Best 3-Tier Cake Stands for Tea Time

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Nothing says afternoon tea like a three-tier stand. Here are my picks for three-tiered trays that are pretty, functional, and in a range of prices.

3-Tier Cake Stands

If anything represents afternoon tea, it’s a 3-tier cake stand. With each tier filled with savories, scones, and sweets, it’s a delight to behold.

Invite family or friends over for a cup of tea and serve small bites on a 3-tier stand and watch their eye light up!

Afternoon Tea Tip: To serve afternoon tea properly, use each of the tiers to hold a course. Start from the bottom and move up. Savories at the bottom, scones with cream and jam in the middle, and sweets on top.

RELATED: Afternoon Tea Course Order

What to Look for When Buying a 3-Tier Cake Stand

  • White or light in color
    I like a white or light pink cake stand since you can use it over and over again without getting sick of the color or pattern. Plus, the blank canvas lets the food take the spotlight.
  • Sturdiness
    You don’t want anything that is unstable, so look for one that can stand on its own without wobbling. (Note: the card stock paper stands are always a little less sturdy.)
  • Size
    Think of the size of your table when buying a cake stand. Remember that a teapot, tea cups, and small plates also need to fit on the table along with the cake stand so don’t get one that’s too big.
  • Top tier shouldn’t be too small
    I’ve seen some cake stands with tiny top tiers and they’re not very functional. Make sure the top tier can hold food.

My Pick for Best 3-Tier Cake Stand:

Leila Three Tiered Stand

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This is the perfect size for tea time for two at home. With a romantic French countryside look, the Leila Three Tiered Stand with its pretty fluted edges, is a great size for an afternoon tea for two at home. 
Cambridge 3-Tier Stand

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This three-tiered tray is bigger than most so it’s great for entertaining a hungry group. The tray doesn’t come with plates but you can use any dinner plate you already have at home. I love the clean, minimalistic look and it’s great for entertaining whether it’s for serving afternoon tea or for a holiday party.
Pillivuyt Eclectique 3-Tiered Stand

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Simple, classic, and feminine, this porcelain 3-tiered stand has a unique edge design on each tier. Made in France, this white glaze should make your tea sandwiches pop.
Sweese 3 Tier Stand

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A great basic three-tier stand in white.
Jusalpha 3-tier Ceramic Cake Stand

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If you want to go super feminine, go pink and gold with this ceramic cake stand. Great for a bridal shower or a child’s birthday party.
White Cake Stand Birdcage

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I love this birdcage cake stand for outdoor (easy to transport) or children’s tea parties (made of paper). It’s a three-tier reusable cake stand you assemble made of thick card stock paper.
Monique Lhuillier Juliana Three Tiered Stand

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A pretty stoneware with scalloped rims, this three tiered stand has a rose gold metal pole and ring to carry and move around easily.

Questions You May Have

What do you have against 2-tiered stands?

2-tiered stands are cute, but they don’t hold everything you need for a proper afternoon tea service which is made up of 3 courses.

Why are there no glass options on your list?

I find that once you put food on a glass plate, it starts to look messy.

What else can I use my 3-tiered stand for?

Serve breakfast or lunch buffets with different food options on each plate. It’s great for holiday parties since it saves space. You can also use it all year to hold fruit.

6 thoughts on “Best 3-Tier Cake Stands for Tea Time”

  1. I’ve used my 3-tiered stands for small buffet tables but am uncertain how to use when 6 or 8 are seated at the table. Do they each reach for their goodies, or do you pass each plate off the stand, or pass the whole stand?? Surely not the latter?

    • Hi Rebecca, ideally, you don’t want to take the plates off the stand and pass it around and you don’t want to pass around the stand either. If you can, place multiple stands within easy reaching distance for each person. For a table of 6-8, I would place at least 2 stands so that everyone can get food off the stands without reaching.

    • Hi Vanessa, a lot of the 3 tiers I have in the post are around $20 – $25. I would suggest not doing a tiered stand and putting the food out on pretty platters.


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