It is getting time for gift giving season, so I wanted to share some of my favorite cake tools I use with all or almost every cake! My list includes more expensive one time investment purchases as well as some more affordable options, some are my absolute necessities and others are more for speed and convenience for yourself or that cake lover in your life!
I LOVE my Agbay, I have The Agbay Single Blade Cake Leveler and it is ah-mazing. This was a speed and convenience purchase for me. I admit, my knife skills are not the best and I am also a perfectionist that likes to see even layers of cake and buttercream in a cut slice (which is why I also measure my fillings – I have issues, I admit.) It saves me so much time, set the height and it cuts clean, beautiful layers every time. It is super sharp though, so make sure to watch your fingers when you are cleaning it! I tried multiple cheap versions of levelers and none of them compare, it was definitely worth the price buy it once and never buy another leveler again.
This one I mention and it makes me a little sad because Caketrick is closing their doors. However, if you want an amazing solid wood rolling pin that will stand the test of time you may still be able to get one for a short time through their website. I have the Caketrick Shorty Combo Pack which sells for $200 and is a heavy duty wood pin that has beveled edges so you don't leave lines when rolling out huge pieces of fondant. I went through multiple rolling pins just to have them break or start shedding fibers. I am hard on my pins and use it so often, this one is under the necessity section for me! Had I saved up all the money I spent on the cheaper versions, I would have paid for the Caketrick long ago!
3. Bench Scraper
I have 2 that are definitely necessities. I have a shorter 6″ bench scrapper either online or at a kitchen store like Bed, Bath & Beyond. For my taller, extended tier cakes, I use my Fat Girl 12″ Scraper. Both are dishwasher safe, completely straight sides and a flat 90 degree “L”; at the bottom which is so important for getting those supa straight sides with buttercream or ganache we love so much.
These are a must-have for me. I use them to buff away seams and to ice around all those curves of 3D cakes!
I have the large version which measures 24″ x 36″ on Amazon. There is also a smaller version which is 24″ x 24″ for a little less. I mentioned before I panel my fondant cakes which means I need a long space to rollout big, long pieces of fondant. This mat is the creme de la creme of silicone rolling mats. I have rolled so many different types of store bought and homemade fondant and none of them stick. I used to go through cornstarch like crazy, especially in the summer months fighting humidity but then, of course, would have dry out issues like elephant skin while smoothing my cakes. Until I tried out this mat at the Satin Ice booth last February in Austin. The heavens parted and this blue baby floated onto my counter and my stash of cornstarch has been stagnant ever since.
This next item is an organization necessity. As cake designers, we have all kinds of molds in various shapes and sizes. My problem was how to keep them organized without taking up too much space and not have to dig through a box or container to find the one I need that is almost always on the bottom. I use heavy duty zip-up binders called Case It Mighty Zip. I use the 3″ binders and insert all my molds in a single layer into top loading page protectors. I can flip through the “pages” to find the mold I need and zip everything up and away when they are not in use. I currently have 3 and I love them! They range in price from $15-30 depending on the color chosen.
Another necessity we use during deliveries are Techni Ice Packs. These little guys pack a huge reusable punch! They are 2″ squares of reusable, food safe cold packs that stay cold for hours and hours on end. I love that they are small so they don’t take up much space but will keep cakes cold for long deliveries. We use these in conjunction with Avalon’s Insulated Box instead of ice packs or dry ice and now use them for every delivery. The combination of the insulated box and Techni packs makes a mini cooler for cakes to survive even the hottest of days not just in the car during travel but also avoiding the temperature shock going from cold car to hot outside while walking the cake into the venue. They are about $7 for a pack of 6 that can be used over and over again.
I have the soft tip shapers and use them for almost every cake! They are really versatile, even if you are like me and don’t do a lot of figure modeling. I use the small rounded ball to “buttercream caulk” my cake seams after I stack my tiers, the small point has replaced my dresden tool and I love the straight firm tip for lining up dragees and sugar pearls in tight spaces. For $45 you get 6 double sided shapers (12 usable tool tips) that have a nice, non-slip grip you will appreciate going into the 4th hour of an intricate design!
Purchasing ingredients in bulk is a great way to bring your costs down for supplies but brings up a problem of how to store all those 50lb bags of flour and sugar. I researched this issue on end because I wanted something that was not only food safe but also moisture resistant and well sealed. I found these great storage containers at our local Container Store. Yes, I realize they are labeled as “pet food” storage but obviously, we only use them new and unused! They are BPA free, and have a good, tight seal with a locking latch around the hinged top. They also have great castor wheels for easily roll about movement that can be removed if you decide to stack the containers on a metro rack, which is what how I store them. The large container fits large 50lb bags of flour or sugar with room to spare and the smaller container fits my 25 pound bag of brown sugar with extra room also.
They are some of my favorite texture sheets I own, and for the price, they are a steal! They come in packs of 4 with each sheet having a different texture and range in price from $4-8 per 4 pack. They are great for creating subtle or deep textures on fondant, gumpaste or even buttercream. They take up little storage space and wash up easily.
I hope my list of favorites has given you a few new products to check out for yourself or someone special! Enjoy your shopping!
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