Cake Baking and Decorating Supplies Checklist

With the right tools, creating a beautiful and professional-looking dessert is a piece of, well, cake.

Illustration of a covered layer cake
  • Bowls

    You'll need at least two mixing bowls for the cake—one for wet and one for dry ingredients. Smaller bowls can hold frosting and cake toppings.

  • Measuring cups and spoons

    When baking, it's important to be precise. Don't scoop your flour directly from the bag with a measuring cup—the flour will become compacted, and you'll get more than you need for the recipe. Instead, spoon it into the cup, then sweep off the excess with a knife.

  • Electric mixer

    When making the cake, beat your butter and sugar until fluffy, then use a lower speed when adding your dry ingredients. You'll probably need a mixer to make your frosting, too.

  • Cake pans

    Use round, square, or rectangular cake pans depending on the shape of the cake you wish to make. To prevent the cake from sticking to pans, make sure to line and prepare them properly.

  • Parchment paper

    Line cake pans with parchment paper to ensure your cake pops out cleanly and easily. Parchment paper can also be placed under the base of the cake before frosting to keep your serving platter clean.

  • Kitchen scissors

    Have a pair of scissors on hand to cut the parchment paper to the appropriate size for your cake pan.

  • Pastry brush

    A pastry brush can perform many tasks. Use it to brush melted butter inside your cake pans before baking or to sweep excess toppings, such as toasted coconut flakes or sprinkles, off your cake platter when decorating. If you're decorating your cake with fresh fruit, such as sliced strawberries or peaches, use a pastry brush to paint a thin layer of melted preserves over the fruit to prevent it from dying out.

  • Toppings

    Choose your favorite toppings to dress up the tops or sides of a cake, or to give cupcakes extra flair. Try dried fruit, mini marshmallows, chopped nuts, toasted coconut, crushed cookies, or any small, lightweight candies.

  • Frosting

    You'll need about 3 to 4 cups of frosting for a two-layer 9-inch cake, one 9-by-13-inch sheet cake, or 24 cupcakes.

  • Cake filling

    For an extra level of flavor, try adding a delicious filling between the layers of your cake. Lemon curd, fruit preserves, and pastry cream all work well.

  • Cake stand

    Displaying your finished product on a pretty stand makes it instantly more appealing. It's also easier to frost a cake when it's elevated.

  • Offset spatula

    An offset spatula is essential for frosting a cake. It spreads the frosting easily and can be used to create swirly designs or to smooth out bumps and mistakes.

  • Pastry bag

    Fill the bag with cooled melted chocolate, colored frosting, or piping gel and fit with a fine tip for piping messages and designs onto cakes. If you don't have a pastry bag, you can also use a resealable plastic bag—just cut off a tiny corner.

  • Piping gel

    Fill a pastry bag with piping gel to write letters on a cake. You can also use frosting and cooled melted chocolate.

  • Toothpick

    If you're planning to write on the cake, trace the letters in the frosting first with a toothpick to avoid messy piping mistakes. You can also use the toothpick when baking to test if your cakes are ready to come out of the oven.

  • Paring knife

    Have a sharp paring knife on hand to slice edible decorations such as fruit and candy to the desired size.

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