I have aimed this towards beginners but it may be that you know your cake decorating well and you are ready to create your business but feel you are not getting the full professional finish you desire. Well in this Top 10 tools for cake decorating we’ll let you know just why each product helps with those straight edges, sharp finishing and professional looking cakes.
Remember if you are wanting to get involved long term, the quality of the product matters greatly. This is the difference of a professional finish and ease of achieving it. Quality brands will offer lifetime guarantees, keep a great resale value and offer the best results. We recommend always going with trusted brands and you don’t have to pay a fortune to do that!
1. PME Tilting Turntable
The tilting top can be adjusted to angle the cake for ease when working on the cake sides by using the easy tilt action. With such a variable range of adjustment, and a non-slip top and bottom, you can always be assured of achieving your exact requirements.
2. PME Modelling Caddy
It contains a good basic set of 14 tools for all your sugarcraft modelling and sugar flower making needs. Allowing you to get started with creating toppers and designs for your cake!
This set also comes in a handy caddy for easy storage. PME goods also offer a 10 year guarantee!
3. A Non Stick Rolling Pin
Using a non-stick rolling pin enables you to minimise the use of dusting materials e.g. icing Sugar, cornflour and flour helping to create a professional finish. Covering cakes is hard enough when you’re starting out!
Cake smoothers will help smooth out your sugarpaste once applied giving the professional finish to your cake and smoothing out any lumps or bumps!
FMM offer a lifetime guarantee on their products so certainly worth the investment!
5. Piping Tubes
I’d recommend getting Tubes 1, 2, 3, 7 and 42 to start with. These are the most used tubes for cake decorating.
This beginners set consists of 5 PME stainless steel piping nozzles. There are 3 writing nozzles, a rope nozzle which will also make fine shells and rosettes, and a star nozzle.
6. Marzipan Spacers
These are fantastic for getting an even depth of Sugarpaste or Marzipan, depending on which way you rest the spacers you can roll to a thickness. 10mm – perfect for marzipan or thicker sugarpaste coverings, or 6mm – excellent for most sugarpaste coverings giving your cake an even covering!
7. Alphabet Cutters
Getting good cutters for inscriptions a must. These finish off your cakes with a beautiful neat ‘Happy Birthday’ or whatever your cake may be celebrating. Our favourites are the FMM Block Alphabet Set, they are our best sellers!
Great for cutting out shapes & lettering on and a must have for cake modelling and figures. This board by CelCakes is a must have, use either the veined side for flowers & leaves or plain side for general use. It includes a non-slip mat with it which stops it sliding about!
9. Reusable Savoy Piping Bag
This FMM reusable piping bag is made from nylon and has a closed end, so you can cut to the size of your nozzle. Your tube can either be dropped straight into the bag or a piping tube attachment can be used to screw in place. They can be easily washed saving you loads of money!
10. Palette Knife
A must for coating your cake, mixing your buttercream, creating royal icing. A very handy tool that you just can’t do without. We would recommend the 6″ straight palette knife as a starter tool but there’s more sizes & shapes available when you want to build on your collection.
There’s loads more bits to keep you going along the way but these pieces of equipment will give you a good head start with your cake business!
Cover the cake drum with black sugarpaste and leave overnight to dry. Cover the cake with purple sugarpaste and secure to the cake drum with royal icing.
Roll out grey sugarpaste to 3-4mm thick. Using the stone wall impression mat press into the paste to leave the impression. To prevent sticking, lightly dust the impression mat with cornflour first.
Use a knife to cut the grey paste into sections that are easier to handle. Following the lines of the stones, trim a random pattern as shown. Turn each piece over and brush the back lightly with edible glue or water.
Place the stone wall effect paste around the base of the cake, leaving a space at the front for the pathway. To make the pathway, use the cobble stone impression mat and cut to shape. Secure to the cake drum with edible glue.
Roll out white, orange and black flower paste thinly. Using the special occasion tappits cut out several ghosts, pumpkins and bats. Use the alphabet tappits to cut out the ‘TRICK OR TREAT’ letters. Set aside to dry.
Roll out yellow flower paste thinly and cut several stars using the three star cutters. Set aside to dry.
To make the the tombstones, roll out grey sugarpaste to around 4-5mm thick and using the arch cutters cut two large and one small. Add the letters as shown with edible glue. These will need to dry for at least two days.
Position the tombstones on the cake and insert a wooden cocktail stick into the cake behind each to allow them to stand up. Pipe a small amount of purple royal icing onto the bottom of each tombstone and secure in place. Add the stars, bats, pumpkins and ghosts using small amount of the royal icing. Make a smooth paint using black food paste and a little clear alcohol and paint on the gate with a fine paintbrush. Finish the cake drum with black ribbon.
More fabulous Tutorials by Charlotte can be found on her Facebook page at ‘Let’s Eat Cake’. An extra special thanks to Charlotte, PartyAnimalOnline’s guest blogger for writing up this wonderful spooky tutorial!
To make the cake balls please check out our blog post on creating cake pops step-by-step! This will show you how to make the cake balls and basic dipping instructions. Melt the PME Milk Chocolate Candy Buttons and dip the end of a cake pop stick into the melted chocolate and then into the cake ball. Once Set dip all the cake ball and shake off the excess and before it dries sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.
