As a cake artist, I have found out that there are many designs that require tools you will only use once, so you have to get creative using tools you already have. I have used regular circle cutters to make flower petals, water balloons to make bubbles, and wooden skewers to texturize a mermaid tail. You never know what might be in your kitchen to help you, but I have found there are 5 tools I absolutely cannot live without.
Now that I have a KitchenAid Mixer, I have no idea how I survived without one, even as a non-baker! This is the tool that started my journey to becoming Rachel Bakes. There is so much you can do with a stand mixer and it’s pretty much life changing. Not only does it make your life easier because you don’t have to use all your arm muscles to whip up some buttercream icing or dough, but it is so versatile because of the numerous attachments. If you’re into baking cakes and desserts, you’ll likely find yourself regularly using the beater and whisk attachments. I use the beater attachment to make my batters and icings, and the whisk attachment for whipping egg whites and whipping cream for several desserts such as meringues, macarons, and mousse.
Angled (or offset) Spatula
It seems silly that putting an angle where the blade meets the handle would make such a difference, but it does! For me, it’s ergonomically more comfortable and allows me to apply pressure differently than a straight spatula. I typically use my spatula to spread icing on a cake and smooth the top of my batter once it’s in the pan. It’s also a great tool to help you lift cakes when stacking or to create textures on buttercream cakes. I use both Ateco and Wilton brands which work work great.
A bread knife is perfect for leveling your cakes and carving them. The serrated edge allows you to cut through cake easily. I recommend having large knife for leveling cakes and a smaller one to allow you more flexibility when carving cakes.
Icing Smoother/Bench Scraper
Icing smoothers allow you to get that smooth edge on your cakes, whether you’re using icing or ganache. I have seen people use Wilton’s metal scrapers, acrylic scrapers from cakers like Magnolia Kitchen, and people who buy putty/drywall tools from home improvement stores. I prefer metal smoothers because I can warm them up in hot water and it melts the buttercream as I smooth, giving an extra smooth finish. You can also find these to have grooved edges that allow your cakes to have a nice finishing texture.
Nearly every time I’m working with fondant, I’m using a rolling pin. I roll fondant out to cut letters, decorations, and cover cakes. There are also a few desserts I can’t make without a rolling pin - sugar cookies, cannolis, and pies.