Beginner's guide to cake decorating tools

Monday, September 6

If you're just beginning your cake making, decorating or baking journey, here are a few of the best tools to have in your arsenal. With these tools in hand, you'll be decorating like a boss in no time!

Turntable

A turntable is a flat surface ("table") that is rotatable, so it perfect to use when covering or icing cakes. Place your undecorated cake centrally onto the table and then turn it round as your decorate. This works great when covering the cake with sugarpaste and smoothing down to achieve a flawless finish, or when applying and scraping buttercream evenly around the sides of the cake. You can even get tilting turntables, which allow you to work around the sides of a cake without handling it, making it an invaluable piece of equipment for any cake decorator.

Rotatable turntables are perfect to use when covering or icing cakes
Rotatable turntables are perfect to use when covering or icing cakes

Leveller

No cake maker should be without a cake leveller! This essential piece of kit will ensure your cake layers are straight, neat and even with less mess for professional results. Unlike cutting by hand with a serrated knife, the cake leveller makes it easy to cut straight and reduces the amount of crumbs and wastage. It can also be used to level a cake top accurately, which is essential if you are making a stacked wedding cake.

Leveller make it easy to cut straight and reduces the amount of crumbs and wastage
Leveller make it easy to cut straight and reduces the amount of crumbs and wastage

Scraper

Metal or plastic, plain or serrated edge, there's a side scraper for everyone and every occasion. Finish off traditional iced cakes and contemporary ‘half-dressed’ cakes alike by running a your side scraper around the edge. If you’re coating a cake with buttercream, ganache or royal icing, a scraper will ensure it has a smooth, even and professional finish. With pattern edge scrapers, not only do they leave your cakes with a smooth finish, but they create an even design as you scrape round the cake. A fun, simple way of adding some texture and design to your cakes without breaking the bank!

Scrapers will ensure your cakes have a smooth, even and professional finish
Scrapers will ensure your cakes have a smooth, even and professional finish

Paintbrushes

Whether you're using edible paints or dusts, adding gold leaf or need to glue on modelled decorations, paintbrushes are a useful tool to have in your arsenal. Available in a range of different sizes, paintbrushes are invaluable tools and ideal for all cake decorating requirements.

Paintbrushes are invaluable tools and ideal for all cake decorating requirements
Paintbrushes are invaluable tools and ideal for all cake decorating requirements

Smoother

Smoothers are perfect for removing any imperfections from sugarpaste covered cakes to produce a polished finish. This piece of equipment will make your life a lot easier when covering cakes, trust us!

And if you're looking to achieve a super sharp edge finish, the Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers will be your go-to. With one rounded and one straight-edged smoother, they allow you to create perfectly crisp edges for a clean, professional finish.

Smoothers are ideal for removing  imperfections to produce a polished finish
Smoothers are ideal for removing imperfections to produce a polished finish

Palette Knife

A must-have for cake decorators, palette knives are the best tool to use when you need to spread icing or buttercream onto cakes. Cranked handle palette knife designs in particular make it easier to spread royal icing or buttercream, consequently giving you a smoother finish overall. The long, flat blade means you can also work quickly and cover a large surface area in one go without the need to repeat over already smoothed areas.

Piping Nozzles

All piping nozzles (otherwise known as piping tips) are categorised by shape and come in various different sizes. The most common tips are star, round, petal or ruffle, and leaf. These tips are all ideal for piping onto cakes or cupcakes to make pretty designs like buttercream ruffles, flowers or swirls. You can even use the small round writing tips to pipe intricate details onto your bakes. If you aren't confident in your cake decorating ability yet, piping is a simple but effective way of turning your confections into showstoppers. And there's literally a piping nozzle for every occasion, so whatever your preferred style, you'll find something that works for you.
Piping nozzles are categorised by shape and come in various sizes, each with individual purposes
Piping nozzles are categorised by shape and come in various sizes, each with individual purposes

Modelling Tools

If you love sugarcraft and making fun models, then you need to make sure you’re kitted out with the best tools for all your creations. From ball tools and veining tools, to rounded cone tools and the famous dresden tool (also called the petal and leaf shaper). You can use these modelling tools with sugarpaste, flower paste, marzipan, modelling paste, and much more.

But you don't need all of these when you're starting out; instead, we'd recommend adding the medium ball and dresden tool to your kit as they are both staples when it comes to sugar modelling.

You can use ball tools to add details to modelling projects, as well as on sugar flowers and leaves
You can use ball tools to add details to modelling projects, as well as on sugar flowers and leaves

The perfect size for a wide range of projects, you can use the medium ball tool to shape and soften petals and leaves: the larger end is useful for cupping petals and the smaller end is helpful for cupping tiny blossoms. You can also use this tool to add details to modelling projects like eye sockets and ears.

For the dresden tool, you can use the wider end for thinning the edges, frilling and increasing the size of petals and leaves, and hollowing out the centre of multi-petal flower shapes. The narrower end is useful for creating veins and curling or curving petals and leaves. As with the ball tool, this can also be used to add detail to modelling projects.

Veining tools can be used to add vein textures onto rolled out sugarpaste flowers and leaves
Veining tools can be used to add vein textures onto rolled out sugarpaste flowers and leaves

Non-Stick Rolling Pin

Does what it says on the tin, and we're so happy that it does. There's nothing quite as infuriating as sugarpaste or dough sticking when trying to roll it out thinly, so this handy piece of equipment is a game-changer. An essential tool for every baker, cake decorator and sugarcrafter, having a non-stick rolling pin allows you to minimise the use of icing sugar or cornflour to ensure a smooth roll.

Non-Stick Board

Again, self-explanatory but perfect to use when rolling out or making decorations for cakes. These durable, plastic non-stick boards are a must-have work surface for all sugarcrafters and cake decorators. Whether you’re making sugar flowers or covering a cake, these professional rolling boards make easy work of handling sugarpaste, modelling paste, pastillage and pastry. They also make the clean-up quicker and less messy. Win win!

Non-stick boards or mats are great to use when rolling out or making decorations for cakes
Non-stick boards or mats are great to use when rolling out or making decorations for cakes
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Decorate like a BOSS with these top tools!