Top 10 Cake Decorating Tools, that you just can’t live without…
When it comes to cake decorating we all have our preferences. Cake flavours, frosting versus ganache, hell, even fondant versus marzipan. But there are some tools, which bakers and decorators alike just can’t seem to go past
So with that in mind, we have listed below for you the top 10 tools of the cake decorating trade, but bear in mind, these tools are for the average decorator at home. Not the fancy schmancy decorator who works in a dedicated bakery and has all the bells and whistles, i.e. a fondant sheeter (oh I wish). ..
1. The silicon rolling pin.
Based on the premise that nothing sticks to this roller, this type of rolling pin is a dream to work with. Now I know that many of you will argue with me that you have your favourite version and this isn’t it. But I’ve tried them all and I love this one over any other version. Easy to use, light and I find this type of rolling pin to be far easier on the wrists than a wooden rolling pin.
Metal balling tool.
Having persevered with a plastic balling tool for years, I recently discovered a wonderful set of metal balling tools and it felt like all my Christmases had come at once. This tool gives a far smoother result when you are making ruffles, petals and delicate flowers. A dream to work with. It also doesn’t tear the fondant like the plastic one tend to.
We like this set from Scott Clarke Woolley You can buy them HERE
Again, after buying a cheaper version where you screw this to the bench and requires you to wind it, plus hold the fondant and feed the fondant through, I got tired of yelling at my husband to feed the fondant slower/faster/not so fast – NOT SO FAST… OMG. Until I couldn’t take it anymore and bought the attachment for my KitchenAid. Well not so much bought it, I begged for it for Christmas. Yes it was pricey, but worth every cent. Putting the fondant through this attachment makes me smile every time. Perfect for stripes, flowers, letters, in fact anything that you need to be all exactly the same thickness of fondant. Yes you can achieve this with a rolling pin, but if you are doing a lot of decorating, this little gem will save you hours and hours of heartache and restore your sanity.
Smoother (to smooth your furrowed brow – and your fondant)
The smoother has evolved since I first started decorating and now comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and clear plastic. To achieve the perfect sharp edge on your fondant you will need two of these little babies. To see what you are doing you will need the clear ones; unless you have done it so many times that you are ok. I love that they now sell really tall ones, plus a version that is right angled for the days when no matter how hard you try you just can’t get a straight edge on your square cakes.
We like this one Wilton 1907-1356 Fondant Smoother Backer
Scraper – no one likes messy ganache
Ah, the humble scraper. Now, I have a love / hate relationship with the scraper. So much so, that I have about 4 varieties, the one with the handle, the new plastic version (which I don’t love so much) and the long and short version of the metal scraper. When dipped in boiling hot water to achieve an impeccable finish it is also likely to burn the bejesus out of you. However despite 3rd degree burns you keep doing it, because you are obsessed with a perfect ganache finish.
We recommend this fabulous clear version from Janet at The Cupcake Lady HERE
Piping bag + tips
You no longer need to pipe “happy birthday” onto your cakes anymore, but you certainly need the piping bag and tip if you want to progress in your cake decorating abilities. There are numerous YouTube videos and tutorials on piping and this beautiful art is not going anywhere for a long time yet. Whilst lacework may now be available in the form of mold, nothing beats a cake with hand piping. Plus, how on earth would we finish off our cupcakes?
This little gem saves your back, your neck and most probably your eyesight. Plus it helps you to achieve an even ganache finish, and a smoother fondant. By simply slowly turning the turntable as you work you are able to have one hand free to continuously carry out your work. Plus your scraper and smoother tend not to get caught. These can be bought quite cheaply – although I’ve seen some fairly pricey models. Even ones that tilt. Now that’s fancy.
We like this one from Fat Daddios, you can check it out here Fat Daddio’s Low Profile Cake Decorating Turntable, 12 Inch x 2 Inch
Cutters / Plunger Cutters.
These little devils are addictive and before you know it you will have more of them than you care to admit. But without them, you will spend hours trying to recreate one tiny pattern or flower that otherwise would take 2-3 seconds. You’ll only make that mistake once. The best tip for cut out fondant; always ensure that you go around the edges so that they are not ‘fuzzy’. It makes the cutout look so much more professional.
We love these leaf ones NY CAKE Leaves Set Plunger and Cutter, Set of 4
Ahh acetate, perhaps my greatest love. I discovered this little beauty in my first cake decorating class. It doesn’t need to be expensive; in fact I just use the top from packets of Christmas Cards, cut up into large squares. But honestly, this stuff is a miracle worker. If you can achieve your sharp edges using only smoothers, well hats off to ya. But I need a piece of acetate. Using both together gives me a great edge. Plus it’s also is perfect for removing tiny imperfections in the fondant – like say after you’ve had to remove an air bubble or you’ve accidentally scratched your fondant. The only drawback is, it’s clear and if you put it down on your bench, you spend half an hour looking for it again. So now I have a red sticker on one side.
You can buy it though
A really decent mixer – preferably one that takes attachments.
Still using a handle held mixer? Or mixing by hand? Then perhaps it’s time to consider moving up to an electric stand mixer. Yes, these are expensive, but they don’t have to be. Consider other sources like eBay, 2nd hand or even borrowing one when you need to make your cakes. You will not only achieve a better result – it’s far less exhausting! In a 2014 Australian survey, the KitchenAid KSM150PSCB Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer came out way on top of all the mixers and all of us here at Learn Cake Decorating Online have one. The biggest problem is deciding what gorgeous colour you will buy! Check out this fab cranberry one here KitchenAid KSM150PSCB Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, Cranberry
So there you have it, the top 10 cake decorating tools of the trade. Of course we could continue on and on with this list. Many of you will have your own version of the top ten and dependent upon up the climate you live in, air conditioners can be a big must have, but we kept this list as simple as we could.
But we would love your feedback, what would you like to see added to this list?