Cakes baked in convenient 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch baking pans are great because they don't call for any tricky layering and they often feed a larger group.

But to make the cake look a little more special for occasions like birthday parties, you may want to take it out of the pan and serve it on a cake board.

While the cake cools on the wire rack, prepare your cake board, making sure it's large enough to hold your cake. Several examples are shown below of how you can prepare cake boards.

For Chocolate Fudge Cake (shown above right), we covered a piece of foam core with wrapping paper, then with clear cellophane. The same can be done with a sturdy gift box.

Another option is to invert an everyday jelly roll pan and top it with an inexpensive paper doily. You can also place the cake directly onto a clean marble or plastic cutting board.

If you're serving a round cake but don't have a traditional cake plate or pedestal, any large round plate will do. Or to make your own pedestal, invert a soup bowl, custard cup, footed dessert dish, ice cream sundae dish or a similar bowl and top it with a coordinating cake plate, dinner plate or round serving plate.

Although you can use florist's clay between the inverted dish and plate to add some stability, this type of cake pedestal is for presentation only, and the plate should be removed from the pedestal dish before cutting and serving the cake.

Removing a Cake from a Pan

Here's a trick that will make it easy to remove a cake from a baking pan. Before adding the batter, grease the pan. Line the bottom only with parchment paper, trimming the paper as needed to fit; grease the paper. Add batter and bake as directed.

  • removing cakeLet the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edges of the pan. Invert the pan onto a wire rack and lift up.
  • removing cakeLift off the parchment paper and discard. Let the cake cool completely before transferring to a serving plate for frosting.