Before baking your cake, you’ll have to figure out which ingredients you’ll need, and how much of each. There will be quite a few things you’ll have to measure so you’ll need:
- Measuring cups – liquid and solids (they are different)
- Measuring spoons – make sure you have the right size or at least a smaller size that you can simply double or triple to get the desired amount.
Once you have your ingredients ready, you’ll have to start mixing. You don’t really need much in the way of cookware for this; you’ll just need:
- Mixing bowl – this will have to be big enough to hold all the required ingredients. (Most are made of plastic, glass, or stainless steel)
- Mixer – any kind will work, but some will make the job easier than others
- Hand mixer (this has a wheel on it attached to a handle you have to turn)
- Electric hand mixer (plugs in so you can just hold the mixer while it beats automatically)
- Advanced Electric mixer – fairly large unit that has a stand and a place for the bowl. Allows you to do other things while the ingredients are being mixed automatically.
- Spatula – (with silicone end) Comes in a variety of sizes. You’ll just need this to scrape the batter out of the bowl, so just about any size will work.
Once the batter is ready, you’re ready to bake. There isn’t really much needed here except:
- Cake pan(s) – any size or shape you want. (Just make sure you have enough batter if you’re making a really big cake). There are literally hundreds of different pans to choose from. Choose your pan according to how big you want the cake and how much effort you want to put into decorating!
- Baking strips – These help your cakes bake evenly. They won’t really fit anything but round pans, but if that’s what you’re using, these are wonderful for baking level cakes.
Once the actual baking is done and the cake comes out of the oven, it will have to cool off before you can decorate it. For that, the only type of kitchenware you’ll need is a cooling grid. These come in different sizes, so just choose one that your cake will fit on. The cooling grid will allow the cake to cool from all sides, including the bottom; so don’t just put it on a plate to cool off. It doesn’t work as well.
When the cake has cooled down and you’re ready to decorate, if you have a cake lifter, use it. This will prevent the cake from falling apart or cracking. You just slide it underneath and it makes picking up the cake a lot easier. Then you can simply place the cake on either a decorating plate or cake board that you’re going to use for serving.
Depending on the amount of effort you want to put into icing and decorating your cake, you can use one tool or many. Below is a list of decorating tools and their uses:
- Spatula – used to spread icing on the cake (this is different from the spatula used to scrape the bowl) There are two types, but one may feel more comfortable than another depending on what you’re trying to do. See which one works best for you.
- Cake leveler – Used to make the cake even. This is especially important if you’re making a layer cake. If the cake isn’t level, it will either lean to one side or there will be a big gap between the top and bottom layers.
- Cake plate or cake board – A plate or cardboard shaped for cakes that the cake is served from. This is especially helpful if you have a plate that rotates. You won’t have to keep turning the cake and take a chance of messing it up.
- Icing smoother – helps to create perfectly smooth cake tops and sides.
- Icing Comb – helps add a professional finish to your buttercream-iced cakes by creating textures around the edge.
- Decorating tips – There are many types of decorating tips available that can make a wide range of frills and trimmings for your cake. The most common tips will help you make floral arrangements, shell borders, and basketweave designs.
- Tip organizers – These are small to large boxes with lids made especially to hold your decorating tips.
- Couplers and rings – Used to hold the tips on the bag.
- Tip brush – Most tips are fairly small and sometimes hard to clean. The brushes make it easier.
- Decorating bags – holds the icing while decorating. The coupler, tips and ring are put on the end of the bag so you can push the icing through.
- Bag cutter – Bags need to be cut so the tips will fit. This cutter does the job quickly and easily.
- Decorating bag holder – This is a stand that already-filled decorating bags can be placed in if you’re using multiple colors.
- Fondant and Gum paste tools –
- Fondant and Gum paste tool sets – Cut, shape and assist in positioning delicate gum paste decorations
- Fondant and Gum paste molds – different shaped molds are used to easily create detailed designs
- Embossers – used to create a seamless pattern
- Ribbon cutter – Makes it easy to cut beautiful textured fondant ribbons, stripes and bows.
- Fondant smoother – Shapes and smoothens fondant to sides of cake so that no puffed areas appear.
- Fondant trimmer – makes cutting fondant easy and precise.
- Fondant cutouts – like cookie cutters, they make shapes in fondant.
- Fondant roller/guides - Nonstick roller helps to roll out fondant evenly, while the guides ensure it has the perfect thickness for easy cutting and shaping.
- Flower making tools
- Flower lifter – transfers buttercream flowers from the nail to the cake without damaging it.
- Flower nail – provides the control needed to make flowers
- Forming cups – Used for drying gum paste, fondant and royal icing flowers and leaves.
Now that you have a beautiful cake that you made with easy-to-use bakeware and cookware tools…enjoy it! But before you do, you’ll probably want to display it for your friends to see. There are a variety of cake stands to match just about any decorating style you may have chosen, from fairly plain plates with a pedestal to graceful tiered stands that could be used for wedding cakes. And if you need to take it somewhere, there are carriers made especially for that, too.