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.
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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
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.
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.
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.