While looking at all the beautiful cakes on this site, (and other sites also), I have notice that people don't pay attention to the cake boards. Almost all are just left NAKED. I think that the base should be treated as part of the cake. Just by adding a ribbon around it or covering the base with fondant will add so much more to the cake. Ladies and Gentlemen , the plain little black dress looks better when you accesorize. HAPPY BAKING!!!
But remember that is what makes us all different and that is what also makes us at different levels in cake decorating..
I know that we are all different and not at the same level , but there is always room for improvement.
That is a true fact.. I dont care what level you are you will learn something new ever day in the cake world... And the day you dont learn something new you best cake the goodies up... LOL ..
Ah, dressing up the background, that is an interesting topic and one that sometimes offends. I have gotten myself in hot water suggesting what an impact dressing up the background makes. I suspect, there is the question of expense. For example, a lot of people cover up cardboard with tinfoil. Now this can be done neatly, if you lay the foil down and then the board and are careful to tape or hotglue the edges on the back. Looks so much better, when the foil is not full of creases or wrinkles. Personally, I don't care for the white and silver boards that a lot of people use. I believe the cost factor again plays a role and these are fairly cost-effective. Personally I find them too flimsy, so I don't use them and I also find the pattern detracts from most cakes. The eye travels to the board and not the cake.
I sometimes use a coordinating wrapping paper that I then cover with clear Mactac or contact plastic. Wall paper, sheet vinyl - similar to oilcloth work well too. Also, material that has been washed. Some I cover with the clear contact others I don't and they hold up well. I agree fondant makes a nice backdrop in a coordinating colour. I use lace, ribbons, braidings various trims for the board edges. I try to make the board in a shape that goes well with the cake shape.
On one site there was a newcomer asking for critiques of her cakes - she had submitted pictures. Well, her cakes were unbelievably well done, just gorgeous. But she had used tinfoil over cardboard for her boards. So I suggest some ways of dressing them up because with the boards dressed up, they would have looked like professional designer cakes. Unfortunately she was offended. I think the cost factor was the issue. But personally I believe that covering cardboard with wrapping paper and a contact plastic coating, isn't really much more costly than using foil. You can get good buys at dollar type stores.
I think that it is much the same issue as setting up the table display for a wedding cake. The little touches really make a difference.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
Hi SquirrellyCakes , I don't think it is so much the cost, but that people don't want to hear anything negative even if they asked for your opinion. I love it when people tell me when there is something wrong with my cakes, that way I can improve on my next try. Hugs back.
I have a two questions for SquirellyCakes, I agree with you on this issue. However, I would like to get some information about the Mactac and/or contact plastic that you mentioned in your post as of any specific brand and where to buy it. I have been warned against the use of aluminum foil, and contact paper as well because of the possibility of being torned while cake is being cut and lead to being transfered from the bottom of a cake's slice to the throat of the person eating it; also a problem with the wrapping paper is the release of coloring chemicals onto the cakes. Any suggestion on this issue? I have been buying the paper intended for this purpose but it is really expensive.
It just tears me up when people ask for opinions and then get upset when you give yours. Grrr.....
I always cover my board. I use many different products (cakeboard foil, wrapping paper, fondant, tin foil). I prefer using the foil meant for cake boards. Unfortunately I can only find it in silver and gold. I looked for orange over Halloween and couldn't find any to save my life, so I ended up using gold. Luckily it fit the fall colors theme I was going for.
But covering it with anything is so much better than sitting a beautiful cake on a piece of cardboard and showing off the corrugated cut edges.
Don't dispair. My teacher gave me an idea and I have try it with several cakes. It works just fine. Just use royal icing, color it what ever color you want or you can add sprinkles. I like to use my star tip and just go around whatever you can see of the board. The royal icing will dry hard and it is probably one of the things you used to decorate the cake with anyway.
Hi there. Well, I am using contact plastic, or the clear plastic that has an adhesive backing that is used for shelves, covering books etc. I also would use the pattern version of this. I cannot prove to you that this is absolutely safe. But let me just say this, if it is safe to cover textbooks for children, and they will handle it and they puts their hands in their mouths after handling it, then wouldn't it seem logical that is is safe to cover a board with that a cake will sit on? You do not cut through it and so no pieces of it get into the cake. I cannot see the difference form using any plastic wraps or freezer bags that are deemed food safe. I know that lately there has been controversy over the use of plastics in food preparation. I can tell you this, that anything like this that is being handled for wrapping presents etc. would have to be lead free as just the risk of handling it would raise health issues. There would be warnings on the packaging. Because with wrapping papers, from folding and cutting etc., the colours could flake off and if there was lead in them, well Hallmark would have had a class action suit many moons ago.
