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This guide aims to help you get to grips with the basics of cake presentation, looking at quick and easy ways to make your bakes stand out from the crowd, ways in which you can create grand centrepieces, and the difference between cake boards and cake drums!
Ever since afternoon tea parties in the Victorian era, showing off our bakes on a grand scale has been a prominent part of celebrations for us Britons. Elevating your cake high above the rest of the food on offer whilst maintaining security and character, your cake stand or cupcake stand is an integral part of the centrepiece of your party – your cake being the showstopper, of course!
In the past, your choices were often limited when purchasing a cake stand – as they were deemed unfashionable and dated, your only option would've been to trawl through car boot sales and auction houses. But oh, how times have changed! The vintage aesthetic is in and cake stands are available in their plenty, made to suit many different types of cake. From classic to contemporary and simplistic to dramatic, there's no doubt you'll discover a stand to complement your bake.
When buying a cake stand, there's only a couple of important pieces of information to remember. Firstly, the plate that your cake will sit on should be between one and two inches larger than the size of your cake. Not only this, but you must check that the stand you choose will be able to handle the weight of your cake. Cake stands are available in a range of materials, sizes, designs and colours – but ultimately, the cake stand you choose is up to your personal taste.
Single tier cake stands feature one tier that is slightly raised up from the table, designed to present single tier cakes or multi-tiered stacked cakes, if made of a strong material.
Two tier cake stands have, as you'd expect, two tiers, and hold two cake tiers. The top tier is usually held by a dowel directly above the other, with a smaller circumference to the bottom tier.
Often used to present wedding cakes, three tier cake stands either have three parallel tiers or tiers protruding outwards at differing angles for dramatic effect, holding three cake tiers.
Multi-tiered cake stands are used for those grand occasions when you need to provide a large quantity of cake. These stands have multiple tiers of varying sizes that can run directly upwards or have a more complex design.
Emulating the look of glass, acrylic cake stands are cheaper alternatives that produce the same show-stopping results. High in quality whilst innovative in design, these stands are designed for those seeking a more contemporary, minimalist look. Clean, sharp and subtle, acrylic stands are laser cut to exact measurements, meaning that their designs are often far more distinct.
Differing from other cake stand materials, cardboard cake stands are a more do-it-yourself type job. Easy to assemble, these disposable stands are ideal for pop-up cake sales or kids parties, designed to throw away after use. Blank to allow you to decorate as you wish to match your occasion, these stands are usually designed to hold cupcakes due to their extreme light weight.
Ceramic cake stands are favoured for quirkier centrepieces to display cakes of vibrant colour and an element of fun. Although a heavier-weight material, these stands are a generally more versatile option as they're available in a large variety of colours to match your occasion or cake. Often glazed for a chic, stylish finish, these stands can also be embossed or patterned.
Arguably the most popular style of stand, iron wire cake stands are both elegant and intricate. Very light and easy to store, these stands are commonly available in black or white and feature vintage-style or more modern swirled designs. As they're quite delicate and not overly solid, these stand are used most commonly to present cupcakes or lighter bakes.
There's no doubt that glass makes furniture look fancier – and the same applies to cake stands! Designed to subtly enhance the look of your cake, rather than steal attention away, glass cake stands are either transparent or frosted and can feature embossing or ruffled edges. Although there's much visual appeal, glass stands are very heavy and often harder to store.
Built for their strength and sturdiness, metal cake stands are ideal for holding heavier bakes. Metal is especially popular for tiered stands due to its reliable stability, but why compromise on beauty? Available in silver or gold colourways, these stands can be left plain and simple for a contemporary look or can be embossed and die-cut for an elegant display piece.