How to Buy Cake Icing Equipment

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How to Buy Cake Icing Equipment

It is hard not to watch in awe as professional chefs bake and decorate beautiful cakes that look too perfect to eat. Anyone who cooks would love their cakes to come out looking like that, and many people try. Luckily, the tools that are available today make the process much easier. Some skill is still needed, but even those with a basic knowledge of icings and the tools can turn any drab cake into a masterpiece.

Decorating a cake transforms it from a regular, plain, baked treat, into a piece of art. Adding extra icing is a great way to add dimension, colour, and uniqueness to the cake. The icing and overall decoration can be elegantly simple, or ornate and complex. Even the slightest additions can bring life to the cake. People no longer have to spend the money to bring store bought cakes to a party or get-together. With the right cake icing equipment they can bake and decorate their own.

What is Icing?

Icing is a mixture of sugars and liquids that form together to make a creamy glaze. There are multiple kinds of icing that range from very thick icing, to thin compositions. Generally, the thinner icings are used to cover the entire cake with a single layer. The thicker icing is then added as decoration over the top. However, some gelatin icing can be rolled or formed into shapes. Before anyone can begin using tools, they need to have a general understanding of the types of icings.

Type of Icing



Smooth, sweet, and easy to work with; somewhat heavy and rich due to the ingredients like butter and vanilla

Boiled Icing

Similar to meringue in that it is light, and delicate; rather difficult to work with and cannot be shaped

Cream Cheese Icing

Smooth, heavy, and is not overly sweet; similar to buttercream in texture

Fudge Icing

Very thick and rich; does not work well as the main icing on the cake, but can be used with the tools to add a decorative touch


Thick and creamy but can be made to be fluffy or stiff; can be the main icing or decorative

Glacé Icing

Very sweet and rather runny; it stiffens as it dries; the simplest kind of icing, requiring only icing sugar and water; often enhanced with food colouring or flavourings such as lemon juice

Rolled Fondant

Gelatin based with a spongy texture; not sweet and often considered to be bland; usually used on the outside of the cake because it creates a perfectly smooth and stiff appearance; can also be formed into shapes, such as flowers

Royal Icing

Very sweet and more airy than buttercream icing; easy to spread and sets hard; can be used as a base layer or to create simple shapes

Whipped Cream Icing

Has a more mild sweet taste; very fluffy and does not stay in place well; usually only used as a base layer

Most icing tools are made for all of the icings except for fondant. Because fondant is more like a dough, it can be formed and manipulated with simple kitchen supplies, such as rolling pins and knives.

Types of Icing Equipment

Various types of icing equipment can be used to decorate the cake. The different kinds of tools can be used to create shapes such as bows and flowers, outline the cake or decorations, write messages, or draw patterns.

Type of Icing Equipment


Brush Set

Used for adding texture and patterns to the icing; usually come in sets, with three to seven different sizes and shapes

Cake Marker

A plastic device with a needle which moves up and down; the needle height is adjusted and the devices is moved all the way around the cake, producing an even line all the way around; serves as a guide so that the decorative icing is even all the way around after it is put on

Decorating Cone

A plastic or metal triangle with different designs cut along the edge of each side; one side of the triangle is then dragged over the top of the icing to create a pattern

Flower Nail

Looks like a plastic nail with a large flat head; instead of placing icing directly onto the cake to create a flower, the flower is put onto the flat part of the nail; the nail can then be inserted anywhere on the cake and easily removed again later; great for beginners who do not want to mess up the flower and ruin the cake

Icing Bottle

A tube that holds the icing moves up and down like an accordion, forcing the icing out; icing bottles come with various metal types that form the icing into different shapes; come in affordable sets and are easy to use; however, they can be awkward to hold and write with precision

Icing Pen

Has a plastic frame that holds an icing filled bag in place as the artist squeezes the icing out; come with a collection of tips and are generally very easy to use; their only downfall is that replacement bags have to continually be purchased

Icing Syringe

Functions like an actual syringe; the icing is placed into the plastic tube and the thumb then pushes down on the lever at the top; preferred by professionals because they are the easiest to work with; more expensive than other tools, but are still affordable

Modelling Tool Set

The tool sets come with a set of plastic pens with differently shaped heads. These are used to manipulate or shape the frosting after it is already on the cake

Parchment Cone

Simple paper cones that are used for small amounts of decorating; like the piping bags, the icing is just squeezed out of the bottom hole

Piping Bag

A simple collection of tips that connect to plastic bags; the bags are filled with icing and the user just squeezes them to eject the icing

Side Scraper

Flat rectangular pieces of plastic; used to swipe the sides of the cake to make sure that the icing is spread evenly and smoothly

Smooth Polisher

Used to smooth the top of the cake out; they have a flat rectangular base with a handle on top

Stamps and Stencils

Plastic stamps and stencils that can be pressed into the icing to create a pattern; for example, a large one with intricate patterns can make the layer of icing look like lace

Before shopping for tools, plan out the general design of the cake. Some of the equipment is really only needed for more advanced work.

Find Cake Icing Equipment on eBay

It is sometimes possible to find general icing supplies at local hobby shops. However, they usually do not have much of a selection which ends up requiring people to drive to several places before finding anything. Rather than wasting all this time or settling for the wrong supplies, try eBay where you can find all your icing equipment in one place. Not only do they have everything, but there are also multiple sellers with the same item. This causes them to compete for business and lower their prices. You can then bargain shop between them and find the best deals without ever leaving the house. Some sellers even offer free postage as an incentive.

eBay is a large site, so in order to find what you need, use the search bar. Enter something like "cake icing equipment" and then click on the search button. After you've done that, eBay will populate a list of all the icing supplies for sale. You can narrow the list down if you like, by selecting the theme of the cake or choosing the type of tool. Once you've done this, you can also rearrange the products to show the cheapest items first. Now you can begin to compare the items and find the perfect fit for your kitchen. Be sure to read the description fully and read the reviews that past buyers have left.

Once you have found what you are looking for, it is a good idea to find out more about the seller. You can do this by checking out the feedback they have received from previous customers. Top-rated sellers consistently provide good service to satisfied customers.


Decorating cakes is a fun and rewarding hobby to get into. Not only can cooks enjoy making their creations look eye-catching, but they can use their talent to surprise people at parties and celebrations. A good looking cake is always the centre of the attention, especially on birthdays. Children in particular love to eat anything that looks fancy, and the extra icing is another bonus. Often, anyone who knows how to decorate cakes will be asked to bake for every function.

Cake icing equipment makes it possible for anyone to give their cakes a professional and unique look. Without them, making little additions such as flowers, piping, and phrases would be nearly impossible. There is an icing tool for nearly any task that people can find. All it takes is some prior planning to figure out which tools to get in order to provide cooks with hours of decorating pleasure.

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