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A Comprehensive Guide to Disposable Cake Boards

A Comprehensive Guide to Disposable Cake Boards

While the idea of using a cake board to support a delicious cake seems pretty straightforward, there are actually many details and definitions that need to be understood to select the best cake board for your needs. Here we endeavor to outline exactly what a cake board is, and any other information you would need to know, so you can find the perfect product to support your desserts.

What Is a Cake Board?

A cake board is a thick piece of material designed to support cakes or even cupcakes to improve your presentation and make transportation easier. It is common to use the term "cake board" to refer to all sizes, shapes, and materials of boards that serve this purpose, but the below terms are used to more specifically refer to groupings of these items.

Enjay silver cake board with a single layer white cake on top

Cake Circles: A cake circle is a round cake board that is typically thin in construction, about 1/8”.

Cake Drums: Drums refer to thicker cake boards, either 1/4" or 1/2", since they must have a double wall corrugated construction. These can also be used in between tiers of a cake for extra support.

Cake Pads: Similar to cake circles, cake pads are an economical choice designed to hold rectangular sheet cakes. These pads are also thin with a single wall corrugated construction.

Dessert Boards: These are unique boards that have a specific function in mind. Most of them are small in size so they can hold a single cupcake or dessert.

Cake Board Materials

While we are mostly concerned with disposable cake boards in this guide, it is still important to know what materials make up both disposable and reusable cake boards.

Enjay red cake board with white cake on top

Corrugated Cardboard: The majority of all disposable cake boards are made of corrugated cardboard. This material consists of layers of fluted paper pressed between two outer layers, with the outer layers providing rigidity and the fluted paper providing insulation and thickness. 

Laminated Chipboard: Chipboard is made of pressed paperboard, so it is lightweight while remaining fairly sturdy. It has a laminated finish to prevent grease from seeping into the material. This material is only strong enough to support smaller desserts.

Melamine-Coated Wood: These cake boards are made with medium density fiberboard (MDF) that is coated with melamine. It is sturdy and break-resistant, and the exterior also acts a sealant to resist grease. The board's melamine coating makes it easy to clean and it maintains a polished appearance through multiple uses.

Foam: Cake boards can also be made of dense foam, which is naturally resistant to grease. The foam material would still need to be covered, and you should be careful not to cut into the foam if you intend to cut your cake on the board.

Masonite: Made of medium-density fibreboard (MDF), this material is a reusable option for your cakes. It needs to be covered in foil, wrap, or fondant before each use to protect against grease. Due to this inconvenience, these boards are often only used between cake tiers to provide structural support.

Styles of Corrugated Cardboard Cake Boards

All corrugated cardboard cake boards also have an additional style to consider as it affects not only the appearance, but the use of the board as well. Check out these styles when considering using a corrugated cardboard cake board.

Gold laminated tarantula bake board corner in a plastic cake box

Single Wall Corrugated

  • One layer of corrugated cardboard
  • Thickness of 1/8"
  • Sufficient for cupcakes or lighter, single layer cakes

Enjay white thick cake board with a cake on top

Double Wall Corrugated

  • Two layers of corrugated material
  • Thickness of 1/4" - 1/2"
  • Extra rigidity to support heavier cakes

Close up of silver Enjay cake board with embossed pattern


  • Purely decorative to make cake board stand out
  • Subtle embossed design
  • Enhances the design of the cake

Common Questions When Using Cake Boards

What size cake board do I need? When acting as a base for your cake, you should allow for about 2" - 4" of clearance on each side of your cake. So, your cake board should be 4" - 8" larger than your cake. For cake drums that are used in between tiers, they should be the same size as your cake.

Can I cut a cake board to the size I need? Yes you can, just be sure to use heavy-duty scissors or another sharp tool to avoid frayed or jagged edges.

Can I use a cake board with a cake box? Yes! In fact, you should always use a cake board when putting a cake into a box since cake boxes are prone to bending under the weight, so without the support of the cake board your cake would bend as well.

