amaniemom Posted 21 May 2005 , 4:50am
post #1 of

Hi. I am just starting decorating cakes and just would like to do it for family and friends. I hate not having the right tool or equipment and at the same time I hate buying stuff that I won't use very often.
In your opnion what is somethings that you just can't do with out?

70 replies
veejaytx Posted 21 May 2005 , 5:06am
post #2 of

You have to have good quality baking pans; plastic bags and/or parchment triangles to make piping bags; plenty of connectors, tips and spatulas; colors for tinting icing (preferably Americolor); a turntable! Not necessarily in that order, but pretty close!

There are so many more things that help, but you pretty much have to have those basics, and I've probably forgotten something! Hope this helps! veejay

AngelaP Posted 21 May 2005 , 5:06am
post #3 of

I love my kitchen aid mixer. In my opinion a definate must have!!

tcturtleshell Posted 21 May 2005 , 5:20am
post #4 of

Do not buy the heating core! If is a waste of money. Just use flower nails in your batter when baking.

Buy any book that catches your eye! You can never have enough books!

The Wilton cake release is a wonderful product! I use it everytime I bake.

The Cake Mix Dr's book! Wonderful!

If I think of anything else I'll make another post.

You'll get a lot of posts for this one! GREAT QUESTION!!

heartsfire Posted 21 May 2005 , 5:29am
post #5 of

A good angled spatula and a metal putty knife. I read on this site how one is used to smooth the icing so I got one. I love how easy to handle and how smooth it gets the sides of the cake. Another thing that I use regularly and actually took for granted until I couldn't find it was my paint brush. Everything from spreading the dust to writing to using the brush handle as a tool in making flowers. Oh yeah and if working with fondant a really good rolling pin and fondant smoother.

Everyone has a certain item they believe helps them more than anything else. Once you get into it - you will find your own special item that you can not live without.

sweeterbug1977 Posted 21 May 2005 , 5:30am
post #6 of

Okay, I'll add a couple of items to the list....I love my icer tip. It makes icing the cake much easier for me. I also like my turntable...I just have one of the $10 ones from Michaels and it has worked well thus far. I also like my pointed spatula...it can get into small spaces that my rounded one can't. My tool caddy...it keeps my tips and colors all together so I don't have to search everywhere for them. I know there are more items, but I just can't think at the moment.

Lisa Posted 21 May 2005 , 5:35am
post #7 of

So many of my "Must Haves" have already been mentioned. I guess I'll pay tribute to Viva paper towels. Without them...my cakes would never be smooth.

blessBeckysbaking Posted 21 May 2005 , 8:53am
post #8 of

I'd have to add my spray bottle,and good storage containers and a lot of ziplock bags!

LemonLyme Posted 21 May 2005 , 11:35am
post #9 of

birthday.gif Wow what a great question..10 things i couldn't do without.
1.You know i'll say that the first thing I couldn't do without is my kitchen,because i have such space i know how to manuever in it,this is speaking from experience because i took my stuff over to help someone out and it just wasn't the same i didn't feel relaxed and I know sometimes you have to work in other work environments but my kitchen is it for me.
2.Kitchen aid is a great investment.
3. Michaels and other cake decorating supply stores or hobby stores.
4.Baker's Joy.I've notice the difference in my cakes when iturn them out onto the cooling racks,I use it as opposed to usuing another product.
5.A marble counter top.
6.Air conditioning..especially in the warmer months when someone insists on royal icing and it's 90+ degrees outside and you have to work on royal flowers...
7.Disposable decorator bags
8.Parchment paper and Doilies.
9.Icing tips# 199( without it that cake wouldn't have a classy border to stand on and tip #47 ( oh the basket weave is such and eye catcher.)
10.A camera.( you just can't put a portfolio together without it.)
I know i avoided the other stuff but most of it's been named and we all can't do without our decorator's caddy's and such but i had to give credit where credit was due because I'll testify without Michael's nearby we'd all be ordering certain supplies online.
I do have other thing's i couldn't work without but i'll name them later.
And a big thank you to Flower formers,they make a world of difference for those royal flowers.[/b]

m0use Posted 21 May 2005 , 12:27pm

In no particular order...
1. My kitchenaid stand mixer.
2. My Cake Mix Doctor cookbook.
3. My stove.
4. My round pans.
5. My 11x15 sheet cake pan.
6. COOLING RACKS!
7. Icer tip, tip #789
8. Disposable decorator bags
9. Wilton cake release (or make your own)
10. My all time favorite cooking spray- Pam.
11. A shallow 2 quart saucepan.
12. My round tips.
13. My triple star tip.
14. Lots of couplers and coupler rings.
15. Flower nails (I have 4 of them)
16. My cake tester- longer than a toothpick.
17. Latex free disposable gloves (the kind that you would see in a first aid kit)
18. My spatulas.
19. Clear contact paper (for covering cake boards)
20. Good pair of kitchen scissors.
21. My star tips.

CakesbyKimmie Posted 21 May 2005 , 2:19pm

Everyone pretty muched wrote what I would have suggested. My tip, is make sure you have a lot of patience! Especially first starting out. Sometimes it doesnt always go the way you want it to or look the way you want it to so make sure you always have patience.

