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How to keep plastic wrap off of cake frosting?

I'm going to make some sheet cakes in half-sheet pans. Need a good tip how to keep the wrap up off of the frosting. I thought about those little doohickeys the pizza places use to keep the box from collapsing onto the pizza. Of course, I never saved any. Anyone got any ideas or a better idea what to call the doohickeys in case I could order them from Amazon?

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  1. Toothpicks inserted into the cake will keep the plastic wrap away from the frosting and will not leave a large hole in the frosting. I have also used bamboo skewers in some cases.

    Editted to add - please ensure you remove all toothpicks before serving - let's just say lesson learned!

    5 Replies
    1. re: NE_Elaine

      My Mama always used toothpicks with mini marshmallows on top. I guess the marshmallows kept the toothpicks from poking holes in the plastic wrap.

        1. re: blue room

          Or use raisins and marshmallows together and then when you take them out of the cake you can serve them as little dessert-bite appetizers! lol :)

        2. re: NE_Elaine

          I used spaghetti noodles before I bought a cake caddy

        3. Some party stores and restaurant suppliers have disposable half-sheet cake pans with lids which I consider a godsend when I need to bake, cover and transport. Or you can order them online:


          1 Reply
          1. re: ttoommyy

            Men's shirt boxes always work for me. Department stores wrapping center.

          2. Toothpicks work, but my favorite method is to simply chill the cake uncovered for an hour until the frosting hardens, then put the plastic on.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Isolda

              "my favorite method is to simply chill the cake uncovered for an hour until the frosting hardens, then put the plastic on."

              That's a great trick if you are keeping the cake covered and refrigerated until use. But if the OP has to travel somewhere (not sure if this is true or not) and uncover the cake after it has come to room temperature, it can get a bit messy. No?

            2. Toothpicks or small skewers will do the job you need. You can tent the plastic wrap over them and your cake will come out just fine, if with a few extra pinholes in it.

              1. Thank you for asking this question! Frosting peeling off a wrapped cake drives me bonkers. I'm going to use the mentioned toothpick/marshmallow solution. And thanks for using the word doohickey. Too funny.

                1. With sheet cakes in half sheet pans, what about just putting scotch tape across the top of the pans, criss cross and then put the wrap on top of those? I've also turned large storage containers upside down, put the cake on the lid, use the base for the top. Instant extra large cake carrier. Oh, use a sheet of non stick mat if you don't want it to slide.

                  1. 1. Tear off a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil long enough to wrap around the perimeter of the sheet pan.

                    2. Fold it in half lengthwise, then fold it over lengthwise again (depending on the original width, you may want to fold it in half yet again if it's still too wide).

                    3. Take this thick band of aluminum foil and tightly wrap it around the lip of the sheet pan so as to create and extra-tall lip to the sheet pan tall enough to clear the top of the icing by about an inch to allow for the center of the plastic wrap to bow down and not touch the icing.

                    4. Wrap in plastic wrap as normal.

                    No unsightly holes in your icing. No need to gently wrap so as not to move the toothpicks. No need to cover the ends of the toothpicks and a "cushion".

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: 1POINT21GW

                      What a great idea! Unfortunately, the pans are standard height for such pans and there won't be enough headroom. I will also be making a banana pudding in an 11 x 13 pan and hopefully it will work for that. Thanks!

                      1. re: MrsJonesey

                        I don't think I did a good enough job of explaining it. When you wrap the pan with the thick band of foil, you'll wrap it only around the outside of the edge of the sheet pan and maybe tuck a little under the pan if needed to help keep it in place. Your cake and icing can actually stick up above the lip of the sheet pan and this method will still work. I hope that helps. If not, please let me know if I need to reword it. I may not be doing a good job of putting into words what the method is.

                        1. re: 1POINT21GW

                          No, you explained it quite well. It was my reading comprehension that was off. I was picturing the foil being folded over the top, creating an extra wide edge or lip to the pan (imagine a picture frame). I really appreciate your time and patience sharing/explaining this tip.

                    2. Thanks to all who replied. Some good ideas. I will be driving about 2 1/2 hours with them. I have extra pans so I may try using a second pan upside down as a lid, tightly wrapped with plastic. Will make it easier to stack them as well.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: MrsJonesey

                        If you're going to do that, I'd seriously consider using tape or some large rubber bands before you wrap with plastic wrap -- only because if one of those "lids" moves, you've got a real mess, because an inverted cake pan is going to inflict some serious damage.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Good point, Sunshine. You know, I think I will do a trial run with empty pans trying this and the method 1POINT described above. You probably saved me a cake or two! Thank you.

