Bettys Cake Decorating Guide

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  Home :: techniques & tips :: Top 10 Pieces of Cake Decorating Equipment

Top 10 Pieces of Cake Decorating Equipment

Having the right tools for the job is important for any budding cake decorator. With the correct equipment you can achieve more professional results. This list will give a comprehensive guide to what should be in your cake decorator’s start-up kit.

Icing Smoother

Icing smoothers are an essential part of any cake decorator’s kit. They are used to smooth the surface of marzipan or sugarpaste-covered cakes and give a smooth professional finish.


Turntables make a cake decorator’s life a little bit easier; they allow the cake to be turned easily when piping royal icing on the side of the cake. A tilting turntable can be a good investment if you are looking to do intricate piping work.

Rolling pin (small and large)

A non-stick rolling pin is a good investment if you are looking to get a smooth cake covering. Large rolling pins can be used to roll sugarpaste/marzipan when covering cakes. A smaller rolling pin is useful when using flower paste in the production of sugar flowers.

Ball tool

Used for modelling or when making sugar flowers, a ball tool will be an indispensable part of your decorating kit. The ball tool is used to smooth the edge of sugar flower petals making them appear more life-like.

Flower cutters

Flower cutters come many varieties and graduate in size. A beginners and professionals decorating kit should contain a range of cutters in order to produce authentic and beautiful looking flowers. Your kit should include: small and large rose cutters, various sized blossom cutters, various sized daisy cutters and small and large leaf cutters.

Piping nozzles

Piping tubes or nozzles give different effects to your cake or cupcake design and can be used to produce stunning results. Nozzles can pipe both royal icing and buttercream. Piping nozzles come in numbers; as a guide the lower the number, the finer the tube. Star, rose, swirl and basket nozzles are also available. Your cake decorating kit should contain a collection of piping tubes to achieve different and dramatic results.

Food colourings

You will need various food colourings to create different icing colours.  There are four different types of food colours: liquid colours, paste colours, tints/dusting colours and edible lustre or pearl spary. They all have different effects.

Liquid colours

These usually come in squeeze bottles are used to colour royal icing or buttercream.

Paste colours

Sold in pots, paste colours are more concentrated than liquid colours and are usually used for sugarpaste or florist paste. As it’s concentrated you only need a small amount to achieve the required colour.

Tints/dusting colours

Sold in vials these are usually used to brush sugar flower petals and can be applied dry using an artist’s brush or be mixed with a small amount of clear alcohol to create a liquid paint.

Edible lustre/Pearl sprays

Edible lustre/pearl sprays produce a shimmer. The powders can be used dry or be mixed with a small amount of clear alcohol to create paint. Pearl sprays can be sprayed directly on sugarpaste/flower paste.

Pallet knife

A good pallet knife is a vital piece of equipment for cake decorating. It’s used to spread both buttercream and royal icing smoothly. It is also used to lift small pieces of dried royal icing when making runouts or lace.

Pastry brush

Pastry brushes are used for brushing apricot glazes when decorating fruit cakes with marzipan or for brushing small amounts of water/clear alcohol onto under iced cakes.


Doweling rods offer adequate support to multi-layered cakes and stop tiers sinking into each other. They can be used in both stacked and pillared cakes and come in plastic and wooden varieties.