Also, always have some toothpicks on hand. You can use them as guideswhen you want to write in the buttercream frosting first and then pipe over it, use as supports, and to use for dipping into your food coloring jars.

Lots of confectioners sugar!

And a splatter shield on your kitchenaid. icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

CIndymm4 Posted 21 May 2005 , 3:34pm

Well just about everything I can think of has been named except the first thing I start with when I get ready to start...my apron.....maybe I'm just a messy decorator but it' seems like I always get something on me, from cake batter to icing color and if I have to dash out in the middle, I don't have to change, I just take my apron off. I have all white ones so they can be bleached.

llj68 Posted 21 May 2005 , 4:40pm

In addition to everything else said, I would only add several flower nails. I only have 2 and need at least 2 more. Also--a "good" recipe for butter cream icing.

The other thing that has made probably the MOST difference in my decorating skills is THIS board and all the fabulous people who are in our little community.

I can't tell you how much I have learned here and I have been decorating for 17 years! (Not seriously for that whole time--but I took my first Wilton course at age 19.) Tips and tricks and easier ways to do things (the flower nail and icer tip, for instance!) have been a live saver to me.

Lisa

cakegal Posted 21 May 2005 , 7:22pm

Everyone pretty much said things I would have....
But I also bougth the caddy to put all my things in...I got it at ACMoores...All my tips, color gels, glitter, bags, couplers, flower nails, tooth pics, ....it all fits in there and at hand when I need it...
This was a very good question...

I need to know more about the paintbrush technique though???
[/quote]Another thing that I use regularly and actually took for granted until I couldn't find it was my paint brush. Everything from spreading the dust to writing to using the brush handle as a tool in making flowers.

Quote:
Quote:


TIA
cakegal


dragonwarlord1969 Posted 21 May 2005 , 7:57pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by m0use

In no particular order...
1. My kitchenaid stand mixer.
2. My Cake Mix Doctor cookbook.
3. My stove.
4. My round pans.
5. My 11x15 sheet cake pan.
6. COOLING RACKS!
7. Icer tip, tip #789
8. Disposable decorator bags
9. Wilton cake release (or make your own)
10. My all time favorite cooking spray- Pam.
11. A shallow 2 quart saucepan.
12. My round tips.
13. My triple star tip.
14. Lots of couplers and coupler rings.
15. Flower nails (I have 4 of them)
16. My cake tester- longer than a toothpick.
17. Latex free disposable gloves (the kind that you would see in a first aid kit)
18. My spatulas.
19. Clear contact paper (for covering cake boards)
20. Good pair of kitchen scissors.
21. My star tips.




Hey Mouse,

I was thinking of getting the triple star tip (#13 on the list) , is it easy to work with and what size stars does it make?

Joe

magentaa23 Posted 21 May 2005 , 8:07pm

i only have 2 items in my must have... my cake smoother and my small angled painters pallet knife for smoothing out my drawings, since im known by people fot my freehand drawings... and toothpicks!.. everything else i can make do icon_smile.gif

melodyscakes Posted 22 May 2005 , 3:06am

okay, the most important thing to have is a place to HIDE ALL YOUR RECEIPTS!!!!!!! so you dont get yelled at, hahahahaha
i just got the tool caddy, the $50.00 one from wilton, i used a coupon so i got it for alot less. it is very handy and keeps all my stuff together.
another important thing you need is COUPONS!!!!! dont buy anything over $10.00 or so without a coupon!!!!!!!!!!!! micheals and jo-annes craft store has coupons pretty often for 40% off. thats the ONLY time to buy most of your stuff. you may have to make yourself a list of what you want first and get the sunday paper and watch for coupons!!!!!!!
melody

blessBeckysbaking Posted 22 May 2005 , 3:13am

I have the 3 star tip its great it is the size of #16 star tip I think

ntertayneme Posted 22 May 2005 , 3:24am

I agree with Lisa... Viva papertowels is a must .. I smooth all my cakes w/these... couplers, tips, color for icing... just to name a few... the main thing is, but a few things to start off with .. if you really like cake decorating and find you want to continue doing it, buy a few more things.. slowly add to your collection .. don't try to buy it all at once .. I've seen people do that and then find out they didn't like decorating or didn't have the patience to do it ... I'd start of with a couple of star tips, 18 or 19, 21 .. a round tip for writing, 3 ... a rose tip to do roses, 103 or 104 ... a leaf tip for leaves, 352 ... *phew* that's' enough huh? lol

mixaleena Posted 22 May 2005 , 3:44am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntertayneme

slowly add to your collection .. don't try to buy it all at once .. I've seen people do that and then find out they didn't like decorating or didn't have the patience to do it ... I'd start of with a couple of star tips, 18 or 19, 21 .. a round tip for writing, 3 ... a rose tip to do roses, 103 or 104 ... a leaf tip for leaves, 352 ... *phew* that's' enough huh? lol




