Whip Smart Kitchen

Recipes, methods & musings for the whip-smart home cook

Wedding cake revisited: how to eat a year-old cake

Leannda Cavalier1 Comment

This post was originally published on my old blog. This version may contain minor edits and updates. The original is preserved at Recipe Repository

The perfect anniversary dessert. Dry on the outside, gooey on the inside.

Tastes mostly like the ice you used to scrape off the sides of the pizza bagel freezer at the grocery store when you were little (you know you did!), yet smells reminiscent of broccoli and marinara sauce. Cuts like bread pudding and has a mysterious stream of water leaking out of the bottom.

Romantic, right?

Is that how you picture year-old frozen wedding cake? We need to talk. It doesn’t have to be that way.

My husband and I just celebrated our first anniversary, and the frozen top of our tiramisu cake was… perfect! It was still packed with flavor–the one it was supposed to have and no other mystery tastes/odors. I would say the biggest changes between the fresh and frozen product is that the cake becomes more dense and the icing gets smushed. It is frozen cake after all.

Still, if I had to guess how long our cake was frozen, I’d say a few days tops. 

We got a backup cake just in case the method we used didn’t work, but we didn’t even need it! I mean, we still ate it… who passes up that good of a cake? Just robots, I’m pretty sure.

We also may have bought 26 extra cupcakes because they were day-old cupcakes for a dollar… but you’ll have to ask my lawyer about that.

There are a billion tips out there for how to freeze your wedding cake, and most of them say different things. I can’t even find the guide I loosely followed last year when my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and husband’s aunt helped me cloak ours in layer after layer.

I’m not a baking expert. I’ve only frozen the one cake. But, this one was kind of a big deal, and it worked out perfectly.

I can’t give you a foolproof method of what works for every cake every time, but I can tell you step-by-step what we did, and some things I learned along the way.

So here goes:

How to Freeze a Wedding Cake for Your Anniversary

1. Take a peek at what’s under the cake. Plastic? Good! Foil? Good! Cardboard? Nope. remove the cake from the cardboard and set aside on a plate, then cover the cardboard with foil.  Cardboard can absorb smells and put those smells into your cake. It also has a smell of its own it can put in the cake. Not cool, unless you want your year-old cake to smell like that time you left all your empty moving boxes outside and it rained.  

2. Replace the cake and remove any flowers or decorations.

3. Place the cake in the freezer, uncovered for two hours.* This is called flash freezing.

4. Remove cake from the freezer and tightly wrap it in two layers of plastic wrap, making certain it’s sealed and there are no air bubbles.

5. Add a layer of aluminum foil (enough to cover the entire cake, so I’d use two long sheets placed in an X-shape under the cake, then wrapped tightly over the top).

6. Add a layer of newspaper in the same fashion.

7. Repeat the aluminum and newspaper layers four more times.

8. End on two layers of foil, sealed as tightly as possible.

9. Mark with tape and a felt tip marker so no one will accidentally open it to see what it is.

10. Put it near the back of the freezer and freeze for one year

Layer breakdown from inside to outside:

2 layers plastic wrap

1 layer of aluminum foil

1 layer of newspaper

1 layer foil

1 layer newspaper

1 layer foil

1 layer newspaper

1 layer foil

1 layer newspaper

1 layer foil

1 layer newspaper

2 layers foil

*Consider cleaning and defrosting your several days before the wedding for this purpose.

To defost:

1. Remove the cake from the freezer and remove all wrappings.

2. Loosely wrap the cake with waxed paper and place cake in the refrigerator to defrost overnight. 

3. Remove cake from the freezer 3-4 hours before eating to defrost fully, keeping covered until you are ready to serve.  

Tips:

-This is a two-person process.  You need at least one person wrapping, and one person holding the previous layer tight.

-Your cake won’t freeze well for a long period of time if it is cut. You should freeze it as an entire round, covered in frosting.

-Do not put in a defrosting freezer. You want as constant a temperature as possible.

-If the power goes out, DO NOT OPEN THE FREEZER DOOR. See the last tip.

-If your cake is fondant or something other than buttercream, you may want to consider looking up specific tips for that, I’m sure there are many floating around out there.

-Freeze your cake as soon as possible. We put ours in the morning after the wedding.  

Again, there are other options out there, many of which look easier than this. I haven’t tried those ones, but most look just a little too easy to ease my mind when it comes to the best/most expensive/most symbolic cake I’ve ever had. And I already take cake seriously.

Want to shop around for other options? I get it. Here are some resources I looked through last year when planning the deep freeze, and a few I found while writing this:

-weddingbee.com

-Martha Stewart

-The Washington Post

-dweddings.com

-Tiny Test Kitchen

-Philadelphia Magazine

 

P.S. If you’re near the Charleston area of West Virginia, you really should try out Sugar Pie Bakery. That’s where we got all the cake in the pictures above.

We wanted a tiramisu cake so bad and couldn’t find one anywhere in the area. We mentioned that during our cake consultation and they created the best one I’ve EVER had from scratch. They now feature it regularly as a monthly cupcake flavor, so you’re welcome.

I love their s’mores, peanut butter cup, chocolate cheesecake, red velvet and carrot cake cupcakes, and I’m sure I’d love anything else they made. They’re also super-friendly with unbeatable service.