Your Swiss meringue buttercream might be flawlessly spread or your creme pat perfectly set, but if you serve it on a disposable party plate (too often the case), it’s sure to lose its some of its potential.
Do your creation justice – or jazz up something simple that needs a little added wow factor – with a standout cake stand, whether it’s a simple white porcelain beauty or something more dramatic in bright colours or unusual shapes.
We’ve been busy baking to test a range of cake stands, judging them on style, size, durability and price to help you inspire your inner Bake Off contestant.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
John Lewis & Partners porcelain cake stand: £12, John Lewis & Partners
Simple, sleek and incredibly good value, this white porcelain stand is great for displaying smaller items, such as biscuits and macarons, as the lip prevents them from sliding off. At 26.5cm across, it works pretty well for most cakes, too.
House Doctor rustic cake stand: £55.50, Trouva
This light grey porcelain stand has a low profile with a wide base, and has a beautiful, rustic finish. It will be just as at home in a minimalist Scandi-style home as a country farmhouse. It’s quite subtle, so we like to use it for things other than cake too – croissants, fruit, and cheese and biscuits have all graced ours.
Canvas Home Abbesses cake stand red rim: £29, Canvas Home
This cake stand is named after Abbesses, a pretty, charming Parisian district, and it more than lives up to its name. A brick-red rim elevates the otherwise simple, minimalist design to something more distinctive; it’s also available with a green, grey or blue lip.
Anthropologie Glinda cake stand: £47, Anthropologie
The Glinda stand is the most unusual we’ve seen as it’s made not from the usual porcelain or earthenware, but from capiz shell, giving it a beautiful iridescent glow. Its hypnotic spiral grooves add to the ethereal feel. At 33cm across it’s one of the widest we’ve seen and it looks its best piled high with pillowy pavlova.
Fortnum’s St James two tier cake stand: £125, Fortnum & Mason
Who better to provide the display for your sweet treats than afternoon tea royalty Fortnum & Mason? This two-tier stand is made from fine bone china and features the British Institution’s signature eau de nil, a minty blue-green. Oh, and the plates are edged in gold.
Mosser buttercream green glaze milk glass cake stand: £59.95, The Cake Decorating Company
Milk glass was a popular import in 1930s America and originals are very popular collectibles. This one is slightly more affordable, though, and has the same beautiful, glossy, opaque finish. It’s also a slight, elegant shape, both 23cm across and tall.
West Elm marble + brass 2-tier cake stand: £33, West Elm
For a minimalist modern twist on the classic Fortnum’s two-tier stand, West Elm’s brass and marble (yes, real marble) stand has two completely flat plates, 30cm and 25cm across, and a simple metal pole running through the middle. When it’s not covered in scones or biscuits, we like to arrange a full cheeseboard across it.
Berylune melamine cake stand: £24.95, Not On The High Street
Melamine makes a good dupe for milk glass: it has the same glossy finish and rich opaque colour, but without the high price point and is more durable, too. Berylune’s come in six colours, including deep green and plummy pink, but for the true vintage feel, opt for a pastel shade.
Bordallo Pinheiro cabbage cake stand: £39, Arket
Portuguese artist Raphael Bordalla Pinheiro’s vegetable-shaped earthenware has inspired many copies, but the original is still the best. His cabbage-leaf cake stand has a beautifully textured surface, and we love to the contrast of the green with delicately coloured buttercream.
Greta black stoneware cake stand: £25, Habitat
For a more dramatic, modern look, this, from Habitat, is a low stand with a sturdy base, made from black stoneware. It’s a great choice for those who find most cake stands too delicate and pretty, and the dark colour gives a dramatic contrast with your baked goods.
The verdict: Cake stands
John Lewis & Partners’ porcelain stand is modern, elegant and affordable, while Mosser’s milk glass is a vintage-style classic. For something a little different we love West Elm’s marble and brass two-tier stand.