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Wedding: Saving The Top Tier

by Meghann on December 17, 2012

I need a minute to gush.

I just got off of the phone with my Uncle Bill (the uncle who’s making our wedding cake) and he’s so, so, so excited to be making the cake for the wedding (as he told me several times throughout the phone call). His enthusiasm for the cake makes my enthusiasm for the whole day soar sky high. I don’t even care what the cake looks like, just knowing that my Uncle is putting so much heart and love in this cake is enough. No matter what, this cake – that isn’t even finished yet – is already beautiful to us and we love it.

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We’re not planning a traditional tiered cake (that was never what I had envisioned), my Uncle suggested two round cakes (one large and one medium) that would be layered on two separate cake stands (with a sheet of cake in the back for additional servings) and I loved the idea.

However, because we’re not doing traditional tiers, technically there won’t be a top tier to freeze and save for our first anniversary. This was honestly not something I’d given much thought to until my uncle asked if I minded not having a top tier to save. Neither of my siblings who were recently married saved their top tiers, nor do I recall any of my friends doing the same. Is the tradition of saving the top tier still a tradition or has it faded away with time?

I told him that I didn’t mind not having a top tier. I’m actually a little relieved not having one, that’s one less thing to stress out about during the reception. Plus, there’s no guarantee how the cake will fare after a year in the freezer (I’ve heard horror stories of the year-old cake not living up to the deliciousness the cake once was the day of the wedding). When the time comes, I’m sure Derek and I could have a local bakery recreate a red velvet top tier for us to celebrate our first year of marriage with.

The top tier is not something I’m worried about, but I’m curious to see how many people out there still save their top tiers for the first anniversary. Did you save yours? Or do you plan to in the future?

Side note: Our replacement cake topper arrived over the weekend – woo hoo! Fido better keep his paws off of this one, otherwise we’ll have to go without a cake topper since there’s no time to reorder another replacement. I’ll be keeping the new one in a safe place just in case. ๐Ÿ˜‰

{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Krissy @ Shiawase Life December 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm

The top tier thing was fun for us – we had moved from FL to VA and hand carried it with us (we took the Auto-train on our move) so it had special significance ๐Ÿ™‚

If you are not doing one, you can just do a special dessert or other tradition for the two of you ๐Ÿ™‚
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2 Emily N December 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm

We ate our top tier when we came home from our honeymoon. And then we ordered a very small (6 inch round) cake from the same bakery to pick up on our anniversary. It worked well!
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3 Sarah W. December 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm

We saved our top tier, and 1 yr later we ate it and it was disgusting.

just go buy a special treat to eat on your 1yr anniv. top tier saving is unnecessary!

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4 Katie December 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Thats what I would suggest. Unless you’ve got a huge freezer and wouldn’t mind saving the space. I doubt I will save the top tier (if I have one) when it comes time for me to get married. It just seems like a hassle.
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5 Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution December 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I say, if you don’t care, don’t do it! That said, I’m getting married in September, and one of the things I’m MOST excited about is eating that top tier on our first wedding anniversary. Sound silly? I don’t know what it is about that tradition, I just love the idea of it. So, if the ONLY thing I stress about is wrapping that top tier up well (although, I think I’ll just ask my caterer to do the honors. I’ve heard if it’s wrapped the right way, you don’t have to worry about it going bad in a year), than so be it because I want that top tier and a bottle of champagne on September 28th, 2014 (which will be our one year anniversary).
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6 Heather December 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm

We ate ours at our 1 month anniversary instead of 1 year. It was okay. I usually go buy or make us a special desert on our anniversary.

