Basic Equipment

If you are planning to bake and decorate a lot of cakes it's worth spending money on the right equipment.

Mixing Bowls

If you have a food processor or mixer you have the mixing bowl right there. Otherwise you will need a variety of mixing bowls. It's helpful to have at least two bowls so that you don't have to wash up in between. A large bowl to make the cake in and a smaller one to whip eggs or mix fillings and frostings is enough to get you started.

Baking Utensils

To get your cakes to turn out right you need to measure your ingredients properly. So get a set of measuring cups and spoons. If you are making your cakes by hand rather than by a mixer, you will need a mixing spoon and a whip or whisk for beating eggs. A spatula or scraper helps you to get the last drop of mixture out of the bowl, unless of course you let your kids scrape out the bowl with a spoon! You also need a pastry brush to oil your pans and to give a glaze for cookies. Baking paper is another essential. Use it to line a cake tin, put it on a baking tray for cookies and to layer cookies in a tin. A thermometer is very helpful to make sure you are baking your cake at the right temperature, as some ovens tend to bake hotter or cooler than the temperature dial says. Also don't forget to get oven gloves so you don't burn your hands taking your cakes and cookies out of the oven!

Cake Tins And Pans

If you are making a cake for the first time, you can use a disposable pan. But if you want to be serious about baking you need a selection of cake tins: at least one round and one rectangular tin. Non-stick springform pans are easy to open, so you can take the cake out of the tin without a problem. The latest type of cake pans are actually made of silicon and are amazing. You just have to be careful to have a baking tray underneath them before you put the cake mix in. They are particularly good for muffins and other cup cakes. The cakes just pop right out of the pan! Then don't forget to put them on a wire rack so that your cakes can cool properly.

Decorating Utensils

There are lots of cake decorating kits available which will give you all the tools you need to turn out perfectly decorated cakes. These kits usually include a turntable to put the cake on to make it easy to decorate, rulers for measuring, icing bags and piping tips, sugar shakers, sugar paste tools and so on.
If you just want to get a few basics, a palette knife will help you to spread a frosting or filling on a cake smoothly. Disposable icing bags will help you ice a cake or write on the top of it. You can even use a plastic bag for this, at a pinch! If you want to make and decorate cookies you also need cookie cutters, but you can always use a glass or cup to start with.

As you start baking and decorating simple cakes, you will gain confidence and gradually be ready to tackle more ambitious projects.

Look at the rest of our site for more ideas and tips to great cake decorating.