Let's face it: any party-be it a simple children's birthday celebration or an extravagant wedding party-wouldn't be complete without a lovely cake, the most popular dessert of choice for festivities. Over the years, pastry chefs and bakers have creatively improved cakes in order to match them with a certain event theme, or make them unique in their own way. However, the beauty of these cakes don't always just rely on how they are designed, but also on how they are displayed, which is why one should also take into consideration the kind of cake stands that should be used with certain cakes or events.
Thanks to the genius of event planners and vendors nowadays, we are presented with a lot of new and different ways to display our cakes. There are lots of lovely cake stands which can easily be bought from department stores, and there are also those which can easily be made at home. Let's look at some of the more popular types of cake stands and determine when and how we can utilize them properly for an event.
Pedestal: Probably the most popular of all types, the pedestal cake stand is the type one would normally see in a cafe or bakery, or even a normal household. It has a pillar (usually around three to six inches long) which supports the main base (with a diameter that ranges from six to twelve inches) where the actual cake is placed. A domed variation of this type includes a clear glass dome that serves as a cover for the cake on display, which is a useful option for an outdoor celebration. A pedestal cake stand is usually the safest option when displaying wedding or birthday cakes, and is available in crystal, porcelain, and even wood.
Tiered / Pillared: Working with levels is a great idea when displaying cakes, especially if you want them to stand out among the other types of food or dessert present on your spread. To achieve this type of presentation, you will need either a tiered or pillared cake stand.
A tiered cake stand is pretty much like a pedestal cake stand but with more than one base where you can place cakes in, and is usually the best choice when cupcakes are involved. The bases gradually grow smaller as the stand grows taller, creating the illusion of a dessert tree or pyramid. Cupcakes are placed on the bigger bases, and a small actual cake is placed at the top-most base, or sometimes the entire stand is filled with just cupcakes. In place of cupcakes, petit-fours or other small pastries can also be displayed in this type of stand.
Meanwhile, a pillared stand could usually display around three small cakes at the same time, each on different levels. It consists of smaller versions of the pedestal cake stand, but grouped together in such a way that a stair-like effect is achieved. Having your child's first birthday party? Use a pillared cake stand to separate your baby's smash cake from the cake your guests are having.
Floating: The floating cake stand is a variation of the tiered cake stand, but with the supporting bars situated on only one side so that when the cakes are placed on the bases, it creates the illusion that they are actually floating. Ornate wedding or debutante cakes can be displayed beautifully in this type of stand, and as a practical note, there are now floating cake stands which can be disassembled for easy storage.
Plateau: A very basic stand, the cake plateau is something one could use at a simple housewarming party, or perhaps a regular family dinner. Usually made of silver or porcelain, it somewhat resembles a pedestal cake stand, but without the long pillar supporting it underneath. Sometimes though, it has three or four short 'legs' that give it a small height advantage compared to the other dishes on the table.
These different cake stands can actually be used for any type of event when decorated accordingly, but you need to take three things into consideration: 1) the kind of event you're planning, 2) the kind of cake you're having for the event, and; 3) the 'look' you wish to achieve with your display. Once you figure these out, you will then get a clearer picture of what cake stand you need, and what you can do with it to achieve the look you are aiming for.
Good luck, and happy cake stand hunting!