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7 Carolyn December 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

We froze our top tiers of the wedding cake and grooms cake. We ate them over a year later and they were just as delicious as on our wedding day! We used some special paper for deep freezing and wrapped it up well! Yum! A great treat to remember your special day on your anniversary.
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8 Erin @ Loop Looks December 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

We had cheesecake so we didn’t even try ๐Ÿ™‚ That being said, we used to go back to the restaurant where we got married (and who made our cheesecake) and order it as dessert on our anniversary. But they stopped making it and then the restaurant closed. I don’t think I’ve had white chocolate raspberry cheesecake since!
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9 Mary @foodandfunontherun December 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm

We just had our top tier remade to look the same. It was super easy, and tasted awesome ๐Ÿ˜‰

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10 Suzanna December 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm

My parents kept our top tier in their freezer. After 1 year, it was a little dry, but still delicious!

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11 kimberly sylvester December 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I already knew that I didn’t want to save the top-tier – why waste it if it’s most likely not going to be as fresh and delicious tasting as the day of your wedding? (Also, have you sold all of your cookie favor bags yet? I was interested in purchasing ~220 of them)

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12 Christine December 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm

We saved our top tier and ate it on our 1-year wedding anniversary (we got married in 2008). It was just as delicious as the day we got married! I think the reason why it was still so good was because my mom wrapped it in many, many layers of saran wrap and tin foil, and then for good measure added a few more layers. I think that it was wrapped so well that it preserved it perfectly. I’m so glad my mom did that for us (we didn’t ask her to, she just did it). It was a nice memory of our wedding.

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13 Cher @ Weddicted December 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I got married in August and we saved ours. I’m curious to see how it will be in August of next year. My girlfriend just celebrated her first anniversary and she said the cake was just okay.
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14 rachel December 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

we had a destination wedding – and while we had a small cake – we weren’t going to try and fly the leftovers home.

i hadn’t even thought about buying a small cake for our 1 year anniversary, but that’s a good idea! I figure at the least we’ll order a special dessert out.
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15 Lauri December 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm

We had one, saved it and ate it on our 1st anniversary with champagne as we watched our wedding video and it was YUMMY!!!!

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16 Chatelaine December 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Nope, we didn’t save our top tier. We got married in Ontario, Canada, and live in California. I wasn’t bringing a cake home. So we actually served our top tier 1 day later at our family brunch.

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17 Jody December 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm

We planned on saving ours for our one month anniversary, but ended up eating it as soon as we came home from the honeymoon. It was SO good! We were so busy at the reception that we only had a few bites of it that day so we wanted more. I’m not really big on the freezing cake tradition, but my mother has a slice of her wedding cake from 1972 still in the freezer. Don’t ask me why, I think it’s crazy!

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18 Melissa December 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm

We weren’t supposed to be saving our top tier because our bakery always makes a new one on your 1-year anniversary. But we ended up going home with it anyway! We ate some before leaving for our honeymoon and then finally finished the rest a couple weeks ago. (We got married the week after your sister!)

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19 Jessica December 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

We were going to save our top tier because our baker insists that her’s last the one year in the freezer as long as you wrap it up how she suggests. However, we intended to save ours before we moved to St. Louis so we would have had to fly back with it and that was too much of a hassle. Our guests liked the cake so much we left it with a group of family members hanging out by the bar in the hotel.
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20 Kelley December 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm

We had cupcakes and a small top tier. We ate the top tier the day after the wedding and then our bakery made us a free fresh one for our 1-year anniversary. Mmm
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21 Kate December 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm

We just saved one giant slice of our cake — it’s going on 8 months in the freezer, and I’m dying to know what it’ll taste like when we crack it open in May! We didn’t really care what it looked like, so we figured saving a slice would be fun for the anniversary but totally low pressure if it doesn’t fare well. ๐Ÿ™‚

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22 kelsey December 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm

We ate ours over the week after our wedding. No plates, no cutting, just romantically sharing a huge piece of cake right off the serving tray. Then, on our one year anniversary, my husband ordered the exact same cake for us to enjoy. In traditional fashion, we ate it right off the tray…no time for slicing or sharing.
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23 kirsten December 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm

We ate ours four months later and it was gross. I say don’t bother! Maybe your uncle can make you a small cake with the same flavor for your 1 year.

