Do you love cake decorating? Whether you’re a professional baker or an enthusiastic home baker, having the best cake decorating tools and supplies is essential for producing beautiful and delicious cakes.
If you’re looking for the right cake decorating tools to take your cakes to the next level, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we’ll be taking a look at some of the top cake decorating tools for enthusiasts.
- Why You Need The Right Tools for Cake Decorating
- Must-Have Basic Cake Decorating Tools for Beginners
- Advanced Cake Decorating Tools for the more Experienced Baker
- The Best Baking Tools
- Where to Buy Affordable Cake Decorating Tools
- Cake Decorating Books
- Shop here
- Comment below with your favorite Cake Baking & Cake Decorating Supplies!
PS. This is sort of like my 101 Things (mostly about me) post... there are actually way more than 26 items (squeezed in with extra links and bullet points). I just get carried away sometimes😉.
Why You Need The Right Tools for Cake Decorating
Cake decorating is a wonderful creative outlet that allows you to express your personal style and create beautiful and delicious cakes. However, without the right tools, achieving professional-looking results can be challenging. That's why investing in some basic cake decorating tools is crucial for every cake decorator.
One of the main reasons why you need the right tools for cake decorating is precision. Decorating a cake requires careful attention to detail, and having the right tools will make it easier to achieve clean lines, smooth buttercream and fondant, and intricate designs.
For example, a cake decorating kit will typically include essential tools including frosting tips and possibly fondant tools. You'll also need quality baking pans. By using these tools, you can take your cake decorating skills to the next level and create stunning cakes that will impress your family and friends.
Another reason why you need this list of decorating tools is efficiency. With the right tools, you can work more efficiently and save time in the decorating process.
For example, Wilton cake decorating supplies are known for their quality and durability, and using these tools can help you work faster and achieve better results. But Wilton is not the only player in the game. There are dozens of great brand names (and some items that require no brand name at all!)
Whether you're using a cake turntable to easily rotate your cake while decorating or using a piping bag with various frosting tips for different designs, having the right tools will make your cake decorating experience much smoother and enjoyable.
Lastly, having the right tools for cake decorating allows you to explore and experiment with different techniques and styles. There are numerous specialty cake decorating techniques that require specific tools, such as airbrushing, modeling chocolate, or sugar art.
By investing in the right tools for these techniques, you can expand your skills and create unique and extraordinary cakes that will truly stand out. I didn't start out making wedding cakes, but as I polished my skills and built up my supplies, I eventually did get into wedding cakes and now they're my favorite!
Must-Have Basic Cake Decorating Tools for Beginners
If you're a beginner in the world of cake decorating, it can be overwhelming to figure out which tools are essential for getting started. But don't worry, we're here to help! The tools listed below are all for buttercream-decorated cakes. If you're looking for fondant tools, you'll need to read down a little further. In this section, we'll be discussing the must-have basic cake decorating tools for beginners.
One of the most important tools that every beginner cake decorator needs is a set of frosting tips. These tips, also known as piping tips, are used to create different designs and patterns on your cakes.
Ateco and Wilton offer a wide range of frosting tips that are perfect for beginners. Whether you want to create beautiful rosettes or intricate lace patterns, having a set of frosting tips will allow you to bring your cake designs to life.
Since I've been cake decorating for 13+ years now, I have a huge variety of other tips, but just starting out, you'll only need a few essentials, I'd keep the Ateco Set, the 1M tip and some small round tips (#2, #3, #4, and #5) Also, my grass tip. I use that one more than I thought I would.
Piping tips are useless without piping bags, so let's talk about them! Frosting bags or pastry bags (other names for piping bags) are used to hold the frosting when you go to pipe frosting onto your cakes. Wilton offers disposable piping bags that are convenient and easy to use. They also offer reusable silicone piping bags for those who want to reduce waste. Personally, I don't love the silicone ones.
My favorites? Wilton Featherweight Bags. I have 2 that are 25+ years old. Yes, my Mama bought them for me when I was 13 and they're still going strong. They are very, very soft and frayed on the edges and may tear any minute, but I still have them!
Along with a piping bag, you'll also need a set of couplers, which allow you to easily switch between different frosting tips. I mostly use large piping tips that don't require couplers. But if you are going to use the smaller tips, this accessory is required.
Another essential tool for beginners is a turntable. Unlike a cake stand, a cake turntable is a rotating platform that makes it easier to frost and decorate your cakes. With a turntable, you can easily spin your cake as you work, allowing for more even frosting and smoother decorations.
