Decorating cakes is one of those tasks that every home baker either loves or dreads. It’s a different skill set from rolling out pie crust or portioning out cookie dough. And though it can be a challenge for beginners, once you dive into the world of cake baking, it can be a true joy, like creating edible art. To get there, you need one of the most important tools for a cake decorator: the cake turntable.
Though home bakers and pastry chefs can certainly decorate a cake without a rotating cake stand or turntable, it makes life so much easier if you have one. The ability to spin the cake around allows you to smooth out the frosting easily at all stages, from the crumb layer to the final decorations. Enthusiastic bakers and pastry chefs benefit from the turntable when creating highly decorated cakes, as it allows them to easily view the cake from all sides, ensuring that the cake is decorated and beautiful from all angles. I've tested more than few cake stands in my home kitchen, observing important aspects like rotation smoothness and ease of cleaning.
Whether you want a beautiful rotating cake stand worthy of display or a starter turntable, here are our best picks for cake turntables.
Ateco 612 12-Inch Cast Iron Revolving Cake Stand
Smooth rotating and spinning
Detachable top for easy cleaning
Stylish enough to use for cake display
Durable base won't break or tarnish
Cast-iron base is heavy
Top has welded rivets so not completely flat
Metal bottom slides on smooth surfaces
Across the board, from professional bakers, pastry chefs, cookbook authors, and bloggers to hundreds of online reviews, the Ateco 612 cast-iron cake stand is the go-to turntable for cake decorating. When I tested it, the heavy cast-iron base felt stable with little chance of getting knocked over. The simple smooth top stem, inserted into the bottom base, ensures that it rotates smoothly with no effort in either direction. The two-piece design—the top part detaches from the base—also makes it easier to wipe down and clean. And it’s handsome enough to use as a display cake stand all on its own.
The detachable top also means it’s more convenient to store in a kitchen where real estate is always at a premium. Keep in mind the bottom doesn’t have nonskid padding, unlike other cake turntables, so if you are working on a super smooth surface, like a granite counter, the stand might move a bit. The nonskid pad, which comes with the cake stand, helps prevent this when placed under the stand, but it’s still an extra step that you have to deal with.
The heavy durable base and metal top, the two-part design, and the smooth motion of the turntable make this cake stand the ideal tool for creating those Instagram-worthy cakes for years to come.
Price at time of publish: $71
Material: Cast iron base, aluminum top | Size: 12 x 5 inches | Weight: 3 pounds
Winco 12-Inch Revolving Cake Decorating Stand
Smooth ball bearing spinning
Etched circles make for easy centering of cake
Heavy cast-iron base is sturdy and durable
Top doesn’t come apart for easy cleaning
Taller and harder to store
With a cast-iron base and aluminum alloy top, this decorative cake turntable rotates smoothly due to the ball bearing mechanism. The all-metal turntable spins like a dream, making decorating cakes easier and fun, while the heavy cast-iron base makes this turntable durable and sturdy as well.
The etched concentric circles on the turntable make it easier to center what you are decorating. The cake stand also is slightly taller than other cake stands, which means no more leaning over and hurting your back to get that bottom trim or view the cake at different angles. However, since the cake stand doesn’t come apart, storage might be an issue for those in tiny kitchens. Reviewers do report that it doesn't rust easily, so the turntable should last years in the kitchen.
Price at time of publish: $69
Material: Aluminum and cast iron | Size: 12 x 6 inches | Weight: 5.07 pounds
“Even a casual hobbyist will benefit from a sturdy turntable with a cast-iron base. The weight of the turntable will greatly assist in getting a smooth, even rotation. If you don't make cakes all that often, an attractive metal one can double as a lazy Susan at your dining table.” —Bronwen Wyatt, chef and owner of Bayou Saint Cake
Best for Enthusiastic Home Bakers
Ateco 613 12-Inch Revolving Cake Decorating Stand
Smooth ball bearing spinning
Top has etched circles for easy centering of cake
Top doesn’t detach for easy cleaning
Cannot submerge in water
The Ateco 613 is a solid revolving decorating cake turntable that is slightly shorter than its cast-iron base cousin. This version rotates with stainless steel ball bearings, which results in a smooth and steady rotation. And the bottom has a nonslip plastic cap that keeps it from sliding around on the table and countertop while decorating.
