Kitchen Q&A: Cake Decorating–Spatulas and Other Tools

Another piece of advice I am going to offer you, if you ask me about cake decorating, is to buy a few good spatulas.

First and foremost, you want to start with a delicious cake, then you want to make sure you have a clean canvas–i.e. a smooth surface.

I love, love, love my flat, stainless steel icing spatula. I got mine, and 18 cm Due Buoi spatula from WS about 6 years ago. Sadly, Due Buoi doesn’t make them anymore.
Here’s what I love about it–it is so thin and I can really get the sides and tops of the cake smooth with it. Because of its length, I can get a good amount of frosting on the cake. I start with the top and push it down the sides. Great for a crumb coat. (Crumb coat=thin layer of frosting to catch all the crumbs before you frost the cake with a thick final layer of icing. This is an imperative step! Check out my Cake Decorating 101 post for a how-to with pictures of a crumb coating.)

Sorry for the bad picture…

I use my tapered spatula all the time. I LOVE IT. I actually bought it on a whim because it wasn’t very expensive. I use it for every decorating project, not to mention spreading thick batter into the corners of a pan.

Another good thing to have is either a long serrated knife, or a cake slicer/leveler.

Now, I’ve read reviews of the cake slicer I own and they haven’t been glowing. I differ in my opinion.

I love my Wilton cake slicer. I’m not a pro at splitting cake layers with a knife. I always mess up and come out with totally uneven layers. This type of cake slicer really works well because it has notches up the sides for easy adjustment of layer height. I happen to like the thin wire. One of the complaints about this was that it rips through the cake and makes too many crumbs. I haven’t really found that to be the case.

I recommend buying one because they are inexpensive and can be found at party or craft stores in the cake decorating aisle, in addition to online. They come in larger sizes also.

Pastry brushes are another must-have for brushing away crumbs and moistening cake layers with simple syrup.

What tools do you recommend for cake decorating?

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  1. I can’t live without my Wilton cake slicer/leveler! I always use it when I torte a cake!

    I’m going to look into some of the spatulas you recommended. I just have some normal ones from Wilton.

    I’m new to your site and LOVE it!

  2. Tif–

    I like the silicone brushes, but I don’t own any. I usually just buy some cheap paint brushes from the hardware store because I like to throw them away when they start to look like they’ve been used too long. I’m also thinking that the silicone brushes might be better for some things and the bristle brushes for others–like brushing flour off the top of dough.

    I’d be curious to see what everyone else uses.

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