6 Essential Tools for Decorating a Cake

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6 Essential Tools for Decorating a Cake

Cake decorating is a great hobby for anyone who enjoys baking and has an artistic side. The possibilities are virtually endless: designs can include ducks sitting on a pond, racing cars, and traditional layer cakes ornamented by ribbons, flowers, and other intricate embellishments. Although some cake designs make seem very complicated, many can be achieved using just a few essential tools, a little bit of knowledge, and patience.

Buyers can purchase cake decorating kits that contain a broad assortment of tools. However, these can be expensive, especially for someone who is just interested in learning the basics. Amateurs with some experience may find that they already have a few essential tools that they do not need to duplicate. This means that some shoppers may choose to build their own kits, adding items as they find a use for them or waiting until they come across a great deal.

For a basic decorating kit, baking enthusiasts need at a least a few cake tins, a revolving cake stand, a few piping tips, and some utensils. As they advance in their skills, they may also choose to invest in a rolling pin and imprint mats for rolled fondant, and a flower paste shaping kit. All of these essential tools can be purchased from homeware shops, department stores, and the leading online marketplace, eBay.

Essential Tool 1: Cake Tins

Cake tins are essential for baking. Square, rectangular, and round tins are the most common, but there are many other shapes and special moulds. Look for heart-shaped tins for Valentine's Day, Christmas trees for winter celebrations, or character tins for children's birthday parties. There are also three-dimensional cake moulds for creating figures. Even if choosing a standard cake tin, one factor to consider is its depth. Bakers who do not plan to make a layered cake may choose a deep cake tin, but there are also shallow tins available.

When shopping for cake tins, consider springform tins, which have a quick release built into the side so that the cakes do not have to be turned upside down to release them from the tins. Instead, the sides can be removed, leaving the cake resting on the bottom of the tin. A non-stick coating is invaluable in a cake tin because it helps to minimise the chance of a cake sticking to the sides or bottom.

Essential Tool 2: Revolving Cake Stand

A revolving cake stand elevates the cake from the table, making it more convenient to reach and decorate. The stand twists and rotates, so it is easy to reach all of the sides of the cake. A revolving cake stand is most useful for people who ice cakes regularly. There are a few key features to look for when choosing a stand. Most models are made of either plastic or metal. Plastic is lightweight, easy to move around, and easy to store. However, metal is usually of a professional quality and is heavier, which makes turning the cake stand smoother.

Buyers should also consider the size of the stand. Smaller cake stands are more compact, but they are limited in the type of cakes that they can support. A larger stand has more uses. Look for a stand with a completely flat edge. Any ridging makes putting the cake on the stand or removing it a difficult task. Some revolving cake stands have a locking mechanism so that they can be used for display. A non-slip base means that the cake can be secure.

Essential Tool 3: Piping Bags

Piping bags are essential for decorating any kind of cake. They can be used to create decorative borders, lettering, and all sorts of other details, including flowers. There are essentially two kinds of piping bags: washable and disposable. Disposable piping bags can be plastic or parchment. They are convenient because they can just be thrown away after use, but reusable bags can save money in the long run. To make piping bags work effectively, it is also important to have the right nozzles and couplers.

Nozzles and Couplers

Nozzles fit onto piping bags using a two-piece coupler with a threading mechanism. This holds the nozzle in place securely and allows the cake decorator to change the nozzles without too much fuss. The base of the coupler sits inside the bag, while the outer part holds the nozzle in place and screws onto the base. Nozzles can be divided into several categories that create different effects, as outlined in the table below.

Nozzle Type

Best For



Basket effects

Ridged lines


Closed star



Fleurs de lis

Drop flower

Single flowers


Various leaf shapes for flowers

Special effects borders


Clusters of beads



Other textures


Flower petals


Open star






Lace patterns







Shell borders

Other special effects

Look for special effects nozzles that can do multiple designs. In addition to the various nozzle shapes, they can vary in size, from very tiny to a couple centimetres in diameter, so buyers can create large details as easily as small ones.

Essential Tool 4: Decorating Utensils

There are two major utensils that are essential for decorating cakes: a serrated knife and a pallette knife. Others bakers may find that icing and fondant smoothers are also beneficial.