Wilton offers a few different turntables but if you're serious about cake decorating, I highly recommend getting a higher quality cake turntable. It makes your work so much easier!! I've had the cheapy $12 one for years and it served me well. But then I upgraded to one like this and I wish I had bought ages ago!! It's a million times better!
Can I use a Lazy Susan for Cake Decorating?
Yes, you can. Will it be the best experience? Probably not. But if you're a home baker only doing cake decorating as a hobby, then a Lazy Susan cake will be just fine. But again, if you're planning to run a home business or bakery, please upgrade to the nicer cake turntable - you won't regret it!
Finally, no beginner cake decorator should be without at least a couple of spatulas. In addition to frosting tips and a turntable, beginners will also benefit from having a set of spatulas. Spatulas are used to spread and smooth the frosting on your cakes.
And offset spatulas are not a tool you need to spend a lot of money on. Wilton offers a range of spatulas, including angled spatulas that are perfect for creating smooth edges and sharp corners or you can use pretty much any sturdy spatula you find on Amazon. There are small ones and big ones - angled ones and flat ones. Try out a few and see which you prefer!
With a good set of spatulas, you can achieve professional-looking finishes on your cakes. I use my small 9-inch spatula for almost everything, but I also have a couple of large 13-inch off-set spatulas for larger cakes.
A bench scraper (or cake scraper) is my number one, super cheap tool, for attaining beautiful, flawless buttercream. I have an entire post here sharing my secrets, but this tool is generally around $5-$6 and you can get it at your local hardware store or on Amazon. See my post here for getting smooth buttercream cakes with this tool!
I highly recommend this exact style of stainless steel bench scraper. I've had 3 different ones: one with handles and one with curved blades/edges and this one. This one works best by far for smoothing the sides of cakes!! Don't start your cake decorating journey without this tool!
Gel Food Coloring
I guess gel colors are not technically a tool, but if you're going to be coloring your buttercream (or fondant), you need to invest in Americolor Gel Colors. These are the best colors for buttercream or fondant. Period. Please do not use liquid food colors from the grocery store baking aisle.
Cake Decorating Kits
One of the top picks for someone getting started is a cake decorating kit. Some kits come with most every basic tool you'll need and it's an easy way to get started. Most cake decorating kits include at least a variety of piping tips, including specialty tips like the petal tip and the ruffle tip, which allow you to create stunning flower designs and elegant ruffles on your cakes. Sets also usually come with a range of couplers and piping bags, so you can easily switch between different tips and colors.
By investing in these basic cake decorating tools, beginners can start their cake decorating journey with confidence. With these tools in your arsenal, you'll be well-equipped to create stunning cakes that will impress your family and friends. So go ahead, get baking, and let your creativity soar!
Advanced Cake Decorating Tools for the more Experienced Baker
For the more experienced bakers who have already mastered the basics of cake decorating, let's step it up! You may be ready to invest in some advanced cake decorating tools and dip your toes into decorating with fondant.
These tools are designed to help you create even more intricate and professional-looking designs on your fondant cakes.
If you enjoy working with fondant (I primarliy use homemade marshmallow fondant), then a high-quality fondant rolling pin is essential. Wilton offers a couple of non-stick fondant rolling pins that allow you to roll out your fondant smoothly and evenly, without sticking to the surface. This makes it much easier to cover your cakes with fondant and create flawless finishes.
This may not seem like a tool you'll use often, but I use it all the time. My FMM Multi Ribbon Cutter is awesome. I use it all.the.time. It's a little pricey and it comes in this tiny little tube - but it's a fantastic, useful tool!
I also have the Wilton Ribbon Cutter/Embosser set but I don't use it nearly as often as the FMM one. The FMM Ribbon Cutter is so much more versatile and functional. You can see me use it in this tutorial for adding ribbon borders to cakes, doing a fondant ruffled cake, this tutorial for making poofy fondant bows and much more!
This Makin Professional Extruder is my favorite! I use this a lot these days... hair on the mermaid, rope on the cowboy cakes, trim on the Holly Jolly Christmas Candy Cake, grass on this Soccer Cake... I even wrote a post specifically telling you why you need an extruder! If you're doing fondant work, there's a darn good chance you'll have a need for this handy gadget!
Fondant Impression Mats
I can't find links to the exact mats I use, but I use my wood grain mat all the time and I really recommend getting one or two of these (I have one that's straight wood grain and one that looks like boards with nails - love them both!). I've also used a pebble/rock mat, a diamond mat, and a basic "lines" mat. This set has several similar to mine that I use often!
