How-To & Diy

How to Make a Cake Platter out of Cardboard

December 24, 2014

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. 

Today: Travel in style -- here's how to hack a pretty cake platter out of materials you already have at home.

Cake Plate

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So you've baked a cake to take to a potluck or party and lovingly decorated it. Now comes the big question: What should you put the cake on to take it to the party? You don't really want to put it on a dinner plate, which is just a smidgen too small, plus there's that chance the plate won't go home with you -- despite careful labeling and best intentions, sometimes you just lose your potluck vessel in the shuffle. Even the sturdiest paper plate isn't strong enough, and you could try a cookie sheet, but again, it means keeping track of it if you want to get it back.

The solution (if you don't have a CakeBox): Make your own cake plate! It takes just a few minutes, you can customize the shape and size, and you likely have all the materials on hand in your house.

You will need:

  • One or two pieces of cardboard cut to whatever shape and size you like.  I use one piece if the cardboard is quite sturdy, but almost always use two for the stability.
  • Packing tape or another strong tape
  • Parchment paper or foil
  • Scissors

Cake Plate

To assemble:

Lay the pieces of cardboard together so that the grain runs perpendicular (to add stability). Then tape the cardboard together -- I just do it at the corners.

Lay the cardboard on the foil or parchment and wrap it up like a birthday present. Make sure to tape the foil or parchment directly to the cardboard and then tape it well on the underside. If you are using parchment paper, remember that its job is to be non-stick, so having strong tape that overlaps in some places is helpful. 

Cake Plate   Cake Plate

Flip the platter over and stick a cake on it. It's definitely a good idea to anchor it with some frosting if you can. You can even write a note on right on the platter.  

For more security, travel with the cake in a box that is not too much larger than the size of the cake plate.

Cake Plate

When you're done, you can pull off the foil or parchment and either save the cardboard for the next cake outing or pop it in the recycling bin.

Cake Plate

Photos by Vanessa Vichit-Vadakan

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Gizem
  • vvvanessa
  • Susan Hawkins
    Susan Hawkins
  • cookinginvictoria
  • lapadia
recreational baker, avid cartwheeler, novice photographizer


Gizem December 24, 2014
I do this sometimes, but I use wrapping paper instead of parchment. I always have tons of wrapping paper scraps and can usually find the right paper matching the occasion or that goes nicely with the cake.
vvvanessa December 24, 2014
The cake is the Jam Cake with Caramel Chocolate Ganache from Julie Richardson's _Vintage Cakes_ . It's here on the epicurious site:

If I were to make it again, I'd leave out the spices, which to me had too much going on-- I think I like the simplicity of just jam and chocolate. But yes, it's a great recipe for using jam, and the almond garnish is cute!
Susan H. December 24, 2014
I would like to have the recipe for the cake pictured! Thanks.
vvvanessa December 24, 2014
I just posted the link to recipe in a new comment.
cookinginvictoria December 24, 2014
This is such a great idea. I am always putting my cakes on undersized dinner plates and fretting that one is going to get broken in transit. Love too that you can write a message on the cardboard platter! Beautiful cake too, Vanessa!
vvvanessa December 24, 2014
Thank you! I am always fretting about my platters, too.
lapadia December 24, 2014
Nice work on the cake platter, Vanessa, and tasty looking cake too!
vvvanessa December 24, 2014
Thanks, lp! xo
hardlikearmour December 24, 2014
Love this! I do the same thing with foam core instead of cardboard -- two layers glued together are surprisingly sturdy. I like to add a ribbon around the edge to make it extra fancy sometimes.
vvvanessa December 24, 2014
Extra fancy is your middle name!
Arshia K. December 24, 2014
What a lovely cake! Is there a recipe?
vvvanessa December 24, 2014
Thanks! I just posted a link to it in a separate comment.
Arshia K. December 26, 2014
Thanks so much!