Just Starting - Basic Tools??

Decorating By Spectra Updated 17 Jan 2010 , 1:25am by Spectra

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Spectra Posted 14 Jan 2010 , 7:59pm
post #1 of 15

Hey everyone, I'm extremely new at all this, and for now want to focus on making cakes and cupcakes using BC and Fondant. All I have currently is the basic 8inch round pans, which I've had forever, and the plain old cupcake pans. So starting out, what would be good to purchase? In regards to icing tools, cake tools, decorating tools.

And just a curious question as we are moving into a new home this coming summer... What oven is best, or does it matter, convection oven or regular??


14 replies
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baycheeks1 Posted 14 Jan 2010 , 8:13pm
post #2 of 15

It's good to have Icing spatulas...the metal ones...in different sizes...
A good quality icing bag...actually more then one...
A torting tool...

I know more will come, but thats all I can think of for now...

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FlourPots Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 12:55am
post #3 of 15

My new favorite tool is a foam roller purchased at Home Depot for less than 10 bucks, it's for smoothing (crusting) buttercream...it works and it's fast!

You can read more about it here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-658118-.html

and here: http://cakecentral.com/articles/126/quick-easy-smooth-icing-using-a-roller-melvira-method

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KellzNZ Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 1:18am
post #4 of 15

Ohhh me too, though I have a little more on hand than the OP, I still need a lot! I will be interested to read what is suggested! icon_biggrin.gif

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artscallion Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 2:31am
post #5 of 15

Check your pans. Are they 1 1/2" high, with slanted sides? You'll want 2" high pans with straight sides.

I'd start out with 2 each of 6", 8" & 9" round. This will give you enough versatility to try different things until you find you need other sizes.

Most things you will discover you need as you go along. When you see a cake in the galleries and wonder how they accomplished a particular decoration, you can ask and find out what tools they used.

This profession is all about tools. I probably spend more on tools than I do on clothes. But oh the fun you can have!

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Sassy74 Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 3:55am
post #6 of 15

Break out your wallet, girl lol!!!

Regarding the oven, I love my double convections. I NEVER have to rotate pans, and my cakes/cookies/cupcakes bake up very level, and have a light crumb.

One of the best investments you can make starting out is Sharon Zambito's dvds. Especially her buttercream and fondant dvds. They're excellent for a beginner.

As for tools, a good tip set will give you a lot of options on your BC cakes. Smaller round tips work great for piping dots and names, and petal and star tips do great flowers and borders. I use parchment triangles and disposable plastic piping bags instead of cloth piping bags. Messy clean-up and they stain.

For fondant, you can get by very simply at first. TWO fondant smoothers, and a good medium weight rolling pin will do the job. Of course, you can spend a jillion bucks on crimpers, textured rollers, cutters, etc.

Best wishes!

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Rylan Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 4:05pm
post #7 of 15

I would also suggest you get a pizza cutter.

As for decorating tools, I would personally suggest you get a modelling tool set. If you want to lean towards the flowers, check out the basic Wilton flower cutter set, just so you can have a feel of how it works.

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Spectra Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 7:45pm
post #8 of 15

Thanks everyone! Just one question. Sassy you said TWO fondant smoothers, and I was wondering why? Do they come in different sizes?


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sugarandslice Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 8:17pm
post #9 of 15

Bench scraper for smoothing ganache before you put fondant on your cakes. (Also good for scraping benches! icon_wink.gif )
Angled spatulas/palette knives.
Pizza cutter
Acetate film cut to the size of your hand for polishign fondant
Small non-stick rolling pin for rolling out small, accent pieces of fondant
As many colours and dusts as you can afford
Basic flower-modelling kit
Large rolling pin with handles

The other thing I'd suggest (which costs nothing) is spending lots of time on Youtube watching how others do it.


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Sassy74 Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 9:31pm
post #10 of 15
Originally Posted by Spectra

Thanks everyone! Just one question. Sassy you said TWO fondant smoothers, and I was wondering why? Do they come in different sizes?


Spectra, I reccomend two so that you can use them for counter-pressure on your fondant cakes. What I mean by that is, while you're holding a fondant smoother in one hand smoothing the side of the cake, you hold the other fondant smoother in the other hand on the opposite side of the cake for stability. Also, you can use two opposing smoothers to work air bubles into position to "pop" them, working the smoothers from opposite sides toward the middle. And for a cake with square angles, you can use the two smoothers to sharpen your angles really well.

You could get by with one, but eventually you'll probably be buying another. HTH!

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Spectra Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 10:06pm
post #11 of 15

Oh that is awesome! I never thought of that. Thank you so much for that tip! Definitely will get two!

Making a list as we speak! icon_smile.gif

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pattycakesnj Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 10:28pm
post #12 of 15

large piece of vinyl for rolling out your fondant on. No need to use cs, ps or crisco. (get it in any fabric store)

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Sagebrush Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 5:07am
post #13 of 15

I was going to mention the bench scraper and turntable, too. I found it a lot easier to get the buttercream mostly smooth holding the bench scraper against it while turning the turntable. I have the Wilton Trim & Turn Ultra (it's white and green and 3"-4" tall. I had no problems with a 2 layer torted 8" cake, and I would think the 10" would be okay, too... I don't know if it would have trouble with stacked cakes, but I think it's a pretty decent one to get started with and you can buy it w/ a 40% off coupon at JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby.

Re: the pans, I would go 6, 8, 10, instead of 6, 8, 9, because then you can stack and have a little room to decorate.

And Sassy is right... it's soooo easy to spend a ton (it doesn't help that GSA is having their stock up sale now... oh, just a little more and I can get more of a discount... it'll be cheaper to buy now than later... as if I won't just find something later I HAVE to have, too). You probably don't have to, but I get sucked in easily. icon_redface.gif

OHHHH... and for torting... the cake shop I shadowed at last month just uses dental floss.

- Leisel

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nadia0411 Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 7:15am
post #14 of 15

A good starting point is wilton cake decorating courses kits, i bought first 3 in the beginning and they were more than enough, rest u can buy as needed.

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Spectra Posted 17 Jan 2010 , 1:25am
post #15 of 15

Thanks for all the great tips! I'm actually going to take that Wilton course in 3 weeks, and I have all these 40 percent off coupons for Michael's, so I think/hope I can use them for the course kits! icon_smile.gif

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