This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what people in the food industry are obsessed with eating, drinking, and buying right now.
Like an expensive blender or a fondue set, a cake stand is an aspirational purchase. “Soon,” you whisper softly, “soon I will be the type of person who bakes layer cakes with frequency and nonchalance.” Months later, the cake stand sits, still inside the box, a sharp reminder of your unrealized ambition.
So when friends gifted me an Anchor Hocking cake stand, I thought for sure it would end up on the curb. Eleven years later, I am here to tell you that it is one of the most useful pieces of servingware I own.
It does, of course, come in handy on the two occasions a year when I actually do bake a layer cake. The cloche protects my hard-won frosting from smudges and smears as I move the stand from counter to refrigerator to table. It’s also ideal for the humbler cakes I bake with more regularity, keeping pumpkin loaves and banana breads moister longer.
But cake stands aren’t just for cakes! Use it in any serving situation where you need a little drama. While you could simply present your cheese platter on a series of plates and cutting boards, add some height with this stand and all of a sudden you’re hosting.
However, the best part of this specific cake stand, the thing that compels me to recommend it not just to bakers but to anyone who throws the occasional party, is that it doubles as a punch bowl. Simply turn the base upside down and place the dome inverted on top. It immediately elevates a gathering—even if gatherings these days consist of two friends on the other side of a firepit.
My only regret is that, when my cake stand is in use as a punch bowl, I can’t use it to display cheese and charcuterie. Maybe it’s time for a second one…
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