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24 Angela December 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

We have the top layer frozen in my parent’s freezer and we will try it on our anniversary. Not sure what to expect. I had a friend who left it in her parent’s freezer and her mom ate it before she was even back from her honeymoon! So I guess we will be eating our cake assuming my parent’s don’t eat it before then.
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25 Katie D. December 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm

We packed ours up and ate it on our honeymoon (a local getaway).

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26 Becky December 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm

We did save our “top tier” which was actually a Sweet! cupcake the same flavor that we used for the cake cutting. We packaged it carefully and it was still REALLY delicious when we cut into it a few weeks ago. We also started a new tradition- we got a slice of carrot cake from our anniversary dinner and we put THAT in the freezer for year number 2!

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27 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats December 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I definitely think I’ll keep the top tier of my cake, but I’m generally a pretty traditional person. And I love cake. A lot.
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28 AlisonJ December 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm

We ate a slice of ours every month for the first 6 months, and then I got sick of sharing a little slice, so we waiting to finish the rest until our 1 year anniversary…and the taste wasn’t as good as time went on. If we lived locally to where we were married, I would have asked our cake baker to make us a duplicate for our anniversary. Maybe you could ask your uncle about that?

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29 Margo December 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I think almost all of my friends have save their top tiers. I think it’s a cute tradition, so I wrapped ours in a ton of layers and stored it away. We just married in March, so there are still a few months until we can see how it held up. Honestly, I’m not expecting it to taste the same as it did on our wedding day, but I love the idea!
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30 Michael Anderson December 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm

As I have mentioned, we’ve been married 20 years now … and we STILL remember breaking out our top layer on our first anniversary. We didn’t do much of anything else formal, just us in our apartment sitting on the floor against our couch in front of our coffee table after dinner with champagne, lighting our ‘unity candle’ and then enjoying our cake … it was awesome.

Whether or not it matters depends on you and Derek … some stuff that seems important will be forgotten by next summer, other trivial stuff will remain a key part for years. We just had to get a new ‘Christmas Memories’ book, because the 20-year book my sister gave us as a shower gift (something like a $9.99 Hallmark buy) is overflowing with yearly memories.
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31 Jean December 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm

My sister saved hers, well actually my parents did for her. But most people I know don’t save theirs but buy a new replicated (same flavor/same frosting) cake from the same bakery on year 1. That sounds way more appetizing than a cake that has been frozen for a year.

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32 Stacy December 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm

We are getting married July 5th, 2013 and will definitely save the top tier. I’m from the south (Austin, TX), so maybe it is more of a southern tradition. I cannot imagine not saving it, but I’m also a very sentimental person.
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33 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles December 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I’m actually pretty sure the top tier of my parent’s wedding cake is still in the freezer…and they’ve been married for over 30 years. I guess a year-old cake didn’t sound too appealing on their first anniversary!
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34 Anna Portman December 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

We had a baaaad experience with our top tier. We had a fondant cake and it doesn’t freeze well. We had the top tier sealed well but when we went to thaw it and eat it on our anniversary…it tasted like burnt ice and was extremely disgusting. We threw it away. The sentiment is nice but I just don’t think it’s a necessary tradition.

If I had to do it over, I’d rather order a new cake exactly as before from the same place and just eat that on my anniversary.

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35 Stephanie December 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm

We decided not to save our top tier, freezer-burned cake was not appealing to me at all. We got a fresh replica cake for our first anniversary, and we thought it was the best thing ever! Will be doing that for every anniversary

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36 Anna December 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

We saved ours and ate it for our one month anniversary. It had traveled across the country so it wasn’t going to make it to a full year. Was still good at one month!

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37 Claire December 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Our baker gave us the option of having a “mini” cake made fresh on our anniversary so we could serve the top tier. It worked out perfectly! The cake was fresh and delicious, and I was able to pick it up the evening before our anniversary. Best decision ever. Maybe your uncle would agree to making an anniversary cake (or you could just go buy one!). It was fun, either way, to cut the cake and have some champagne for our first anniversary.

