If you're looking to get into buttercream cake decorating or already love baking and want to expand on your skills, then these 8 must haves for decorating with buttercream should be at the top of your shopping list!
Without the right cake decorating tools, creating beautiful buttercream cakes is difficult. These 8 must have essentials for cake decorating will make the process much simpler and help you expand on your skills. Some of the items on this list are inexpensive and some a little more pricey, however the more expensive equipment will last for years if properly taken care of and so they're worth the investment! This blog post will give an overview of what each cake decorating tool does along with why it's necessary in cake decorating. Stand Mixer For basic cake decorating, you can get away with an electric handheld whisk. However, a stand mixer will make your life so much easier (and save you a dead arm!) especially if you plan to decorate cakes with Swiss meringue buttercream as I do. If you're looking for a stand mixer with great style and reliability, you can't go wrong with a KitchenAid. I have used a KitchenAid stand mixer since the beginning of my baking journey and it's never let me down! The attachments available for these machines range from simple beaters and kneaders, to more advanced attachments like pasta makers and slicers, so they're also a great tool for home cooking. I would recommend opting for a Classic KitchenAid Stand Mixer if you're a home baker or not looking to commit to cake decorating as a business. However, KitchenAid also have their Professional Stand Mixer range which have a larger bowl capacity and other great features to work in a professional kitchen. Check out the links to both machines below!
KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer, 4.3 Litre, White KitchenAid Professional Stand Mixer 6.9Ltr Silver Cake Scraper If you're looking to create a smooth, sharp edge with a buttercream covered cake, a cake scraper will be your best friend in the kitchen! You can get acrylic scrapers which are often a little cheaper, but personally I prefer the stainless steel scrapers. They keep a sharper edge for longer, and you can dip them in hot water to create a sharp, neat finish for buttercream and also ganache decorating. I would suggest not getting an extra large scraper, as they are much harder to control and are more likely to bend over time, here is a Stainless Steel Scraper Set I have myself that I would highly recommend which is tall enough for 3 or 4 layered cakes: 2 Pieces 9 Inch Stainless Steel Cake Scrapers Palette knives A good selection of palette knives will help you create a smooth finish on your buttercream cake. They are also a great tool for creating a paint effect on your cakes. Swiss meringue buttercream is my favourite for decorating as it has a silky smooth texture, and feels similar to oil paint. You can use the palette knives to create textured flowers or abstract designs with your buttercream, just as you would with an oil painting. Firstly you need a set of larger Palette Knives to get you started with decorating a buttercream cake. Then another Smaller Palette Knife Set for finer details. : 3PCS Professional Palette Knife Set 5PCS Smaller Palette Knife Set Reusable piping bags If you're looking to pipe onto your cakes, but don't want to waste disposable piping bags, I've discovered that Amazon sell reusable silicone piping bags. They are a great alternative to disposable piping bags and are really easy to clean as the buttercream slides straight off the silicone when cleaning! Here is a set of Reusable Piping Bags I have used myself and would recommend. Reusable Icing Piping Bags Piping nozzles To go with your piping bags, you'll need a selection of piping nozzles to decorate your buttercream cakes. As well as the palette knives I mentioned earlier, piping nozzles can be a great way to create textured 3D flowers on your cakes, as well as finishing the top of your cake with fun swirls and shapes. Here is a good starter set of Piping Nozzles with some of my favourite shapes: 9 Pack Piping Nozzles Turntable A turntable is an essential tool to create a professional finish on a buttercream cake. From stacking your cake to applying the finishing touches, a turntable allows you to turn the cake in one smooth motion and helps you achieve a professional, clean finish. If you're just starting out with buttercream cakes and don't want to invest too much, start off with a Plastic Cake Turntable like this one: Plastic Cake Turntable However, I highly recommend a stainless steel turntable as they are much sturdier and have a smoother motion when decorating your cakes. Ateco turntables are known to be durable and reliable, so take at look at this Stainless Steel Ateco turntable which is a great all rounder for an easy decorating experience: Ateco 615 Stainless Steel Turntable, Aluminum Cake boards Cake boards are the base on which you will place your cake layers. In the UK, it's very common to use silver foil boards or drums. However, I always use white cake boards as they don't distract attention away from your beautiful cake designs, and they look modern and sleek! If you're creating buttercream cakes with more than two layers, or they are particularly heavy, I recommend using Masonite White Cake Boards like these ones from Amazon. 5 White Masonite Cake Boards If you're a cake maker and want a good supplier for bulk cake boards, I always get my white masonite cake boards from Cake Stuff. Cake Stuff have a great range of cake decorating tools as well, so they're worth taking a look if you're stocking up on cake decorating equipment. Shop masonite cake boards on Cake Stuff Food colouring If you're planning to create some fun, colourful cakes, you'll need a good selection of food colouring. I have used many brands in the past such as Sugarflair, Wilton and Americolor, however my go to brand for food colouring has to be Colour Mill. Colour Mill have an amazing range of colours and I've found that they're the most accurate colour in comparison to the image they show on the bottle. If you're wanting modern, vibrant colours such as their amazing Desert collection with nudes and neutral palettes, I highly recommend Colour Mill. Not only are their colours highly pigmented so you only have to use a very small amount, they are oil based which means they blend much better into buttercream and you can use them in chocolate and ganache! Here's a great starter pack of 12 colours from Colour Mill Shop Colour Mill Student Starter Kit of 12 I hope these 8 essentials for buttercream cake decorating will help you to create beautiful, creative cakes! Happy Baking, Copper Spoon Cakery