How to Buy Supplies for Decorating a Birthday Cake

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How to Buy Supplies for Decorating a Birthday Cake

Decorating a cake is a fun and creative way to surprise friends and family when a birthday comes. Birthday cakes have a long standing history. Cakes were used as an integral part of the birthday celebration dating back to the time of the Ancient Romans. Although once considered a privilege for the wealthy, birthday cakes are now a feature for everyone's celebrations. Decorating a birthday cake at home is a great way to save money on professional cake decorating.

Before decorating a birthday cake, it is important for buyers to equip themselves with the necessary supplies to make the task easy. There is a wide variety of cake decorating supplies that help to transform simple cakes into works of art. When purchasing supplies for decorating a birthday cake, buyers should consider the various types and the features that are important to the decorating process. Supplies for decorating a birthday cake can be found in homeware shops, department stores, and online at retailers such as eBay..

Types of Supplies for Decorating a Birthday Cake

There are various types of supplies used in the cake decoration process. Together, these supplies help give each birthday cake its unique look. When searching for supplies, buyers should consider what type of decorative effects they would like to create.

Icing for Decorating a Birthday Cake

Buyers should consider icing when purchasing decorating supplies. Icing may be used on the surface or as a layer inside the cake. In order to ensure that a buyer has an adequate amount of icing, they should consult the birthday cake recipe. Buyers should increase the quantity of icing if they plan to do any design work on the cake or add a border.

To create the perfect birthday cake icing colours, buyers should invest in food colouring.. The icing and food colouring should be mixed in a bowl. It is important to bear in mind that dark food colouring colours such as red and black can change the taste of the icing. Many cake decorators prefer to use gel or powdered colouring rather than food colouring as this controls the amount of water in the icing. Excessive water can cause the icing to run.

Piping Bags and Tubes for Decorating a Birthday Cake

Buyers should consider how they want to decorate the birthday cake before purchasing any piping bags or tubes. Piping bags are used to hold the icing and make it easier to transfer it to the cake. They are also a less sticky and slippery alternative to metal tubes. However, for long term use, buyers should consider purchasing a set of tubes. Tubes come in various sizes, each suited to specific decorative functions. Different sized piping bags and tubes are used to create a ribbon design or basket weave, drop flowers and star designs, or simple writing. When decorating with piping bags, buyers should roll the bag securely from the bottom so that no icing squeezes out of the back of the bag. It also a good idea to test the bag before use in order to remove any air bubbles.

Platters, Bowls, and Spatulas for Decorating a Birthday Cake

When decorating a birthday cake, buyers should consider the item used to present the cake. This affects the appearance of the cake, so an elegant platter can be used for an elaborate birthday party, but a simple plate is ideal for use for an informal family party. Buyers should invest in several bowls to be used for the icing. It is wise to have a separate bowl for each colour. Buyers should consider purchasing several cake decorating spatulas of varying sizes. Metal spatulas with wooden handles are ideal for creating a smooth cake surface during the icing process.

Coupler for Decorating a Birthday Cake

A coupler and collar are used to hold decorating tips or nozzles onto a piping bag. There are a large variety of tips and nozzles, each one varying in shape. The coupler is placed into the large end of the bag. The tip or nozzle is then attached to the coupler. Both pieces are secured into place with the collar.

Flower Nail for Decorating a Birthday Cake

A flower nail helps to secure and shape the bottom of any decorative flowers by acting as a platform. The nail may have a small, flat, round, or concave head. As icing is piped onto the nail head, a flower is formed.

Cake Columns and Tier Separators for Decorating a Birthday Cake

Tier separators are designed to be used on an already iced cake to build a second cake layer on top of the first, with columns in between the layers, as with a wedding cake. The columns provide the tiered birthday cake with stability.

Cake Leveller for Decorating a Birthday Cake

Cake decorators often use a cake leveller to ensure that each layer of the cake is flat. This leveller looks like a sharp knife or wire stretched across a frame and is adjustable to the desired height of the layer.

Features to Consider When Decorating a Birthday Cake

There are many features to consider when decorating a birthday cake. In addition to the shape of the cake, the consistency of the icing can greatly affect the look of the final product.

Cake Shape

When considering a birthday cake, buyers should bear in mind the shape of the cake that they would like to decorate. Round and rectangular shaped cakes are popular. However, there are a wide array of moulds that help to create interesting shapes. This can help to add to the cake's uniqueness and character.

Icing Consistency

The consistency of the icing is an important factor to consider when decorating a birthday cake. If the consistency is not right, then the decorations cannot adhere to the cake properly. There are many factors that can affect the consistency of the icing, including humidity, temperature, ingredients, and equipment. In general, if the icing is too thin, add more icing sugar. On the other hand, if the icing is too thick, consider adding a few drops of liquid such as water or milk.

Thick Icing

Thick icing is best suited for cake decorations, such as flowers with upright petals like roses, carnations, and sweet peas. If the icing is not thick enough, the flowers may droop. Thick icing can also help to create figure piping and string work. To help to give string work greater elasticity without compromising its strong foundation, buyers should add light corn syrup to the icing. However, if the icing is too thick, it can crack when it is piped.

Medium Icing

Medium icing is better suited for cake decorations, such as stars, borders, and flowers with flat petals. Medium icing is also used for the base icing layer of the birthday cake.

Thin Icing

When decorating a birthday cake, buyers should use thin icing for printing and writing. This consistency helps to ease the flow of icing through the piping bag and creates perfect lettering. One or two teaspoons of light corn syrup is likely to bring the icing from a medium to a thin consistency.

Buying Supplies for Decorating a Birthday Cake on eBay

Supplies for decorating a birthday cake are available to buy on eBay.. Buyers simply need to navigate to the appropriate products by entering related keywords, such as "cake decorating supplies" into the search bar. Alternatively, buyers who have a more specific idea about the type of birthday cake decorating supplies that they require are free to use more specific keywords such as "piping bags" or to use eBay's advanced search feature. This feature allows buyers to narrow results by price or condition.

Once buyers find the birthday cake decorating supplies that they wish to purchase, it is important to check the seller's feedback rating to see how other buyers have rated their service. If a seller is an eBay Top-rated seller,, that means they have a good reputation for dealing fairly and have received consistent positive feedback ratings. Purchasing from Top-rated sellers can help buyers to feel comfortable throughout the transaction.


Although it is possible to buy professionally decorated birthday cakes, decorating a birthday cake at home not only saves money, but is also a great way to be creative. Cake decorating as a hobby is fun and many decorators may even choose to turn their passion into a small business. When searching for supplies for decorating a birthday cake, buyers should consider the type of decorative effects that they want to achieve. Understanding the desired design of the birthday cake helps to narrow down the actual supplies needed.

Many cake decorating supplies, such as piping bags and tubes are specially tailored for specific decorations. Before using these supplies, choose the right consistency for the icing. A single cake may use several icing consistencies depending on the type of decoration. With so many types of birthday cake decorating supplies available on eBay, every buyer can find what they need to complete the perfect cake.

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