How to Freeze Wedding Cake for Your First Anniversary

This step-by-step guide for how to freeze wedding cake will help you celebrate your first anniversary with the tradition of eating the top tier.

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After getting married last summer, my husband and I loosely covered the top tier of our wedding cake with a piece of aluminum foil and shoved it into the back of our freezer. Throughout the year, as we piled frozen bags of shrimp and boxes of veggie burgers on top of it, we wondered how the cake would taste on our first anniversary.

Surprisingly, it was delicious (and somehow free of freezer burn!). The bites of smooth vanilla buttercream that we enjoyed with celebratory glasses of champagne helped transport us back to our sunny wedding day. But admittedly, the cake wasn’t as moist as it was last August.

In hindsight, we should have taken more care to preserve our wedding cake in the freezer. After consulting the Taste of Home Test Kitchen, I learned tips for how to freeze wedding cake that I wish I’d known before we said “I do.”

How to Freeze Wedding Cake

Freezing wedding cake isn’t much different from freezing cake in general—except that wedding cake is extra sentimental and there may be more elaborate decorations. Here’s how to preserve the top tier of your wedding cake so you can enjoy it on your first anniversary.

1. Check with your baker

Many bakeries offer anniversary cakes, which are replicas of the top tier of your wedding cake that let you skip the freezing process and enjoy a fresh cake one year later.

But if you’re committed to the tradition of preserving the original top tier, your baker may have special instructions or tips for how to freeze your particular cake. For instance, buttercream and ganache freeze well, according to our Test Kitchen, while meringue-based frosting won’t hold up in the freezer.

Test Kitchen tip: Ask your baker for the dimensions of the top tier of the cake and get an appropriately sized storage container ahead of time. A cake carrier will work well for transporting your cake home after your reception, but for freezing you can use any airtight plastic container that fits.

2. Set the frosting

To preserve its freshness, freeze your cake as soon as possible—ideally the night of your wedding or the day after. Since you’ll want to relax and enjoy your wedding night, consider predesignating a friend or family member to be in charge of this step.

Remove decorations like flowers and the topper and place the cake on a tray or baking sheet. Freeze uncovered for at least three hours (or overnight) to let the frosting and iced decorations set. This will prevent smearing when you wrap the cake in plastic.

Test Kitchen tip: Make sure the cake isn’t near anything in your freezer that has a strong aroma. (For instance, don’t put it next to the chili you recently made that isn’t fully frozen yet!)

3. Cover and freeze

Once the frosting is firm, remove the cake from the freezer and cover with plastic wrap. The plastic should hug the cake to prevent air and moisture from getting in, but it shouldn’t be overly tight. Place the wrapped cake in an airtight vessel and freeze.

How to Defrost Wedding Cake

Take the cake out of the freezer 24 to 48 hours before you plan to eat it. Remove the plastic wrap and place it in a sealed container, such as a cake carrier. Place the container in a deodorized refrigerator to defrost. A few hours before you’re ready to dig in, move the cake to your countertop to allow it to get to room temperature.

If you didn’t save the top tier of your cake or if you somehow botch the freezing process, there are still ways to celebrate your anniversary with sentimental baked goods. If you’re up for a DIY approach, you can bake yourself an anniversary cake—try this White Cake, Frosted Chocolate Cake or Strawberry Mascarpone Cake.

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Teddy Nykiel
Teddy is an associate digital editor at Taste of Home specializing in SEO strategy. As a home cook herself, she loves finding inspiration at the farmer's market. She also enjoys doing any sport that involves water and taking long walks with her black lab mix, Berkeley.