To ensure that your cakes look professional and do not get damaged during storage/trasportation, it is important to use the right size cake board and boxes and remember if you are going to be giving the cake as a present or even selling them, it is important to use commercially made cake boards and boxes. Nothing spoils the effect of a beautifully made and decorated cake than a piece of card covered in tinfoil and a second hand cardboard box.
This is easy, always choose the same size box as the cake board you are using. If the cake is shaped, i.e. petal or heart, then measure the widest part of the board and use this size e.g. a stretched petal cake on a board measuring 10″ x 12″ would require a 12″ square box. Small pieces of expanded polystyrene can be used to prevent the cake from moving within the box on the shorter sides.
At Christmas, most specialist cake decorating suppliers sell lovely christmas display boxes. These are brightly coloured and have a celephane insert to show off the cake within the box. See below.
Fruit Cakes – As these cakes are heavy it is best to use a ‘Drum’ board. These boards are thick and must always be used for tiered wedding cakes. Choose a board 2″ bigger than cake tin the cake was baked in. This allows for the tickness of marzipan, icing and also for any decoration around the edge of the board.
If you are using delicate decorations or sugar frills around the sides of the cake, that may extend past the board, then choose a bigger board, say 3″ bigger. It is always possible to disquise the fact that the board is much larger than the base of the cake by ‘scribbling’ icing onto the board to make a feature. This is done using a soft royal icing and a small hole icing nozzle and literally scribbling patterns onto the cake board – Do not overlap any of the scribbles as this spoils the effect.
Sponge Cakes – As these are much lighter, it is best to use a thinner board which does not overwhelm the cake. Once again choose a board 2″ bigger all round than the cake, larger if you are making a novelty cake with large items on the sides i.e. teddy bears fixed to the sides of the cake. As with the fruit cake you can cover the board, but be much more adventurous with novelty cakes i.e. using green fondant icing to cover the board and sprinkling on green coloured dessicated coconut to resemble grass.