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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Cake Stands Perfect For The Holidays

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Nobody loves cake stands more than we do here at Martha Stewart Living. Our prop-house shelves are overflowing with cake stands of every imaginable size, design, color, and material.

We love cake stands for not just cakes but to display flowers, votive candles, even Easter eggs. Nothing makes a delicious pie or cake better than a great cake stand.

Here are a selection of some of our favorites and some inventive ways to use them.

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Once known as

1 Once known as "sapphire," pale-blue pressed glass was popular from 1870 to 1910 and in the 1950's. The transparent beauties at left include a rare cobalt blue, third from top. The doilylike edge on the bottom stand looks like the lace versions that were often used.

Dessert stands can be traced to the 17th century, when sugar was a prized commodity and European aristocrats honored special guests by serving them treats on tazzas -- typically, flat, sterling-silver dishes with pedestals.

2 Dessert stands can be traced to the 17th century, when sugar was a prized commodity and European aristocrats honored special guests by serving them treats on tazzas -- typically, flat, sterling-silver dishes with pedestals.

During the 1820's, manufacturers in New England developed pressed glass, called

3 During the 1820's, manufacturers in New England developed pressed glass, called "pattern glass" by collectors today.

In the 18th century, European glassmakers created milk glass to mimic porcelain. After clear glass, it's the easiest to find. Some of these stands have intricate patterns on the undersides of the tops.

4 In the 18th century, European glassmakers created milk glass to mimic porcelain. After clear glass, it's the easiest to find. Some of these stands have intricate patterns on the undersides of the tops.

Citrine hues, including bold Vaseline (a reference to the petroleum jelly, second from top), are prime picks for collectors. An iridescent piece, third from top, has the appearance of Tiffany glass.

5 Citrine hues, including bold Vaseline (a reference to the petroleum jelly, second from top), are prime picks for collectors. An iridescent piece, third from top, has the appearance of Tiffany glass.

Most stands have coordinating tops and pedistals such as the squares and octagons here. Martha loves the simplicity of this circular one, top right, a rare small size.

6 Most stands have coordinating tops and pedistals such as the squares and octagons here. Martha loves the simplicity of this circular one, top right, a rare small size.

Most cake stands were produced between 1850 and 1950.

7 Most cake stands were produced between 1850 and 1950.

Often called Depression glass, this tinted tableware emerged during the 1930's when the country needed perking up (movie theaters regularly gave out glasses and pitchers made of colored pressed glass as freebies).

8 Often called Depression glass, this tinted tableware emerged during the 1930's when the country needed perking up (movie theaters regularly gave out glasses and pitchers made of colored pressed glass as freebies).

Many dazzling designs of dessert stands are avilable for less than $100. The largest versions (once used in window displays of bake shops) are rare and often more expensive, as are colored stands. Vibrant shades didn't crop up until the 1870's, when eye-catching hues grew trendy in home decor and the demand for colored glassware followed.

9 Many dazzling designs of dessert stands are avilable for less than $100. The largest versions (once used in window displays of bake shops) are rare and often more expensive, as are colored stands. Vibrant shades didn't crop up until the 1870's, when eye-catching hues grew trendy in home decor and the demand for colored glassware followed.

Dessert stands don't need only display a cake -- they are a great tool to use to elevate other types of food such as fruit or vegetables.

10 Dessert stands don't need only display a cake -- they are a great tool to use to elevate other types of food such as fruit or vegetables.

Now you can find dessert stands made from different types of material -- have a plastic dessert stand may be appropriate for a child's birthday party.

11 Now you can find dessert stands made from different types of material -- have a plastic dessert stand may be appropriate for a child's birthday party.

This stand glitters with gem decorations around the edges. The different bases are long, allowing room for items to hang.

12 This stand glitters with gem decorations around the edges. The different bases are long, allowing room for items to hang.

Dessert stands with a curved edge are perfect if you want to display items that may be a bit unstable (like grapes, apples, or other circular treats).