The top of the cake stand is smooth, with concentric circles etched into the top to help center the cake. The top does not come apart from the base, which some home bakers prefer, as you can pick up and move the entire stand, and the cake on it, to a different location. It’s a little less convenient to store and clean, but it’s still a fantastic, professional-level cake stand that every home baker deserves in their kitchen.
Price at time of publish: $83
Material: Aluminum | Size: 12 x 6 inches | Weight: 3.5 pounds
“Always invest in the best turntable you can afford. It makes such a difference. Try and avoid the plastic ones if possible. They don’t spin as smoothly and are much harder to clean. The Ateco 613 Revolving Cake Stand has smooth spinning with ball bearings.” —Jamie Li, founder of Jamie Cake SF
Wilton Tilt-N-Turn Ultra Cake Turntable
Wide base with nonslip rubber feet
No chance of rusting parts
Spinning is noisy
Tilting mechanism is aggressive
Large and hard to store
The Wilton Tilt-N-Turn has a super sturdy base and is made of thick, heavy-duty plastic and rubber feet so it won’t slide around. When I tested this, I found that the spinning feature has a little more friction than metal turntables, spinning more slowly, which is ideal for beginners or those who need more control. Even better is the locking option that allows you to lock the turntable in place to give you a steady setting for detailed work.
One of the main features of the Wilton Tilt-N-Turn is the ability to tilt the top of the cake stand for ease of decorating. The top has nonslip rubber grip rings to keep the cake from sliding off the top when you use this feature. Reviewers say that cakes stay secure on top when tilting, due to the nonslip rubber grip rings. Still, the feature is a bit alarming at first, with an aggressive tilt that could potentially topple your cake if you're not careful. I recommend testing out the tilting mechanism first before using it while decorating. But with the wide flat base, smooth and slow turning, a locking mechanism, and the ability to tilt the surface, this is the best option for a plastic turntable.
Price at time of publish: $83
Material: Plastic with rubber trim | Size: 12 x 7 inches | Weight: 4.7 pounds
Ateco 608 11-Inch Revolving Cake Decorating Stand
Compact and easy to store
Removable top for easy cleaning
Can support a three-layer cake
Spinning is noisy
Stainless steel ball bearings will rust
Simple and no-frills, the Ateco plastic revolving cake stand is very reasonably priced with a stainless steel ball-bearing mechanism that allows for a surprisingly smooth spinning action. The plastic top has concentric circles that help you center the cake on the top platter. The top also separates from the base for easy cleaning. The small compact design and lightweight material also make this cake turntable easy to store.
The plastic will support up to a standard three-layer cake, perfect for home bakers or beginners, but it’s not designed to support a super heavy or elaborately tall layer cake. Still, this rotating cake stand is great for beginners who want to experiment in cake decorating but don’t want to invest a lot of money in a turntable.
Price at time of publish: $17
Material: Plastic with stainless steel ball bearings | Size: 11 x 3 inches | Weight: 14.4 ounces
JK Adams Marble and Walnut Rotating Cake Stand
Beautiful cake stand
Smooth rotating top
Heavy and stable
Doesn’t lock in place, so serving can be difficult
Unfinished edge and bottom can stain
If you’re looking for a gorgeous cake stand that also functions as a decorating turntable, the JK Adams marble and walnut rotating cake stand is for you. A modern piece of tableware, the top is a polished slab of light-veined marble affixed to a dark walnut-stained base. The beauty of the rotating mechanism that attaches the top to the base means you can decorate the cake directly on the turntable and then leave it there to serve.
The marble stays nice and cool—you can even pre-chill it in the fridge if you wish—so cakes and buttercream frosting won't melt before dessert is served. The beautiful marble top spins smoothly, making decorating directly on the stand a pleasure. Due to the ball-bearing mechanism and the heavy marble top, there is some noise when you spin it, but the smooth rotation and the chic attractiveness of the cake stand make this a beautiful and functional addition to your kitchen.