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38 Emily December 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm

We had pie instead of cake, so we didn’t save any. ๐Ÿ™‚
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39 Theresa December 17, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I saved mine…but forgot about it until after our second anniversary! The cake fared well though thanks to great packing…we had a few bites and it was still good! We just couldn’t get over the mental aspect of it being so old so we didn’t eat very much of it.
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40 Alaina December 17, 2012 at 6:56 pm

The bakery who did my wedding cake made a smaller version of it so that my husband and I could freeze it. It survived three different moves in that one year and it was delicious when we ate it on our anniversary! I was wicked surprised. ๐Ÿ™‚

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41 Abby Walker December 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm

We saved our top tier… it was pretty nasty ๐Ÿ™‚ I think getting a fresh cake on your anniversary is a MUCH better idea. That way you can actually enjoy the cake.

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42 meghan December 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm

We did save ours. It’s wrapped up like crazy in the freezer outside. We’ll see how it is. We also saved the second tier that didn’t get eaten, but we indulged in that as soon as we got home!
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43 Emily @ Relishments December 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm

We saved our top tier and ate it a year later. It held up surprisingly well (it helped to have a great cake to start with). I’m really glad we did it, it was fun to eat on our anniversary.
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44 BroccoliHut December 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Everyone told us that the cake would be no good after a year in the freezer, so we ate ours on our 1 month anniversary ๐Ÿ™‚ It was quite delicious and a nice weekday treat!

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45 Andrea December 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm

We ate our top tier for breakfast all week long. Then for our 1 year anniversay, we had the Grand Floridian bakery recreate it (since they made it for our wedding) and deliver it to our hotel room on our anniversary night
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46 Angela December 18, 2012 at 2:25 am

We saved our top tier and you know what? It was seriously delicious after being frozen!! I was pretty shocked, I was expecting the worst. It was every bit as delicious as I remember it being on the big day. (Although I probably only actually ate like one bite.) I didn’t stress at all at the reception, to be honest I didn’t care much about it, I didn’t need it….my mom thought it was important so she saved it for us and I’m super glad she did! It was really special to eat it on our anniversary while watching our wedding video, a great memory to have! Extra points for the cake being delicious. ๐Ÿ™‚
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47 Keshawn Hughes December 18, 2012 at 8:02 am

I just got married 9/2/12 and our top tier currently awaits us in the freezer. I’m excited to have it on our anniversary next year! It was so tasty on our wedding day and I hope it tastes the same. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm, it’s just as sweet as your Uncle Bill’s cake will be.

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48 Amanda December 18, 2012 at 10:27 am

We saved ours…it was ok tasting….it wasnt really about that more about that it was from our wedding day.

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49 Ali December 18, 2012 at 10:31 am

We saved ours and it was absolutely delicious. You do have to make sure that it is sealed in an air tight container. That is key. If you don’t do that, it won’t taste good.

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50 Amanda December 18, 2012 at 11:28 am

We saved our top tier and ate it on our anniversary. Not only that, but we got married in Pittsburgh, were living in Louisville, KY at the time and moved to Michigan before our anniversary. So it was quite the traveling cake! But it was still good a year later. No horror stories here! My sister-in-law wrapped it really well for us.
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51 Janice - Fitness Cheerleader December 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm

So exciting! We were married in Vegas so we were unable to freeze or travel home with any of the cake, but thankfully mother in law froze a piece of the cake that she had made for us when we held a post-wedding open house and it was delicious. I think the secret is to keep it in a deep freezer that isn’t opened as often as your fridge’s freezer. (That all said, my hubby had no interest in eating any of the frozen cake, so I ate it all myself ๐Ÿ™‚ )
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52 Marisa December 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm

The bakery we are going with for our wedding offers you a free cake on your 1 year anniversary! So no questionable freezer cake to eat as we get a new delicious cake! I love that your family is so involved in your wedding, very special.

