The Wedding Tradition Nigella Lawson Thinks You Should Skip

published Jan 24, 2018
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(Image credit: Kathy Hutchins)

A wedding cake is the ultimate special-occasion dessert. One’s own wedding cake is generally considered a once-in-a-lifetime treat, with one notable exception: It’s a long-running tradition for a couple to save the top tier of their wedding cake, freeze it, then eat it a year later to celebrate their one-year anniversary. A lot of people really like that tradition, but it sounds like Nigella Lawson is not a fan.

A fan on Twitter asked Nigella Lawson a two-part question: What is the best way to freeze a wedding cake permanently, and what is the best recipe for fudge cake?

I love the idea of chocolate fudge cake for a wedding. Not everything at a wedding has to be white. More people should definitely celebrate their nuptials with chocolate fudge cakes, and then also invite me to their weddings.

Lawson suggested her recipe for chocolate fudge cake, which should really be served at more weddings, but the idea of freezing the cake permanently did give her pause.

Keeping a wedding cake frozen forever as a souvenir is a romantic idea, but it does take up valuable freezer space. Besides, could a frozen cake last through several changes of address? (Or late-night chocolate cravings?) After a while it wouldn’t be edible anymore, either, because wedding cakes do not last forever in the freezer. Others suggested keeping the cake topper as a souvenir, or framing a picture of the cake, instead of keeping the cake itself in the freezer.

Other fans had stories of their own frozen wedding cakes. A Twitter user going by Holly Golightly said freezing her wedding cake ruined it, and she wished she’d just enjoyed it at the time. Nigella Lawson said just eating the cake at the time was “a rule to live by.”

Another said she’d meant to freeze the top tier of her cake, but when she realized she couldn’t get it home safely, she and her husband ate it in bed. That really does sound like the best possible solution to the cake-topper problem.

When I got married, the baker who made my cake wrinkled her nose when I asked about freezing the top tier.

“It’s not going to taste as good after a year in the freezer,” she said. “Just come back. I’ll throw in an anniversary cake. I just don’t want you to eat my cake after it’s old and has been in the freezer for a year.”

Freezing wedding cakes is difficult, and nobody wants to eat a freezer-burned cake. And you can always get a new cake for your anniversary. You can probably even get the same kind as the wedding cake, and it will be as fresh and delicious as the one from the wedding.

As for that top cake tier, definitely take it with you after the wedding. Because if there’s anything better than a once-in-a-lifetime wedding cake eaten fresh during the reception, it’s eating wedding cake in bed afterwards.

What do you think of this wedding tradition?