Maybe your earliest birthday recollection conjures big swoops of frosting on a home made cake. Or perhaps it was intricate buttercream roses peeking out from a cello-windowed bakery field. Both means, a superbly embellished cake is usually a whimsical approach to present your love, which is why studying the fundamentals of cake adorning is a talent value your time. However the place to start? Does an exhaustive assortment of pastry ideas, turntables, and icing combs guarantee success, or are you higher off assembling a small group of task-specific instruments earlier than deciding to develop your repertoire?

We spoke with quite a few skilled pastry cooks and requested them to weigh in on the very best cake adorning instruments. Jessica Stern, skilled pastry chef and kitchen manufacturing supervisor for Weckerly’s Ice Cream in Philadelphia, takes a streamlined, essentials-only method. “My two favourite instruments are a small offset spatula and a flat edge steel bench scraper. The offset helps to evenly distribute frosting and fillings, the bench scraper helps obtain clear, crisp straight edges.” Earlier than you overstock your kitchen with adorning instruments, contemplate beginning small and constructing from there. Listed below are our prime picks for the very best cake adorning instruments to information you in the direction of cake adorning success.

Our Prime Picks

Greatest Total: Ateco Pastry Bag Decorating Kit

Dimension: 10- and 12-inch baggage | Ergonomic Design: simple to maneuver however requires follow | Materials: stainless-steel, nylon, and plastic | Equipment: Consists of icing recipes and directions


  • Chrome steel icing ideas are sturdy
  • Straightforward to wash
  • Comfort of two baggage, a coupler set, and a number of ideas


  • Hand wash
  • Rose nail not included
  • Doesn’t embrace a storage case

Why we selected it: Simply sufficient however not an excessive amount of, you could possibly create an array of cake decorations with this singular equipment. It gives good selection, wonderful high quality, and received’t break the financial institution. 

Ateco has been within the cake adorning enterprise since 1905 and is the selection of {many professional} bakers. For brand spanking new decorators, this streamlined equipment is extra useful than one with dizzying choices, and for knowledgeable decorators, it gives ample selection and Ateco high quality. (Each bakers will love the comfy value level.) The equipment contains six icing ideas, two reusable pastry baggage plus a plastic coupler set (a plastic becoming that connects the bag to the icing tip) and allows you to create primary or extremely ornamental desserts. The vary of icing ideas supply loads of inspiration; you possibly can inscribe, bead, dot, add floral elaborations, create borders, and pipe leaves. Two sizes of reusable nylon baggage make this appropriate for giant scale desserts or smaller duties reminiscent of adorning cupcakes or cookies, and the coupler permits you to change ideas with ease (a real professional transfer). Moreover, Ateco affords all kinds of ideas that you may purchase individually. Piping rose buds is do-able, however for full scale roses you will want to buy a rose nail individually via the producer, or an unbiased retailer. Although many different producers supply cheap kits with extra bells and whistles, ultimately, the standard doesn’t examine to the Ateco.

Greatest Progressive: Lekue Decorating Pen

Dimension: Small: 3.30 inches W x 3.70 inches L x 1.70 inches H.Giant: 5.50 inches W x 6.30 inches L x 2.75 inches H | Ergonomic Design: sure | Materials: silicone | Equipment: Small contains 4 adorning ideas, massive contains six adorning ideas.


  • Replaces parchment paper cones and pastry baggage for piping duties
  • Number of ideas helpful for inscribing cookies and desserts
  • Straightforward to retailer


  • Accommodates small quantities
  • Requires some follow
  • Greatest for easy adorning duties

Why we selected it: A pop off lid, ergonomic design that’s simple to squeeze, assorted nozzles, and all-in-one storage makes this a shock addition to your adorning equipment. 

A set of two small (or one bigger) palm-sized adorning pens take the place of conventional piping baggage, changing them with a silicone disc that’s extremely simple to squeeze and disperses reliably even quantities of frosting. The smaller pens include 4 piping ideas, the bigger pen with six. Professionals say these are finest suited to small ornamental duties, however do applaud them for piping easy chocolate elaborations, drizzling candy and savory sauces, and filling hors d’oeuvres (suppose deviled eggs).  For anybody who struggles with piping baggage, and even youngsters fascinated about adorning cookies or cupcakes, these are useful, reusable, and dishwasher protected.

Greatest Turntable: Ateco Revolving Aluminum Cake Decorating Stand

Dimension: 12 inch diameter, 5 inches excessive | Materials: Aluminum | Equipment: Non-slip silicone base  


  • Strong with out being weighty
  • Easy ball-bearing rotation
  • Straightforward clean-up with a humid material


  • Not as properly suited to multi-tiered, weighty desserts
  • Doesn’t supply tilt and switch functionality

Why we selected it: Let the turntable do the work: A non-slip silicone base coupled with a spinning 12” rotating floor makes cake frosting and adorning a easy and easy course of.