Paint Brushes & Gum Paste Tools
If you're looking to take your cake decorating skills to the next level, gum paste and fondant shaping tools are essential. These small tools are designed specifically for working with gum paste and fondant, allowing you to create intricate designs and shapes for your cakes. You can buy them individually or in sets.
If you're going to buy brushes alone, I'm in love with this White Taklon Brush Set from Country Kitchen Sweetart. I've bought two sets of them and I use them to "glue" fondant on fondant or ribbons on cake or stars together.
I also use them to paint on cake boards, paint on fondant (such as the silhouette above), and to add luster or petal dusts to sugar flowers.
As with the gel colors, this is not technically a tool, but I should mention the brand of fondant I buy most often: Satin Ice Fondant. I've already told you that I make most of my fondant, but for some colors - it's just so hard to get a good color and the fondant still be a usable texture.
For that reason, I buy Satin Ice Red Vanilla fondant, Satin Ice Black Vanilla fondant, and Satin Ice Dark/Chocolate fondant. These are high quality, good-tasting fondant flavors/colors... not quite as good as homemade but way better than most!
With these advanced cake decorating tools, you'll be able to take your cake designs to the next level and impress everyone with your skills. So don't be afraid to experiment and try new techniques, because with the right tools, the possibilities are endless.
The Best Baking Tools
While cake decorating tools is the primary focus of this post, I would be leaving information on the table if I didn't mention my favorite baking tools. Because you need a great baked cake before you can decorate, right?
The Best Cake Pans
High quality pans lead to evenly baked cakes which leads to better cakes for decorating. I've also had all of my pans for almost 15 years and I'm still using the original ones I bought. Actually, I have added several new sizes and multiples of popular sizes but I still have the originals as well.
I like both brands equally, however, the Magic Line Pans are usually less expensive and that's why I started buying them (long after I bought my big set of square pans). Compare prices on Amazon to Country Kitchen Sweetart - sometimes they're cheaper (be sure to take into account shipping).
Cakes need to be cooled on cooling racks and you need a place to hold your cakes if you need to re-use your pans. This is why you need cooling racks! Brands don't matter - just get good large ones and you'll be set!
Nordic Sheet Pans are life. Seriously, I have close to 20 of them. These aren't really used for cake baking - but rather to bake my famous petit fours, my favorite chocolate chip cookies or I use them to lay out bows to dry or cake balls to chill. This Nordic brand is awesome and made in the USA! The half sheet size is my favorite!
When I originally wrote this post, I was a Kitchenaid user. However, I've since changed over to a diehard Bosch fan. You can read Why I Switched to a Bosch Mixer here. I've been using my Bosch now for 9+ years and it's never missed a beat.
If you're not planning to decorate cakes other than for a hobby, you can probably get by with a good hand mixer to mix up your batter and buttercream. But if you can swing a good stand mixer - get a Bosch!
When I use a hand mixer, I use this fancy Viking Hand Mixer. I used a Kitchenaid hand mixer for years, but it just couldn't keep up with my cake load anymore. The buttons stopped working - I broke two or three blades (or was it four?). Anyway, I am so happy I upgraded - this thing is a beast! It has so much power... and it's so quiet. I am absolutely in love... !
Cookie cutters might seem like an odd thing to include in a list of cake decorating tools but I use a cookie cutter (or ten) on almost every birthday cake I make!
Here is a list of the ones I use the most:
- Ateco Round Cutters (set of 11)
- Fox Run Flower Cutters (set of 6)
- Miniature Cutters
- Fluted Edge Cutters from the 101 Wilton Cookie cutters set
- Flower Cutters from the Wilton Gum Paste Flowers set
- Both ends of tips from this Ateco Large Tubes (frosting tips) set
- 1" Fox Run Alphabet Cutters - these are not my favorites, and they're a little smaller than I prefer for most cakes, but they're very versatile.
- 1.5" White Plastic Alphabet Cutters - I like the size of these better and they're also very veratile.
- 1.5" MM Tappit Funky Letter Cutters (seen on tons of my cakes!) These are my favorites - although a bit girly.
- Wilton Alphabet and Numbers Set - this is my least favorite set because they're too large for most cakes but I keep them on hand, especially for number toppers!
Where to Buy Affordable Cake Decorating Tools
In addtion to a list of cake tools, I want to tell you where to find them! Finding affordable cake decorating tools can be a challenge, especially if you're on a budget. And since I'm a cheapskate by nature, I'm here to help you find the best places to buy affordable cake decorating tools without sacrificing quality.
