Ready to start decorating cakes?
Today we are talking about what you need in your first cake decorating starter kit.
When we learn a new skill, it’s nice to know what we need to get started. There are ready-made cake decorating kits out there, but I suggest making your own most of the time. You’ll only use the same 3-4 things.
This way you know that you’ll use everything and you can also slowly buy things as this is an investment and can be expensive if you buy all at once.
We’ll talk about what tools and equipment you need as well as your first cake and frosting recipe. Once you have gathered these things, then you are guaranteed to succeed!
Let’s Get Started!
- Offset spatula – an offset spatula is a tool that is used every time I make a cake. It helps to spread frosting between cake layers and frosting around the cake for the crumb coat! I also use it for specific decorating techniques like this rustic look.
- Spinning turntable – I have had this Ateco turntable for many years, and it still works like new! It can hold heavy cakes and can spin correctly.
- Cake (or bench) scraper – This tool is one of the best tools you’ll ever need for cake decorating, and using this bench scraper around the sides of the cake to get it perfectly smooth. It also helps with getting those sharp edges on your cakes! They come in many sizes, but I use the 6-inch round pans; it certainly gets the job done!
- Rubber spatula(s), Measuring Cups & Spoons – Rubber spatulas are used to mix cake batters or frostings; they are super easy to clean and flexible to bend to whatever shape bowl or pan you are using. Measuring cups and measuring spoons are used in every baking recipe. It’s always good to have a great set of those.
- Electric Hand Mixer or 5 qt. Stand Mixer – Making cakes without a mixer is pretty tricky. I use this mixer for every type of recipe, from cake batters, frostings, fillings, bread dough, and cookie doughs. It is the most utilized tool in my kitchen.
- Serrated knife or Cake Leveler – When filling and stacking cake layers, the key is making the cake layer flat and level so your cake won’t end up lopsided. If you’re not comfortable cutting with a serrated knife, you can use this cake leveler to make even layers with cake.
- Cake boards – I typically use 8-inch or 10-inch cake circles to decorate the cakes. Cake boards are light but strong enough to support cakes. I like decorating on cake boards to quickly put the cake in the fridge to chill or place into a box for cake delivery. Just make sure you use greaseproof or foil-covered cake boards so the frosting doesn’t stain the boards. These cake boards come in many sizes; get a cake circle or cake round that is at least 2 inches bigger than the cake itself, so you have plenty of room to work and decorate.
- Cake pans – Sizes I use the most are 6-inch, 8-inch, or 9-inch – It’s always worth investing in some good cake pans. Since most recipes divide the batter into 2 or 3 and 3 pans is always a safe number to get. They can last you for years and are worth it. I typically get ones that are 2 inches tall so that I can get taller cake layers. Also, make sure you get straight-edged cake pans; this way, you have perfectly straight cake layers.
- Mixing bowls, Non-stick cooking spray & Parchment paper
- Ice cream scooper with a trigger release, optional – Some bakers prefer to weigh out the ingredients on baking scales because it’s a more accurate way of baking. They are also helpful for making sure all the cake batter is evenly distributed to the cake pans for even cake layers. This brings me to ice cream scoopers, and these are awesome for portioning cookie doughs, scooping batter into cupcake liners, or distributing batter to cake pans. And of course, you can always use it for ice cream!
- Piping bags and piping tips (student kit) – Piping bags are used to fill and decorate cakes. They’re high quality and never tear or burst, even with stiff buttercream or ganache. I use both the 12-inch and 18-inch sizes and get them in rolls of 100 on Amazon. There are a wide variety of piping tips that can create many different designs and shapes when decorating a cake. This is perfect for beginner bakers.
- Gel food coloring (variety pack of colors) – I prefer to use gel food coloring because they are more concentrated than water-based colors you might find in the grocery store. Ultimately you need less gel food color to create bright and vibrant color frosting or fondant decorations.
- Sprinkles, optional
- Squeeze bottle (used for chocolate drip), optional – These come in handy when making the chocolate drips on the sides of cakes. They can also be used to drizzle fillings, ganache, or simple syrup to soak into cakes to keep them nice and moist.
- Simple Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream https://xokatierosario.com/simple-vanilla-cake-with-vanilla-buttercream/
Now when you’re scrolling through Pinterest and seeing a fun tutorial, you’ll be a little more confident having all this before you begin.
You can find all these tools and equipment at your local cake or craft supply store or go online like Amazon to see everything.
You May Also Enjoy:
- Build Cakes Like a Pro (free guide)
- 3 Must-Have Cake Decorating Tools (post)
- Cake Decorating for Beginners (masterclass)
As a beginner learning new skills, I believe it’s essential to have quality tools to create the best products like show-stopping cakes. Bookmark this list and refer back to it whenever you need help to succeed in the kitchen.
Please feel free to email me here at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have; I’ll be happy to help!
Hey, if you liked this tutorial, you really should check out Cake Decorating for Beginners, my signature masterclass. I coach you on everything I teach on these cake tutorials on a deeper level so that you can uplevel your baking and decorating skills. We 10x it to get the results you want most impressive cakes that your friends and family will love. Like any new skill, it’s essential to learn from the ground up to build a foundation so that you can take on any cake challenge. It is an investment your future self will thank you for. Check it out at XOKatieRosario.com/cake-masterclass. I will see you there!