I am making this cake for our son's wedding. the cake is to be covered with marzipan and soft icing. The recipe states the cake will last a similar time to a rich fruit cake. Please could you confirm how many weeks this is from (a) baking and (b) covered with icing and (c) once it is cut? Thank you.
Fruit cakes can last a very long time but to enjoy it at its peak we would suggest eating it within 3 months of making if stored at room temperature (iced or un-iced) or up to 1 year if frozen (un-iced). Fruit cakes will dry out over time so when the cake is un-iced wrap it tightly in a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment (parchment paper) and a layer of foil. You can also dribble a little extra alcohol (in this case Tia Maria) over the cake before wrapping and storing it. If you are freezing the cake then wrap it tightly in a double layer of clingfilm (plastic wrap) and a double layer of foil before freezing. Let the cake thaw at room temperature overnight then unwrap and re-wrap as above to store before icing.
It is best to marzipan and ice the cake about a week before the wedding. Let the marzipan layer dry for 24 hours before adding the icing layer as this will reduce the risk of the oil from the almonds seeping though and staining the icing. Once the cake is cut store it in an airtight container, it will be fine for up to a month and may well last longer than this. You can freeze wedges of the cut cake by removing the icing and wrapping as for freezing above but DO NOT do this if the cake has been previously frozen.