Price at time of publish: $125
Material: Marble and walnut wood | Size: 11 x 3.8 inches | Weight: 5.11 ounces
The Ateco 612 12-Inch Cast Iron Revolving Cake Stand will make decorating a smooth process, and it's decorative enough that you don't have to transfer the cake after. Beginners will appreciate expanding their skills on the lightweight Wilton Tilt-N-Turn Ultra Cake Turntable.
How We Selected
Our writer, Irvin Lin, owns several of the cake turntables and has tested out their features while decorating layer cakes. He also consulted with professional bake decorators and pastry chefs as well as cookbook authors, bloggers, and enthusiastic home bakers to find out what they look for in a rotating cake stand. Almost all of them cited the Ateco cast-iron base turntable as their go-to cake stand to use when decorating a cake.
Beyond that, he looked at multiple online articles and lists on the best cake turntables and read reviews for rotating cake stands. He looked at the durability of the material, how smoothly it spun, the stability and nonslip base, the ease of cleaning, and whether it was a reliable and known brand. He also considered the aesthetics of the stand and whether or not it was something he might want to serve a cake on.
Other Options We Considered
- Innovative Sugarworks Artists Cake Turntable: This metal cake stand has an innovative locking mechanism and a graphic red base that made it stand out from the others, but it was more expensive than comparable turntables like the Ateco turntable with cast-iron base.
- Wilton High and Low Cake Turntable: This turntable can be raised taller for decorating the cake, so you don’t have to bend over as much, but the legs fold under for easier storage. It's great if you need a stand mainly for display, not decorating, which is why we included it on our Best Cake Stands list. The Wilton Tilt-N-Turn cake stand had a more stable base and durable top for decorating.
- Foreversmooth Cake Turntable Stand: This cake stand was highly rated, but it had a thinner plastic top that the Wilton turntable and felt like less durable.
- Kootek 11-Inch Rotating Cake Turntable: This plastic turntable looked similar to the Ateco plastic turntable we chose for the best budget category. It was highly rated, but Ateco is a well-known brand that specializes in cake and pastry decorating, while this brand was less familiar, with a lot of products in different categories.
- Spin and Serve Cake Decorating Stand: This cake stand looked great, but the slate base that was used for the top has a texture that looked difficult to clean versus the smooth marble top on the JK Adams cake stand.
What to Look for in a Cake Turntable
Cake turntable tops are most often metal or plastic, with the occasional marble or slate top. Metal tops are very durable and can support heavy cakes. They are often easy to clean, though some metal cake stands do not have a removable top, requiring them to be wiped down with a damp cloth. Be aware that some metal rusts or corrodes, so read the instructions that come with the cake stand to find out how to properly maintain and clean it.
Plastic tops can stain and are sometimes harder to clean, as butter and grease can get be difficult to remove from plastic. However, plastic tops don’t rust or corrode, so they can often be washed directly in the sink. Not all plastic is the same, and some models are thicker and more durable, while others are thinner and won’t support the weight of a heavy layer cake. Some plastic tops also have rubber or nonslip grip rings to keep the cake firmly on the stand top so it won’t slide off.
Marble and slate tops are beautiful to serve food on. They are heavy and durable, and they can keep cool for a long time, which is important when decorating with buttercream. If you're picking a rotating cake stand that has a marble or slate top, look for one that is sealed to prevent scratches and staining. Marble is particularly sensitive to acidic elements, like lemon juice or vinegar. Both materials are heavy as well, so storage can be a challenge sometimes.
The height of the cake stand can make a big difference. Some are short, which means you’re constantly hunching down, straining your back. Other cake stands are taller, which makes for an easier decorating experience, as you can see all the sides and views of the cake while decorating it.
However, taller stands also mean you need the space to store them when you’re done using them. It’s always good to keep the practicality of storage in mind when purchasing a cake turntable. Your cake also may become unstable if you move a tall cake stand or attempt to carry it to another surface.
