While a lot of basic modelling can be done by hand and with very few tools, you'll most often find that having a staple selection of cake decorating equipment to hand will keep your cakes professional every time.
We've gone ahead and put together the ideal collection of cake utensils every cake decorator should have to hand. Think of this as your cake decorating kit for beginners!
The harder the tutorial the lengthier the equipment list will be, so don't be disheartened if you find you don't always have everything a tutorial asks for. The below equipment will see you through most projects. You can enjoy working out what extras from your baking and kitchen kit you can use for little details, such as cut outs and embossing. If there's one thing we love here at Cake Decorating & Sugarcraft magazine, it's having tools that can be used for loads of different things!
Your essential cake decorating equipment
Scallop and comb
Use to create features such as smiling or frowning mouths, eyebrows, ears and more with the scallop end. You will also find this useful for making round holes and scalloped edges. The comb end is perfect for marking and embossing a serrated pattern or design e.g a stitched effect.
Two sizes of ball ends for making indentations and hollowing out in modelling or for running along edges of petals and ruffles.
Similar to the serrated and taper cone tool, the grooved cone has tapered edges to help create accurate and realistic petals. The elongated points of this tool mean you can create longer and more delicate shapes.
Serrated and taper cone
Use to emboss star patterns and to mark divisions in sugarpaste. The serrated cone creates detailed and realistic throats when making a variety of flowers. Star taper cones may be used as a simple star embosser and for creating the centre of five or six petal flowers or simply used as petal dividers.
Blade and shell
Use the blade as expected, for cutting and shaping marzipan and sugarpaste and the shell end for embossing patterns onto icing.
Flower & leaf shaper
Also known as a Dresden tool, this is one of the most useful pieces of cake decorating equipment you can find. You can use the back of the tool to smooth sugarpaste. The pointed end is ideal for creating realistic and detailed veining on sugarpaste leaves.
A very useful double ended modelling tool. The narrow end is used like a bone tool and the bulbous end is a rolling tool used for thinning Garrett frills, edges of petals, leaves and more. Both ends are ideal for creating features on models.
Curved with two balls of differing sizes, one at either end of the tool, use for flower modelling, running around the edges of petals to thin them out and making round indentations in modelling.
Non-stick rolling pin & board
Perfect for rolling sugarpaste, flower paste, marzipan etc. A must have for any cake kit!
A spatula is essential for neatly icing a cake with almost any type of frosting. If you have a few of these in different sizes then even better! Offset cake icing spatulas mean you can ice and frost hard to reach areas while keeping your hands and fingers away from the icing.
We probably don't need to explain these to you! Icing nozzles are available in a variety of shapes and sizes meaning you can ice your cakes and cupcakes with all sorts of gorgeous designs.
These little pieces of equipment are ideal for a number of different cake decorating adventures, from teeny-tiny stars to gorgeous large-shaped hearts. Perfect for cookies and sugarpaste alike, cutters are always extremely useful to have at hand.
Ideal if you're looking to place delicate edibles onto a masterpiece without damaging either the main cake or the embellishment. From tiny pearls to dainty stamens, cake decorating tweezers are usually curved to help you place small embellishments accurately anywhere on your cake!
Most of us in the cake decorating business know that, if it can be made of silicone, it should be. Super easy to clean and preventing the build up of germs and old food on your utensils, it's always better to go silicone where you can. Especially with brushes, as when used for cake decorating, it generally involves lots of sticky liquids that LOVE to cling to utensils and build up germs!
Similar to the silicone brushes, silicone moulds are an essential item for any cake decorator's kitchen. Whether you're working with fondant, cake or even marzipan, a good selection of moulds is essential. If you're not quite sure on how to use your moulds, we've got you covered! Be sure to check out our article on How To Use Fondant Moulds.
If you follow the above guide to a solid cake decorating kit for beginners, you should be totally covered when it comes to cake decorating equipment. Now don't worry, we at Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft know that none of us are made of money, so many of the cake décor tools we've listed can be used for a whole host of other things in your kitchen.
Silicone brushes are ideal for egg washing, for example, and the shell part of a blade and shell tool makes a great back scratcher! (we're kidding, of course!).
What we're not kidding about is the lashing of creative content you can find in our latest issue! Plus, if you found this article handy, be sure to check out this brilliant blog post all about food safety for cake decorators!