Anyone can open up a pouch of Betty Crocker cake mix and icing and whip up a delicious treat. In recent years, cakes have become a creative medium for those who derive pleasure from mixing culinary arts with visual presentations. Several networks shows are dedicated to the art and business of professional cake decorating. Fortunately, novice and expert bakers can get into cake decorating from the comfort of their own home. Just like any hobby, cake decorating requires specialised tools to take it to the next level. While some supplies are essential, such as mixing bowls, cake pans, and utensils; others are for advanced decorators.
Besides knowing the differences among tools, it is important to consider other factors when choosing cake decorating supplies. Bakers must wade through all the options and decide which tools are needed and then select the appropriate size or sizes. No matter what they need to bake the perfect cake, shoppers can employ a few tricks to find the best equipment and cut down costs when looking for cake decorating supplies on eBay.
List of Basic Cake Decorating Supplies
Finding all the right ingredients is only half of a cake decorator's search; the other involves finding the right equipment. Just as a cobbler and blacksmith rely on precision tools to produce quality work, cake decorators must have the right equipment to produce a fantastic looking cake.
Some of the items below are essential to the cake making process. The decorator's style and techniques determine which specialty equipment is needed. Although there are many tools listed in this section, not all are mandatory purchases.
Cake boards are used to transport cakes; therefore, if the cake is to be served in another location to where it is baked, a cake board is needed to move it. They can be round or square and come in a variety of sizes; silver, gold, and white are the most popular colours although eBay has fun and festive shades as well. Cake boards are a cost effective solution instead of ornate platters.
Even after taking the cake out of the over, it still continues to bake for a few minutes in the hot pan. Decorators must wait until the cake is completely cooled before putting icing on it. A cooling rack expedites the cooling process. Cooling racks come single levelled or tiered, and the design depends on how many cakes are baked. Single cakes only need one level, but more than one cake or cupcakes can benefit from extra space.
Filling, Fondant, Frosting, and Icing
When decorating a cake, it is important to make sure the inside is just as good as the outside. Layered cakes have fillings that include chocolate, fruit, buttercream, and so on. The use of fondant is on the rise and has proven a great material for creating intricate details; novice cake decorators should do some research before using fondant to avoid having to rebuy materials. Frosting and icings are another alternative to fondant although they are less malleable. When buying these sorts of products, it is important to choose only the freshest ingredients and never purchase anything past its prime.
A cake leveller is an inexpensive tool designed for the sole purpose of flattening the top of the cake. A leveller makes for a smooth decorating surface and is essential for multilayer cakes. This simple piece of equipment is a must for all cake decorators.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Measuring cups and measuring spoons are essentials when it comes to measuring ingredients to go into the cake. They are also important for many cake decorators, especially those who like to make frostings and icings from scratch. There are many styles of measuring cups and spoons available; plastic is often the least expensive. Metal spoons and cups and ceramic and glass cups are also popular options.
If someone is decorating a cake, chances are they have to bake it too. Mixing bowls are crucial for the cake making process. Larger mixing bowl can be used for batter, while smaller ones can be used to whip up small batches of frosting. Mixing bowls are often sold in sets and available in plastic, glass, ceramic, and metal.
Cake pans are another integral piece of equipment when baking cakes. Cake batter can be poured into an array of pan shapes and sizes. Layered cakes require shallow pans. They are either round or rectangular and come in a plethora of sizes. Certain cakes require special pans. A bunt cake is one such example. Cake pans can be moulded into certain shapes, such as race cars, flowers, and nearly every imaginable shape. Traditional cake pans are made from metal, and silicon moulds have been becoming more popular.
Cake decorators working with icing need the use of pastry bags to hold and evenly distribute the icing. There is much debate as to which pastry bags are best, and it up to the decorator preferences to buy the right one on eBay.
Disposable bags are a convenient way to deal with messes and avoid mixing colours. Some novice decorators may begin with sandwich bags, but anyone who sticks with decorating quickly learns they need to upgrade. There are washable bags on the market, and those who do not mind the extra clean-up time and want to save money might prefer these.
Sprinkles and Toppers
Sprinkles are a fun and easy way to liven up any cake. Rainbow sprinkle can add an exciting colour to basic cakes, and chocolate sprinkles are another favourite. Sugar sprinkles come in a variety of hues, but they should be used with caution since the dye can alter the appearance of the cake. Cake toppers are another fun way to spruce up a cake. Some toppers are edible, so if this is a criterion, shoppers should read the listing before buying.
Cake decorators need a variety of tips for borders, flowers, and other ornate designs. First-time buyers should consider buying a complete set, preferably one with a case that makes storage and retrieval a breeze. In addition to tips, tip couplers are another handy piece of equipment. Couplers allow decorators to use multiple tips on a single bag of icing.
In addition to the aforementioned equipment, cake decorators need a few essential utensils in their supply cabinet. From mixing the cake to the perfect cut, the chart below lists some of the most important utensils and their function.
Used to smooth the primary layer of icing and makes an even decorating surface
Large serrated knife long enough to cut across a most cakes; design eliminates mashing and compressing delicate cakes
Multi-speed gadget made to expedite the mixing process; used for batters and icings; new models often come with bowl and stand
Performs same task as electric mixer but preferred by those who want to mix by hand
These utensils are crucial for cake making and decorating. Whisks and mixers essentially do the same job, but mixers save time and energy and are well-worth the investment.
Money Saving Tips for Cake Decorating Supplies
Once shoppers have an idea about which supplies are best suited for their needs, they have a few more factors to consider before searching on eBay. Establishing a budget prior to looking is a great way for shoppers to buy within their price range. While buying new is often preferable, some items can be bought in near perfect condition for a fraction of the price. Even if purchasing used, getting estimates new equipment helps shoppers gain perspective on what is a good deal.
Another way to save money is to buy quality items from the start. It might cost extra upfront, but investing in better equipment prolongs replacement, especially when the supplies are well taken care of. If left with the choice of disposable or washable, washable goods are more expensive but made of better materials. Disposable is a convenient option for those who do not want to waste time on clean-up.
Buying Cake Decorating Supplies on eBay
eBay has many cake decorating supplies up for grabs at any given time; therefore, before shopping for essentials, make a list of everything you need and any special features. Including keywords helps narrow down your results. For example, there are numerous types of "cake pans" to choose from, which can be overwhelming. By including a few helpful terms such as "round cake pan" or "wedding cake pan", eBay can produce more specific results.
Once you have found a winning combination of keywords to produce a number of options, you now have the option to custom sort results based on your priorities. If you are searching for eBay's best deals, sort from lowest to highest price. If you only want used items, arrange by used condition first. Similarly, you can also search for new items first. There are other options for listing results, including highest to lowest price, time left in auction, and distance from seller.
When it comes to shopping for cake decorating supplies on eBay, bakers have a lot of equipment to sort through. Therefore, it is important to research the various supplies prior to the search. Understanding the basic function of each tool allow shoppers to make more informed decisions. Having a variety of cake baking materials on hand allows decorators to create an array of creative cakes. If transporting cakes, it is important to have a cake board handy. Additionally, bakers should consider the size of the pans when picking out a knife since a cake knife should be able to cut through a substantial portion of the cake.
Shopping for cake decorating supplies on eBay is a unique experience. Buyers can find materials for a fraction of retail cost. Unlike most stores, buyers can pick up used cake decorating supplies in excellent condition; whereas, a new mixer may be out of price range, a second-hand one may be more affordable. Bakers can stay within budget and still rack up a load of equipment by shopping for cake decorating supplies on eBay.