                      2. Those do-hickeys are called pizza tables, you could get them at any restaurant supply store. My MIL always used toothpicks but it never works for me. Using marshmallows or raisins is genius! I have every size Tupperware cake holders (sheet, layer, pie etc), just have to remember to take them home with me when I leave!


                        5 Replies
                        1. re: coll

                          Aha! I knew someone would know what they're called. Lo and behold, with the right name, I was able to find them on Amazon. I will need to stack them so I decided against these though. Maybe next time I order a pizza that comes with one, I will remember to save it. Thanks!

                          1. re: MrsJonesey

                            That is such a great idea, I save them but they are my cat's favorite toy unfortunately.

                            Next time you order a pizza, why don't you just offer them an extra dollar for a dozen or so. They'll probably just give them to you free.

                            1. re: coll

                              Your guest: "My, Coll, what a neat gizmo to keep the plastic wrap off of the icing. Where did you get it?"
                              You: "That? Oh that is my cat's toy." :-)

                              Great idea to offer to buy them from the pizza parlor. Now, if I can only remember to do so.

                              1. re: MrsJonesey

                                Better than the furry mouses that are scattered throughout the house! My cats also adore the cocktail umbrellas, it's a miracle they haven't poked their eyes out.

                                1. re: coll

                                  Yeah, I don't think the furry mouses would look too appetizing....unless you're a cat! My cats always loved crinkly balls of aluminum foil.

                        2. My first answer was going to be make coconut frosting and let the plastic wrap rest on the coconut.

                          BUT, OP said a two and a half hour drive was going to happen. That is simply too far not to anticipate a sudden use of brakes.
                          How about making the buttercream frosting (too long a drive for 7 minute frosting to even try to hold its form) and taking it with you and frost upon arrival?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: shallots

                            Pretty set on the icing but I do appreciate your suggestions and time you put into it.

                            1. re: MrsJonesey

                              I know you're busy and planning carefully. But what is the difference between icing and frosting?

                              1. re: shallots

                                Well, obviously I don't know since I use the words interchangeably. lol.

                          2. If anyone is interested, I did a trial run. Here are my findings. But first let me suggest to anyone who will be purchasing half-sheet pans in the future, to buy ones with lids even if you think you will never use them. I should probably add if you can find the heavy-duty ones with lids.

                            Since I will need to stack them and I have extra pans, I decided using an upside down pan as a lid would make the most sense. I have two that have the dark exterior coating which is why I have a total of four. Turns out these are just barely smaller than the non-coated. Using the larger pan as a lid reduces the chance of the lid sliding down onto the cake, so I will bake the cakes in the dark pans. (And reduce the heat and pray that I don't burn them.)

                            I will use a strip of packing tape on each side to stabilize the pans (thanks, Sunshine) before wrapping tightly with plastic wrap.

                            I also tried making a collar with the heavy-duty foil as 1POINT suggested for a much smaller pan. This stuff ain't cheap so I hated to waste even that much. Even folded twice to create a four-layer piece of foil, it tended to buckle. This is still a great idea if you don't have an extra pan and don't need to stack them. I would suggest making a collar out of cardboard and wrapping that with regular foil. You'd probably need to tape it to the bottom of the pan. Then wrap with plastic wrap. Of course, the toothpicks topped with marshmallows or raisins would be the simpler option. (Neat idea!)

                            Again, thanks to everyone who replied.

                            1. I bake for a church program that involves transporting the cakes. If you go to the Dollar Tree website you will see that you can order 9 x 12 cake pans with rigid plastic tops. The tops are high enough to allow for a lot of action on top of the cakes, without touching, and an added benefit is that you can stack the pans for transport or refrigeration. Sometimes the Dollar Tree stores stock these pans but the website always has them. Online you have to buy a box of 12; they cost a dollar apiece. But if you pick up your order at a Dollar Tree store there is no shipping charge. If you do anything that involves transporting cakes, puddings, or casseroles these pans are a problem-solver.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Querencia

                                Thanks for that info. I do have lids for my 9x13 pans. I'll be making these sheet cakes in half-sheet pans though.