Top 10 Basic Cake Decorating Tools
Just like you needed certain tools for baking a cake, you need special tools to decorate. So let me show you my top ten items that I always have ready and waiting for every cake.
Cake levelers are a LIFESAVER.
I used to watch Cake Boss and see them use a large serrated knife to very easily, and very quickly slice the top off a cake and slice the cake in half. Everything even. Everything PERFECT. Well, they are professionals that have been doing this for years and I am not and I guess my idea of what looks straight is actually very slanted.
Then I discovered cake levelers. The perfect tool to help with my off-kilter perspective. You simply move the wire up or down along the notches on both sides to where they are even and at what height you want, then start slicing. That’s it. The result: two levels of cake that are perfectly even.
Icing spatulas are a MUST. You cannot get the same result using a butter knife, I’ve tried.
The best thing to get is both an off-set spatula, works great for icing the sides, and a straight spatula which is used for the top of the cake. These make icing and smoothing the cake so much simpler.
If you are wanting to make borders or try flowers and garland then you need to get some decorating tips. Start out with a small multipack that has a couple of tips to try out and get used to. Try to find a pack that has at least one round tip and one flower tip. These are all you will need for the most basic of things like boarders, writing, and star-shaped flowers.
If you are using decorating tips then you need decorating bags. There are several types you can use like disposable, reusable, and parchment bags. I have used them all and I have my favorite. Would you like to know what it is? Click Here to find out in my post on the different types of decorating bags.
A MUST for using decorating tips are the couplers that keep the tips on the bags. They usually come in a pack of 4 and are really inexpensive. I try to have at LEAST 10 pairs on hand, especially if I am doing an intricate design that has several colors to it.
You definitely need to have cake boards that fit your cake because you will use them for every part of the cake process except the baking part. You need them for stability for the cake while you are stacking, filling, icing, decorating, and moving your cake.
Turntables are on my list of must haves because it makes life so much easier. When you are decorating a cake you have to turn it around a million times as you are adding your design and a turntable makes that process so much easier. Sure, larger cakes, like for a graduation, you probably won’t be able to use it but for regular birthday cakes or wedding cakes, you can. There were numerous times that I stuck my fingers in the border at the bottom of my cakes and let me tell you, it is frustrating, so a turntable helps to keep that from happening as you rotate the cake. Well…mostly.
Icing colors are a must unless you want everything to be white. The gel icing colors that come in a little plastic jar or squeeze bottle are the best kind to use. The concentration of color is so much better than a liquid food coloring and it mixes really well by hand or in a mixer.
Disposable cups and Spoons
I know, this is two items but I am doing a list of my Top 10, not 11 so I stuffed them together. Basically, though, this spot goes mostly to plastic spoons.
When making cakes, I have to taste the icing several times to make sure it is right, that it is smooth and not grainy, and I have to mix several colors usually to complete my designs, so the plastic spoons come in handy. Without them I would run out of my regular spoons too quickly and have to stop and wash more. That is time wasted to me, especially if there is a deadline to meet.
I use the disposable cups to mix my colored icing in because, once again, I may run out of little bowls to mix the colors in and have to wash more. I have had this happen several times and it is just annoying.
Cake decorating, at least for me, can be VERY messy. With icing colors and the frosting and cake mix to deal with, having an apron to save your clothes and to help keep particles from your clothes off your cake, is a MUST. Though I probably wouldn’t recommend something as cute as this apron. I would go with something you are not afraid to ruin.
If you have any thoughts you’d like to share about my Top 10, feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love to know if there is something that I might have missed that should have been included in the Top 10 or what your Top 10 would be.