Essential Cake Decorating Tools – A Beginner’s Guide

I’ve been asked what tools I use when I’m making cakes, and have decided to share a list of my favorite cake decorating tools!

I cover everything from the cake stand I use religiously, to my favorite brand of cake pans. These are the tools and equipment that I wouldn’t be able to survive/decorate without.

If you want to see pictures of each tool listed below, or know more about the equipment I film with, you can check you my amazon storefront!

It’s also important to note that you don’t need expensive tools to get the job done.

Some of the tools I use the most are also the cheapest! So here they are, with links to the exact products I use:

  • ESSENTIALS:
    • Spinning Cake Stand – I have had this Ateco 612 cake stand for years, and it has never let me down! It can support very heavy cakes, and is dream to decorate on.
    • Straight Edged Cake Pans – It’s worth investing in some good cake pans! They can last your for years, and are totally worth it. I use either 7? x 2? or 8? x 2? can pans to bake the layers for most of my cakes.
    • Offset Spatula – My offset spatula is used with every cake I make! It helps evenly spreading frosting between cake layers, and work frosting around the cake for the crumb coat! I also use it for certain decorating techniques.
    • Bench scraper  – This tool is ESSENTIAL to getting smooth sides and sharp edges on your cakes!! I have several, but this one is the one I use the most. It’s only 6 inches tall, but is actually tall enough for more of my cakes. If you’re after a taller bench scraper, this a wonderful one that is 10 inches tall!
    • Basic Frosting Tips – I use a wide variety of frosting tips, but found that it was easiest when I was starting out to buy a pack of a bunch of tips. This bundle has a ton of different types, and is a great deal!
    • Piping Bags – I use different sized bags for different projects, but I like to use these Ateco piping bags! They’re great quality, and never tear or burst, even with stiff buttercream or ganache. I order both the 12 inch and 18 inch sizes, in rolls of 100 on amazon.
    • Cake Rounds/Cake Circles – I use 10-inch, greaseproof cake rounds because I usually 7 or 8 inch cakes. If you make different sized cakes, these come in a ton of different sizes!  Just always be sure that your cake rounds are grease proof, otherwise the cardboard will show great stains from your frosting!!

    NOT ESSENTIAL BUT GREAT TO HAVE:

    • Kitchenaid Mixer (5 quart size) and Paddle Attachment with spatula – I use these to make every recipe other than meringue! It is by far my most utilized tool.
    • Gel Food Coloring – Americolor is the BEST gel food coloring out there. It colors both batters and frosting the most vibrant shades, and is the only brand I use.
    • Acetate Sheets – These flexible plastic sheets are great for naked cakes (Christina Tosi style), ice cream cakes, and also for smoothing cakes with curved surfaces.
    • Assorted Circle Cutters – I use these for a variety of different things, from fondant polka dots, to making fondant eyes.
    • Plastic Squirt Bottles – I use these for all of my drips and drizzles!! Whether it’s regular chocolate ganache, colored white chocolate ganache, or caramel, these bottles allow you to easily get the perfect drips!!
    • Colorful Cake Knives – What’s the point in spending hours making a cake if you don’t get a nice clean cut, and beautiful slices?? I also love to coordinate my knife color with the decoration or flavor of my cakes

    NOT ESSENTIAL AT ALL BUT A REAL TREAT TO HAVE:

    • Air Brush – This is by no means an essential, but is so fun to have!! I recently purchased mine, and can’t get enough of it! It really is only needed for specialty or fancy cakes, and I finally purchased one for big partnership that required it.
    • Iridescent Knives – My friend got these for me, and I simply can’t get enough of them!! I also get asked all the time where they’re from, so I figured I’d share the link!
    • Decorative Cake Stands – When you put so much time into making a cake, it’s fun to have beautiful cake stands to display them on! I have a few different cake stands that don’t spin, and are solely for photographing cakes ?
    • Pretty Sprinkle Blends – My favorite brand of sprinkle blends is Neon Yolk Shop! Rosie is so sweet, and she has a fantastic online shop on Etsy

    *DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate, I earn money from qualifying purchases.

19 thoughts on “Essential Cake Decorating Tools – A Beginner’s Guide

  1. Hey Chelsey! I just found your blog and I love it! So many amazing cake ideas and tips! This question might be a little basic (I’m still learning) but in your recipes I’ve seen you normally use a 7 inch pan, how deep are your pans? I’ve seen 2, 3 or 4 inch and I’m not sure the benefits of the different sizes. Keep up the amazing work and videos ? Maybe someday I’ll be this good!

    1. My pans are about 2 inches deep! Some people use deeper pans if they plan to cut their layers in half, but I prefer to make four smaller layers and not cut them! I find they bake a lot faster, and i like the texture better. But it’s all a matter of preference!! And thanks 🙂

  2. Thank you for the links, I followed them via your YouTube video. Great tools, and it’s wonderful that their not expensive! Lol

      1. Hi Chelsey, about cake boxes. I can’t seem to find any that would be tall enough. How tall are your cake box? Which ones do you buy? Thanks!

  3. Hello! In the video you mentioned that your bench scraper is an Ateco, but the link shows an OXO, and I cannot find either with the white handle… can you clarify? Thanks!

    1. I have both, and bought the ateco one on amazon, but can’t find it anymore! Since then I’ve ordered the OXO brand and have really enjoyed using it!

  4. You’re just, WOW! I’m just so happy that I discovered your blog and videos on youtube. I’m amazed how you make everything so easy and simple. I just hope I’ll be able to find a store soon where I can buy all those baking tools and ingredients here in our province. Can’t wait to finally try all your recipes. I’m from the Philippines by the way. Thank you for inspiring me so so much! God bless!?

  5. Hi Chelsey!

    Where do you get your boxes for transporting cakes? What size would you suggest for your 4 layer 7” cakes? I think you mentioned getting them on amazon but there are so many sizes to choose from :-).

    I just love your live videos, website and YouTube channel! Huge fan of yours! Keep up the good work.

    Thank you,

    Brittany

  6. Hey Chelsey,
    My cake board keeps slipping and moving around on my cake stand. What do you put underneath the cake board for it to stop slipping?
    Thank you.

Let me know what you think!