I’ve been making quite a few cakes lately – no, not all have appeared here because most of them are repeats of some of my favorite classic chocolate and vanilla cakes – and I’ve been spending a lot of my time frosting. The tricky thing about frosting a cake (assuming that you’re starting with some tasty and relatively easy to work with frosting) is really trying to get a smooth, even layer over the whole thing. Layer cakes inevitably have gaps where the layers meet and sometimes there is a spot around the back of the cake that you just can’t quite reach. This is the reason for rotating cake stands, which allow you to easily frost a whole cake without straining to see over the top and get those hard-to-reach-spots in the back.
Most revolving cake stands have circular bases. Since most layer cakes are circular, this isn’t that surprising, although it can make things difficult when you want to frost a large, layered sheet cake, like my Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake. One solution is to put a large cake board on top of the round cake stand and use it to assemble the cake. The advantage to this is that the cake is very easy to move when it’s on the board. The disadvantage is that the board can sometimes slip on the stand and any little movement in the cake is likely to give a baker heart palpitations. A rectangular revolving cake stand is a better solution. It gives you a huge work surface and is good for both rectangular cakes and round ones.