13 Dessert stands with a curved edge are perfect if you want to display items that may be a bit unstable (like grapes, apples, or other circular treats).

I love how small bowls on this dessert stand are used to separate different sweets from one another.

14 I love how small bowls on this dessert stand are used to separate different sweets from one another.

Use dessert stands to elevate dinner plates for a different style and look for your buffet table.

15 Use dessert stands to elevate dinner plates for a different style and look for your buffet table.

Here is a perfect example of how you can stack plates and fruit to make a colorful display.

16 Here is a perfect example of how you can stack plates and fruit to make a colorful display.

Faux-icicles dripping down the side of this stack of dessert stands gives the table a wintery look.

17 Faux-icicles dripping down the side of this stack of dessert stands gives the table a wintery look.

A shorter dessert with a shorter stand pairs beautifully together.

18 A shorter dessert with a shorter stand pairs beautifully together.

A silver stand has a glow when it features a white dessert on it's surface.

19 A silver stand has a glow when it features a white dessert on it's surface.

This is a wonderful example of how to stack different treats other than cake on top of a traditional stand.

20 This is a wonderful example of how to stack different treats other than cake on top of a traditional stand.

With such clean and simple details, these stands practically make the desserts look like they are floating in mid-air.

21 With such clean and simple details, these stands practically make the desserts look like they are floating in mid-air.

Some pressed-glass stands are rare to find, others have a very common design and can be found easily.

22 Some pressed-glass stands are rare to find, others have a very common design and can be found easily.

Using a flat surfaced stand on the bottom and a bowl-shaped one on the top allows you to pair different items together. Another great combination would be to place a vegetable dip on the top with celery, carrots and other veggies below.

23 Using a flat surfaced stand on the bottom and a bowl-shaped one on the top allows you to pair different items together. Another great combination would be to place a vegetable dip on the top with celery, carrots and other veggies below.

These stands get some extra height with other elevators below them.

24 These stands get some extra height with other elevators below them.

I love this cake stand from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's! It is perfect to prop-up some desserts or you can stack up a pile of fruit without any worries that they will fall off the stand thanks to the design of the edges.

25 I love this cake stand from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's! It is perfect to prop-up some desserts or you can stack up a pile of fruit without any worries that they will fall off the stand thanks to the design of the edges.

Another cake stand from the Whiteware collection at Macy's. This round design would perfectly feature a pie or cake.

26 Another cake stand from the Whiteware collection at Macy's. This round design would perfectly feature a pie or cake.

Also, here is a peak into our prop house to see just a fraction of our inventory I hope that you enjoy.

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There are dozens of different cake stands in the Martha Stewart prop-house.

1 There are dozens of different cake stands in the Martha Stewart prop-house.

There is always something of substance to find in the cake stand collection.

2 There is always something of substance to find in the cake stand collection.

Many of these cake stands have been photographed in previous issues.

3 Many of these cake stands have been photographed in previous issues.

Many different sizes, colors and designs can be found in the prop-house.

4 Many different sizes, colors and designs can be found in the prop-house.

I love the gold rim on this bowl-shaped cake stand.

5 I love the gold rim on this bowl-shaped cake stand.

Here are a few clear cake stands.

6 Here are a few clear cake stands.

Here you can see some dessert stands that have a bowl-like dip to them.

7 Here you can see some dessert stands that have a bowl-like dip to them.

On this cake stand, I am in love with the detailed edges that will not be covered up when a cake is placed on top of it.

8 On this cake stand, I am in love with the detailed edges that will not be covered up when a cake is placed on top of it.

Those details are also on the bottom of the stand.

9 Those details are also on the bottom of the stand.

Here is a bright color to a simple stand.

10 Here is a bright color to a simple stand.

The full view of this bright-yellow cake stand.

11 The full view of this bright-yellow cake stand.

I love the details in this gorgeous glass dessert stand.

12 I love the details in this gorgeous glass dessert stand.

Look at this remarkable gold design on this very delicate cake stand.

