All About That Base

So you scored an order, -THE- order.  You get to make a killer cake.  Not just a run of the mill cake, this is a killer, over the top, make some money, wow your friends/clients, write home to mom, kind of cake.  That is awesome!  I am so happy for you!  You have it all planned out, and everything, but did you think about the base?

This can really set your cake apart from the other vendors in your area, as well as complete the look of your cake.  I know not everyone is in love with a fondant covered finish board, and that’s okay.  Should you want to take your cake to the next level, here are some great tips to get you to that point.

Which Board is Best for Me?

Img2012-06-27_41aThis is a disposable cake board.  These are grease proof, and designed to go under the base of each cake.   When stacking cakes, this is what rests on top of the dowels/straws.
If you are opposed to going further than these boards, and purchasing drums or masonite boards, then you may wrap your own boards in foil, after doubling up your boards to be at least 3-4 thick.



Img2012-06-21_18aThese are 1/4 foil covered drums.  They can be purchased in all cake sizes. Used for layer cakes or tiered cakes.  They are not very sturdy, so you’ll want to accommodate by doubling up.





Img2012-06-27aThis is a Foam Core Cake Board.  This is heavy duty, and perfect for tiered cakes.  These are easy to wrap ribbons around the outer edge, to finish the look of your cake.  When putting in your central dowel, it will hammer into the board nicely, to help secure it for transport.




Img2012-06-22_28aThis is a masonite board.  This board is amazing for tiered cakes, because it’s sturdy, and it’s food safe.  MDF or Plywood is treated with chemicals and isn’t as food safe, as this masonite board is from Global Sugar Art.

Make sure you take that into account, when selecting your base finish board.  Over at Global Sugar Art they have several thicknesses, sizes and shapes available for you to choose from.


All of these boards are acceptable and will work for caking.  You’ll want to decide the thickness needed for your project, and the shape that will best work for you.  If you want to take it a step further, and “cover your boards”, this is where some fun and creative projects can take flight.

Covering Your Board

23402The foil you use for this can be purchased at many stores.  From online to Walmart, there are many different styles to choose from.

For me personally, foil is not my top choice.  There are lots of reasons it’s not my favorite.  One reason is that I work on a lot of single tiered cakes, and start with the cake on the foiled board.  When dragging my bench scraper on the board, some of the foil will inevitably come off into my frosting and leave that color of foil residue, in my frosting.  The only way to avoid this is to have every cake on a disposable board, and then on to a finish board.  Whether it’s one tier or three tiers, there should always be finish board.  Trust me on this.

You can also use scrapbook paper. You can anchor it to the board with double sided tape, glue stick or hot glue.  To seal and protect the scrapbook paper you can use saran wrap, cellophane, or contact paper.

Another option, and my favorite one is to cover my board in fondant.  The fondant that I choose depends upon the project.  If I’m creating a nautical theme, I might choose a wave pattern, or a wood plank base.  I try to carry the theme down onto the board, making sure to not get too cluttered.

I always make sure to cover the cost of my entire package, base board included, into the final price for the client.  If my design is over the top and the client is bawking over $10, I might scale back and only consider covering the board in white fondant.  If they really want to see an amazing cake I’ve done for someone else, with a tile pattern, I might show them what I’m capable of, and they bump up the design.

Cakes always, look so much better with a beautifully finished board.  It’s completely understandable if you work at a bakery, that turns out multiple cakes a day and doesn’t have time to cover each board with fondant.  But, if you are creating a cake for a showpiece, or a competition, covering your board is a MUST.

Fondant Finish

cake board justin lynchFabulous wood finish by Justin Lynch of Just-In it for the Art of Sugar.

This is a great board for so many different looks, and one that is easy to create.  Knotting wood, and dragging dye, gives a quick illusion of real wood.  YouTube has so many tutorials for this, as well as Craftsy and quite a few of our favorite designers have in depth videos and Periscopes on this process.




lick the bowl cake boardThis supremely cute cake by Karen Stack of Lick the Bowl, is amazing on it’s own.  Cover the base with your hand and imagine it with no covered board.  It’s awesome, but take it to the next step and see what she does by continuing the design down to the board with the name, and the fun little alligator.  It really rounds out the whole look, and you aren’t stuck with putting the name on the cake, which I REALLY hate doing.  She probably took all of five extra minutes to cover the masonite/board in white fondant.  And a little bit longer for the punched out letters.  The most time consuming of course was the alligator, but honestly, it is so worth it.  It really, really makes this cake!


Whether you choose to use foil, scrapbook paper, fondant or just cardboard, the choice is yours.  I hope this helps to shed some light on the finish board questions you have.  We would love to see some of your finished boards!  Come share with us your gorgeous creations!  CakeFu on Facebook.

Leave a reply