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A cake stand is a piece of kitchen equipment which is designed for the purpose of decorating and displaying cakes. Cake stands come in a number of forms, from very basic cake stands which are used to support cakes while they are frosted to elaborate versions intended for use at formal events. Many kitchen supply stores carry cake stands, along with accessories like cake toppers, frosting tools, and so forth, and a cake stand is a very useful thing to have around the kitchen.
As you might imagine, a cake stand is designed to lift a cake up above the surface of a table or counter. Most cake stands have a wide, sturdy base connected to a pillar which flares out to a large cake plate. In many cases, a matching lid can be used to cover the cake and the cake plate, protecting the plate from damage. This is extremely useful for cakes which have been frosted with complex, delicate designs which could be easily ruined.
Most bakeries have an assortment of cake stands which are used while frosting and decorating cakes. These cake stands are relatively utilitarian, and many have interchangeable tops so that cakes of various sizes can be placed on the cake stand. Because the cake stand isn't used for display, smearing frosting, sprinkles, and other decorations on the cake stand is not a cause for concern.
A display cake stand, on the other hand, is designed to be ornamental as well as functional, and it may be painted, carved, inlaid, or etched. Decorative cake stands are used to display cakes at bakeries and stores, and at events where cake is served. Many companies also make tiered cake stands, which allow multiple cakes to be displayed at once; cake stands can also be integrated into the design of a wedding cake to separate the layers of the cake.
There aren't too many things to worry about when purchasing a cake stand. If you know that you will be transporting cakes, you may want to look for a cake stand which pairs with a cake carrier, made from a cake plate with a snap-on lid. You can carry the cake in the carrier, and then mount the cake plate on the cake stand at the cake's end destination. A matching cake cover can also be a useful thing to buy when purchasing a cake stand, so that you know you have the right size, and you may want to think about ease of cleaning when looking at cake stands, as cake can get quite messy.
I have a couple different kinds of cake stands, and use them depending on what the situation is. If I am entertaining at home, I like to use a decorated, glass cake stand. If I am going to be traveling somewhere else and want to take a cake, I still like to display and serve it on a cake stand, but have one that has a matching cover and is much more portable.
Either way, a cake stand adds a nice element to the table. I also have a cup cake stand that works great and always goes over well with both kids and adults. Cup cakes are so easy and portable and the cake stands for them help make it easy to serve them.
I have a hard time passing up a pretty, elegant cake stand if I see one for a good price. I think serving a cake on a stand really makes a nice statement. I made two carrot cakes and had them displayed on a two tiered cake stand. There were a lot of compliments made on the cake and I don't know if it was the cake that tasted so good, or the way it was displayed.
It is also nice to have something that sits a little higher up on your table, which leaves more room to have other desserts on the same table.
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