13 Look at this remarkable gold design on this very delicate cake stand.

Here, you can see how the cake stand has a

14 Here, you can see how the cake stand has a "wave" to the edges. Note that the "wave" design is also on the bottom of the stand.

This design has a very edgy feel to it.

15 This design has a very edgy feel to it.

I love the edgy design up top with a graceful print below.

16 I love the edgy design up top with a graceful print below.

These are two cake stands stacked on top of one another. Their design is very elegant and romantic.

17 These are two cake stands stacked on top of one another. Their design is very elegant and romantic.

The feel of this cake stand can only be shown through a photograph if you see a picture of the stand upside-down.

18 The feel of this cake stand can only be shown through a photograph if you see a picture of the stand upside-down.

Look! Here it is! The bumps in the design make for a very textured look and feel.

19 Look! Here it is! The bumps in the design make for a very textured look and feel.

What a beautiful design and elegant painted detail to this cake stand that has a boxed-edge.

20 What a beautiful design and elegant painted detail to this cake stand that has a boxed-edge.

Here is a close-look of the detailing on the top of this cake stand.

21 Here is a close-look of the detailing on the top of this cake stand.

There is a glow to this cake stand.

22 There is a glow to this cake stand.

I love the glow to this piece and the pink and green colors compliment the style and texture of the cake stand.

23 I love the glow to this piece and the pink and green colors compliment the style and texture of the cake stand.

What beautiful details on the bottom of the dessert stand as well as the rim at the top.

24 What beautiful details on the bottom of the dessert stand as well as the rim at the top.

Here is a closer look of the top of the stand. The details will not be covered when dessert is placed on it's surface.

25 Here is a closer look of the top of the stand. The details will not be covered when dessert is placed on it's surface.

Does this look familiar?

26 Does this look familiar?

The color and texture to this cake stand is a lot of fun to display.

27 The color and texture to this cake stand is a lot of fun to display.

What stunning ripples used on this dessert stand to add a stunning and modernized look.

28 What stunning ripples used on this dessert stand to add a stunning and modernized look.

The ripples only go so far into the top of the stand, then the surface is flat for desserts.

29 The ripples only go so far into the top of the stand, then the surface is flat for desserts.

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Comments (10)

  • I love these gorgeous selection of cake stand Kevin,
    I love to use them in my dessert tables. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rowaidafl/sets/72157625192968215/

  • The jadite hobnail cake stand is so Martha. I know she put jadite out for her Martha By Mail, but I always thought it would be brilliant if she came out with her own jadite line.. maybe for Macys?
    It's still so popular and so beautiful. I would totally buy it.
    If you guys make it can you call the cake stand "the Sarah"??

    hahah
    lots of warm wishes to you Kevin! Great blog as usual.

  • I had one pedestal cake stand years ago that I never used so I gave it away. Now I want another one and might even start baking cakes again. I love Martha's prop-house supply and her Whiteware collection at Macy's. I'll check it out. Trish

  • What about making your own from mismatched china, glassware and crystal? http://simplysjostedt.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/diy-dessert-stands/

  • my new fantasy: one hour with a huge shopping cart inside the MS prop house....and getting to keep everything in the cart! good things, indeed!!

  • I love cake stands and wow, does she ever have quite the selection to pick from!

  • Absolutely amazing.

  • This is the best blog I have ever seen about cake stands. This is a keeper.

  • All I want for Christmas is a day inside that prop house! I'll give up my birthday gifts, too. I use cake stands as lifts in displays all the time and I suggest that every retailer & photo syilist own several, but that's the biggest collection I have ever seen. Lovely. Just yummy!
    ~Becky Tyre
    Retail Details blog &
    The Display Lab

  • I love cake stands they are so geogeous. So many colors and sizes and diffents types of milk glass and designs. I have a few of my own because I use them for Flower arrainging.....My Son is Pastry Chef here in the Napa Valley and he would just go crazy with that array of beauitful cake stands when does cakes for the parties he does for people..... Martha Stewart's prop house has so many different type of cake stands I would just love to go there and just look around. A Fans dream.

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