Beginner Cake Decorating Tools and Supplies

When one is just beginning the art of cake decorating, the number and variety of supplies available can seem daunting. When shopping in the cake decorating section of a craft store, seeing all the tools available can also be very exciting and you may feel inclined to purchase many tools to learn how to use them. To keep it uncomplicated here is a list of tools to begin practicing decorating cakes:

Icing Spatula: Spatulas are a tool used to put icing on a cake. Another name for an icing spatula is a pastry spatula. They vary in length and shape depending on what it is being used for. The lengths can range from 8 inches to 15 inches long.  There are different shaped spatulas. You will find spatulas that are straight with a curved tip. Another type of spatula is angled from the handle. Some spatulas are tapered toward the tip or have a flat tip. Having an assortment of spatulas will help you achieve a smooth surface for your cake.  I recommend that one start with at least a 8 inch angled spatula. This spatula is shorter therefore easier to control. It might be interesting for you to get ideas about Cake Craft from www.cakecraft.co.uk.

Decorating Tips: These tips fit into a pastry bag and are used to create the decorations and details on cakes.  There are many different tips, each creating a different design. The tips have a number and letter engraved on them that coincides with a design. Three basic types and sizes I would recommend to begin with are round size 12, star size 21, and a drop flower size 107.

Decorating Bags: Decorating bags are essential to the process. They hold the icing and tip that you are planning to use. The bags are made of different materials; plastic, parchment, cloth, and vinyl. Plastic bags are disposable and are purchased by the box.  Parchment bags are made from cutting a triangle from parchment paper and forming a bag. These bags are also disposable. The cloth and vinyl bags are reusable and usually dishwasher safe. These bags can be purchased separately or in packages of two or three.

Coupler:  The coupler holds the tip to the decorating bag. There are two different sizes of couplers, a standard size that is used for most tips and a larger coupler that is used with some specialty tips. A coupler has two pieces, one piece is the base and the other is the ring. The base is placed inside the decorating bag, and then the tip is placed on the part of the coupler that sticks out of the bag. The ring is what holds the tip and the base of the coupler together by screwing onto the base through the bag.

Considering a Cake Decorating Class?

Cake decorating combines art and baking, two of my interests, into one activity. My interest in this art form began with a weeklong course on decorating cakes in my high school culinary class. The following summer I began to teach myself more about cake decorating by reading books on this topic, studying photographs, and following online tutorials. I practiced and practiced to develop my skills.  At summer’s end, I entered a decorated cake into the local county fair competition. My efforts were rewarded with a blue ribbon. As one might think, this success fueled my interest further.

After a few more years of teaching myself, I heard about cake decorating classes offered through craft stores in my area. I jumped at the chance to take these classes. I was excited to enroll in the beginning course and start to learn the tips and tricks I was not able to learn from studying on my own. I completed the beginner’s class and went on to take all three cake-decorating classes in the series. I learned a great deal by following the instructor’s examples.  I enjoyed the student atmosphere and the one-on- one help I received from the instructors.

During the cake decorating classes, I learned how to fix the problems I struggled with in my decorating adventures.  For example, when I would try to cover a cake with fondant to achieve the very smooth look, my fondant would not lie smooth and would tear. In the cake decorating class, the instructor explained that when using fondant, one needs to mix some gum paste into the fondant because this makes it much more flexible and it will not tear as easily. I have decorated cakes with fondant since learning this tip and have had no problems with it tearing.

I think that the cake decorating classes I took were interesting, helpful, and well worth the time and money. I would recommend taking classes to anyone interested in starting to decorate cakes or even to someone who would simply like to learn more about this art form.