Roll up your sleeves and grab a fork. We are talking cakes today!
I love love love wedding day – a couple is celebrating one of the happiest days with the ones they hold dear, all of the months and months of planning and preparation are put into place and a flawless day has happened. Oh and what usually happens after dinner, thats right – there is cake! So a little further down on my ladder of what my favorite part of a wedding is (top is the moment right after the ceremony where I pull out my air traffic controller sticks and wave the newlyweds into the Boathouse and get the first married hug from them, not even cake beats that!) the cake…yes I have a MAJOR sweet tooth and I am a glutton when it comes to cake.
Naked, tiered, cannoli filled, chocolate, red velvet, cupcakes, pie even, (believe it or not we went with a killer key lime pie for my wedding, shocker I know!) any of it I will absolutely give it the good old fashioned college try. Ok, well not all of it, I have to draw the line somewhere and that line is nuts – why on earth would you spoil a perfectly good piece of cake or dessert with nuts, YUCK!
So why are we talking cakes today? Well, more than I love cakes at weddings I love the traditions that are intertwined into them – family traditions that have been passed through the generations, southern traditions (did you see Jess and Tim bury the bourbon!?), and wedding traditions that you don’t even question you just do. BUT there is one tradition that I feel we need to talk about and possibly re-evaluate: saving the top layer of your wedding cake…
Please don’t get mad at me for this one. If you have a top layer frozen safe and sound in your freezer right now go ahead and skip this one, maybe go check out Amanda and Michael’s wedding (there is a school bus, how awesome is that!) instead. For those of you who haven’t made the plunge into the freezer this might shed some light into whether or not you want to lose that freezer space for a year. Even if after this you still decide you want to save the top layer we will still happily give you the proper freezing techniques for wedding cake and support you fully in your decision, it is your wedding after all! We can still be friends right!? I just want to make sure that we are all on the same page as to why you will be defrosting a year old wedding cake on your anniversary!
To understand this tradition, you just have to think back to a familiar schoolyard rhyme: “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage!” It used to be thought that once a wedding took place, a baby was going to come shortly after, so therefore the wedding and christening ceremonies were often linked, as were the respective cakes that were baked for each occasion. With fancy, elaborate, multi-tiered wedding cakes becoming a major trend in the 19th century, the christening cake began to take a back seat to the wedding cake. Since the top tier of the wedding cake was almost always left over, couples began to see the christening as the perfect opportunity to finish the cake. Couples could then logically rationalize the need for three tiers — the bottom for the reception, the middle for distributing, and the top for the christening. – Bridal Guide
Nowadays couples are keeping the top layer (for a year in their freezer) to eat on their one year anniversary as a sweet memento from their day. If you decide to honor this tradition (although don’t feel the need to follow it exactly and use it as a christening cake!) here are some tips for storing and eating the treasured cake:
- Remove any and all flowers/cake toppers/other large decorations
- Place the cake on a wrapped cake board (cardboard but PLEASE wrap the cardboard in foil or the cake will taste like the cardboard…ew) and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes or up to 3 hours. Goal is to get the icing hard and the cake firm before the wrapping begins. You can remove the cake from the cake board at this point.
- Now that the cake it solid get out an industrial sized container of plastic wrap and get to wrapping. DO NOT SKIMP on this part, it should look like it could take a roll down our hill without a scratch on it (this keeps all the yucky tastes and freezer burn away).
- Follow plastic wrap with two layers of aluminum foil.
- Put in an air tight container and place in the bottom of a deep freezer.
- Set an alert on your phone for the day before your anniversary to pull it out.
- Cross your fingers that there aren’t any hurricanes where we lose power 🙂
- The day before your anniversary your reminder will go off and you will know it is time remove the cake from the depths of your freezer and place in the refrigerator.
- After about two hours remove the cake from its wrapping and place back into the refrigerator.
- When you sit down for dinner remove the cake from the fridge so it comes to room temperature.
- Grab two forks and enjoy!
If you decide to forgo saving the top layer you can always reach out to your baker to see if they can make a replica with the same flavors and even design. Grooms, this would make a killer surprise…hint hint!!