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Covered cake plates are cake plates with a complementary and sometimes ornamental cover which is designed to protect the cake. There are numerous different styles and designs for covered cake plates, running the gamut from plain plastic to ornamental crystal. Ceramic, glass, and marble are all also used in the manufacture of covered cake plates. Many kitchen supply stores sell several different kinds of covered cake plates to meet various needs.
The base of a covered cake plate is, of course, the cake plate. A cake plate is a large, flat plate designed specifically to hold cake. Often, it is built without any type of sloping rim, so that it can accommodate cakes of all sizes. The top of the cake plate is smooth, although it may be decorated with painted motifs such as flowers or fanciful illustrations. Underneath, the cake plate may have ornaments like raised relief patterns.
Usually, a cake plate is designed to nestle into a cake stand, a pole with a sturdy base designed to elevate the cake above the table so that everyone can see it. In some cases, a cake stand is built into a cake plate, and the two pieces are a solid unit. Although this makes the cake more stable on the table, it can be inconvenient for carrying cakes around.
To make covered cake plates, a cover is designed to fit over the cake plate. Often, the cover is clear, so that the cake can be seen inside although it cannot be touched. In some cases, a small ridge in the cake plate matches the cover, so that the cover can be secured on the cake plate. As a sliding cover could damage the frosting, this is an important feature. Some covered cake plates actually snap together, ensuring that the cover will not come off until the baker wishes to remove it.
There are a number of uses for covered cake plates. Using a cover keeps a cake more fresh, since it is not exposed to the air. It also protects the cake from insects such as flies. Covered cake plates also make noise when lifted, alerting cooks to cake pilfering, which can be an issue in large households. In addition, covered cake plates can be used to transport cakes safely, which is especially important with things like wedding cakes, which often have ornate frosting.
I got a covered cake stand that is great. It doubles as a punch bowl! The foot is fluted, flared and hollow. I just flip the stand over, and turn the dome upside down with the finial in the hollow foot of the cake stand and there you have it -- a punch bowl. It's not suited for huge gatherings, but when my sister did her college voice recital, we had a small reception for about 20 people and it was perfect for that.
I like a multi-tasker in the kitchen, and this punch bowl/covered cake plate is very much one. I received it for a wedding present and I have used it a lot.
I'd say there's a difference between a covered cake plate and a cake carrier. A cake carrier is made of plastic or cardboard and is pretty much utilitarian. That's what it's for: a secure way to transport a cake.
A covered cake plate, however, is mostly for display. They usually are made of painted ceramic or crystal. I remember seeing a lot of ceramic ones when I was a kid. Seems like the glass or crystal kind are much more popular these days. I guess it's because you can always see the cake underneath the glass, and most bakers do want to show their handiwork.
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