When it comes to decorating cookies, cakes, and cupcakes, I’ve bought gadgets I thought I’d use all the time, only to have them collect dust in the back of my kitchen drawer. Then there are the baking tools I didn’t think I really needed but got anyway at the recommendation of others, and they’re now my star players!
Here are the tools I use all the time when I bake with my girls.
Revolving Cake Stand
A revolving cake stand is essential if you’re trying to frost a cake in a smooth, effortless way. I love this aluminum turntable, because it’s very stable and won’t shift while you’re turning it. Plus, you can use it as a cake stand!
Buy it: Aluminum Revolving Cake Stand, $37
Cake Decorating Bags
Cake decorating bags provide a pro polish when frosting cookies, cakes, and cupcakes. I’ve also used decorating bags to make macarons and eclairs. To make mine last a little longer, I wash and dry them so they can be used multiple times.
Buy it: Wilton Cake Decorating Pastry Bags, $21
Icing Piping Tips Set
Piping tips seem intimidating (there are so many!), but these are the basic ones to have on hand. This set not only includes tips for decorating cakes and cupcakes, but it has larger tips perfect for piping pastry dough, cookie dough, or even mashed potatoes.
Buy it: Cake Decorating Piping Tips, $13
Couplers are a convenient way to switch decorating tips without having to fill up a whole new bag with frosting. All you do is insert the coupler into the piping bag; snip off a corner of the bag; attach whatever tip you want to use, and then screw on the plastic ring.
Buy it: Cake Decorating Couplers, $10
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Gel Food Coloring
I prefer gel food coloring, because it doesn’t change the consistency of the frosting. This set includes a variety of shades, and you can even mix colors together to create a custom hue! I also love that the containers are small and compact, so they don’t take up a ton of room in my pantry, and I won’t be buying more than I need.
Buy it: Wilton Gel Food Coloring Set, $12
Don’t be fooled by this tiny spatula’s size; it’s a powerhouse of a tool! Not only is it fantastic for smoothing and swirling frosting, it can be used to spread cake batter into all corners of the pan, and can help release cakes and cupcakes after baking. In a pinch, you can use it to transfer cookies to a cooling rack, too.
Buy it: Offset spatula, $10
This tester’s tiny pinprick won’t leave behind any noticeable holes and can test deeper than a toothpick.
Buy it: OXO Cake Tester, $6
If you have an oven, then you need a Silpat. I have used mine for years and can’t imagine making cookies without it. Cookies lift effortlessly off this silicone mat; it cleans up beautifully, and it comes in a variety of sizes, so you can have one for every pan.
Buy it: Silpat Silicone Baking Mat, $23Continue to 9 of 10 below.
This collapsible cooling rack allows you to cool up to three dozen cookies without taking up unnecessary space on your counter. It’s easy to set up, easy to wash off, and easy to store.
Buy it: Wilton Cooling Rack, $18
I prefer stainless steel cookie cutters, because they produce a clean cut in the dough, but plastic works just fine, too. (Hey, I’ve even used the rim of a cup before!) I liked this particular cookie cutter set, because it has a wide variety to get you started and comes with a carrying case.
Buy it: Cookie Cutter Set, $6