After Cutting the Cake, Should You Save the Top Tier?

All the pros, cons and how to do it.
by Andrea Fowler
Whether or not to save the top tier
Cindy Lee Photography

When shopping around town for your perfect wedding cake baker, there are a few questions you should have in your back pocket. Like, do they work with both fondant and buttercream? Do they price their cakes by the slice? What’s their typical delivery process like? And maybe last, but not least, what’s their take on saving the top tier?

As tradition goes, newlyweds are supposed to preserve the top tier of their wedding cake until either their first wedding anniversary or the christening of their firstborn child. The main reason for doing so is mostly for symbolism and sentimentality—catching your past up with your present.

If you want to take part in the tradition, ask your baker if they have any recommended methods of preservation for your specific cake (different flavors or fillings might have different requirements). In general, we’d recommend finding an airtight plastic container you know can fit the tier before the wedding. Pass that container off to your caterer the day of the wedding (or whoever is cutting the cake) so when they’re getting ready to cut into it, they can put the top tier aside immediately. The tier should be carefully wrapped in Saran Wrap, then closed up in the container and placed in the freezer.

Now, when asked about top-tier preservation, some bakers will respond by saying they’ll make you a fresh “top tier” for your anniversary free of charge, which we think is a pretty sweet deal—no pun intended. And in all seriousness, that’s going to be the tastiest route.

Here’s the thing: No matter how delicious your cake is or how top-notch, it won’t taste as good a year later. If you’d like to go the preservation route, we recommend designating it for a six-month anniversary or for a postwedding holiday, like your first New Year’s or Valentine’s Day together as a married couple. If you really want to go for the one-year milestone, there’s always the option to preserve a single slice if you’re worried it might not hold up over time but still want to try it out.

With all your newfound knowledge, what are you planning to do with your top tier?


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