Merely put, a cake adorning turntable permits you to frost and adorn with out working in circles. Ateco affords a mannequin that’s stable with out being weighty, offering a degree floor that’s simple to navigate. The non slip base cap secures the turntable to your work floor and is detachable for clean-up. Bakers applaud its comfy value level and straightforward clear up with a humid material. (All the time take care to not submerge the rotating mechanism in water.) Although lighter than the Ateco mannequin with a forged iron base, for dwelling use, that is completely appropriate. Bakers say it is a sport changer that can simplify the cake adorning expertise and final via years and years of celebrations.

Best Offset Spatula: Ateco Ultra Offset Spatula

Dimension: 7.75 by 1.25-Inch (massive),  4.25″ x 0.75″ (small) | Materials: Stainless Metal Blade, Plastic Deal with | Equipment: n/a


  • Sturdy
  • Comfy for repeated use
  • Very best for reaching skilled wanting desserts


  • Producer says dishwasher protected, however finest handy wash
  • Slight studying curve if accustomed to massive icing spatulas

Why we selected it: Pastry cooks agree; an offset spatula is a necessary cake adorning software. 

Offset spatulas are favored amongst skilled cake decorators for a cause. The standard software boasts a slender, versatile, sturdy blade with a rounded tip, making it preferrred for evenly spreading frosting over a cake. As soon as the cake is iced, it’s also possible to use an offset to use ornamental thrives; swirls and curls are simply created with a mere flick of the wrist. Out there in a number of sizes, our testers recommend arming your self with each a 7 3/4 inch offset in addition to one that measures 4 1/4 inches; the longer one covers a wider swath of frosting whereas the smaller one is good for smoothing out nooks, edges, or repairing errors. Giant offsets (reminiscent of 10- or 12-inches) are helpful when frosting a sheet cake or a big tiered cake, however our testers far want these smaller-sized instruments. Out there with both plastic or picket handles, plastic tends to be extra resilient to water and buttery stains. Ateco high quality makes this a most worthwhile buy. 

Greatest Bench Scraper: Dexter-Russell 6″ Dough Cutter/Scraper—Sani-Safe Series

Dimension: 6 inches x 3 inches | Ergonomic Design: sure | Materials: polypropylene deal with, stainless-steel blade | Equipment: none


  • Honed edges, comfy/simple grip deal with, fuss-free clean-up
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Impervious blade-to-handle seal


  • Hand wash to protect its longevity
  • Sharp-edge might not be appropriate for sure counter tops
  • White deal with could present stains over time

Why we selected it: A mainstay in {many professional} kitchens, it is a go-to for comfortably smoothing frosting on a cake, but additionally works properly for portioning dough and rotating pie dough.

Designed with honed edges and a seamless blade-to-handle seal, this basic bench scraper is each simple to make use of and cozy to understand. Known as an excellent “further set of fingers” by many bakers, Dexter-Russell is ideal for all the things from scraping up dough to smoothing frosting. The signature white-handled software has an enthusiastic following due to its longevity, versatility, value level, and lifelong guarantee. “So many bench scrapers have picket or curled steel handles that crack, lure particles or are onerous to wash,” stated Deanna Fox, meals journalist and former cooking college proprietor.” The plastic deal with means you possibly can soak the Dexter-Russell mannequin to make clean-up simple.” Plus it’s cheap, so whereas it ought to final you a lifetime, any harm carried out comes at little price.

Greatest Cake Comb: Ateco Large Rectangle Cake Decorating Comb

Dimension: 4 inches by 6 inches | Materials: Aluminum | Equipment: n/a


  • 4 kinds in a single software
  • Light-weight but sturdy
  • Straightforward to make use of


  • Hand-wash and dry
  • Take care with sharp edges
  • Much less appropriate for very tall desserts

Why we selected it: This software does double-duty: First it smooths a frosting or glaze, then it neatly ornaments it. Three serrated, patterned edges supply quite a lot of ornamental finishes.

It is a go-to in {many professional} kitchens, not just for basic, frosted desserts, but additionally to gussy up a easy cake in a rush. For bakers new to adorning, this software gives quite a lot of finishes, relying upon which facet of the comb you select — intricate effective strains, deep grooves or jagged waves. The hanging gap makes storage handy. Our testers want this comb to related ones made out of plastic, claiming this adorning software gives the crispest, clear strains. As with most instruments, new decorators could must follow a bit to search out the suitable stress and obtain the very best outcomes.

