Ever dreamt of creating a showstopping cake, but not sure how? What you may not realise is that it’s surprisingly achievable.
I started my cake business, Georgia’s Cakes, three years ago, and now have more than 100,000 followers on Instagram. I’ve even attracted fans such as Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Lorraine Pascal.
Today, my wedding cakes are displayed in Harrods Food Hall, while I make others for birthday events and brand launches. I trained at Le Cordon Bleu, but you don’t have to be a professional baker to wow your friends, family and social media followers. You just need to have the right equipment.
Here, we’ve put together a list of essentials that will help you gain the confidence and skills to transform your Victoria sponge into a masterpiece.
Tala Tilting Icing Turntable: £15, Dunelm
It’s worth investing in a turntable; and no, we’re not referring to the DJ setup – although that could be interesting.
A baking turntable makes decorating a cake smoother and more efficient, as well as giving you a full 360 degree view of the cake without having to handle it too much.
We like the Tala tilting turntable, which you can adjust to different angles, enabling you to reach the top of the cake more easily.
It also has a strong non-slip surface.
PME Stainless Steel Metal Plain Side Scraper: £4.95, Cake Stuff
Every baker loves a smooth and sharp-finished cake. It’s also one of the most challenging aspects of decorating. That’s where the side scraper steps in.
Plastic scrapers tend to bend, so we recommend the PME metal scraper. This is tall enough for the average layered cake, has a nice clean edge and is very stable.
Tala Angled Palette Knife: £2.99, Ocado
Also known as an “offset spatula”, a palette knife helps spread buttercream evenly between cake layers, while keeping the edges of the cake sharp and tidy.
This particular shape prevents the handle – and your hands – from touching the cake as you’re decorating.
They come in various sizes, but we found that this one is very easy to work with as it gives you more control.
Roll of 100 21” Piping Bags: £8.50, Amazon
Taller cakes have become one of the latest trends in the baking world.
Cakes with more layers need more buttercream, and this calls for a large piping bag. These ones are easy to use, high quality and great value for money.
Refillable silicone pastry brush: £8, Joseph Joseph
The pastry brush is great for drenching sponge in sugar syrup, adding moisture and flavour to your cake. But we’ve found that brush bristles often come off.
Fortunately, Joseph Joseph has answered our sugar syrup prayers. This brush is made of silicone, which means it’s bristle-free. It’s the best alternative to soak your cakes.
Digital Thermometer: £5.98, Nisbets
If you want to experiment with caramel, a thermometer is essential.
You can go for old-fashioned sugar thermometers, but we’ve found digital readings to be much more accurate.
A probe is also safer. By avoiding direct contact with a hot pan or caramel, you’ll avoid any burns.
Vogue High Heat Spatula: £7.91, Amazon
The idea of baking may well conjure up a picture of a trusty wooden spoon, but we’ve always found them a bit tricky when it comes to stirring, scraping and cleaning.
Flexible spatulas allow you to scrape the bowl clean to ensure nothing goes to waste.
They’re also heat resistant, which means you can use them to make caramel without them melting into the pan.
Colour Splash Food Colouring Gel Set: £6.99, Craft Company
When it comes to food colouring, we’d recommend staying clear of liquids. They dilute the mixture. As the colour is often quite weak, you’ll also need to use quite a lot.
Gel colours are much more concentrated, can be used in smaller doses and are usually much brighter.
Colour Splash comes in a wonderful range of shades. The neat tubes also keep your work clean – no more stained hands!
Wilton 1M nozzle: £1.95, Cake Stuff
Piping nozzles can transform a plain cake into a flourishing masterpiece.
One nozzle can be used in many ways, and we found that you can’t go wrong with a classic Wilton 1M tip.
From cupcakes swirls to small details on larger cakes, this nozzle is a great introduction to the world of piping.
Wilton 5 Piece Brush Set: £6, Hobbycraft
Whether it’s painting onto fondant cakes or brushing chocolate with lustre dust, a true artist needs good quality brushes. If you use regular paint brushes, you may well find that the bristles fall out, so it’s worth investing in ones made for cake and biscuit decorating.
The liner brush of this set is great for details, the round brush is good for thicker lines, the small flat brush is ideal for shading, the angled flat brush is useful for curved strokes, while the wide flat brush is the one for painting larger areas.
These finishing touches will elevate your cake to the next level.
The Verdict: Best cake decorating tools
You don’t need every piece of equipment to decorate a cake, but you will need the right set of tools for the particular style you’re after.
Our must-have tool to help with every cake would be the Tala Tilting Icing Turntable – so get spinning!
Georgia Green is the founder of Georgia’s Cakes.