Monday, May 10, 2010

Cake Decorating Basics - Part 6

First of all, I apologize for not keeping up with this series. Secondly, since I never talked about the tools of cake decorating, this post is about them. Tools are very important. But, there are tools that you might buy because of the classes which, you probably don't need to buy at all. And then there are options for you to buy somethings that are not cake decorating tools and are much cheaper to buy and are equally effective.
I am away from home this week without access to my kitchen. What better time to catch up with this series than now?

First one that I am writing about is the turn table. This one is a MUST. It gets your frosting work done very fast since they turn. You can see there are two shown in the picture. White one is by wilton and the other wooden one is just a lazy susan I picked up on a clearance for about 5 bucks. I use the lazy susan when I am working on tiered cake since it can take lot of weight compared to wilton's plastic one. Wilton's turn table rotates very fast which is a disadvantage sometimes. I can control the lazy susan's movement better and I tend to use that a lot more than I use wilton's. 

You can also see a torting tool in the above picture. That is for torting or slicing the cake horizontally to get more layers. Is it a MUST? Not really. You can do this with a serrated knife provided your hand movement is pretty accurate. If you lose the level of the knife, you will end up with topsy-turvy kind of slices. The one shown above is not very expensive just about 4 dollars. It can slice up to 10 inches diameter cakes. It has grooves to adjust the height and the metal wire just slices them. I have torted bigger cakes than 10" cake with this. How do I do it? simple. I just make the cuts as far as this can go and use the dental floss to do the rest. I wrap the cake with dental floss so that the floss sits in the already cut sides and twist and pull them. Do you get the picture? It is quite simple. I cannot justify spending more money on the big one since it is just for a hobby and not for a living.
Below pictures show you what are needed for frosting the cake. There are three different kinds of spatulas in the picture and I probably use the smallest to the maximum since I don't make too huge cakes. These are a MUST. I am not saying you need to have multiples of them, but at least one is a must. Then there are two bench scrapers. One is a plastic one that I bought for 79 cents and the other stainless steel one is I believe for 4 dollars. These are great to remove the excess frosting and to get an even layer. Why do you have two you may ask. It is very helpful to have two while frosting square or rectangular cakes. And it is very difficult to get nice lines there. I suck big time at getting it straight even with two of them.
The other white thing you see is a fondant smoother. This is great in smoothing the frosting with viva paper towel method I had described in the earlier posts of this series. Is this a must? not really unless you use crusting buttercream and use parchment or viva paper towel method to smooth the icing.

Now comes the fun part. A caddy with tips, colors, brushes, flower nails etc. Do you need the Caddy? No. This is quite expensive compared to a tool box. You can just buy an empty tool box and use that instead. Does it look cool, oh yes. So, if you are into looks, go ahead and buy one for yourself.
You see white things along with the tips, they are couplers. They let you use the same bag and change the tips so that you don't have to keep on changing the bags. They are a must to save some money on bags and save some time. The steel tip (huge one) that you see with other gel colors outside the box is the icing tip. I just love it. It is so easy to frost with them and best part is I don't have to worry about crumbs getting all over. Is this tip a must? No. Not if you are very good at icing with a spatula and if you have time to crumb coat the cake before icing.

Another lame picture..
Bags, bags and more bags. You can see how many different kinds of icing bags you can use.
Picture shows you feather light bags by wilton which I love since they are reusable. Just throw them in dish washer and they get cleaned. Then there are these plastic disposable bags that are great but are pricey. The other box of parchment triangles could be used to make bags just by folding them in the right way and taping them. I love parchment bags too since you can cut them to get 3 different sized bags and they are the cheapest. I do use plastic ones also when I am pressed for time since they are the quickest to get ready and you just toss them into trash when done. Why do I have a scissor with them? You need them to snip the ends so that the tip goes and sits perfectly.

