When I first started out as a cake decorator I brought everything. My cupboards were full of the latest must have gadgets to perfect my cake designs. However, after a year of practising my skills it became apparent that I only really needed these 12 tools for cake decorating, when using buttercream and ganache frostings. I’ve added amazon links to all the headings so you can see which ones I would recommend. These are affiliate links which means I get a few cents to buy more cake scrapers. Shhhhh… don’t tell anyone I have 15 types of cake scrapers.
If you are wanting to master your cake decorating, invest in a good quality stainless steel cake turntable. It is a critical cake decorating tool for professional cake decorating. You use the motion of the spin to create a perfectly smooth finish. You will use this every time you decorate a cake so it’s worth investing in a descent one that isn’t plastic. Stainless steel is also very easy to clean and keep food safe.
You will need a cake scraper to move your frostings around the cake and create a smooth finish. I recommend using a high quality metal scraper that is no more than an inch higher than the cake you are decorating, so you will need a variety of sizes. If you’re purchasing ones with a handle make sure they are flush with the metal lip so it can sit level on the turntable.
This is the perfect tool for spreading frostings and fillings, and smoothing buttercream on cakes. I use a large offset spatula for levelling frostings between layers and on top of cakes; and I use a smaller one for cleaning up the top of the cakes and creating those smooth sharp edges.
I recommend investing in a high quality serrated knife as you will use it to trim the domes off the top of your cakes. Make sure it’s a large long one so it cuts through cakes in one go and it’s sharp.
A cake leveller is very cheap but still an excellent tool. It helps you create perfect layers. It makes it easy to trim and level uniform cake layers that are consistent in height every time, giving you that even layered look when you cut a slice and reveal the inside. I have two of these on hand as I find that after a while the metal wire snaps from over usage.
This tool is very useful to make sure your cake layers are level once stacked, before you apply your crumb coat. Having a perfectly level cake stack will help give you that perfectly even decorated cake. See below how I use my spirit level to check my cake is perfect before I crumb coat.
Using a non-stick mat will make sure your cake turn table doesn’t slide all over the place whilst you’re trying to achieve that perfectly smooth finish.
This comes in handy with ganache cakes. I find that I can do the final coat of ganache and chill the cake with the ganache rising up on the sides of the cake higher than the flat top, creating a lip, I can trim the set ganache with the scalpel flush to the top of the cake, to create perfectly even and smooth edge.
Reusable canvas piping bags are an absolute must. I have two professional canvas bags that I have on rotation as you will be using them regularly. When they start to become discoloured I soak them in baking soda and hot water.
There are many different types of nozzles currently available. Your piping possibilities are endless! If you’re not sure where to start, this set is a great starter set that every caker needs. I honestly don’t really use any other types of fancy nozzles. My all time fav is a Star 1M nozzle.
You will need a variety of cake boards. There are a few different types of cake boards cakers use. A drum cake board is a very thick and sturdy cake board and it’s generally used for stacked cakes like wedding cakes. There are the standard cake boards decorators use for single tiered cakes. I recommend purchasing thick sturdy boards and not cheap flimsy ones as they make it hard to keep the cake perfectly level as they tend to bow. And then there are card cake boards that cakers can use for tiered cakes that can be easily hidden when stacked and still offer support. If I’m using a cake board as the base, I will choose a size that is 2 inches larger then my cake circumference.
This is my most joyous tool. The kitchen blow torch is just fun to use and it makes me feel like a rock star. I use this to add shine to ganache cakes right before serving and sometimes I will use it to heat my metal scrapers when I’m smoothing my buttercream to give a very smooth finish. It’s my secret trick.
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