Monday, February 22, 2010

Cake Decorating Basics - Part 5

This post is a continuation of the previous posts Part IV, Part III, Part II and Part I.
For those who haven't been following this series, a quick intro of what these parts have -
Part I - Introduction of cake decorating
Part II - Cake baking and decorating lingo
Part III - Frostings in general
Part IV - Cream cheese frosting.

And this post is about cake boards. Yes, cake boards. You might wonder why on earth am I writing about this. Cake board is a simple board that you place your cake on. If I want to compare the significance of a cake board in layman terms, I would say if a nicely decorated cake is a beautiful dress, pretty shoes that match the dress corresponds to the appropriate cake board.

If you have taken wilton courses or seen some videos on youtube, you can see many of them use silver or gold colored cake boards. They are sold in bakery supply stores and other stores like Michaels, A.C. Moore, Joann and even in walmart. Wilton's website link for the cake boards can be found here. Wilton also sells something called fanci foil wrap which can be used to cover any cardboard that you cut and use for the cake. When I first started the cake decorating classes, I didn't want to spend money on the cake boards or foil. I used to cut my own circle from the cardboard boxes and cover them with aluminum foil. They worked fine. But, if I look at the pictures of those cakes now, I feel like they don't look pretty because of the foil covered board.

But before we go into the creative ideas of making cake board pretty, there are following types of cake boards that are used in common.

1. Cardboard cake boards
2. Foam core
3. Masonite
4. Wood

You can cut cardboard and make the appropriate size. Foam core is the same way too. Masonite cannot be altered by us (unless you have super tools) and are sold in certain shapes and sizes. They are heavy and reusable. You may cover them with something or place the cake directly on the top. Wood ones can be cut and covered and reused. I have two huge wooden ones that my colleague cut it for me. One round and one square.

There are some options to cover the cake board. Basic being aluminum foil or fanci foil wrap. Other option is to cover it with fondant (but you are spending way too much money on fondant). You could wrap the board with fabric which matches the theme, and wrap that with the food safe plastic (cling wrap or saran wrap or basket packing material) and place the cake on it. Then again you can't find fabric in each and every theme and it gets expensive too. My favorite way of having a pretty cake board is by using gift wrapping paper. And most of the time, I use a matching ribbon as the edging too. I wrap the board with gift wrapping paper that match the theme and cover it with food safe plastic. I am copying couple of pictures to show you want I mean. Sometimes, if you don't get appropriate paper, go with what you feel matches the most.

And for this, even when I searched so much for pooh wrapper, I couldn't get any. So, I went with this one..

Following cake has the board covered in fondant which I painted with green food color to mimic grass..

Now to the size of the cake boards. Technically cake board should be 2 inches bigger width and lengthwise than the cake. It is to make sure you have enough space for the border. But, if your design involves details that are drawn on the board and not on the cake (example the rocks in the above cake are on the board), you can cut the board to an appropriate size. 
Even the cakes that are stacked are placed on the board. Those need to be same size as the cake. They can't be bigger since the board will show.

On another note, wilton sells something called as cake drums. These are sturdy circles or squares which have a height of 1/4 an inch. These look very pretty if you glue a matching ribbon on the edge. Since I am very frugal, I use two layers of the foam core to get that effect and not spend money on the cake drums.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post.

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  1. Wonderful tips on cake board covering.Many thanks for this tutorial.

  2. Thanks for sharing such a great tips!!

  3. Thanks for writing about the cake boards, which are usually not talked about much.

  4. Useful informations abt cake dec ...

  5. All these 5 post about baking are worth reading.

  6. I need to go through all of these. I must admit that much as I love baking cakes, I am not a very patient decorator because I'm always running against time. Thanks for putting up this series which is a great how-to manual for people like me who don't know much about cake-decorating.

  7. Thanx soooo muh for the post.I hav sarted baking cakes recently and this is just what I was looking for.Thax...

  8. Mam atlast I found your website which has lots of info about baking. My son's BDay is in this month,he is asking for Lightening Mcqueen cake with layers. Pls help me in this project.

  9. Shriannalakshmi,
    I do not know how experienced you are in cake decorating. Without knowing that info, I can't really tell you how to do this cake. Simplest would be a sheet cake on which you can draw lightning mcqueen's picture using a toothpick method and complicated would be to carve the cake in the shape of the car. Even I am not comfortable carving the cake myself, so I won't be much help for you there. Another easier option is to make layered cake and place a fondant car on the top. This needs molding/modelling skills and if you are into art, you probably will be able to figure it out. Let me know more and I'll try to point you in the right direction.


If you have a question and you leave it as a comment, I'll surely answer the question to the best of my knowledge. Thanks for visiting.