submission, the end of her purity, but it also represented fertility and good luck.
In the middle ages the tradition shifted to stacked cakes that the couple would kiss over. If successful without knocking over the cake, it was then believed the couple would be blessed with many children.
This was when the English decided that throwing the cake AT the bride would increase child bearing! lol - imagine?! Gotta love history haha.
In the beginning wedding cakes were more like a fruit cake, but as sugar became more affordable white icing was intorduced. Symbolizing the brides virginity along with the her family's wealth.
Eventually colour was added along with elaborate designs representing social status.
Cutting the cake was traditionally for the bride to hand out to guests with the belief of ensuring fertility. As weddings got larger this was then done by the Bride and Groom. When the cake was cut, the Groom placed his hand over the Brides hand representing his support with the promise to take care of her and their future.
Cutting from the bottom was encouraged as it was believed to provide marital longevity. For the guests to have cake after being cut by the couple it is believed to have brought good luck!
During the 19th century couples started saving the top tier for their 1st child's christening. With some believing it was an omen of good luck!
Who knew there was so much behind the symbolization of the wedding cake!
Now that you have ushered aside the top tier of your wedding cake, it's time to preserve it - let's get started.
First off, let's be serious. There is a chance your cake won't taste the same a year later. You of course will not know until the following year! And what's to lose?!
NOW that being said, I recently pulled a banana cake out of the freezer from last summer and it was DELICIOUS! As long as you go in with the awareness your cake will either be awesome or sub-par, you will still get to share in the moment of reconnecting with your partner over the memories and laughs from your wedding day.
****This process is for iced cakes as fondant cakes will go funny if frozen. If you have a fondant covered cake remove the fondant before the next steps. Chilling the cake before removing the fondant will help the fondant come off easier in pieces but you'll likely lose the icing around the outside of the cake.****
1. Remove non-edible items such as florals or toppers.
2. Ideally, prepping the night of your wedding so your cake remains the freshest. However, will it make a difference the next day? Likely not, just get someone to pop it in a fridge night of. Storing in the box is fine but do have whomever cover any bare cake with plastic wrap so it will not dry out.
3. Put the cake in the fridge or freezer NOT COVERED for an hour or two. (This is for night of, if you are doing this next day your cake will be firm from being in the fridge the night before) This will firm up the icing so that when you wrap it the icing won't squish and you have a better chance of the cake looking just as pretty a year later.
4. Once cold and you can touch it without any icing coming off on your finger, wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap then for extra protection loosely (so not to wreck the cake) cover with a layer of tinfoil.
5. FREEZE & WAIT
6. One year later - Time to dig in!
Thawing. Remember anything defrosting will create moisture. Lots of blogs say to just set it on the counter - meaning still wrapped etc. NOOOOO I'm pretty sure they are not written by cake decorators lol. I've seen all sorts of things like your cake tasting like cardboard if placed on a cake board to freeze and well this is far fetched. Worst case it makes the board soggy while defrosting. But will it taste like you're snacking on an Amazon box? Highly unlikely....
Keeping it fully wrapped creates a wet cake and well gross.... not to mention the icing will then soften and if the cake is still wrapped while thawing the icing will stick to the the plastic wrap. Thus messing up the look of the cake which was why we pre-chilled the cake to avoid this in the first place!
My recommendation and through my years of cake experience I recommend this process - but you do you of course!
Remove the cake from the freezer and take off the layers of tinfoil and saran (plastic wrap). The quicker the better as it starts to condensate fairly quickly. If you have an exposed part of the cake that has been cut, keep that covered as it will start to dry out while thawing. The icing exposed is fine, as it acts like a protective later to keep your cake moist.
Let the cake come to room temp for about an hour or so. Cake thaws super fast so no need for hours and hours. The butter in your icing will take the longest to thaw fyi, so if the icing is soft your cake should be good to go!
7. Last and most importantly, cut into it! Enjoy, laugh and reminisce over your first year of marriage xo