Obviously, one great option for finding affordable cake decorating tools is Amazon. It probably has the largest range of products from various sellers, giving you the opportunity to compare prices and find the best deals.
I also love that you can read reviews from other customers to ensure the quality of the products before making a purchase.
Additionally (or maybe moreso), I love shopping at Country Kitchen Sweetart. I love the variety offered at this shop and especially love shopping with a small business owner. If the prices here compare at all to Amazon, this is my top choice!
Another option is to check out your local craft stores or baking supply shops. This is especially helpful if you need something quickly. I live in a rural area, so we only have a Hobby Lobby within driving distance. But if you live somewhere more populated, then be sure to check all the local hobby stores.
These stores often carry a selection of cake decorating tools at different price points, allowing you to find affordable options. Additionally, they may offer sales or discounts on certain items, making it even more budget-friendly to purchase your cake decorating tools.
Don't forget to check out discount big box stores (I'm looking at you Walmart) or dollar stores as well. While they may not have the same selection as larger stores, they often carry basic cake decorating tools at affordable prices. You may be surprised at the hidden gems you can find in these stores. Our tiny town Dollar General recently added a small selection of cake decorating supplies which was so nice to see!
Lastly, don't underestimate the power of garage sales, Facebook marketplace, flea markets, or second-hand stores. Many times, people will sell their unused or lightly used cake decorating tools at a fraction of the original price. This can be a great way to score high-quality tools without breaking the bank.
When buying affordable cake decorating tools, it's important to keep in mind that quality should still be a priority. While you want to find tools that fit within your budget, you also want to ensure that they will last and perform well. Reading reviews and doing a bit of research before making a purchase can help you find affordable tools that are still of good quality.
So, don't let a tight budget hold you back from your cake decorating dreams. With a little bit of searching and some creativity, you can find affordable cake decorating tools that will help you create stunning cakes without breaking the bank. Happy shopping and happy decorating!
Cake Decorating Books
For any cake enthusiast who wants to take their decorating skills to the next level, grab a great book! Learning from helpful books is a great way to expand your knowledge and techniques.
These books provide step-by-step instructions, expert tips, and creative inspiration to help you master the art of cake decorating. Here are some helpful books that will teach you how to use your new cake decorating tools:
- "Cake Decorating for Beginners" by Rose Atwater: ha... that's ME! Yes, this is a shamless plug for my book! Decorating cakes at home is easy and fun, thanks to this step-by-step guide. Inside, you'll learn the fundamentals of cake decorating with:
- A list of essential equipment and tools, easy and straightforward recipes, introductory techniques, and troubleshooting tips for common problems.
- Step-by-step instructions to decorate with frosting, piping, fondant, and chocolate.
- 10 tutorials featuring photos and detailed instructions that will guide you from conception to creation of 10 unique cakes!
- "The Complete Photo Guide to Cake Decorating" by Autumn Carpenter: This comprehensive guide is perfect for beginners and experienced decorators alike. It covers everything from basic techniques to advanced designs, and includes over 600 full-color photos to help you visualize each step. With this book, you'll learn how to use different tools, create various piping designs, work with fondant, and much more.
- "The Contemporary Buttercream Bible" by Valeri Valeriano and Christina Ong: If buttercream is your frosting of choice, this book is a must-have. It explores the art of buttercream piping and showcases stunning designs using different piping techniques. You'll learn how to use piping bags, frosting tips, and other tools to create beautiful flowers, textures, and intricate designs.
- "The Art of Modern Cake: Cake Decorating Techniques for the Contemporary Baker (Step-By-Step Cake Decorating" by Heidi Holmon. This book is the place where sugar blooms and leaves are sweet. With this magical book learn how to hone your skills in the art of sugar flowers and elevated cake decorating.
- "How to Cake It: A Cakebook" by Yolanda Gampp: On her entertaining YouTube Channel, How to Cake It, Yolanda Gampp creates mind-blowing cakes in every shape imaginable. From a watermelon to a human heart, to food shaped cakes such as burgers and pizzas, Yolanda’s creations are fun and realistic. Now, Yolanda brings her friendly, offbeat charm and caking expertise to this colorful cakebook, filled with imaginative cakes to make at home.
These helpful books will provide you with the knowledge and inspiration you need to use your new cake decorating tools to their fullest potential. So grab a book, get your tools ready, and let your creativity shine through in your beautifully decorated cakes. Happy decorating!