Interior Design

4 Surprising (& Very Practical) Uses for Your Cake Stand

It's not just for cake.

April  5, 2022
Photo by Julia Gartland

If you haven't noticed yet, cake stands are ubiquitous in interiors photography. If you dropped onto Earth for an intergalactic romp and mined our spaces for anthropologic clues, you might imagine humans subsist solely on cake (well, you might not be totally wrong...). Our love for baked goods notwithstanding, our lifestyles are considerably more diverse. Yet there it is, on every still life table: a lovely mound of flour, butter, and sugar on an ornate pedestal.

A cake signals a celebratory occasion, yes, but there’s a more practical explanation: cake stands look damn good. They add dimension to any flat surface, introducing new materials, shapes, and heights—a trifecta ripe for a styling slam dunk.

Why hide these MVPs then? Cake stands deserve to emerge more than the six times a year you bake a cake, we say. Here’s how to expand their breadth in any space.

As a fruit bowl

Photo by Rocky Luten

Show off your farmers' market haul and display seasonal fruit on a cake stand. This one from Nashi Home is made from shatter-resistant resin and imagined in a bold tortoiseshell pattern that'll hold its own underneath vibrant persimmons and apples. Consider it a feast for the eyes and bellies—don't be surprised if guests help themselves.

As a Catch-All Tray

Photo by Anthropologie

I tend to read two books at a time and I toggle between them based on mood. A sturdy wooden cake stand on the dresser in my bedroom holds the books currently in rotation, plus two others on deck. The cake stand prevents books I’m keen to read from getting lost in the shuffle of the bookshelf, and looks more elegant than my prior system (aka piling them on the floor next to my bed.) You could use the same method for your keys, wallet, and eyeglasses on an entry table. Or for makeup and perfume on your vanity.

As a small space-friendly coffee table

Photo by Mark Weinberg

A space-saving trick, you can use a cake stand in place of a coffee table, especially for modern, low-slung couches or accent chairs. While you could go for something that matches your vibe, we love going with an unexpected color or material, like this jade green pick from Mosser Glass. Just make sure it's off to the side so you don't accidentally kick it over!

As A Charcuterie Board

Photo by Crate & Barrel

You can never have enough charcuterie, so rather than trying to fit all your boards and plates on the table, go vertical with a cake stand. This helps create space without sacrificing any of the gouda—that would be blasphemous.

This post was updated April 2022 with more creative ways to use cake stands around your space.

How else do you use a cake stand? Tell us in the comments!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • Lucy
An indoor and outdoor enthusiast. Happiest cooking at home with a podcast on, or hiking towards a campfire meal. Believes the best design is simple and approachable. (And thinks DIYs should be too!)


AntoniaJames April 5, 2022
Also, cookies, or scones, or blondies, preferably under a dome. ;o)
Lucy November 28, 2016
I truly do feel that cake stands have prevented loss of cell phone; wallet; glasses and other vital pieces of my persona. I put the tallest ones I have or can find in rooms which have a hidden vacuum which sucks up my important items just for the purpose of causing stress. Well stress be gone! Let it eat a newspaper but not my sunglasses anymore! There they are, poised and ready to go on a cake stand. Voila!