My Frequently Used Baking Tools...
When it comes to piping bags - I have tried MANY different ones. My favorite ones that I have found are DecoPac Kee-Seal Disposable Pastry Bags. They come in different sizes but the one that I feel is the most perfect is 18 inches. If you get too small of a bag, then you end up with frosting coming out the end as you squeeze. You don't need that. That's a whole other mess you don't need to worry about while cake decorating. So trust me. These bags in the size 18 inches are what you want. I buy mine from the restaurant store near me and on Amazon.com.
Ahhh yes, candy melts. The wilton candy melts are easily found at Walmart, Target, Joanns, Michaels - you name the place... they probably have them in stock. You can also get them online at amazon.com.
Every cake decorator really NEEDS a turn table of some kind. It will change your life. I promise. If you have never used one, get a cheap one to try like this one by Wilton and see for yourself. I have this one and use it quite frequently. But I also have a fancier one by Wilton and a metal one as well. Turn tables like this can run anywhere from $12 bucks to $50 or $60.
This is the fancier Wilton turn table I have. I do not suggest this one unless you know what you're doing and have used a table before. I say this for a few reasons. One, it's kinda pricey. Two, it's heavy. Three, it not only spins but tilts as well. Which IF you know what you're doing is awesome. But if you're new to this.... you'll have cake flying off your turn table.
A nice flat blade, cake scraper, cake lifter... whatever you want to call it... is really nice to have on hand. They come in different sizes. I prefer a smaller one that fits snuggly in my hand. I don't need one that lifts a 10 inch cake off the board for at home use. In my shop, sure. But at home, its a little much. These smaller ones are perfect for in the kitchen. You can use them to scrape the sides of your cake to smooth them, scrape around the edge to remove excess frosting etc, you can use it to cut dough or scoop up sprinkles etc...... it's very handy.
Cake combs/Cake scrapers are really fun to have around for cake decorating. They take some practice using them to get it right, but they make your cake THAT much more interesting and add some great designs to your cake edge.
This is another larger cake scraper. It's not my favorite because of how long it is... but it is very useful if you're into making taller cakes.
A cake leveler is great for getting perfect straight/level tops. If your cake bakes up with a poofy top, you can easily cut the top off and have a nice even surface using this. And this one folds up nicely to fit in the cabinet - which I love.
An off set spatula is the tool you probably think you don't need.... but you do! It makes frosting cupcakes so much easier! It's lighter than a butter knife and because it's offset you can easily decorate cupcakes.
If you give away cakes or make them for friends and family, it's nice to have it on a board you can leave and not have to worry about getting back. They also make for easy cleanup once the cake has been devoured!
Everyone who is decorating a cake or cookies needs some kind of food coloring. Gels are really nice because they dont change the consistency of your food. If you have to squirt a lot of regular food coloring into your cake, you can easily make your batter to runny. But with gels, that doesn't happen. They ARE more exspensive but worth it.
If you're using piping bags and want to add a fun swirl on top or a cool design or make leaves.... then you NEED to have a coupler set and decorating tips. The coupler set is what holds your tip in the decorating bag. So you need the coupler set below - which they come in MANY different sizes - as well as a decorating tip.
This is a great beginner set of decorating tips. This will give you many different options to design beautiful cakes. Just make sure your coupler set above is the same size as your decorating tips. Otherwise they won't fit together.
I have this bigger coupler set as well - which I love more than the smaller ones. The brand Ateco has some great LARGE couplers and LARGE tips - bigger than you can find with Wilton.
And EVERYONE who bakes really NEEDS somewhere to keep all of their baking tools together. Those decorating tips can easily get lost in your kitchen and you will NEVER find them again. It's very annoying. So please get yourself some sort of caddy to keep it all organized. This one by Wilton is great for beginners. Once you collect more stuff - which you will, I promise! - then upgrade to a bigger container... or an entire baking closet like me!
My baking closet. And this isn't even all of it. You can't see the entire closet in this photo but there is another two shelves at the top with all my baking pans and then on top of the closet is a box that holds all of my containers for cake orders - boards, plastic covers, cupcake holders, labels, etc.....