Decorating By tjames30 Updated 11 Jul 2011 , 11:38pm by augurey

tjames30 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 9:38pm
post #1 of 12

I am a beginning cake maker. I have made a few amateur cakes for my kids birthdays, but nothing spectacular and never used fondant. I am considering ordering alot of $ worth of cake pans, tools, etc. Any necessities that I must get? I am hoping to use them to make a round cake topped with the giant cupcake cake for my daughter's first birthday and hopefully start making more of my own cakes, etc. Are there any good starter kits that you recommend?

Also, any easy cake or fondant recipes that you could recommend would also be greatly appreciated. I am just at a loss as to exactly what I should purchase. Thinking about getting the Wilton 3 inch round cake pan set, round and star fondant cutters, fondant smoother, rotating cake stand, 8 inch spatula and Wilton cake release.

Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!

11 replies
EnglishCakeLady Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 10:08pm
post #2 of 12

Opinions differ, but I would Google a marshmallow fondant recipe and use that. The one I swear by is 16oz mini marshmallows, 2lb powdered sugar and between 2 and 5 tbsps water.

Also have a search for WACC cake recipes. Although WASC stands for white almond sour cream, it has almost come to mean using a box mix and making it go further by adding additional ingredients. This is useful if you come to back 10 or 12 inch rounds, or want to get two decent height 9" rounds out of one box.

As far as cake tins are concerned, I recommend you buy Magic Line pans as they seem to have a good non-stick action. I've found Wilton products are fairly awful on the whole, but as they're cheap and they have so much choice people are buying them.

Other equipment I recommend is a large fondant rolling pin, a smallish metal pizza cutter, box of 16 Wilton gel colors (OK, it's not all awful!), some soft paintbrushes, and a cornstarch puff (you can make your own - Google it!). I also love my flower cutters with the plungers, but at $30, these were a luxury. OH! And I LOVE my Tappits letter cutters.

I am very new to cake decorating and although I am now running a business, I am still learning a lot. Feel free to ask!

SarahL4683 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 10:46pm
post #3 of 12

Wilton pans aren't my favorite but I have to say, for the price, the 3" round set (6", 10", 14") were a great buy. I agree with the large rolling pin (i have the 20" wilton one). A fondant smoother (or 2 for sharp edges) is a must! I like the tilting turntable, the new wilton one is good and you can buy it with a coupon from joanns or michaels. I HATE the wilton gel colors, I only use americolor because it works so much better, its stronger and cheaper. I have a 15" spatula I would never part with, as well as several smaller ones in various sizes. I also use a cheap plastic bowl scraper (you can get them for under $1) for smoothing my buttercream. I would get a mat if you plan on doing fondant work, it will save you a lot of time and aggravation in the beginning. Don't bother with the wilton cake release, you can use pam baking spray if you want. I just use canola oil spray and line all my pans with wax paper. There are also instructions to make your own cake release (MUCH cheaper). I really love country kitchen sweetart for supplies, they're cheaper and they ship SO quickly. I order a large majority of my supplies from them and supplement supplies from my local bakery supply cash & carry.

MMF is the way to go once you "master it". The perfect recipe for me is a bag of mini marshmallows (everyone says 16 oz, but I only have 10.5 oz bags here so thats what I use), 2 lbs of 10x conf sugar (i never use quite the whole bag) 4 tbsp of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons extract. HTH

EnglishCakeLady Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 11:33pm
post #4 of 12

I'll try Americolor from now on - top tip, thanks!

SarahL4683 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 11:37pm
post #5 of 12

You will really notice a difference! Much truer colors AND they come in squeeze bottle (3/4 oz, 4.5 oz and larger) so they're easy to use too! Super red and Super black are a must!

Lita829 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 11:52pm
post #6 of 12

Ditto on the MMF. I love it (and I usually don't like fondant).

My must have cake toys are the angled spatula, turntable, a large baker's knife for leveling cakes (I have one from Wusthof), cake pans of all sizes, and the Ateco large decorating tip set ( I make a lot of cuppies). I'm sure there is more but that is all I can think about right now. I like the Wilton icing colors because they don't have a funny after taste but I admit that I use Americolor Super Black for decorated cookies.

SarahL4683 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 11:54pm
post #7 of 12

Hmm, I've never had any problems with after taste using americolor. That's actually the reason I stopped using Wilton, I had to use SOO much gel to achieve the color I wanted that it changed the icing taste. But every caker has their own way!

Lita829 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 11:56pm
post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by SarahL4683

Hmm, I've never had any problems with after taste using americolor. That's actually the reason I stopped using Wilton, I had to use SOO much gel to achieve the color I wanted that it changed the icing taste. But every caker has their own way!


Moovaughan Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 11:58pm
post #9 of 12

Yes Americolor is the way to go, colors great and they don't turn like Wilton. I don't mind their cake pans but i did find that our local restaurant supply store had a great price on round cake pans and pastry boxes, cardboard rounds, parchment papers etc. You can never go wrong with a 1/4, and 1/2 sheet cake pan also. I like Rhonda's MMF fondant recipie on this site, play around with different extracts and it really changes up your taste outcome (ie butter, almond, butternut). I would die without my stand up mixer - has paid for itself over and over again. Another thing I finally did was to make a pantry for just my baking, it is so nice to have everything in one spot! Youtube is your friend, research research research - lots of techinques and tips.

Lita829 Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 12:05am
post #10 of 12

"I would die without my stand up mixer - has paid for itself over and over again."

I soooo agree. I always say that my kitchenAid is worth it's weight in gold. I like and depend on it so much that I am about to buy a second Pro600.

tjames30 Posted 11 Jul 2011 , 9:21pm
post #11 of 12

Thank you everyone for the tips and recommendations! I did a practice for my daughter's 1st birthday with the help of my older kids and it turned out okay. I am going to be making my fondant tonight and starting on her actual first birthday cake for the party on Saturday. Still searching for that perfect cake recipe, would prefer chocolate. Any suggestions? Also, a good buttercream recipe, the one I tried was kind of weird and sooooo sweet.

Also, any suggestions on building the cake? It's going to be one or two round layers and a giant cupcake cake on top. I have the 3" pans, should I bake 2 for one layer or just use the one?

augurey Posted 11 Jul 2011 , 11:38pm
post #12 of 12

For the chocolate cake, I just tried the Chocolate WASC recipe. Personally, I loved it, and I had a lot of compliments on it.

The recipe is here:

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