Serrated Knife

A serrated knife has a blade with distinct ridges that make it easier to cut into a cake without damaging it. Serrated knives are also used to cut bread. The blade should be fairly long; it should be able to cover the entire diameter of a cake. Look for a handle with sturdy, non-slip grip.

Palette Knife

A palette knife is great for icing. Unlike traditional spatulas, which have a straight blade, the palette knife has a handle raised upwards. This helps to prevent a knuckle from accidentally brushing the icing. Palette knives come in several sizes, from small to large enough to ice entire cakes in just a few strokes, so choose the most appropriate length.

Icing and Fondant Smoothers

Icing smoothers are especially great for applying a perfectly even layer of icing. Look for a good grip and a flat bottom so that it can reach the very bottom of the cake. The height should be sufficient to handle most tall cakes. Bakers who work with fondant may choose to invest in a fondant smoother. The smoother can erase rolling pin marks and helps to ensure that the fondant is applied to the cake evenly. It can even polish the surface so that it is smooth and silky.

Essential Tool 5: Rolling Pin

A rolling pin is essential for rolling out fondant and flower paste. Rolling pins vary in material from traditional wood to metal and silicone. For cake decorating, a non-stick rolling pin, such as silicone, is ideal. Rolling pins vary in size, from 23 to 51 cm. To help with rolling out fondant and flower paste, look for guide rings that slip onto the rolling pin and allow the baker to get just the right thickness.

In addition to the rolling pin, consider a roll-and-cut mat that helps with sizing the fondant for a cake. The mat has shapes already marked and measured to fit a cake perfectly. It also has a non-stick surface to prevent the fondant from sticking to the mat.

Essential Tool 6: Fondant and Flower Paste Kit

When working with fondant and flower paste, a kit can be useful. Kits typically contain several small tools for shaping and cutting the fondant and flower paste. These can be used to create flowers, petals, and other decorative items, as well as for creating textures on a cake that is already covered in fondant. They can be miniature or about the size of a pen. Some common tools also found in a kit include a ball tool, which has spherical attachments on the ends for shaping flower petals; a bone decorating tool, which has angled knobs that help to smooth curves and create frills; serrated and tapered cones for creating indents; and a shell and blade tool for embossing. Experimenting is the best way to learn which tools work best, but buying a kit may be more economical than buying each piece individually.

How to Buy Essential Tools for Decorating a Cake on eBay

Visit eBay to find a large assortment of essential tools for decorating a cake. You can locate whatever you are looking for easily with a simple search. Enter keywords, such as "cake decorating tools" or "piping nozzles", in the search box on the home page. You can filter the results by features of the cake decorating tools to narrow down the listings to precisely what you are searching for.

Shopping on eBay

If you have never bought on eBay before, you should take a moment to register for an account. The eBay Help Centre provides resources to take you through the process. As well as explaining the buying process, it shows you how to choose a payment method. Before browsing for products, sign into your account so that you can check your communication with other eBay members, save searches, and monitor items that you are interested in.

eBay is made up of a network of independent sellers, so feedback left by buyers drives the entire community. As a buyer, you should check the seller's feedback history and rating to learn more about his or her reputation and the buying experience provided. If you have any questions about a product, you can contact sellers by using eBay's "Ask a question" feature.


Decorating a cake can be a fun and enjoyable experience, and the potential designs are endless. Newcomers to the hobby may not want to invest in a full decorating kit right away. Stocking up on a few essential cake decorating tools is a more affordable option and can make the decorating process much easier. First, having the right cake tins is important and a revolving cake stand can make decorating much easier. Piping bags, nozzles, and couplers are useful as they allows bakers to create designs on cakes, pipe borders, and achieve many other effects.

Buyers should purchase a few essential utensils, including a serrated knife and a palette knife. Icing and fondant smoothers are also helpful. For working with fondant and flower paste, look for a rolling pin, a roll-and-cut mat, and a modelling tool kit that makes it easier to shape various designs. Whatever essential cake decorating tools buyers need, they can visit eBay for a large selection, convenient shopping, and affordable prices.

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