It is true, Elvis has now left our freezer. As you know, David and I celebrated our one year anniversary on Sunday. Last year my sister hosted a family gathering at her house and we received this awesome Vegas Cake!
Since David and I didn’t have an official wedding cake, so we decided this was our wedding cake. I saved as much of Elvis as I could and one small slice and put it into the freezer until our anniversary, to follow an age-old tradition.
We celebrated our one year anniversary in Key West, Florida and we were gone all weekend. It jogged my memory that we had not yet enjoyed our anniversary cake when I bumped into Elvis while putting some groceries away on Tuesday afternoon. He had taken up space in our freezer long enough. At least he could have paid some rent or sang for us when opening the freezer or something…geez!
Regardless, he was defrosted and the cake was eaten. Surprisingly the cake was still pretty good.
So, who came up with the idea to save your wedding cake, to eat on the first anniversary? Was it custom or perhaps a practical joke? Cakes are best enjoyed fresh, how can you partake in this tradition without putting your stomach at risk?
This tradition is an evolution of a practice that was actually quite simple and practical. Back in the day, it was expected that a baby would soon follow a couple’s wedding. The wedding and christening were often less than a year apart. Cakes were originally made to celebrate both occasions; however, these cakes were usually simple single-tiered creations.
In the 19th century, when more elaborate three-tiered wedding cakes became popular, the bottom tier was served at the reception, the middle tier was sent home with guests to place under their pillows (to promote fertility), and the top-tier was often leftover. It was then decided that the top-tier to be served at the inevitable christening. As time passed, the weddings and babies association waned. The tradition evolved to what we know today, a sweet remembrance to be enjoyed on a couple’s one-year anniversary.
So how did folks keep their cakes from spoiling when refrigeration wasn’t widely available until the 20th century? Wedding cakes back then were not like what we enjoy today at all. They were actually made of dense fruit cake that had and still have long shelf life. No buttercream frosting or pretty flowers or Elvis’ back in the day…
I for one am glad we had our Elvis cake! 😉