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Beginning cake decorator

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hello, everyone!! I'm just getting into cake decorating. Could someone tell me the basic essential tools I need to get. I have my turntable and icing smoother. That is it. No bags, or tips or anything. What else do I need to buy?

post #2 of 18

Hello!  And welcome!

 

You can get those starter kits at your local craft store, which should include all the basic essentials.

 

You may want to google "cake decorating beginners essentials" or something like that....I have been doing it too long and can't remember what I started with.

 

Good luck!

Aah, cake. . .the 5th food group!!
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Aah, cake. . .the 5th food group!!
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post #3 of 18

the  type of equipment depends on what type of decorating you want to do.

A decent rolling pin is a must i have a 24 inch. An offset pallet knife is essential for me too and i don't know what i would do without "the mat" for coping with big pieces of covering paste.

 

my equipment includes loads of petal and leaf cutters and veiners as i specialize in sugar flowers and pastillage.

 

buying equipment seems never ending because the more you do the more you want to do and keeping up with trends brings must have tools too.

Striving for perfection causes disappointment while doing all things to the best of your ability ensures satisfaction.
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Striving for perfection causes disappointment while doing all things to the best of your ability ensures satisfaction.
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post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thank you. I will do that. If you can offer any other tips please do. I am open to any help I can get. I don't want to become a professional. I just want to have fun but I want it to look professional.

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakeforfun21 View Post
 

Thank you. I will do that. If you can offer any other tips please do. I am open to any help I can get. I don't want to become a professional. I just want to have fun but I want it to look professional.

experiment with different techniques to find out what you are good at. i love making flowers and am good at it but my figures are rubbish so i tend to avoid making them. UTUBE is great for tutorials and there are a lot on here too. 

 

I am not in business but i make a lot for friends family and get commissions by word of mouth. I also do competition work which is the only professional feedback that i get. I learn on my own mostly from books and on line tutorials.

Striving for perfection causes disappointment while doing all things to the best of your ability ensures satisfaction.
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Striving for perfection causes disappointment while doing all things to the best of your ability ensures satisfaction.
Reply
post #6 of 18

As an amateur, you have the advantage of being able to get what you need, when you need it, and to learn new techniques as you need them (or as they interest you), without any pressure to get product out the door in order to pay the rent.

 

I have two tips and a few couplers; when I need a piping bag, I just cut the corner out of a quart zip-top food storage bag (don't try that trick with a sandwich bag!). I recently (after having trouble troweling out frosting with a straight spatula) bought an offset frosting spatula.

 

One thing I suggest you try and find immediately: somebody trustworthy to whom you can farm-out edible printing. It's a powerful tool for putting not only photographs but logos and such onto a cake, but it's ridiculous to go to the expense of a dedicated ink-jet printer that's completely free of non-edible ink residue, and edible ink cartridges as well, if you're only going to need a few sheets of edible printing per year. Try your local cake supply. (You'll probably also find lots of other things there, that will get your little wheels turning.)

 

And at any rate, Welcome to the Squirrel-Cage, and look out for the nuts (myself included).

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply
post #7 of 18
Michaels usually prints 40%off coupons often. Use one to get a Wilton basic kit. That would make it less than $20 and has several tips and a couple of piping bags.
post #8 of 18

Of course, the downside of decorating kits (or any other kind of starter kits) is that they are sort of like package-tour (or cruise, or all-inclusive resort) vacations: they're somebody else's idea of what you want or need.

 

Which is not to say that this necessarily makes getting one a bad idea; it just means that you need to pay attention to what you're getting, and if it looks like you're going to end up having too much stuff you don't need, and missing too much stuff you do, then it's probably not a good match for your needs.

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply
post #9 of 18
I haven't been baking for very long, but I have amassed a lot of stuff! Most of it I do use, but it's easy to go overboard.

Don't get sucked into the Wilton vortex and spend extra for the name!

The items I have found indispensable are:

A turntable! Mine is just a basic lazy Susan. No need to shell out big bucks. Just make sure it's sturdy and is a good size.

Offset spatulas- large and small

Bench scraper- I use the norpro stainless steel scraper. It's great for getting nice straight sides

Disposable piping bags and parchment paper- I use disposable bags for larger piping work. Make sure to use the Saran Wrap method to make cleaning easier! I make simple parchment cones on their own to do a lot do the detailed stuff.