Let me provide you with another perspective on this advice. I did that and continued to do cakes in the 3 Wilton courses and it cost me more money doing it this way then it would have if I had just bought the $120 kit with a coupon and then buying some other odds and ends...There is a benefit to that too though, I have doubles of alot of things and have found that to be quite useful a few times. But still I spent more money than I would have buying some of the stuff together in the kits. Just a thought.

dragonwarlord1969 Posted 22 May 2005 , 9:46am
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessBeckysbaking

I have the 3 star tip its great it is the size of #16 star tip I think




Thanks! I will pick one up the next time I'm at the store. thumbs_up.gif

Joe

m0use Posted 22 May 2005 , 1:39pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonwarlord1969

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessBeckysbaking

I have the 3 star tip its great it is the size of #16 star tip I think



Thanks! I will pick one up the next time I'm at the store. thumbs_up.gif

Joe



You will be so glad you did Joe when you have to a character cake that is requires a ton of stars!

amaniemom Posted 22 May 2005 , 4:09pm

thanks for all the advice. Ya I ca see how easy it is to go overboard with things and find out you don't really need them. I have also heard someone say that even if you have 2 or 3 of the same tip it can make life easier so you arenot chaning bags all the time when you nee the same tip for different colors.
thanks again.

NEWTODECORATING Posted 22 May 2005 , 4:58pm

I am just starting out too, but the one great suggestion my DH had was instead of a Wilton box--a tackle box. You know one for fishing. We went to look at the wilton box and he said-Honey, a tackle box would have more compartments and better storage. Man was he right! I already had most of my supplies (Christmas, b-day, anniversary, wish list) so the tackle box idea was great.
I am the envy of my Wilton classes because I can find everything so quickly in its own little space instead of digging through the one compartment of the Wilton box. Most of my icing I take to class will fit in it too. icon_lol.gif

m0use Posted 22 May 2005 , 7:17pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTODECORATING

I am just starting out too, but the one great suggestion my DH had was instead of a Wilton box--a tackle box. You know one for fishing. We went to look at the wilton box and he said-Honey, a tackle box would have more compartments and better storage. Man was he right! I already had most of my supplies (Christmas, b-day, anniversary, wish list) so the tackle box idea was great.
I am the envy of my Wilton classes because I can find everything so quickly in its own little space instead of digging through the one compartment of the Wilton box. Most of my icing I take to class will fit in it too. icon_lol.gif



I went a bought one of the smaller fish tackle boxes- the small ones that are clear. It fits great in my kitchen drawer, and I can put soo many tips in it. I can even fit several of my couplers, coupler rings, and my 4 flower nails in it. It's great, much nicer than my wilton tip case!

ntertayneme Posted 22 May 2005 , 7:20pm

nice idea m0use ... I have the caddy and have to drag it out everytime .. I have so many tips now (multiples of many) that they won't even fit in the caddy .. the same w/the couplers.. I have so many, I just throw them in the bottom of the caddy .. I'm going to buy me one of those next time I'm in WalMart and put it in the drawer in the kitchen.. I'll probably put my most used tips and couplers in it ... thanks for the idea!

m0use Posted 22 May 2005 , 7:25pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntertayneme

nice idea m0use ... I have the caddy and have to drag it out everytime .. I have so many tips now (multiples of many) that they won't even fit in the caddy .. the same w/the couplers.. I have so many, I just throw them in the bottom of the caddy .. I'm going to buy me one of those next time I'm in WalMart and put it in the drawer in the kitchen.. I'll probably put my most used tips and couplers in it ... thanks for the idea!



Your welcome, anything to make our lives easier icon_wink.gif

tcturtleshell Posted 23 May 2005 , 6:24am

I bought a nice size tool organizer from Walmart for $9. I got it because I kept dropping all my tips out of the caddy! I do not use the caddy I bought during my 1st class. It was a waste of money in my opinion. The tool organizer is the one w/ alot drawers it's used to store nails etc. It looks like a small chest of drawers! I wrote the #'s of each tip on the drawers, that way I find the tips easier. I also had plenty of room for a coupler drawer, a gel drawer (small tubes of gel), a coupler lid drawer, glue gun/glue, icer tip, sprinkles, & a few other stuff. I love it!! I don't have to worry about it tipping over like the caddy does or getting my tips mixed up. It's perfect!

I have the tool organizer sitting on my kitchen counter top. It takes up very little space. I'll have to take a pic of it & show everyone.

Ya'll gotta get one. It is great to have~

veejaytx Posted 23 May 2005 , 7:09am

I've been thinking about getting one of those tool organizers, TC, just haven't actually done it. To me the caddy is pretty much like my purses, everything falls to the bottom, and there certainly isn't enough room on top for all your colors, etc., so you wind up digging through it all for one item!

Has anybody got an idea how to paint or enlarge the numbers on those little-bitty tips? I get pretty uptight trying to figure out the numbers when I'm looking for a specific one. vj

lastingmoments Posted 23 May 2005 , 7:16am

I have so much stuff that I got those clear plastic containers (shoe box size) and seperated everything baking realated in my pantry. cookie cutter in one seperate boxes for differnt holidays (on the ones thats there alot like xmas). gels, tips formers, etc it works great......

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