Six best tools for cake decorating

All you need are a few essential tools and a little patience.

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(Counter-clockwise from the top)

1. Lazy Susan (or revolving cake stand): Though not necessary, a Lazy Susan can come in handy when slicing a cake into layers or icing a round cake. Just place your cake stand/plate/board on the Lazy Susan, then slice and ice away.

2. Long, serrated bread knife: This knife works best when slicing your cake into layers for our double-chocolate espresso cake. Cakes that have been cooled completely, or refrigerated overnight (this is ideal), are easiest to cut into layers. Mark the cake halfway down the side by inserting toothpicks around the sides. Using the toothpicks as a guide, use the knife to cut the cake horizontally in half, using a sawing motion and turning the cake as necessary, while keeping the opposite hand atop the cake to keep it steady.

3. Large offset spatula: Large off-set spatulas are great for spreading icing on larger cakes. They also come in handy when lifting and transferring smaller cakes (use two large spatulas to lift a larger cake). It can also be used for smoothing out icing on the sides and top of a cake.

4. Small offset spatula: The smaller spatula is also great for spreading icing on cakes. Because of its handy size, it also allows for more detailed work when icing a cake, like adding different layers of coloured icing on our vanilla cake in pink ombré. (See our how-to video!)

5. Piping tips: Our stunning cherry cake with marzipan roses is easy to decorate with the right tools. We use Wilton’s 2D large drop flower tip to pipe the ruffly rosettes (top), but a large star tip (bottom) will also work in a pinch. (See our how-to video!)

6. Bench scraper or large spackle tool: These are other options used to smooth out icing on a cake. When your cake has been completely covered with icing, take the scraper or spackle tool and hold the edge against the side of the cake while turning the Lazy Susan to smooth down the icing. Start off with a thick coat of icing, then scrape more off as you smooth down the sides.

Looking for a classic cake recipe? Try our simple no-fail vanilla cake (also this month’s cooking club challenge).