Another picture of the bags. I believe I have covered most of the tools that are essential in cake decorating. These are just basic tools. I might have to make another post for fondant tools. I don't own too many fondant tools since I don't do too much of fondant work. But, I do have basic stuff and I do know about the rest of the tools. I might write something up using the pictures on different website. But, till then, enjoy this post.

For those who have not read the previous posts of this series..

Cake Decorating Basics Part - II
Cake Decorating Basics Part - III
Cake Decorating Basics Part - IV 
Cake Decorating Basics Part - V 


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  1. Omg, u have beautiful tools for making out cake decorations, i dont have this much, now i realize how come i didnt bought or found out these important and useful tools for making out beautiful cakes...Useful for so many of us..

  2. wow..useful info..thanks for sharing..

  3. Very informative and I hv learnt a lot.. Had missed your earlier definately..i will start from part 1 now..


  4. Wow! You have a lot of tools! I really loooove Indian food but I fint I don't know a lot of the spices!

    I also love fondant cake decorating, but I'm still an amateur! Keep up the good work!

  5. That was very useful and informative Champa!! Am really J of that torting tool, the turntable and the tips:-))

  6. As for me who is not into baking, these are very very informative and interesting too. Thanks for sharing.

  7. nice yet to getto cake decorating..lazy to get into this ..p'bly after my vacation...thx anyways

  8. wow!!!! This is a really useful n helpful post.

  9. Thank you for this interesting post.Very useful info.

  10. This kind of post will definitely be useful for ppl like me. Thanks a lot for your kind info and the effort.

  11. Those are some cool looking gadgets, I am very far from that stage. But, once I am (which I want to be), I will surely come back and make my own tool box.

  12. Very informative and useful lessons .

  13. Thanks for this post......I was looking for bench scrapers otherday in Michaels, but couldn't find one.....was doubtful about buying fondant smoother, but now gonna buy that.....
    thanks for sharing all the useful info....

  14. Thanks everyone. When I took cake decorating classes, I had no clue about where to look for what and spent lot of money on these tools. Now that I know, I probably would've done it differently. If you need to know where to buy any of these tools, leave a comment and I'll try to point you in the right direction.

  15. Hey, how ru.I have taken a long break from blogging, but hope to continue soon.
    meanwhile its my kids birthday month and Iam planning to bake the cake myself. .I have bought a train mould. But have lots of questions. Can I reach you by email.let me know.If its okay,you can send me an email from my blog.(

    Thanks and regards,


  16. Hi Champa .. i love your blog .. cake decorating infos are very useful and helpful. Thanks for sharing all the info about decorating. I need help from you , as i have enrolled for Wilton cake decorating course for April ( basic ) i have to buy the kit , now i'm in total confusion which one to buy and as of now i don't know whether i will enroll for next course , though i want to continue. As i'm vegetarian , i'm looking for all info about eggless icing and vegan fondant . Do you think buying Ultimate Cake Decorating Kit will be useful ?? Through some light about this. Can you please tell me what are all the other things i have buy ?
    Thanks :)

  17. Shubha,
    I do not know what this kit contains. But, if you are taking the course, the instructor will definitely want you to buy the course 1 kit. You will use everything in the kit except the stand and the trial piping board even if you do basic cake decorating later. So, I would say go ahead with it. When I took all the courses, I did buy all the course material that they sell. I only thought about not buying stuff when I came to course 3 since it has some things that were already in course 1 box. But, it is cheaper to buy the whole set rather than buy it individually. Use 50 % off coupons in michaels or a.c. moore to get great deals on these. Good luck with your adventure.

    1. Hi Champa,

      I have been baking for quite a while now. I find your blog very useful. I am right now in Boston, MA and I want to know where I can purchase baking equipment around here. I am mainly looking for icing gels, piping bags and cones. Please direct me as i am new here.Would value your response a lot.


    2. Hi Deepa,
      You can get those things in any of the Michaels, a.c. moore, hobby lobby or joann fabrics stores. There are quite a few items available in walmart too.


If you have a question and you leave it as a comment, I'll surely answer the question to the best of my knowledge. Thanks for visiting.