Cake Frosting Basics
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Every cake should sit on top of a piece of cardboard that is the same size as the cake (or pan). In a pinch, it can be cut from corrugated boxes by tracing the cake pan. If you have a cake business, you should be buying your cake cardboards in bulk from a local wholesaler. For avid home bakers, here is a link to all kinds of 10-packs with a drop down menu for size options >> cake cardboards
This board is not meant to show in the end but if it shows a little bit through the frosting, that’s okay as you can always pipe a little border at the seams of a cake around the base of each tier.
You can also rim the cake cardboard with white electrical tape. That type of tape is very bendy and can be pulled around the edge of a cake board to seal the exposed corrugate. Then the only color that shows through is white. This is an optional step that is only necessary if you are concerned about the cake board possibly showing or if the cake is so moist that the boards need reinforcements.
The working platform for the cake, which is only used during the production and possibly the delivery phases, does not show in the end. It’s just there to support the cake from underneath while you’re working on it and transferring it in and out of the refrigerator. Recycled cake boards, drums, or large scraps of cardboard work well for this purpose. It should be bigger than the cake but not too much bigger or it will get in your way.
I often use inverted pizza pans because they don’t bend, warp, or get soggy and they can be reused over and over again. The larger sized pizza pans can also act as extensions of the cake wheel for frosting larger sized tiers or oddly shaped cakes. The kind of pizza pan that works best has no crease at the curve. Here is the Amazon.com link to creaseless 12″ pizza pans, 14” pizza pans, and 18” pizza pans.
In busy bakeries that produce standard sized cakes, there is no need for a working platform. The cakes are frosted directly on a industrial turntable then transferred to a laminated platter of some sort. The decorator scrapes the frosting off the wheel then moves onto the next cake. Thus the working platform is not an absolutely necessity in the cake frosting process. However for frosting wedding cake tiers and sculpted cakes, the working platform is an essential element to keeping the cake safe and stable at all times.
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