As a published cookbook author, I have tried a LOT of kitchen tools. And I’m happy to recommend my absolute must-haves to other home bakers. This list is a great place to start if you’re a novice baker, creating a registry, or shopping for a gift for someone who likes to cook (or wants to learn). These essential tools for baking and decorating cakes It will make your home cooking very easy.
Since 2011, I have developed and published over 150 cake recipes on my website, as well as cake recipes in my cookbooks. Tasting, photographing and filming video tutorials means I make more cakes for each new recipe. I made… LOTS of cakes!
From timeless classics like chocolate cake and white cake, to reader favorites like lemon blueberry cake, carrot cake, and red velvet cake… I even did a tutorial for a wedding cake! home!
With all this practice (including failed recipes!), I have learned which cake baking tools are the BEST in my home kitchen. I don’t know about you, but I avoid overloading my closets with unnecessary gadgets, so this list includes the top must-haves. I am not working with any of these brands; These cake baking tools are simply the items that I own, love, and recommend.
Also see my Top 10 Cake Baking Tips page.
Stock Your Kitchen With These 10 Baking and Cake Decorating Tools
All of the cake baking tools on this list are items that I own. I list 10 here, but some include more than 1 item. Please use your best judgment on what items you would use based on my descriptions. None of these posts are sponsored, really just items that I love and am happy to recommend to other bakers in the house. Many of these links are affiliate links.
1. ROUND PIE TRAYS
What I own and love: Fat Daddio 9-inch cake pan or Fat Daddio 8-inch cake pan.
Recommended amount: 3
I started using these pans in 2018 to bake layer cakes and immediately fell in love with them. They are very good quality for the price! I recommend having 3. It’s best to bake the cake batter in one go, and if you only have 2 round cake pans, you may have to wait to bake the final layer if you’re making a 3-layer cake.
Advice: Buy cake pans that are 2 inches deep or those labeled “deep plate” style—some round pans are only 1.5 inches tall and you may end up spilling the batter.
2. SHEET FRAMES AND SHEET MEANS
What I own and love: Nordic Ware 3-Quart Pyrex Glass Baking Pan and Half Pan.
Recommended amount: at least 1 for each size
Half sheet pans and quarter sheet pans are some of the most versatile and useful pans a baker can own. Both brands are of excellent quality and have stood up to very frequent use.
The 12 × 17-inch size of a half pan (also known as a jello pan) is the perfect size for baking roll cakes, like this chocolate cake roll. I also use half pans for baking cookies, scones, vegetables, potatoes, fish, meat, croissants, cakes, bread, pouring toffee or chocolate bark and much more.
The 9×13-inch rectangular pan (also known as a quarter sheet pan) is just the right size for a single-layer cake, like this banana cake. It has a capacity of around 3 liters and can be used for anything from homemade brownies to lasagna, vanilla, casseroles, overnight cinnamon rolls and more. I prefer glass because it heats slowly and the gradual heat is perfect for evenly baking a large cake.
3. ROUND PARCHMENT PAPER
What I own and love: Comfylife parchment paper sheets.
Regardless of the size or brand of pan you use, make sure you prepare it properly before pouring the batter into the pan. These days I ALWAYS use parchment paper rounds.
That is how:
- Trace the bottom of the cake pans onto a large piece of parchment paper. Cut out the parchment circles. Next, very lightly grease the cake pans with butter or non-stick spray. I usually use a non-stick coconut oil spray or “baking spray”, which contains a bit of flour. Put the parchment inside, then oil the parchment as well. Yes, grease the pan AND the parchment. This promises an ultra non-stick environment for your cake.
- When the cake has cooled, run a thin knife around the edge, turn the cake over onto your hand or work surface, then remove from the cake pan. Remove parchment from bottom of cake.
4. ELECTRIC MIXER
What I own and love: KitchenAid Tilt-Head Mixer or KitchenAid 5-Speed Mixer.
