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Cutting and Preserving the Cake

The first cut of the wedding cake is ceremonial. A knife tied with a ribbon is set next to the cake; the bride picks up the knife (it shouldn't be handed to her), and cuts a small piece from the bottom layer of the cake. This is the piece the bride and groom will feed each other. Usually, after the first ceremonial cut, the cake is taken from the reception area to the kitchen, where it is sliced, plated, and, in many instances, garnished with berries, edible flowers, or the like.

Once in the kitchen, if the cake is tiered, the top layer will be removed; it should be carefully wrapped so it can be frozen. (It's traditional for the couple to celebrate their first anniversary by eating the preserved top layer.) If the cake has buttercream frosting, remind the caterer to chill the top layer for at least one hour in the refrigerator so the icing can harden. Then have the cake wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in a cake box, which will also be wrapped in plastic. The remainder of the cake is then sliced and served.

Comments (8)

  • connorandshaleesa 14 Nov, 2010

    i honestly think that saving a cake for a year sounds really gross! i would rather just buy a smaller version of the same cake for the year anniversary or child's christening!

  • fairycake 21 Mar, 2009

    having grown up in Canada in an English family now living in OZ ( home of fondant iced cakes) Fruit cake is the only cake to serve at milestone events.We were married in Canada and our cake top was served in Oz at our first child's baptism 13 months later. Beautiful ! There would be fewer divorces if people only had fruit cakes at weddings.

  • GemLouise 21 Mar, 2009

    In England the tradition is to have the top tier - which would be a rich fruit cake - kept after the big day and saved for the Christening of the couples first child. I love this idea, but also really like the first anniversary thought too esp as nowadays it could be quite a while before a child is born and Christened :-)

  • chadsbride 21 Mar, 2009

    love the idea of the ice cream pail. How simple. I don't think your cake will stay as fresh if you cut it, but packaging it is the key to the freshness. make sure you put saran wrap up against the part that you cut to sort of seal it.

  • SherriWilliams 20 Mar, 2009

    Our bakery offered us a free small cake on our anniversary (flavor of our choice), so we didn't have to freeze our top layer. Which is good, because I moved from Massachusetts to Montreal after our wedding - the cake wouldn't have done well on the trip! I like the tradition, but can't see how using up valuable freezer space to eat year-old cake would be very good.

  • charbona 20 Mar, 2009

    Instead of having our top layer frozen, we are having our baker make the top layer for us a year from now, that way it will be nice and fresh!

  • chandrahuff 2 Feb, 2009

    We're going to have cupcakes and a small cake at the top of the cupcake tier to cut and preserve. Can the cake be preserved once it has been cut?

  • kash8827 8 Jan, 2009

    Eat a gallon of ice cream and place the cake wrapped in plastic in the empty container this will keep the cake as fresh as on your wedding day. (It won't have any trouble being stored in the freezer either cake boxes tend to be flimsy)