5 Best Tools for Cake Decorating, According to Our Test Kitchen

Frost and decorate layered cakes with ease using these essentials.

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May 22, 2020
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A close-up photograph of a girl decorating a cake with chocolate ganache in a domestic kitchen

Photo by: kaz_c/Getty Images

kaz_c/Getty Images

When it comes to decorating your homemade cake, your mind probably goes straight to beautiful, fancy sprinkles and colorful frosting. But there is a lot more to beautifying your baked goods than adding a delicious topping. We reached out to one of Food Network test kitchen's culinary producers and resident baking expert Sarah Balke to get her tips on what cake baking tools are a necessity. These five tools will have you slinging bakery-worthy cakes in no time.


In order to achieve a smooth, even layer of frosting around your cake, a turn table is essential. According to Sarah, "It does all the work for you by moving the cake along your spatula." You'll have extra control when trimming your cake, ensuring even layers of cake and frosting. It's "an absolute game changer and a must-have!"

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If you've ever watched a cake decorating video, you probably recognize the offset spatula as the tool used to add and smooth frosting on your cake. Sarah says this is the next most important tool to have after a turn table. "It can also be a good decorating tool. Its shape allows you to hold the handle and not have your hand hit the cake as you spread." She recommends having three size options in the kitchen: large for sheet cakes, a baby spatula for detail work, and a medium for everything in between. It's, "one of the most useful tools in the kitchen in general."

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Whether you're adding decorative designs to your cake or are trying to achieve an even layer of filling, you'll need piping bags and a variety of tips to create your desired look. "While a zip top bag can work in a pinch, the shape of a piping bag and the sturdier plastic make it easier to hold and allow you to apply pressure without the bag blowing out the side," said Sarah. This set comes with four different tip options that will provide different textures for your piping, so you can get creative with your design, and eight pipe bags so you can work with multiple colors at once.

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When used in conjunction with your turn table, this long serrated knife will make it easy to trim off the domed top of a cake and slice perfectly even layers. Plus, you can also use this tool to carve cakes into different shapes, if you're getting extra creative.

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According to Sarah, when used with a turn table, this is, "a great tool to use on the sides of a cake to get the frosting even and smooth." But that's not the only reason it's her favorite tool. Use the scraper to clean up cake crumbs or any other stray items on the counter, too. It can also cut dough, section crust and chop fruits and veggies.

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