100-year-old wedding cake discovered during basement clean-up

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The top tier of a century-old wedding cake, which was recently found in an American basement. Photo: Ronald Warninger

A retired American chiropractor has unearthed his grandparents’ perfectly preserved 100-year-old wedding cake while cleaning out his basement – and, yes, it’s past its use-by date!

Ronald Warninger, from Yakima in Washington state, made the unexpected discovery while tidying up his basement.

Having survived more than a century, two World Wars and several house moves, the intricately decorated wedding cake remains in remarkably good condition, even if its once fruit-filled centre has disintegrated over time.

The cake was originally made for his grandparents’ (Harvey and Inez Warninger) wedding on March 17, 1915. As was tradition at the time, the first tier of a couple’s wedding cake was saved for their first anniversary – or the Christening of their first child, whichever came first.

The cake’s exact provenance is unknown, but what Ronald, 67, does recall is that, at some time in the ’60s, the cake was passed down to his parents by Harvey and Inez “because they had a better freezer,” he told BuzzFeed Life.

Ron, who was about 10 years old at the time, remembers seeing the foil-wrapped bundle sitting in the corner of the family freezer – and being told never to touch it. Being a dutiful grandson, Ron left it alone and gave the delicious parcel no further thought.

Then, in the early 2000s, the cake re-appeared and found a new home in Ron’s basement. This time, the resilient, now rock hard, wedding cake was enclosed in a hat box and accompanied by a hand-written poem that said:

“Dear Inez,
Remember me when far away,
And only half awake,
Remember me on your wedding day,
And send me a slice of cake,
Your friend as ever, Nellie Anderson.”

The poem is dated August 18, 1905, nearly 10 years before Harvey and Inez’s big day.

Naturally, Ron forgot about the cake – again, this time for a further decade.

However, on March 17, 2015, on what would have been his grandparents’ 100th wedding anniversary, Ron received a phone call from his sister asking about the cake’s whereabouts – but, of course, by now, Ron had no idea where it was.


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“We looked around and thought it was in the basement but it wasn’t,” Ron told ABC News. “I had given up on it completely and she wasn’t happy with that, but I had kind of given up on it.”

Thankfully, a few months later, Harvey and Inez’s wedding cake did re-appear – and, yes, it was in the basement.

Ron continued the family tradition and passed it on to his daughter Jenny who hopes to preserve the precious family heirloom for another 100 years.


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Image: Ronald Warninger

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The 100-year-old cake was accompanied by a hand-written poem that was old than the cake! Photo: Ronald Warninger

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Ron with his grandparents Harvey and Inez Warninger. Photo: Ronald Warninger

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The once fruit-filled centre of this cake is long gone, however the rock-hard outer icing remains firmly intact. Photo: Ronald Warninger

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