Not at all necessary, however a terrific addition to your cake adorning software equipment. Use this to scrape bowls full of buttercream or meringue, handily fill a pastry bag, or just to push bagged frosting in the direction of the tip as you pipe.

How We Selected These Merchandise

In case you select the very best cake adorning instruments, you don’t want to interrupt the financial institution (or stuff the software drawer) with a view to adorn a show-stopping cake. This stuff had been examined by pastry cooks in skilled kitchens and in lots of instances, they’re used at dwelling by the identical bakers. Apparently sufficient, a number of of our dwelling cook dinner testers vouched for the merchandise claiming they use Ateco instruments and the Dexter-Russell bench scraper “religiously” on account of their high quality and sturdiness. Piping baggage, ideas, adorning comb, and spatulas had been used with American type frosting (powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract) on conventional made-from-scratch cake layers. The turntable was additionally examined in an expert kitchen to ice a basic two-layer birthday cake. The takeaway from all testers was that it’s higher to have fewer instruments made of top quality slightly than an overabundance of lesser high quality instruments.

Options to Maintain in Thoughts When Looking for Cake Adorning Instruments

Forms of Cake Adorning Instruments

A great offset spatula, a piping bag with a coupler set and primary icing ideas are actually all that’s required for rookies, dwelling bakers, and professionals to pipe borders, inscribe and embellish a cake. Usually, each a 12- and 18-inch pastry bag are good to have readily available and a turntable will allow you to frost a cake in half the time and provide you with a extra polished, completed look. (A lazy Susan can pinch-hit if wanted.) A great rule of thumb for decorators of all talent ranges is to go for well-crafted instruments. Plastics and flimsy supplies don’t have the lifespan or ease of care of upper high quality choices. 

  • Newbie Instruments- an offset spatula, a bench scraper, a piping bag, coupler set with primary icing tricks to inscribe, pipe a border, add rosettes 
  • Dwelling Baker Instruments- a easy set of piping ideas, piping baggage, offset spatula and bench scraper
  • Skilled Instruments- some professionals could select extra elaborate/detailed pastry ideas 

Sizing & Materials

You’ll wish to discover cake adorning instruments which can be the suitable dimension for the job (smaller ones for detailed work and bigger ones for frosting duties) and really feel comfy to maneuver. (For a cake turntable, there’s just one finest dimension: 12 inches in diameter and 5 inches excessive.) Chrome steel and good high quality aluminum are our favourite supplies; warmth and waterproof plastics are subsequent.

Versatility & Reusability 

A multi-tasking software is a superb alternative for streamlining your adorning assortment. Reusable piping baggage are a good selection; in lots of instances, “single use” piping baggage may be washed and used once more so long as they don’t seem to be punctured or torn.

Number of Decor Equipment

A great way to resolve what kind of equipment you want to add to your software equipment is to take a look at pictures and tutorials of ornamental desserts. Relying upon your cake adorning aspirations, add to your equipment accordingly. Love intricate florals and borders? Load up on icing ideas, which are sometimes obtainable to buy individually. Like a extra trendy look? A turntable and an icing comb could also be all that you just want.

Ask the Consultants

Q: What are the instruments and gear used for frosting desserts? 

An offset spatula, about 8-inches or 4-inches lengthy (or each) are must-haves. A revolving icing turntable offers you a extra professionally completed cake and make the duty infinitely simpler. A honed edge bench scraper will give the cake a easy end, whereas an icing comb is a useful software for including easy, but efficient elaborations. Each 12- and 18-inch pastry baggage are really useful.

Q: What are the instruments, supplies and gear wanted for filling cake layers? 

An offset spatula is mostly used to easy the frosting between cake layers, though some bakers want to pipe the filling instantly onto the cake layers utilizing a piping bag earlier than smoothing.

Q: Ought to frosting be refrigerated earlier than piping? 

Chilly frosting shall be troublesome to pipe, however heat frosting is not going to maintain its form. A contented medium is the perfect; frosting (or whipped cream or buttercream) that’s delicate but secure. Freshly made frosting is mostly best to pipe. In case you want a firmer frosting (say, between the layers or after making use of a crumb coat) refrigerate the complete cake. 

Our Take

Pastry cooks agree {that a} handful of fastidiously chosen adorning instruments are preferable to amassing an over-abundance of instruments that you just don’t want. High quality instruments are definitely worth the funding. Cake adorning instruments require some follow; the right instruments will make the duty a inventive pleasure. 

Each product is independently chosen and vetted by editors. Stuff you purchase via our hyperlinks could earn us a fee.

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