Nearly all rotating cake stands are hand-wash only, with a lot of cake stands recommending that you wipe the surface clean. Some cake turntables have a removable top that can come off, so you can wash or clean it more thoroughly. Some plastic cake stands tops can also be submerged in water for easy cleaning. Others can’t be submerged in water, not even the removable top. Before making your purchase, consider your decorating needs and whether you can maintain a cake stand that you cannot get wet.
Some cake turntables are unstable, made of cheap material, or lightweight. These stands often bend or warp when heavy cakes are placed on them, making your cake decorating lopsided or uneven. Worse, a warped or sagging cake stand could cause your cake to topple over while you decorate it. Choose a turntable made of sturdy material that can hold up to the weight of the type of cake you make.
Keep in mind that cake stands can also move and slide around if you have a slick surface. Look for turntables that are heavy or have a rubber or nonslip base, or consider purchasing a separate nonslip mat for your cake stand to sit on. That will prevent unfortunate accidents while you work on your cake decorations.
Look for a cake stand that smoothly rotates when you use it. Jerky or stiff cake turntables will interrupt your workflow. Loose stands that spin too quickly can also be challenging if you do detailed work or want a little more control with the cake decorating. Cake stands with ball bearings are often smooth but create more noise when rotating.
Some cake turntables come with a "locking" mechanism that prevents them from rotating. That is handy for detailed work. Look for the cake stand that works with your own style of cake decorating.
Do you need to put anything on your cake turntable before decorating?
Unless you plan on serving your cake directly on the cake turntable, like the JK Adams cake stand or the Ateco cast-iron cake stand, you should first place a cardboard round that is the same diameter as your cake on the rotating cake stand. Then place a smear of frosting on the cardboard round, and place the bottom layer of the cake onto the cardboard round, over the frosting. The frosting will act as “glue” adhering the cardboard round to the bottom of the cake.
Then decorate the cake as desired. The cardboard round will allow you to lift the decorated cake off the rotating cake turntable and move it to the decorative cake stand.
If your rotating turntable is flat or has a slick surface, you may also want to place a nonslip mat between the top of the turntable and the cardboard round so the cake won’t slide around as you decorate it.
How do you transfer a cake from a turntable to another cake stand?
Moving a decorated cake from the turntable to a cake stand can be super anxiety-producing. If you don’t opt to use a rotating cake turntable that can also function as a cake stand, then the best thing to do is to first make sure you have decorated the cake on a cardboard round.
Once you have decorated the cake, place the serving cake stand next to the turntable. Carefully slide a long offset spatula underneath the cardboard, and lift it up gently, just enough to slide your fingers and hands under it. Then, lift the entire cake up, and move it to the cake stand.
To place the decorated cake on the serving cake stand, do the exact opposite, placing it on the cake stand gently, and slide one hand out from under the cake, leaving the other hand under it. Slide the offset spatula under the cake, and use it as a lever to hold it up while you slide your other hand out from under the cake. Gently lower the cake, and slide the spatula out from under it. In the transferring of the cake, you may find that you might have disrupted or damaged part of the frosting. Use a little bit of leftover extra frosting to fix any small flaws.
Does spinning speed matter?
A lot of professional cake decorators prefer to have a quickly and easily spinning turntable. Faster and more easily spinning turntables mean you can decorate more quickly. Getting the crumb coating and the base layer coating onto a cake takes time, and if you are a professional, time means money.
But for most home bakers or hobby cake decorators, quickly spinning turntables might not be the best. A beginner or home baker might want a slower turntable, because they have more control over the frosting or are just not comfortable with a quickly spinning cake. Pick a cake turntable that spins at a level you are comfortable with. Faster isn’t always better for everyone.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Irvin Lin is a cookbook author of "Marbled, Swirled, and Layered" and an ongoing contributor to The Spruce Eats and Simply Recipes. He runs his own blog, Eat the Love, and is a professional recipe developer and writer. He’s decorated a lot of cakes and has gone through a number of rotating cake stands and turntables, trying to find the perfect one for his cake-decorating needs.
- Jamie Li, founder of Jamie Cake SF in San Francisco
- Bronwen Wyatt, owner of Bayou Saint Cake and chef-in-residence at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum in New Orleans