Choosing the Right Size Cake Board and box

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.

Cake Boxes

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.

Cake Boards

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.


  1. Hi Melissa
    Not everywhere sells all the box sizes and this can be a problem. An 11 inch box is recommended if you are using an 11 inch board. This gives you adequate space for any side decorations on the cake which will not then be damaged by the box. You have two options, depending on the cake you are making. If the cake does not have any side decorations that could be damaged, you could use a 10 inch board and box. The other option is to go for a 12 inch board and box. I have done this in the past and covered the board with fondant and decorated it simply with spirals of coloured icing. The board and box are usually the same size to prevent the cake moving in the box during travel.

  2. Hello! What do size would you recommend for a regular 9 inch cake? I figured an 11 inch box would be ideal but I’ve been having a hard time finding one. Would a 12 inch be just as good? Thank you in advance!

  3. @Tooba. Most cake boxes are not deep enough for tiered cakes. I tend to either buy extenders (from specialist supliers) or make my own. Take some card and cut four strips about 8 cms wide and the height of the cake plus a little extra. Fold each strip in half lengthwise and fix in each corner of the box. I usually staple for extra security but cellotape will also work.

  4. Hi
    Can you please tell me if i bake three layer cake 8 inch for eg yellow cake with frosting so what should be the height of the cake box?

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