Proper tools really make a difference when decorating a cake. Here
is some of the equipment regularly used in the cake decorating process.
Spatulas are used to ice cakes. An angled spatula is especially
helpful and easier to use than a flat spatula for icing cake tops.
Plastic decorating combs or triangles are used to texture the icing
on the sides of a cake.
Decorating bags may be lightweight polyester or disposable plastic.
Parchment paper triangles also may be used. Sizes vary and are
chosen based on the amount of icing the decorating job will require.
Couplers are two-part units that are used with decorating tips.
The base part is placed in the bag, the tip is put on the outside of the
bag, and the outside ring is screwed onto the base. Couplers are
designed so that different tips can be used interchangeably with the same
bag of icing.
Decorating tips are metal tips that are open-ended and specially
shaped to form different icing designs. A wide variety of tips
are available. The basic tip types are drop flower, leaf, petal,
round, ribbon, star, and star-cut. There are also some special
purpose tips that are larger or form particular shapes. Illustrated
at right is a wedding cake embellished with designs created using a
diverse set of cake decorating tips.
Small decorator brushes are used to paint details on the icing
or to add color in decorating bags for multi-color effects.
Flower nails are revolving platforms that you turn between your
fingers as you build icing flowers on them. Flower nails come in
several sizes, from 3 inches for large petaled flowers down to 1 1/4
inch for smaller flowers. There is also a lily flower nail, which
is used to form curved, cup-shaped flowers.
Rolled fondant icing calls for a variety of special tools. Rollers
or rolling pins are used to roll out the icing, like pie crust. The
icing may then be smoothed over the cake with a smoothing tool. All
kinds of other tools are used to emboss designs and cut shapes for leaves
and flowers. Confectionery tool sets are available for this type of
cake decorating work. The illustration below shows rolled fondant
icing flower petals as well as leaves that have been cut out and embossed.