As a beginner in the baking industry, you might be wondering, “what cake decorating tools do I need?” Don’t worry; we’re here to help you out!
Just as having the correct ingredients ensures you get a scrumptious cake, having the right tools ensures that you get the perfect aesthetics as well! The best part is that you don’t need to spend money on expensive or luxury tools to get the best results.
Several cake decorating tools are available to choose from, and the absolute must-haves include a turntable, spatula, scraper, acrylic disk, and baking pan. You can invest in additional tools as well, such as a leveler, lifter, cake boards, and parchment paper.
Cake decorating tools help to elevate a common or ordinary looking cake to the next level. These tools present an opportunity to chefs and amateur home cooks to tune directly into the expectations and desires of potential clients.
Today we'll be talking about cake basics and the key cake decorating tools you'll need to take your cake game to the next level. After speaking with various cake decorating experts, we have put together a list of various cake decorating tools to help you get started. Let's start with the necessities, and then move on to the additional cake decorating tools you might need.
What Cake Decorating Tools Do I Need?
The turntable is the first item on our list of necessary cake decorating tools. Having a turntable could make or break your cake décor game. In fact, one of the experts in the cake décor industry that we interviewed said that the turntable was one of the most pivotal tools in their decorating career. There are many different types of turntables on the market, so the amount of cake decorating you do will help you decide which one to acquire. If you're only going to make a birthday cake once in a while, we think you'll be OK with something like an Ateco plastic one. This is the turntable we use every time for birthday cakes.
Scraper for Cakes
A cake scraper is another essential item in our opinion. The tool we use to smooth off the sides of a cake is called a cake scraper. Over the years, we've experimented with a variety of scraper thicknesses, materials, heights, and other features and we realized that not all of them are made equal. A scraper with flexible material, such as plastic, has always been our favorite for a long time, and we really enjoy using it. The weight and thickness of the scraper are the features that you should first feel and deem excellent. However, keep in mind that you might not be able to get your hands on a very tall scraper for larger cakes. Watch out for the textures too to get that perfect finish on your cake. You can also create your own scrapers along with spatulas, acrylic discs, and a few other tools. Ideally, you should focus on designing a very thin and light scraper since cakes are so delicate and vulnerable. You can also add a handle and split the textures, resulting in a set of three scrapers. It's a must-have for birthday cakes, wedding cakes, and other special occasions!
Spatulas for icing
These are necessary to give your cakes a finished look after you've applied icing to all of the layers. When used properly, these provide the frosting a flawless finish and give your cakes a lovely appearance. Short cakes should be made with little spatulas, whereas larger cakes should be made with long spatulas.
We believe that everyone needs a nice set of spatulas for icing – one off-set and one straight – to go with the scrapers and turntable. We prefer using the straight spatula for the cake's sides and the offset spatula for the cake's top and middle parts. If you plan on making your own set of spatulas, getting the suitable blade length is extremely important. Some blades are too stunted, making frosting the sides of your cake problematic. Then there are certain blades that are excessively lengthy, making it difficult to control the spatula.
Disk in Acrylic
The acrylic disc is another gadget that will make your cake-decorating journey smooth and easy. The disc will assist you in achieving precise edges and straight sides. You can even check out this tutorial on how to use an acrylic disk and why it is a must-have tool for cake decorating.
Cake Pans of Superior Quality
Quality cake pans are another necessary cake decorating tool to invest in if you want to boost your cake game. Fat Daddio Pans come highly recommended. Fat Daddio is known for anodizing their pans, which means they've built a pan that distributes heat evenly and effectively. So, what does this imply for you? It means your cakes will have a more even bake.
Additional Cake Decorating Tools
Let's speak about the "nice to haves" now that you have the necessary cake decorating tools. These are tools that you can live without but would be great to have if you want to add that wow factor to your cakes.
Leveler for Cakes
A cake leveler does precisely what it says on the container: it evens out cakes. Either side is labeled with numbers to help you line up the wire for a perfectly balanced cake.
Lifter for Cakes
Have you ever wondered how professional bakers get their cakes to the elegant cake stand from the turntable? Well, it’s actually quite easy and only requires the use of a single tool: the lifter for the cake. In order to complement the collection, you could also create your own version of this tool.
A cake lifter is a large, useful tool and will provide excellent support for your cakes. However, you must make sure that you're not exclusively reliant on the lifter. You will have to place your hand under the lifter in order to support the cake. This will allow you to quickly and conveniently stack birthday or any other type of cakes.
Boards for Cakes
We also recommend obtaining cake boards from your local craft store around the corner. They come pre-cut, and having one under your cake will make it easier to move it with your cake lifter.
Paper Made of Parchment
Ah, yes. We also think that parchment paper would be a great addition. Using a combination of cooking spray and parchment paper will aid in the removal of your cakes from the pans. You could get pre-cut parchment round paper for baking or you could cut out each circle by tracing your pans on parchment paper. Regardless of which method you choose, make sure to spray your pans with nonstick spray, place paper circles in the bottom of the pan, and spray the parchment with nonstick spray as well.
Piping Bag Made of Silicone
A recyclable piping bag can be very useful whenever you're ready to add some piping techniques on the top or sides of your cake. It could be any color you want, but we personally love pink!
Bottle with Drip
Finally, we can talk about having a drip bottle. This little gentleman is perfect for applying chocolate drips all over the cake.
In the kitchen, a stand mixer is like a right arm! It's almost great for anything in pastry baking because it's so adaptable! Kneading, Whipping, and Creaming Nothing can stand up to it! If you have to start somewhere, the purchase of a stand mixer is a good place to start. They are costly, but they are effective! Plus, having a mixer is a long-term investment that will always pay off and shouldn’t be avoided.
Pan for baking
Which pan should you use? This is without a doubt the most often asked question. You might also wonder what size you are looking for? What is the name of the brand? The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that it must be composed entirely of aluminum for proper heat transmission and cooking results.
Colors in Food
There are three primary types of food coloring that is generally used in the food industry:
a. Food Colors Made of Gels
You could use gel food colors in your frosting, whether it's white ganache, buttercream, or whipped cream. Gel colors, unlike water-based colors, do not split the icing.
b. Food Colors Made of Water
These are best used in cooking rather than baking because they are water-based and will not mix well with the fat-based icing cream.
c. Food Colors in Powder Form
These can be used in cooking or avoided altogether because they usually include additives and never provide the appropriate color until used in big quantities.
Cake Boards and Cake Drums
Cake boards serve as the foundation for your cake tiers. These are made of cardboard and have an aluminum foil covering. These come in a variety of shapes, allowing you to match them to the shape of your cake. These are best suited to smaller cakes.
Conversely, cake drums are significantly heavier than cake boards and are used for hefty cakes with multiple portions that are intended to feed a large party. These are created from thick layers of cardboard or thin plywood sheets.
Sprinkles are the heart and soul of beautiful cakes, whether large or small. Sprinkles are small sugar balls that come in a variety of colors and sizes. Keep in mind though that they could stain whipped cream frosting.
About THE AUTHOR
Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.Read More About Lori Gilmore