Recommended amount: 1
An electric mixer is a must if you cook a lot. I use my hand mixer more than my food processor. If you want both, definitely get both. When I’m working with a large amount of dough/cake or doing something that requires several minutes of mixing (eg fondant, dough, meringue), a food processor is key.
For novice bakers, a hand mixer is perfect. Most affordable, fantastic quality, and works wonderfully for mixing cake batter.
5. DIGITAL FOOD SCALE
What I own and love: OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale.
Recommended amount: 1
For more accurate measurements, definitely get a food scale. This OXO food scale is the one I use. A gram is always a gram. An ounce is always an ounce. A cup is NOT always a cup, so weighing is the most accurate way to measure. My team and I include weight measurements in all my recipes.
A kitchen scale is also useful for making layered cakes. I often weigh the pans when I add the batter, to make sure I get about the same amount of batter in both/all of the cake pans, making sure the layers are even and they cook evenly. (This only works if you’re using a set of the same cake pan, since they all weigh the same.)
6. SIEVE / FINE MESH SIEVE
What I own and love: Cuisinart sieve.
Recommended amount: 1 set
Sifting the dry ingredients is often a step in many cake recipes…and just as often it’s overlooked or skipped. This step is not just for fun or to complicate your life: it aerates the ingredients and loosens the lumps so that your recipe turns out! You can’t make angel food cake, French macarons, vanilla cake, or this cake flour substitute without one. You can also use a strainer to dust confectioners with powdered sugar or cocoa powder, like star bread and tiramisu, and even to strain out seeds or lumps from raspberry sauce and Boston custard.
This set comfortably comes in 3 different sizes with nice long handles. They are easy to clean (just use soapy water and rinse) and have lasted me for years. I consider a sieve/strainer to be a crucial kitchen tool and even recommend them on this list of 14 Kitchen Utensils Every Baker Needs.
7. ICE SPATULAS
What I own and love: Ateco 8-inch Straight Spatula, 4.5-inch Straight Spatula and 4.5-inch Offset Spatula.
Recommended amount: 1 of each, but it depends on the type of decoration you do
I use a large, straight icing spatula to decorate large layer cakes like this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. A small straight spatula is useful for sliding the edges of a cake out of the pan or for spreading frosting on a smaller cake. And I prefer to use a small offset spatula to decorate the sheets that are served inside the pan.
8. TURNTABLE OR CAKE STAND
What I own and love: Rotating cake stand and marble cake stand.
Recommended amount: 1
I am not a cake decorating professional; I tend to stick to basic techniques to finish my cakes. A cake turntable can come in handy when you’re icing a layer cake. If you don’t want to serve the cake on the rotor, you can gently lift the cake off the turntable onto a serving plate or rack, using a pair of thin, flat spatulas and a friend.
9. BENCH SCRAPER
What I own and love: Ateco bank scraper.
Recommended amount: 1
A counter scraper is very useful for smoothing icing around the sides of a layer cake. If you’ve never used one before, you can watch me use it in my vanilla cake video (and you can see I don’t even use a cake turntable there, I just use the marble cake stand attached to #8 above). This bench scraper works for cakes of any size.
10. CAKE STAND
What I own and love: Sterilite Cake Server or XL Cake Carrier.
Recommended amount: 1
Honestly, this should be #1 on today’s list. Cake stands are a real panacea for the storage and transport of cakes. Have you ever needed to refrigerate a layer cake, but covering it with foil or plastic wrap completely ruins the frosting? Store it in a cake stand! Have you ever needed to travel with a decorated layer cake? Use a cake stand! I also put cakes in this thing.
I also recommend this cupcake carrier for storing and transporting iced cupcakes. And it’s not just cupcakes/muffins – this stand is also great for transporting 9×13-inch cakes, round cakes, cookies, and more.
It is worth its weight in gold!
Even more cake baking tools and tips.
Baking cakes can be intimidating because they are usually for a special event or occasion…and the pressure is high! Let me help you take away your fear of baking cakes. Have you seen my video of tips for baking cakes? Here it is:
Additional useful posts:
More cookware tips
cooking is easy
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