5-tier acrylic cupcake stand

Cupcake Stand – Displaying Your Cupcake In Style

The subject of cupcake stand may not have crossed your mind as important but it really is!

Cupcakes have been in existence for as long as anyone can remember. They became increasingly popular for events and parties in the dawn of the 2000’s. With this popularity came the dilemma of how to display cupcakes; this led to the idea of cupcake stands.

In days gone by, you can just bake your cupcakes and serves with trays or platters but not so anymore! Especially with cupcakes being in vogue, you have to glamorize your cupcakes and the display.

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Sometimes the stress of finding and using the right cupcake stand becomes even more than baking and decorating the cupcake.
In this article, we would help you to find quick ways of choosing or making the right cupcake stand for every occasion.

Understanding Cupcake Stands

Cupcake stands are any decorative containers, platters or platforms used to displays many cupcakes at the same time. They can be used to display as few as half a dozen cupcakes and as many as one hundred cupcakes.

The way you display your cupcakes and what you use to display them can either add to its aesthetic value or detract from it. Understanding cupcake stands entails that you know that there is no right or wrong cupcake stand. The most important thing to know is how to match the right cupcake stand with the right occasion.

The kind of cupcake stand you’ll use to display cupcakes for a children’s party would be different from the one you’ll use for a wedding reception. Same goes also for formal and informal events, soirees, tea parties and such occasions.


Different Materials Of Cupcake Stands 

Cupcake stands can be made from myriads of materials. We would not presume that the list we would give you here is a comprehensive one. Some of these materials may feature more in DIY cupcake stands while some may only be bought ready made.

Some of the materials cupcake stands can be made of include the following: Cardboard, Styrofoam, metal, acrylic, plastic, porcelain, glass and wood. All these materials can be fabricated into different designs.

Let’s discuss a few of these materials…

Cardboard Cupcake Stands

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Cardboard is the most elementary material that cupcake stands are made of. You can either buy a cardboard cupcake stand or DIY. There are many specialty stores off and online where you can get all shapes, sizes and designs of cardboard cupcake stands.

The amazing thing about cardboard cupcake stands is that they usually look more fabulous than they cost. You can get a cupcake stand that would increase the value of your cupcakes for as low as $6.

Here are some tips to help you in case you want to try your hands at making your own cardboard cupcake stand. 

Tips for DIY Cardboard Cupcake Stand

Cardboard cupcake stands are quite easy to make. All you need are the following items: Cutting board, matte cardboard, spray paint, knife and template.

Although you can make the cupcake stand without a template, the template makes the process so much easier. It also helps you to avoid pitfalls and mistakes, helping you produce a perfect cupcake stand.

There are some sites that offer these free templates; all you need do is download the templates and follow the instructions.

Though cardboard is a disposable material, with careful use, you can reuse your cardboard cupcake stand a few times.

Occasions You Can Use Cardboard Cupcake Stands

Cardboard cupcake stands  work well for informal occasions and children’s parties and events. This is in part because of the  price range and the fact that they are simple DIY projects.

You can use cardboard to make all kinds of whimsical and fanciful cupcake stand to suit the occasion.

They are also suitable for occasions where you have to display your cupcakes in dozens or less. Bear in mind that they are the least solid of all types of cupcake stands so they can’t safely be used for large quantities of cupcakes for a long period of time.

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Styrofoam Cupcake StandsSweet Creations Cupcake and Cake Pop 3-Tier Display Stand

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Styrofoam is the material most cake dummies are made of. It has proven to be a very versatile material that can be used to carve out all sorts of shapes and designs in cake decoration.

Cupcake stands can be carved out of Styrofoam and used plain or decorated with all sorts of accents. Just like cardboard cupcake stands, you can buy Styrofoam cupcake stands or make them yourself.

Styrofoam cupcake stands are sturdier than cardboard cupcake stands. This makes them more suitable for displaying large quantities of cupcakes.

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In the course of our research, we came across this hack on using Styrofoam and cake boards to create a cupcake stand on WikiHow. We’ll share a summary of it here with you.

Tips for Making Cupcake Stands with Styrofoam and Cake Boards

For this project, you’ll need the following items: three cake boards of graduated sizes, two pairs of two sizes of cake dummies, glue, double sided tape, satin ribbon, colorful wrapping paper, sewing pins, scissors and pencils.