Piping tips- I agreed with those that said a basic wilton tip set will suffice. Check to see what tips they include, and maybe pick up a few more writing, leaf and petal tips in different sizes.

Cake boards- multiples in the size cakes I will most commonly make for the upside down frosting technique, and a couple large ones for presentation.

Food colouring- I only have access to the wilton gels and they work fine..but I have heard Americolor gels are better. Either way, gels are better than the liquids you find in the grocery store

If you want to do fondant, you'll need:

A nice long rolling pin...I have found the long cylinder ones without handles work best.

A couple of fondant smoothers


For gumpaste:

Maybe someone will chime in on this because I'm still trying to figure this one out! icon_biggrin.gif
post #10 of 18

a serrated knife for torting.

post #11 of 18

howboutbake~~GREAT LIST!

 

BakeforFun21~~Careful!  James was right, we are a bunch of squirrels.  I've been hobby baking for 3 years and love it.  About  a year ago, I compiled a list of the tutorials, videos, etc., that are some of  the most helpful for a brand new wanna-be-decorator. 

 

My suggestion regarding equipment is to watch these tutorials BEFORE you invest money in equipment and supplies.   You will see that many commonly used items do not have to be "brand names" and can be purchased inexpensively.  Some items, however, like an Agbay ($200+) are worth every penny once you get serious!

 

List:  How-To tutorials/videos for Cake Decorators

 

http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=8&threadid=160184

 

You may wish to visit my cake site (just photos of what I've done so far):

https://christinascakes.shutterfly.com/

 

and see my first cake:  https://christinascakes.shutterfly.com/pictures/134

 

and then view some of my recent hobby cakes/chocolates, etc.   You will see that I try a bunch of different things and you will probably wish to try different techniques as well.  There is a world of discovery ahead!


Edited by Apti - 2/13/14 at 7:53am
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmom View Post

a serrated knife for torting.

YES! This is a must I forgot! Also, I love love my cheap wilton cake leveller (the one with the wire-NOT the blade). It's only good for smaller cakes, but it's great for starting out!

I think levelling is the fist thing that instantly makes your cakes look more professional!
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by howboutbake View Post

I haven't been baking for very long, but I have amassed a lot of stuff! Most of it I do use, but it's easy to go overboard.

Don't get sucked into the Wilton vortex and spend extra for the name!

The items I have found indispensable are:

A turntable! Mine is just a basic lazy Susan. No need to shell out big bucks. Just make sure it's sturdy and is a good size.

Offset spatulas- large and small

Bench scraper- I use the norpro stainless steel scraper. It's great for getting nice straight sides

Disposable piping bags and parchment paper- I use disposable bags for larger piping work. Make sure to use the Saran Wrap method to make cleaning easier! I make simple parchment cones on their own to do a lot do the detailed stuff.

Piping tips- I agreed with those that said a basic wilton tip set will suffice. Check to see what tips they include, and maybe pick up a few more writing, leaf and petal tips in different sizes.

Cake boards- multiples in the size cakes I will most commonly make for the upside down frosting technique, and a couple large ones for presentation.

Food colouring- I only have access to the wilton gels and they work fine..but I have heard Americolor gels are better. Either way, gels are better than the liquids you find in the grocery store

If you want to do fondant, you'll need:

A nice long rolling pin...I have found the long cylinder ones without handles work best.

A couple of fondant smoothers


For gumpaste:

Maybe someone will chime in on this because I'm still trying to figure this one out! icon_biggrin.gif

;-D

"You don't have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great"

 

By a very smart 6 yr old

Reply

"You don't have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great"

 

By a very smart 6 yr old

Reply
post #14 of 18

My most prized possession is my KA mixer, couldnt live without it! Well worth the investment, found my first one on Craigslist for 100 bucks.

"You don't have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great"

 

By a very smart 6 yr old

Reply

"You don't have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great"

 

By a very smart 6 yr old

Reply
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by howboutbake View Post

I think levelling is the fist thing that instantly makes your cakes look more professional!

On the other hand, if you want them to look more rustic, then leave them domed, so long as they don't have some huge, cracked, peak!

:D

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply
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