Do I need to cover my cake boards when stacking?

Stacked cakes are a popular way to present a wedding cake. A stacked cake means that the tiers of the wedding cake are stacked on top of each other with support for each tier below it. The cake boards can be visible or can be hidden. Cake boards are the cardboard base going directly under a tier, making it easy to transfer from the work table during building to the turntable for decorating, then to the refrigerator for chilling and finally to the cake separator plates when stacking.

Using Cake Board Edging

Cake boards that are visible need to have the edges covered to prevent the raw cardboard edges from showing through. Trim boards are a style of cardboard cake board that has a rim of plastic or vinyl around the sides. These are perfect for use on stacked cakes when it is necessary for the cake board to show through.

Trim boards are also ideal when there will be no bottom cake border made with buttercream. If trim boards are not available, stretch white electricians' vinyl tape along the outside edge of the cake board to cover the raw edge.

Very Moist Cakes

Tiers made with very moist cakes or cakes with a special syrup requested by the bride may need to have cake boards covered to prevent the cardboard from absorbing the liquid. The cake board can be wrapped tightly in floral foil, or a non-absorbent cake board can be used.

Decorative Borders

Stacked cakes that do not require the use of edging, or if edging material is not available, may be served with the exposed cake boards covered with decorations. Decorations might include piped borders wide enough to cover the exposed parts or rolled fondant made into a braid or pearls and placed over the edges.

Bottom Ruffles

A ruffled edging placed strategically around the base will cover any exposed cake boards. These generally come in rolls that can be placed under the bottom tier, tucked just under the bottom outside perimeter of the cake itself. They can be found in fabric and vinyl styles.

Fabric is used when the cake is fondant or another non-buttercream style. Vinyl is perfect for cakes that are covered in buttercream to prevent leaching of butter or grease that might stain the ruffles.

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About the Author

Renee Shelton is publisher of the periodical, Pastry Sampler Journal, and is editor and contributing writer to several niche blogs. Her personal webpages have been referenced in numerous cookbooks. When she isn't writing about food, you'll find her hunting down historical cookbooks at swap meets.