When you have assembled all these materials, follow these simple steps:

Stage One 

1. Glue each pair of the cake dummies together and leave them to dry.

2. Wrap both cake dummies securely with the satin ribbon using your pin and glue to ensure the ribbon is firmly in place. Remember each of the cake dummies that have been paired is wrapped separately.

3. Cut out the wrapping paper in the appropriate size for the cake boards. Glue the wrapping papers to the right board.

4. Tape the satin ribbon onto the edge of the cake boards with glue.

5. Now it’s time to assemble the cake stand. Place the largest cake board down with the side covered in wrapping paper facing up. Put the double sided tape on the bigger cake dummy that you wrapped in satin ribbon.

Stage Two 

Locate the center of the cake board and attach the cake dummy on it (the cake dummy serves as the pillar for the cake stand). Ensure that it is firmly secured. Then put the double sided tape on top of this cake dummy.

At the center of the cake board that’s next in size attach it firmly to the cake dummy. Remember that the side of the cake board with the wrapping paper has to always face up.
Repeat this process for the last cake dummy and cake board.

This process gives you a three tier cupcake stand!

The great thing about creating your own cupcake stand is that you can decorate it any way you like. You can also reassemble the same cake stand to suit another occasion.
Please bear in mind that you must never lift this cake stand with cupcakes on it. It is safer for you to place the cupcakes after setting the cupcake stand on its display table.

Occasions You Can Use Styrofoam Cupcake Stands

Styrofoam cupcake stands can be used for  any occasion depending on how it is designed or dressed up. The sample on the right can be used for valentine’s day hangout while the one on the left can be used for a girl’s birthday party.

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Metal Cupcake Stands

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Metal cupcake stands would fall under the category of reusable cupcake stands. They come in different sizes, shapes and designs and are sturdier than most other types of cupcake stands.

The most common metal used in making cupcake stand is stainless steel
Metal cupcake stands are best bought from specialty stores than made at home; unless you are a craftsman or woman.

This type of cupcake stands are best suited for professional cake decorators who are assured of using it frequently. This would ensure that you get value for money from your purchase.

Some brands of cupcake stands would combine metal with some other materials; some would have metal base and pillars and ceramic plates.

One advantage of stainless steel is that it is easy to clean; all you need to do is wipe it down after use.
If you choose a stand made with top quality anti rust stainless steel then you can be sure to use it for years to come.

Occasions You Can Use Metal Cupcake Stands

Metal cupcake stands are best suited for formal occasions or parties. There are so many options you can choose from. Check out some of these samples to help kick start your creative juices…

Charmed 4 tier cupcake stand holds 23 cupcakes

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Three Tier Cake Stand and Fruit Plate, Imillet Stainless Steel Golden Cupcake Stand Serving Plates for Cakes Desserts Dried Fruit Candy Buffet (2 Pack)

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Acrylic and Glass Cupcake Stands

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We would discuss these two materials together because they have the same feel and appearance.

Acrylic and glass cupcake stands lends elegance to your cupcake display. They come in different shapes, sizes and designs just like other types of cupcake stands. Crystal cupcake stands  also fall under this category.

Though they  look fragile, most acrylic or glass cupcake stands are sturdy. This is especially true if they are made with top quality material. However we know that all acrylic and glass ware has to be handled with extra care.

You can use acrylic or glass cupcake stands for large quantities of cake because of their stability. Most of them come in tiers ranging from two tiers to as much as seven tiers.

The beauty of acrylic or glass cupcake stands is that they do not detract from your cupcakes. Since they are transparent, they just help to elevate your cupcakes and allow the splendor of all your decoration on them to shine through.

Crystal cupcake stands come with their own glitz and glam but if used for the right occasion they increase the aesthetics of the cake display.

Occasions You Can Use Acrylic or Glass Cupcake Stands

Acrylic or Glass Cupcake Stands are most suited for wedding receptions, gala events or other glamorous events. These samples below should give you an idea of what we are talking about.Large 7 Tier Wedding Party Acrylic Glass Cupcake Stand-Cake and Dessert Tower With Rod Feet (7SF)

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A Short Buying Guide for Cupcake Stands

Now that you understand the need for cupcake stands and appreciate its usefulness, let’s give you some tips that would help you make the right choice.