Aluminum foil not being safe to cover cake boards? I cannot see why it wouldn't be when it is a product used to cook roasts with etc. Personally I don't use it for any boards where it would show, because I think that it looks a bit tacky, but that is just my opinion. Most of our cake pans are aluminum, and I would think that the biggest risk it would pose is the link related to developing Alzheimers' Disease which as of yet, is only linked to the higher levels of aluminum traces found in these patients.
A regular wrapping paper, I would not place a cake directly on, mainly because it would not hold up. I place the clear contact plastic over these. However a good foil - like Hallmark would make, yes, I use these. Again they would not be available for wrapping presents if there was a risk of lead paint coming off of them. I would think that they are made of pretty much the same thing the Wilton wraps are made from.
There are plates that are strictly available for decorative use and this is stated on the back of these plates. Oilcloth or vinyl plastic tablecloths again, these are used to cover a table where food will be place, so I cannot see where there would be a risk. Any clean material that would be used for clothing and doesn't not bleed any colours through, again this would be safe. Remember, in the old days when cakes and breads were wrapped in fabric to keep them fresh.
We serve food on paper plates that have patterns of various colours in them. We use styrofoam, plastic, paper etc. My only concern is that anything that I use that has direct contact with food, has to be washed, Generally I use a safe anti-bacterial type of dishsoap or a bleach solution on any of these materials.
I find it interesting that this is a big issue and yet many folks are using non-organically grown flowers and literally sticking them directly into cakes. Now this poses a huge risk, because even if flowers are completely organically grown, if the companies that transport these flowers use any chemical preservatives, there is a huge risk, The only safe flowers are the ones that are first of all safe to eat, that have been grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers and have not been preserved to insure their arrival in good condition. The long term risks from using flowers in direct contact with food that have been grown with the use of chemical preservatives and fertilizers and pesticides is a huge issue.
Yes, I agree, many folks ask for constructive criticism when in fact they only wish to hear positive reinforcement. That is fine too, it is just that they should state so.
A dear friend that I made on a cake site, once sent me a picture of a ckae she had done and she critiqued it herself. She was having trouble getting her top border joined up. She had made a white border on a chocolate cake. The first thing I said to her was always match your top border and even your bottom border to the same colour as the base icing. This is a good trick when you are starting out. When it is the same colour, any imperfections don't jump out at you. Then I told her that instead of trying to get the border exactly where the side met the top of the cake, try going in a wee bit from the outer rim and observe the cake from the top and side as you do the border. Anyway, her second attempt looked perfect. Maybe it wasn't, but you got the illusion. Anyway, she handled it well and it really improved her work. So I guess that being receptive to help - not so much criticism, is a good way to find out little tricks that help you to improve. Like Ladycakes said, the day that we think we cannot improve in any type of artistic endeavour, is the day to pack it all up. Mainly, because that means that we have lost our ability to try anything new and different or to think of ways of pushing the envelope.
I like your idea of royal icing and the sprinkles or glitters, that is another great alternative. On the plastic separator plates, I use real lace, usually scalloped and gluegun it to the plate. I always wash it first. it is another nice alternative to not having to look at those plastic edges. There are a million different trims available.
Yikes, sorry for yet another "War and Peace" length response, haha!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
SquirellyCakes, I think all of us who visit this forum will really appreciate your comments on this important issue. Thank you.
Aluminum foil not being safe to cover cake boards? I cannot see why it wouldn't be when it is a product used to cook roasts with etc.
I just don't like using it because of how easily it tears. I do use it though. The complaint I've heard most people have is how it tears when you cut your cake and someone may bite into a tiny piece of foil. That may be harmful, indeed.
A regular wrapping paper, I would not place a cake directly on, mainly because it would not hold up. I place the clear contact plastic over these. However a good foil - like Hallmark would make, yes, I use these.
I've used it a few times usually I will cover it with plastic. However, once I didn't and it actually wasn't too bad. And it was that cheap stuff you buy at Big Lots and it was Christmas red.
Hallmark: That's exactly where I looked for Halloween paper or foil and they didn't have any. I would have used it in a heartbeat.
I find it interesting that this is a big issue and yet many folks are using non-organically grown flowers and literally sticking them directly into cakes.
Oh, I couldn't agree more. I'm even nervous of organically grown due to some flowers being poison. All flowers placed on a cake should have a barrier between them and the cake.
I like your idea of royal icing and the sprinkles or glitters, that is another great alternative.