Why are the actual dimensions of my cake board slightly smaller than expected? To make it easy to pair cake circles with their appropriate boxes, some items are commonly listed as being the same size as the cake box. However, to allow them to fit inside the cake box, their actual measurements will be slightly smaller than the box itself.

Should I put my cake on the board before or after icing? Either way works. If you place the cake on the board before icing, then you don't need to worry about messing up your decorations by transferring it later.

Do you have to use cake boards when stacking cakes? If you're stacking any heavy cake, or any cake larger than 6" in diameter, you absolutely should use a board or drum between the tiers. Even with smaller cakes, it is recommended to use them if you intend to stack more than two tiers.

Terms to Know When Shopping for Cake Boards

These are some common terms you will come across while browsing cake boards. Your board may have none, one, or most of these features - it's completely up to you based on what is important for your application.

  • Recyclable: Instead of throwing it away after use, being able to recycle your cake board helps promote an environmentally friendly business model.
  • Grease-Proof: This means the material or coating of the cake board is completely impermeable to oil or grease.
  • Grease-Resistant: A more economical option, grease-resistant boards have been treated to resist staining or absorbing grease. But under certain conditions, like extended time, grease may seep into the material.
  • Freezer Safe: This means you can confidently store your cake on the board in your freezer or refrigerator for extra versatility.
  • Scalloped Edge: The edges of every side of your cake board will be shaped into a curvy, waved design to add an extra decorative element.
  • Laminated: Having a laminated coating helps protect the board against grease, and it also adds extra shine to the color of the board.
  • Uncoated: Most cake boards come coated to prevent grease from absorbing into the cardboard. However, uncoated boards are also useful as they can support food like pizza during transport to purposefully absorb grease so it doesn't leak through the delivery box. You can also use uncoated boards if you want to add your own custom coating.

Popular Cake Board Colors

Be sure to carefully consider what color you need! Whether you prefer your board to match or contrast the color of your cakes, you have to be mindful that the board is just the right color.

Chocolate cake on a decorated white cake board


  • Ideal for weddings or bridal showers
  • Blank slate to cover with fondant or custom decorations

Cherry-topped cake on a black cake board


  • Ideal for Halloween or New Year's Eve
  • Black background helps colorful cakes stand out

Marbled cake on a gold embossed cake board

Silver and Gold

  • More shine due to metallic appearance
  • Most often used for higher-end events or occasions

Decorated cake on a pink cake board


  • Other popular cake board colors are red, blue, pink, and yellow
  • Get a board to best fit the theme of your cake or dessert

Additional Accessories You May Need for Cake Making

Make sure to get everything you need to go along with your cake board!

Small white cake box with a cake within

Cake / Bakery Boxes

  • Help transport cake to special events
  • Fit cake board perfectly inside box for extra support during transport

blue fondant rolled into a sheet being placed on a white cake


  • Use to cover uncoated cake board after you let it dry
  • Perfect for creating small designs, shapes, or letters

White cake stand holding a chocolate cake with chocolate chips surrounding

Cake Stand and Covers

  • Available in both reusable and disposable options
  • Covers help maintain freshness while on display

Tall plastic cake take-out container with lid lifting off a gold cake

Cake Take-Out Containers

  • Made with plastic rather than paper or cardboard
  • Clear lid for visibility for displays

blue fondant being rolled flat on a measuring pad

How to Cover a Cake Board with Fondant

When dealing with uncoated cake boards, you may want to cover your board in fondant to add a specific color or texture that you simply can't get from foil or laminated boards. Follow these simple steps to add a colorful addition to the base of your delicious cakes. 

  1. Roll out fondant to a 3mm - 4mm thickness and 1/2" wider than the cake board.
  2. Brush the cake board with piping gel.
  3. Lay the fondant over the cake board and use a fondant smoother to flatten the fondant completely. 
  4. Cut around the bottom edges of the cake board to get rid of any excess fondant. Smooth rough edges with your fingers. 
  5. Let it sit to dry for 2 - 3 days.

Now you are ready to display your beautiful cake on an equally attractive cake board! 

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