There are several factors to consider  when you go searching for and choosing the best cupcake stand for you. These factors include the following:

 Occasion the Cupcake Stand is to Be Used For

It is important to consider the occasion that you want to use your cupcake stand for. Although we said that there is no right or wrong cupcake stand, you can use a right cupcake stand for a wrong occasion. If you get this point right you can save yourself a lot of stress, time and money.

Let’s explain…

Assuming that you are excited about trying out a template for making cardboard cupcake stands. You go ahead, assemble all the materials needed and get to work creating this whimsical and fanciful cupcake stand. But sadly, the event at which you are displaying your cupcakes is a gala night.

Though a cardboard cupcake stand may look beautiful, it can also look too playful and informal for glamorous occasions. And to think that you have spent money, time and energy making a cardboard cupcake stand.

What if the occasion is the birthday party of a four year old and you have come with a crystal/ chandelier cupcake stand? Don’t you think that would be overkill? Unless of course the four year old birthday party is a formal gala style party (most unlikely though).
Guess our point is made!

Number of Cupcakes To Be Displayed and The Weight of The Cupcake Stand

Another important factor to consider before buying a cupcake stand is the number of cupcakes that you have to display. Some cupcake stands are more suited for half a dozen cupcakes than two dozen.

Remember that the weight of the cup cake stand is not necessarily determined by the number of tiers. And the weight of the cupcake stand determines its stability which in turn determines how many cupcakes it can safely carry.

A three tier cardboard cupcake stand would definitely be lighter than a three tier acrylic cupcake stand. This means that the number of cupcakes that a three tier cardboard cupcake stand would carry would be less than the number a three tier acrylic stand would carry.

Some cake stands clearly state how many cupcakes a stand can carry while others do not. No matter the specifications provided or not, you have the responsibility of ensuring that you have the right cupcake stand for the number of cupcakes you want to display.

Disposable or Reusable Material/Quality of Material

When choosing a cupcake stand, you should also consider whether you want to have materials that are disposable or reusable. Of all the materials we have discussed, the only one that can be tagged as disposable is cardboard. All the other materials are reusable and are meant to last for long.

If you are making your cupcake stands, likelihood is that you would use cardboard or Styrofoam. When assembling the materials for use, please ensure that they are food safe materials. Though you may feel that the cupcake paper would form a barrier between the cake and the material, it is better safe than sorry.

The same consideration of food safe materials is necessary if you are buying a cupcake stand. Look out for top quality materials and ensure that they are food grade materials.

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The appearance of the cupcake stand is important too! If you are making cupcakes that have a lot of pizzazz and sparkles, you may want to go with a simple classic design. For cupcakes that don’t have over the top designs, you may want to choose a stand with glitz and glam.

The essence of a cupcake stand is to add to the aesthetic value of your display and not detract from it. Give careful thought to a design that helps to tie in all the other elements of the décor and the theme of the event.

Cost and Budget

One thing that must not be forgotten is  to include the cost of a cupcake stand to the bill you give to your clients. This is for professional or commercial cake decorators.

Homemakers or  hobby decorators may or may not include the cost of a cupcake stand in their budget. But we feel it’s necessary to do so.

It   goes without saying that a cupcake stand made with top quality materials would cost a pretty penny. Do not be conned into buying a cupcake stand because it is cheap. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a good cupcake stand at an affordable price.

Take out a little time and compare several products, read buyers review and compare the reviews with advertiser’s claim.

Most manufacturer’s put a lot of stock into describing their products wonderfully.  However,at the end of the day, the performance of some of the product falls short of the description.

It is important to ensure that your budget would cover the cost of any cupcake stand that would enhance your overall cake display.

The fore going factors that we have discussed would also help you with determining how much to spend.


In the world of cake decoration and culinary arts presentation is key. So whatever it takes for you to present your finished product beautifully is not to be ignored. Check out this individual product review 

To this end, next time you have to serve some cupcakes, take time to choose the right cupcake stand for the occasion. You’ll know you got it right by the appreciation expressed by your guests or clients.

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