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53 Anne December 18, 2012 at 1:34 pm

We didn’t save the top tier (we had cupcakes actually, and those puppies were gobbled up). Instead, we ordered an “anniversary cake” from our baker with the same combo (chocolate cake and peanut butter filling). She only charges $10, and it was a HUGE cake, more than enough for two people.

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54 Jennie Dorsey December 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm

My husband and I got married in Idaho at a winery and didn’t want to carry the cake all the way back to Florida nor endure the horrific taste of year-old frozen cake. So, we bought a bottle of ice wine from the winery where we got married and plan on going to a local bakery to have a small red velvet cake made for our 1-year anniversary.

I think the tradition of saving the top tier is slowly fading out while new and exciting traditions are being brought in, that are unique to the couple.

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55 Dori December 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I’d like to save my top tier…. but I am also extremely disgusted by freezer burn. I’ll probably make an effort though.
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56 Jes December 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm

The company where we purchased our cake will give us a free 6″ cake for our anniversary, so we did not have to save ours. I like the idea of just getting a new cake.

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57 Crystal December 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm

We took ours home and ate it that week. I was so glad we did.

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58 Liz December 19, 2012 at 7:29 am

I’m getting excited for you. That is so awesome. I can’t wait to see the wedding photos. I so happy for your. ๐Ÿ™‚
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59 Katie December 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm

We didn’t really have any preference about keeping/not keeping the top tier of our cake. There was a TON of cake left over after our wedding, so we ended up taking the top tier and freezing it…then we ate it after 1 month because I wanted the space in my freezer. Seriously – freezer space was much more important to me than the cake!

On our one year anniversary our cake baker made us a really amazing replica mini cake…and it was fresh, so that was a good thing! I thought we’d do it each year on our anniversary, but our 2nd wedding anniversary came around earlier this year and I forgot. Whoops. ๐Ÿ˜‰
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60 Meghann December 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Freezer space is a big concern of mine too. Our freezer is always full to the max, how the heck are we supposed to keep a cake in there?

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61 Kashi @ Cape Island Runners December 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Our bakery offered a one year anniversary cake, but we still froze some of ours anyway! Not the top tier, per se, but slices of each flavor. I am a cake nut and loved the idea of eating the same cake a yr later, so I watched some YouTuber vids on how to best wrap it. We defrosted and ate it and the fresh anniversary cake at the same time. Though the fresh one was better, the frozen pieces were not too shabby! But they still win for sentimental value ๐Ÿ™‚ And I also loved seeing the pieces in the freezer each time I opened the door – I kind of miss them and wish I was like one of the PP’s moms who have some from the 1970s still in their freezers!
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62 Sarah December 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Every year on our anniversary I order a “top tier” (or really just a small round) cake from the same bakery that did the original. I order the same flavor and colors too. Fresh and tasty! It’s been a fun tradition.

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63 Heather December 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm

We saved a few cupcakes and mini pies and not so delicious. Fun to remember though!

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64 Molly December 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm

We saved one and it was amazing!!! I realize people have different experiences (maybe its about the type of cake chosen?) but it was fun to have. That being said there was NO WAY we could eat it all (though we did dent it more than maybe we should have) so we ended up sharing it with my parents who were more than happy to take the rest off our hands!

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65 Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's December 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm

We saved our top tier, and once thawed it tasted delicious. We had ricotta and raspberry jam in the middle so I think it helped the cake stay moist.
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66 Beth WA December 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm

We did not do the traditional cake either, and so we didn’t have a top layer, and I never felt like I was missing out on anything.
: )

but we did go to the bakery around our 1 year and share a piece of cake that was the same flavor.

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67 Regina December 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm

My husband and I are actually about to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary on Jan 12th! We didn’t save the top tier but we do plan on getting slices of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate with! We moved across the country right after we got married which took 5 days in a Uhaul. I couldn’t imagine doing that while transporting a piece of cake!
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