You have already perfected the art of baking cakes, so now is the perfect time to move on to the next level, which is
mastering the art of cake decorating. Unlike baking where you have to master and improve on recipes, cake decorating is an entirely different animal. Cake decorating can be something as simple as filling and frosting a chocolate cake with buttercream icing, or it can be as complex as piping intricately designed delicate flowers on top of a cake. The end goal of cake decorating is to create a smooth, polished finish. Clean lines and precision always matter, no matter how complicated or complex the decorations become. Jumping from baking cakes to cake decorating can be somewhat overwhelming, but by using the right cake decorating tools, you will be on the right track.
Whenever you start a new hobby, or explore a new passion, there’s always that initial investment you have to make. Even if you’re switching from a somewhat similar hobby – such as from baking cakes to decorating cakes – you will still need to make sure you have the right tools in your arsenal in order to become successful.
- Mixing bowls – These are great for mixing the ingredients you’ll need when making your frosting.
- Stand mixer – This is a staple in every baker’s kitchen. Not only is this useful when making cake batters, you can also use this equipment in making frostings that will give your cake a nice finish.
- Piping bag with different frosting tips – Once done covering your cake with frost or fondant, one of the easiest ways to decorate your cake is through a piping bag. One large and one small round nozzle, and a star-shaped one will get you started, but to make life easier, why not get a set instead of buying individual tips? Having different nozzles gives you the flexibility to come up with different effects for your cake by using just one equipment – the pastry bag! If you don’t have one yet, you may improvise by using a resealable plastic bag. Snip off a tiny corner, stuff it with icing, and begin piping!
- Gel food color – These are thicker than liquid food coloring. A little goes a long way, as these provide an intense, rich color even with just a small amount. As a beginner, you can start with a couple of primary colors, which you can mix together to create new hues.
- Cake turntable – This is a convenient kitchen gadget to have that makes your work a whole lot easier as it allows the cake to be turned easily. It minimizes the movements you have to make when decorating all sides of the cake. It is also good for your posture as well, as the cake is elevated and is nearer to you as compared to placing it on top of a kitchen counter or table.
- Fondant cutters – These are somewhat similar to cookie cutters, but are specifically designed to cut fondant
instead of cookies. By using this, you always have perfectly-cut fondant that is nice and even, in any shape you desire. There are many kinds of fondant cutters in the market today. There are plunger cutters, ribbon cutters, and the regular, garden-variety ones.
- Fondant rolling pins, large and small – These are mainly used to flatten and roll out fondant. Having two rollers is just the perfect thing for the beginning cake decorator. You can use the small fondant roller when making decorations out of fondant, and use the big one when covering a cake with fondant.
- Spatulas – These are great tools for scraping every bit of frosting or batter out of a mixing bowl, or for smoothing out the cake batter in a pan.
- Offset spatula – A special shout-out goes for the offset spatula – also known as the palette knife – as one of the most hardworking and frequently-used cake decorating tools. It does a great job of leveling or smoothing down your frosting down the sides and on top of the cake. You can use the offset spatula to shimmy off the top and sides of the cake, and spread out the icing evenly into every inch of the cake’s surface.
- Cake scraper – This gadget allows you to create a clean, polished finish when covering cakes with fondant. It scrapes out any excess fondant, smoothens out the cake’s surface, and releases the air bubbles within, resulting to a smooth finish.
- Fondant smoother – As the name implies, this little gadget works on sharp edges and tight corners that are difficult to smoothen out.
- Sharp knives – These things make it easy for you to release the cake from the pans after they have been baked. They are also great for cutting fondant into precise and clean lines.
- Cake stand – Once you have finished decorating, your cake is now ready for serving. Don’t ruin all the efforts you have made in the decoration by putting it into a shoddy piece of plate! Displaying the finished cake on a pretty cake stand makes it all the more appealing.
- Pastry brush – This tool comes in handy when gluing things together during the decorating process.
You will have an easier time decorating your cakes once you have this starter kit in your kitchen arsenal! You can also know more about the basics of handling fondant here. How about you? For you, what are the most important cake decorating tools that a beginner must have in his or her kitchen?