Whether it's a wedding, birthday, or simply a spot of afternoon tea, there is a whole plethora of cake stands to hold your sweet delicacies. If you are looking for a special platform to make a cake the centrepiece of your event, this guide will help you figure out which type of cake stand you need.
To find the right stand for your cake, you will need to know what options are available to you. When it comes to types, the choice of cake stands is large.
Probably the most commonly used of all types, the pedestal cake stand is the one you will be used to seeing in cafés and bakeries if you bake, there's also a pretty good chance of you having one of these stands at home.
The pedestal stand consists of a main base and a pillar of around three to six inches long. The base comes in a range of sizes (usually six to twelve inches), often accompanied by a clear glass or plastic dome, allowing the cake to remain fresh whilst still being displayed. Pedestal is the stand of choice for most cakes and comes in several different materials porcelain is the most popular, but plastic, crystal, and even wooden stands are common.
While tiered cakes often appear as though they are sitting one layer on top of the other, this is only possible due to the structural support of a tiered stand. In order to work in levels, a tiered stand (also known as a pillared stand) is essential.
Tiered stands consist of a series of plates that gradually decrease in size to form a pyramid shape. They are similar to pedestal stands, except there is more than one base for a cake to sit on.
Sets come in anything from two to six tiers, the latter measuring up to three feet in height. A six-tier stand will generally consist of an 18-inch bottom base, followed by plates of 16-inches, 14-inches, 12-inches, 10-inches, and 8-inches. A supporting post separates each plate. Tiered stands are commonly used for wedding cake creations, or to display cupcakes and scones, and are found mostly in plastic, metal, and acrylic.
Floating stands are a variation of the tiered cake stand; however, supporting bars are placed one side of the stand rather than through the middle. When decorated, the design of the stand gives the impression that cakes are floating, hence the name. Ornate wedding cakes work best when placed on a floating stand.
Plateau stands are a sort of informal pedestal stand and can be put to good use around the home when hosting family and friends. The base is the same as a pedestal stand and is available in a wide range of sizes; however, rather than one central pillar, it comprises three or four short legs that allow cakes to feature as the centrepiece of a dinner or buffet table.
We have touched briefly on the materials that are used to make cake stands but, for aesthetic appeal, some are more favourable than others. To ensure a cake wows guests, a stand should be made from one of the following materials:
- Iron wire light and easy to maintain, these cake stands come in black and white and are visually stunning thanks to an array of delicate designs.
- Glass simple and effective, glass stands place all of the focus on the cake. Available in transparent or colour variations, glass is available in plain and embossed, ruffled-edge designs.
- Metal lighter than glass and great for heavy, multi-tiered cakes, metal is sturdy and allows emphasis to be placed on the cake. Metal stands come in silver or gold-plate and in various shapes and sizes.
- Porcelain the most popular stand of all, porcelain is available in a variety of styles making it perfect for virtually every occasion.
The size of cake stand you need will ultimately depend on the size of the cake that will be placed upon it. The number one rule when choosing a stand is to make sure it is at least the same size as the bottom tier and cake board of the cake. A little bit bigger is fine, but it should never be smaller.
Opting for a stand that is bigger than the bottom tier of the cake will give you extra room to accommodate the cake board if it is peeking out from beneath the cake. You do not want to go too big though, as it can affect the overall look of the cake.
If you are baking your own cakes, the size of the cake tin that you are using will give an idea of what size stand you need. If you are having a cake made by someone else, make sure you talk to him or her and establish the size of the stand required.
Weight is an important factor when choosing a cake stand you don't want your stand collapsing and ruining the cake. The weight capacity depends on the manufacturer of the stand, and it is always a good idea to test out a stand using weights equal to that of the cake. Iron, metal, and wooden stands perform the best with heavy cakes.
A good cake stand should always complement the cake, remaining unobtrusive while the cake takes all the plaudits. The most obvious choice of colour is white, which goes with every design; however, you can opt for a colour that matches that of the cake. If you want to add height to your display, opt for a black or silver cake stand.
The stand should always be decorated to match the theme of the cake, but be careful not to overdo it you do not want eyes wondering away from the centrepiece.
A cake stand is the perfect finishing touch to a beautiful cake, helping command attention. Use this guide to help you find the stand you need and add the wow factor to your event.