Olive Magazine
Jamaican ginger and caramel cake

The beginner’s guide to cake decorating like a professional

Published: August 14, 2019 at 1:20 pm

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.

All products have been chosen and reviewed independently by our editorial team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small commission for purchases made, but this comes at no extra cost to you and helps us to continue providing top quality content for our loyal readers.

Here are your essential cake decorating tools


KitchenCraft cake cutting wire, £4.50, Amazon

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.

Buy now

KitchenCraft Cake Cutting Wire

Mary Berry cake lifter, £13.99, Amazon

Avoid cake-dropping disasters with this great-value lifter to easily move your cake from one surface to another.

Buy now

Mary Berry Cake Lifter

KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer for cake mixing, £499.00, KitchenAid

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).

Buy now

KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer For Cake Mixing

Loose based cake tins, £11.49, Lakeland

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.

Buy now

Loose Based Cake Tins


Wilton Ultra cake turntable, £21.99, Lakeland

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.

Buy now

Wilton Ultra Cake Turntable

Stainless steel cake scraper, £5.05, Amazon

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.

Buy it now

Stainless Steel Cake Scraper

Professional piping set, £13.99, Lakeland

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.

Buy now

Offset spatula/cranked palette knife, £5.49, Amazon

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.

Buy now

Offset Spatula/Cranked Palette Knife


PME paste colours for icing, £12, Amazon

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.

Buy now

PME Paste Colours for Icing

White colour for icing, £5.34, Amazon

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.

Buy now

White Colour for Icing


House Doctor rustic cake stand, £55.50, Trouva

You’ve made the cake, now’s the time to show it off! And how better than with this modern, porcelain cake stand.


Buy now

Rustic Cake Stand

Looking for cake recipes to put your new cake decorating skills to use? Try our ideas below...

Jamaican ginger and caramel cake

Jamaican ginger and caramel cake

Spiced rum cake

Spiced Rum Bamkuchen Cake Recipe - layered german christmas cake covered in chocolate glaze and white chocolate lines

Classic chocolate cupcakes

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

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