The 6 Best Cake Decorating Tools to Buy in 2018

Shop for the best cake decorating tools on the market today

Mascarpone and white chocolate not baked cake
©Tasty food and photography / Getty Images

If it’s time to move your cake, cookie, and cupcake decorating beyond smooth surfaces and zip-top bags in place of pastry bags, there are plenty of items to choose from.

Unlike many cooking gadgets that are designed for functional purposes, cake decorating tools are a lot of fun to use. It’s like going back to childhood, playing with colors, paints, modeling clay, and other art supplies. But it’s even better, because the results are not only fun and attractive, they’re also edible – even if your...MORE inner child got a little messy.

While it can take some practice to get the best results when decorating cakes, that just gives you an excuse to bake more cakes, right? The good news is that even with the most complicated kits, there are always a few simple things you can master pretty quickly, so you can take your time learning more techniques.

  • Best Overall: Kootek 42 Pieces Cake Decorating Kit

    If you’re looking for a comprehensive decorating kit for cake, cupcake, and cookie frosting, look no further, This kit includes 36 different pastry tips, two 12-inch reusable silicone pastry bags, two plastic couplers to hold the tips, and two flower nails.

    The tips are made from stainless steel and include 11 open star tips, seven closed star tips, three French tips, three round tips, two plain tips, four leaf tips, three rose petal tips, and three special tips. If you’ve already started...MORE collecting tips, this probably includes repeats of some of the basics, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, since you can have the same style tips on two different pastry bags with different frosting colors.

    The parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and when you’re done having fun, there’s a storage case so you can keep all your supplies together.

  • Best for Beginners: Wilton Dessert Decorator Plus

    If you’ve never done any fancy cake decorating and don’t want to wrestle with a messy pastry bag, this decorating kit is just what you need. And it’s perfect for kids, too.

    The decorator holds up to 1 1/2 cups of frosting and the plunger makes it easy for both left- and right-handed decorators to use, while the thumb lever gives you accurate control of frosting flow. It’s great for frostings, fillings, or even for piping whipped cream. Since the frosting stays inside the barrel of the decorator,...MORE there’s much less mess, although this doesn’t hold quite as much as a typical pastry bag. On the plus side, this keeps the heat of your hands from warming the frosting as you pipe.

    This includes five common tips to get you started, and since this uses standard tips, you can buy more for special projects. The set includes the decorator; one large and one small coupler; a round tip, a star tip, a leaf tip, a petal tip, and a nozzle for pumping fillings into cupcakes or other pastries.

    When you’re done decorating cakes, you can use this to fill deviled eggs or make pancake art, too.

  • Best Airbrush Kit: Cake Boss Decorating Tools Airbrushing Kit

    If you’re going to be painting scenes on top of cakes, you need artistic skill to go along with this airbrush kit, but this is just as fun if you have the limited artistic skill that I have. It’s a blast to spray color on white frosting, even if it’s just stripes, dots, shapes, and tie-dye patterns. If you’ve made buttercream roses on your cake or cupcakes and the cake looks too monochrome, you can use this to color or highlight the roses so they all look a little different.

    This has an 18 PSI...MORE compressor and three adjustable levels for spraying, and it’s simple to use. Just put your color into the reservoir and pull the trigger to spray. It’s a good idea to practice on a sheet of paper or cardboard, but it only takes a few seconds to see how the spray works.

    Besides freehand color application or drawing, you can use this with stencils. With a narrow spray, you can use it to write messages, or use a wide spray to color the whole cake with a delicate mist.

    The kit includes the compressor, hose, plastic dropper, nozzle wrench, a/c adaptor, instructions, and a storage case. When you buy this, make sure you also order food colors that are designed for air brushes, because you’ll want to get started as soon as this arrives. It’s one of the most fun decorating tools in my kitchen.

  • Best for Fondant: HOSL Decorating Kit

    Fondant isn’t just for covering cakes with a smooth outer shell. This kit will have you making fondant flowers and other decorations just like a professional. It includes a smooth fondant rolling pin, four flower blossom cutters, six star flower cutters, three veined rose leaf cutters, three sunflower cutters, three butterfly cutters, three plum flower cutters, four blossom/rose petal cutters, three carnation cutters, four daisy cutters, three heart cutters, 1 cake smoother, and eight flower...MORE modeling tools.

    If you decide that fondant isn’t for you, this kit can also be used for crafts, or the kids can use them with modeling clay. 

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  • Best Cake Turntable: Wilton Trim 'n Turn Cake Turntable

    Cake decorating is much easier when the cake is on a turntable, so you can easily spin the cake rather than clumsily turning it or walking around it to get to all sides. This has a 12-inch platform so it can hold your largest cake, an 11-inch cake – or it can hold even larger cakes if you have them sitting on a cake board.

    The stand has a soft-grip ring and a ball-bearing track that spins smoothly for neat decorating. It spins in both directions, so it’s easy to use whether you’re left- or...MORE right-handed, and it locks into place so you can concentrate on details on a small area without worrying about the cake sliding away from you.

    Besides using it for intricate decorating, it’s also handy for cake leveling, combing the cake sides, or quickly creating borders and top edges as you spin the cake while you pipe. The cake platform removes from the stand for easy cleaning when you’re done. You can also use this for a casual display of your finished cake.

  • Best Cake Lifter: Nordic Ware 10-Inch Cake Lifter

    If you’ve ever tried moving a decorated cake from cake turntable to cake stand, you know how hard it is to do that job neatly. Even moving the undecorated layers from cooling rack to plate can be risky, since the cake can crack if it’s not well supported.

    This cake lifter solves the problem, with a 10-inch diameter surface that’s large enough to support most cakes or cake layers. The nonstick surface helps the lifter slide easily under the cake, and it allows the cake to slide off onto its final...MORE destination. For sticky cakes, a light spray of oil on the lifter can make it even easier for the cake to slide on and off. The angle of the handle is designed to give you good leverage to lift the cake and the handle material provides a secure grip.

    When you’re not moving cakes around, this works well for sliding cheesecakes off the springform pan’s base, for handling small pizzas, or even for flipping quesadillas or large pancakes. This should be hand washed to maintain the nonstick surface.

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