The beginner’s guide to cake decorating like a professional
We’ve found all the tools you need to decorate a cake like a professional – so now you can achieve showstopping birthday, wedding and celebration cakes every time!
Want to know how to ice a cake like a professional? Fancy decorating your own creation for your next celebration? We’ve found the best cake decorating tools for beginners, including handy cake turntables, piping nozzles and smoothing spatulas.
If you’re looking for the best birthday cake decorating tips, buy the tools below then check out our showstopping ideas for every occasion – from boozy gin cake and pretty flower-topped sponges, to children’s birthday party ideas.
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Here are your essential cake decorating tools
PREPARING YOUR SPONGE FOR DECORATING
Get perfect layers with this simple tool – it slices sponges cleanly to create smooth, even surfaces which you can then decorate like a professional. Try our layer cake ideas here.
Avoid cake-dropping disasters with this great-value lifter to easily move your cake from one surface to another.
A stand mixer is essential for fuss-free baking – whether you’re after fast batters, smoother buttercreams or meringue that stands to attention. And, they don’t come much more stylish or reliable than a KitchenAid (available in a variety of colours).
For perfect sponges try these easy-to-lift, loose-bottom tins in a variety of sizes that give an even rise all over. Here's our perfect Victoria sponge recipe to try.
ICING AND PIPING TOOLS FOR BEGINNERS (FOR A PROFESSIONAL FINISH)
To ensure you get that smooth, professional look, try a cake turntable which will help you achieve an even icing coverage on your birthday or celebration cake.
For a truly professional finish on an iced cake, you’ll need a cake scraper. It’s good for slicking buttercream and smoothing royal icing (and for scraping dried scraps off the worktops). Check out our expert buttercream recipes here.
You’ve got your piping bag, now take it up a notch with some multitasking nozzles. This set comes with seven for all different types of frosting finishes – think star shapes, basketweaves, smooth swirls and more. With these in your decorating armoury you’ll have a showstopping bake in no time. Try using your nozzles on this swirly-topped carrot cake.
Every baker needs a palette knife in their life – whether you’re smoothing the delicate edges on the frosting of a big bake, or creating crafty swirls on a cupcake.
DECORATING YOUR CAKE LIKE A PROFESSIONAL
The secret to bold, vibrant colours in any kind of icing (sugarpaste, buttercream, fondant, royal icing, you name it), without any nasty aftertaste, is colour pastes. More concentrated in colour (so you use less) and less liquid than traditional food colouring (so the consistency of your icing won’t be affected), these pastes come in eight shades and can also be easily blended to make your own bespoke shades.
Butter can give icing a slightly yellow tinge, so add a few drops of this whitener to your mix for a pristine white finish on wedding and celebration cakes. Try it to make super-white icing for our white chocolate cake here.
SERVING YOUR CAKE LIKE A PROFESSIONAL
You’ve made the cake, now’s the time to show it off! And how better than with this modern, porcelain cake stand.