5 Essential Tools for Beginning Cake Decorators


Decorating a cake for the first time can be very overwhelming! There is quite possibly a tool to make every aspect of cake decorating so much easier. The expense for each and every one of these nifty items adds up very quickly, so many people opt to by tools little by little and on an "as needed" basis. If you're decorating your first cake, below are five essential tools to get you started. They will help you maintain your sanity along your journey into cake decorating for years to come!

1. Turntable

Who wants to walk around a table or stop decorating to lift and turn a cake every few minutes?! Turntable allows you to rotate your cake effortlessly while you stand or sit in one position. It comes in handy when icing your cake; as you can hold a spatula or straight edge in one position to consistently smooth or texture the top and sides. Also use a turntable to rotate your cake as you decorate it.

2. Angled Spatula

The key here is the angle! Straight spatulas are also available, but there is a distinct advantage to using an angled spatula instead. The angle actually keeps your hands up and away from your cake. This especially comes in handy when icing the top of your cake.

3. Cake Leveler

This is my absolute favorite tool! Sure you can cut your cake into layers with a serrated bread knife, but it can be difficult if you don't use the proper technique. A cake leveler will allow you to slice your cake into consistently level layers with ease. It is guaranteed to save you time and headaches when preparing your cake!

4. Decorating Tips

Decorating tips are extremely important! They come in different shapes and sizes and they (along with hand position, icing consistency, and pressure) determine the "look" you're trying to achieve. I recommend the following tips for beginners to keep on hand:

  • #3- Writing and piping small details

  • #12- Dots, Pulled dots, and Dimensional piping

  • #18- Stars, Rosettes, Zigzags, and Shells (medium scale)

  • #21- Stars, Rosettes, Zigzags, and Shells (larger scale)

  • #1M- Cupcake Swirls, Extra Large Rosettes (Roses)

  • #2D- Quick Drop Flowers

These tips can be purchased individually or in sets.

5. Couplers

I always tell my students that cake decorating often times involves improvisation. This can be managed if you have a clear idea and plan for your cake design, but even the best set plans may require a "Plan B" from time to time. Enter the coupler! Couplers allow you to easily switch tips on a single decorating bag. If your #21 tip shells are not working out, you can switch to tip #12 to make large dots instead! It's easier to be conscientious of your icing color when switching tips on your coulper, but reminder to be mindful of your icing consistency as well!

*BONUS: Decorating Tip Brush

Talk about saving yourself from a headache! A decorating tip brush will allow you to clean your tips thoroughly. It usually has one bristled end and one smooth brushed end. Though decorating tips can be placed in a dishwasher, I recommend that you soak your soiled tips in large cup of very hot water and dish detergent and handwash them.

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