How do I preserve my wedding cake top tier?
Depending on what ingredients are in your cake and how it is handled, can dictate how well it freezes! If you were to have fruit cakes, that were originally created to last without refrigeration as they were soaked in high-proof alcohol, they wouldn't need as much immediate attention! That soaking in high-proof alcohol, combined with sugar makes for a natural preservative. However, most cakes today have to be frozen to last for longer periods of time due to the dairy and eggs used in making them. If your cake had to endure the southern summer heat and humidity in an outdoor venue, chances are it isn't going to freeze as well as the cake that was served in a nicely cooled reception hall. Not to mention, the high risk of contamination for the cake that sat outside in sweltering heat for hours! If this is the case for you, you are better off to go ahead and dispose of (or eat!) the cake at that moment and request a replica cake tier on your anniversary (which many bakers in our area will do!). No one really loves fondant, but if your cake required it to get the design you wanted, you are in luck as it freezes better than other icing types! The same can be said for citrus curd and fruit filling layers!
Post wedding, we often get a message that says "Thanks for making sure my top tier was saved... how do I preserve it to eat again on our one year anniversary?" Or, we are asked "I love the idea of freezing the top part of my wedding cake to eat on our one year anniversary. What's the best way to do that so it doesn't get freezer burnt or lose any flavor?" Our first response is, I hope you haven't waited until returning home to refrigerate it or start preserving it, because you are now at a high risk of bacteria and a food borne illness that even the freezer can't kill! The truth is, this is a task you should assign to someone while you are on your honeymoon!
A beautiful cake like the one below from Cakes by Iris deserves the perfect care to make it to your one year anniversary! See below the picture for our steps on preserving your cake! (Photo by Mary Moment Photography)
We recommend taking these steps to ensure you slice into a cake on your one year anniversary that tastes just as good as it was on your wedding day!
1. Remove any live flowers stuck into the cake. They don't freeze well and will add a lovely "dirt" taste to your cake.... so, we've been told!
2. Place the cake in the refrigerator as soon as you arrive home and let it sit until the next morning when you can take the time to wrap it properly!
3. Now that the cake has been eased back into a cool temperature, wrap it very tightly, multiple times, in clear plastic wrap.
4. Place the wrapped cake into a cake box or plastic cake dome storage container.
5. Seal the box or container will multiple layers of clear plastic wrap, and if it is a box you are wrapping, feel free to add one or two layers of aluminum foil over the plastic wrap.
6. If the cake is still chilled (not room temperature) go ahead and place it in the freezer in a spot where it will not be disturbed frequently for the next year. We don't want any moisture to creep into the cake between now and next year when you thaw it out!
7. We recommend leaving it with the person who originally froze it, but if you must transport it, make sure it stays frozen and immediately goes back into the freezer when it makes it to the final destination!
One or two days before your anniversary, remove the cake from the freezer and place it in your refrigerator. Unwrap the box and cake at this point, but place the cake back in the box for ease. It will take the cake at least 24 hours to thaw. A couple of hours before you want to slice it, leave it on your counter and let it get to room temperature. This will keep you from having soft icing with a still cold/frozen cake center!