I just add to address this... Royal icing is not my friend.... I'll stick to fondant when I want to do something along these lines. hehe. But it is a great idea!![/quote]
I use the heavy duty foil, but only to cover boards that stacked cakes sit on. I guess I don't cut through very hard, as I have never cut into the foil itself. Also, I tend to always check the board as I am cutting, just in case the covering comes off. Good point though. I have a thing about a beautifully decorated cake being placed on a tin foil covered board - it just makes me cringe. However, if people use it, it is nicer if it is smoothly done! Good point about it being an issue, but maybe because I always place the cake slices sideways, you would see it on the bottom of the cake, so I never worried about it. I can tell you that I wouldn't want a piece of it hitting a filling, as I chewed - that is not pleasant, haha!
I tend to get my wrapping papers at dollar stores, but the nicer foils I do get from Hallmark. In fact last Christmas I bought two rolls of gold foil and it actually was a better quality that the Wilton foil and much cheaper in the long run! I get my clear contact plastic at the dollar store too, but the drawback is that it is only 18 inches wide.
I buy a lot of fabric remnants and wash and iron them and use these on boards. Some of the crushed velours are spectacular and you can cover them with the clear contact plastic and still get a great effect. Generally I use fabrics with very little nap, and then there is no need to cover them with contact. Curtain lace with coloured cellophane underneath is another great way of coordinating your board to match a cake, or generally any open weave fabric with the coloured cellophane under it. That way you get the colour, without having to worry about cutting through the cellophane.
You folks in the U.S. are spoiled because many of your dollar type stores have wedding supplies too and you have a much wider range of products. Joanne's Fabrics (spelling?) is another terrific place for you to shop for all sorts of things that lend themselves well to this craft.
Yes the flower issue is a serious one. Additionally, some of the stamens, though not poisonous, cause allergic reactions in many people and should really be removed. I tend to always want a barrier in between any fresh flowers and an edible product.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
I've never cut through foil either, but I've heard of it happening. Plus, I'm not always the one cutting my cakes since many get delivered and dropped off. People are silly, I've never been able to understand why they were pressing hard enough to cut the foil... it's cake! LOL! Oh well, I digress.... (-;
Haha, ok cali4dawn, you have me convinced not to use it on the boards that support the stacked cakes - which is the only place I have ever used it. So I am back to gluegunning two Wilton foil covered boards together, good sides out, before using the boards for stacked cakes.
Guess I figured that if I didn't cut through it, a professional wouldn't either! Bad assumption, though, in a time when the biggest shortage we sometimes face is a lack of common sense! I have actually heard stories of catering staff cutting stacked cakes while they were attached, starting at the bottom. Worse yet, at the top - without separating them. Even cakes that were solely supported by pillars that were stuck into the tier below. Yikes! Or in-experienced staff cutting 12 and 14 and even 16 inch round cakes, in wedges that ended up being 6 and 7 and even 8 inches wide. But that could start another topic, haha!
Hugs to all, Squirrelly Cakes
Alamosweets had a great idea for covering hat boxes to make cake stands. I don't see the actual cake board, but thought this was along the same line as this thread...
saraiz, do you have a picture of the royal icing cake board? That sounds very cool. Also I always cover my boards with at least a doily if not embossed colored foil. I hate when the grease marks from the buttercream show up on the plain boards.
I almost always use tissue paper and clear contact paper together to cover cake boards. It allows me to easily find colors and patterns to fit the theme. The tissue paper adds color while the contact paper makes it impermeable.
daranaco, How do you keep the tissue paper from creasing and ripping when you put the contact paper on?
Here's the process that I follow
1. Use a small piece of double sided tape to attach 2 pieces of tissue paper together. I try to put the tape in the spot that will be the center of the cake board.
2. Cut the tissue paper so that it is about 1 inch larger then the cake board. Lay the paper face down on the table or counter.
3. Put a small piece of double sided tape on the center of the cake board. Attach the cake board to the two pieces of tissue paper.
4. If using a round cake board, cut the tissue paper perpendicular to the cake board, spacing the cuts 1/2 or 1 inches apart. Otherwise trim the tissue paper to fold neatly under the board.
5. Fold over the cut edges and tape them to the back of the board.
6. Cut a piece of contact paper approximately 2 inches larger then the cake board. Peel off the backing and lay face down on the table. The sticky side should be facing up. Place the tissue paper covered cake board, face down, in the center of the contact paper.
7. Cut the contact paper the same way that you cut the tissue paper. Fold over the edges on to the back of the board. The contact paper should cover the edges of the tissue paper.
I hope these directions make sense. If they don't, please let me know and I'll take photographs next time I cover a board.
You keep the comments coming SquirrellyCakes!
I've learned alot from your imput, no matter what subject you speak on...
You're a wealth of information....