I often get questions about my favorite cake tools, supplies and equipment, so for the past few weeks I've been jotting down things as they come to mind. Some of these I've used forever... some I've only had for a few days.
Of course I can't guarantee that you'll love these as much as I do. I also would certainly not want you to go out and buy all this stuff at once. I have accumulated my collection mostly over the past two years, but some things I've had for much, much longer than that (see the Wilton Featherweight bags).
OH, and since I mostly do fondant covered cakes (homemade marshmallow fondant 90% of the time), there are lots of fondant tools here. BUT, there are also some of my favorite buttercream tools - and things I used to work with buttercream under my fondant!
PS. This is sort of like my 101 Things (mostly about me) post... there's actually way more than 26 items (squeezed in with extra links and bullet points). I just get carried away sometimes 😉 .
Here we go (in no particular order):
1. Wilton Featherweight Bags. I have 2 that are 22+ years old. Yes, my Mama bought them for me when I was 13 and they're still going strong!
2. Magic Line Cake Pans and/or Fat Daddio Cake Pans. All of my round pans are Magic Line, all of my square ones are Fat Daddio. 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).
3. The Mat and Flexible Cutting Mats. Please notice... this is not any mat... this is The Mat. I've only had this a few months, but had I known how awesome it is, I'd have been using it forever! Watch the video here to see it in action! I also use these flexible cutting boards/mats for almost all of my small fondant work and they're super cheap (I bought a 5 pack for under $10 and they don't wear out!). Update 1/16/2014: After more than 2 years of using The Mat - it's still one of my most favorite things EVER. I cannot imagine doing fondant cakes without it!!
5. Silicone Rolling Pin (with handles). This is the best rolling pin to use with The Mat. I have a huge one that I use all the time and a small Jr. one for ribbon making (if I'm not using my 9" Wilton pin). I also have the one without handles but I rarely use it.
7. Nordic Sheet Pans. These aren't really used for cake baking - but rather to bake 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 - I have more than a dozen of them!
8. Frosting Tips. One of my most used is the Wilton 1M that I make the buttercream roses with (see this cake, and these). I also have this awesome Ateco Large Tube set that I use for all of my cupcake adventures. I love it! I have a variety of other Wilton tips, but I don't do a lot of piping work, so I don't use them as much. If I had to keep just essentials, I'd keep the Ateco Set, the 1M tip and some small round tips (#2, #3, #4, and #5) and my grass tip.
10. Ribbon Cutters. 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. 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!
11. Tupperware Saucy Silicone Spatulas. I'm sure there are other brands of these, but I used to be a Tupperware consultant and I have about 6 of these. Even with that many, I can never keep them clean because I use them every day. They're just wonderful for scraping the last bit of frosting or batter out of a bowl, smoothing batter in a pan, or mixing up any number of things! I love 'em!
13. Makin Professional Extruder. I use this alot 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!
14. Paint Brushes. I suppose any number of brushes would work perfectly, but 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....
15. Wilton Gum Paste Flowers Set. You can see this set in action on my Orange Flowers Cake or the Cupcake Party Cake and Giant Cupcake or the Pink & Black Bridal Shower cake (above) or gosh... just so many of my cakes!
16. KitchenAid Mixer and SwideSwipe Blades. I've had my mixer for around 10 years and it's never missed a beat (until it started making a funny noise a few days ago). Maybe that's because I used to to make 90+ cups of buttercream for that huge Buttercream Roses Wedding Cake (that's 8 quadruple batches!!). So... since mine started acting funny and this was such a fantastic deal (more than 50% off)... I'm expecting mine from UPS today and I can't wait!!
Then there are those SwideSwipe Blades. I have two for my old mixer and I'm sure I'll be getting one for my new mixer too. They're perfect for frosting. And as I just told you, I make LOTS of frosting. I never have to stop and wipe down the edges of the bowl. Love. Love. Love.
17. Viking Hand Mixer. I've used a Kitchenaid hand mixer for the past two 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 got this awesome Purple mixer in the mail a few weeks ago and this thing is a beast! It has so much power... and it's so quiet. I am absolutely in love... and it's PURPLE :)!
18. Cake Turntable. I highly recommend having one of these. It makes your work so much easier!! I've had the cheapy $12 one for years
and it's all I use until I recently got this fantastic Ateco one that I wish I had bought ages ago!!
19. Cookie & Fondant Cutters (these were previously listed with the Bright Owl Cake):
- 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
20. Letter Cutters:
- 1" Fox Run Alphabet Cutters (seen on this Hello Kitty Pink cake) - 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 (seen on this Legos Cake) - 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... the Frilly Bow Zebra cake and the Mod Monkey cakes.. and many others!) These are my favorites - although a bit girly.
- Alphabet Cookie Cutters (I cannot imagine doing cookies this small), but I do love the cutters! See on this baby shower cake.
- (very small) FMM Tappit Block Letter Cutters (seen on the Farm Animals cake)
- ABC's & Numbers from the 2" Wilton 101 Cookie Cutters set (seen on one of these Cowboy Cakes)
- 1"Play Doh Letter Cutters (yes, Play-Doh!).. (seen on this Rock Star cake).
- (less than 1") Wilton Alphabet and Numbers Set - this is my least favorite set, but I have used it on this MSU Cake and on a few others.
22. Bench Scraper. I highly recommend this exact style of bench scraper. I've had 3 different ones, one with handles and one with curved blades/edges... and this one works best by far for smoothing the sides of cakes!!
23. Americolor Gel Colors. The best color for buttercream or fondant. Period.
24. 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!
25. 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.
26. Cake Stacking Equipment. See this post on How I Stack Cake Tiers for details on these items and how I use them!
So, did I miss anything (I feel certain I did!)? Do you have any tools that you consider essential that I missed? I'd love for you to leave me a comment and maybe I'll add it to my list!
This post is linked up at Works for Me Wednesday!
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