Once the cake pop has set, dip the end of the mini egg into the melted chocolate and place on top holding in place until set. Add as many or as little mini eggs as you wish. I tended to use two or three per cake pop.
It’s that easy! Why not try it yourself and share your pictures with us at Party Animal Online!
Easter isn’t that far away and if you are looking for cake pop ideas then these little easter chick cake pops should fit the bill! They are very simple to make and will be a great addition to your Easter cake creations.
To make the cake balls please check out our blog post on creating cake pops step-by-step! This will show you how to make the cake balls and basic dipping instructions. Melt the PME Yellow Candy Buttons and dip the end of a cake pop stick into the melted chocolate and then into the cake ball.
Once set dip the whole cake into the melted chocolate. If the sponge is dark, like chocolate cake, you may need to dip it twice so the cake doesn’t show through.
Once you have dipped your cake pop and shaken off the excess quickly attach an orange coated chip for the nose and two yellow ones for the wings. If you can’t get hold of these coated chips you can use melted chocolate instead but make sure to add them after main cake pop has dried.
For the eyes I melted some PME Black Candy Buttons and used a toothpick to paint the eyes on.
And that’s it! I can see why these are so popular to make with them being so simple! Don’t forget to present these using the Culpitt Cake Pop Bags. If you have a go yourself share your pictures with us at Party Animal Online!
Hi everyone… bringing you some nice news today… as always!
We currently have a competition running to win a gorgeous set of Sugarflair Glitter Paints and a high quality chrome finish PME Cupcake stand and it’s open to all bakers Worldwide! This is thanks to all you lovely likers on Facebook getting us up to 9,000 fans and if you think this is a good prize, just you wait until we hit the 10,000!
Ann Evans (Gran) – joint founding member of PartyAnimalOnline turned 80 last month and to celebrate we made her our famous rich chocolate cake and yummy chocolate roses to finish, the wonderful Kev Mumby came and sang some Frank Sinatra and Uncle Phil put together a tear wrenching slide show of pictures new and old, there was mascara down all the girls faces by the time it was over…. reminder to self….. buy waterproof next time!!
Here’s the recipe for the rich choc cake..as promised!
RICH CHOCOLATE CAKE
This recipe makes a fantastic dark and rich chocolate cake which is firm enough to cover with sugarpaste, ganache or poured chocolate but is moist and delicious. We used this recipe at Party Animal for over 20 years when we wanted an extra special and indulgent cake – for a chocolate wedding cake for example.
It is not the cheapest recipe but then you wouldn’t expect something as good as this to be cheap to make!
The recipe below is for an 8″ square / 9″ round cake approximately 3″ deep.
340g plain chocolate
I would recommend that you use the best chocolate available to get the best flavour
340g Caster Sugar
300g Ground Almonds
8 Eggs seperated
130g Fine Brown Breadcrumbs
50g Cocoa Powder
Large pinch of salt
Grease the tin and line with greaseproof paper which also needs to be greased lightly.
Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy – you are best to use a electric mixer for this to get the right amount of air incorporated. If you don’t have a mixer you will have to beat hard!
Break the chocolate in pieces and melt. The best method is to put it in a double pan over some hot water. Do not overheat it.
Stir the melted chocolate into the sugar and butter mix.
Add the egg yolks, breadcrumbs, almonds and cocoa powder and beat well.
Whisk the egg whites with the salt until very stiff. Add half of the egg whites to the cake mix and fold in.Then fold the remaining egg whites into the mix. By adding the egg whites in 2 halves you retain more of the air. This is because the mix is softened by the first addition allowing you to fold in the rest without too much loss of aeration
Pour mixture into the prepared tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°c for about 1 to 1¼ hours. The cakes should be just firm to the touch when completely cooked.
Leave in the tin to cool slightly (about 10 to 15 mins) This allows the crumb to firm slightly. Then turn out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Once cool the cakes can be wrapped in greaseproof paper and foil and frozen until required
COVERING THE CAKES
The cakes can be covered with Sugarpaste, Ganache or chocolate. Personally I prefer to use this recipe for cakes that are coated with chocolate.
A fruit glaze can be used to give added flavour and soften the crust of the cake before coating (this will also act as a glue if you are using sugarpaste). I use apricot jam that has been boiled then add a few tablespoons of orange liquer to taste. Brush all over the surface of the cake. This can be done while the cake is frozen to prevent crumbling.
Lightly whip some chocolate ganache til fluffy and spread around the top and sides. This should be approximately 1cm thick but really that is up to you – taste and cost are the concerns here! You can do this while the cake is still frozen.
Leave to defrost and set.
If you want to stack cakes together, place them on a thin board (the same size as the cake) and stack before covering with the pouring chocolate
Make up some more ganache but this time do not whisk. Leave to cool slightly. It should still be liquid but not hot. Pour evenly over the cake (or stack of cakes) and leave to set. It should set firm and shiny. Make sure you do not leave the cakes in a draught to cool as
this can cause the chocolate to dull.
Once completely set decoration can be added to complete.
We used Squires Kitchen Cocoform to model the flowers and leaves, this stuff is fabulous, flexible and most importantly extremely tasty! It can be purchased in White, Milk or Dark chocolate and is a made from gorgeous Belgium chocolate to produce a fabulous high quality chocolate modelling paste.
Simply roll the paste thin and use your cutter to cut the required shape. I used FMM rose petal cutters for the roses and PME Rose leaf plunger cutters for the leaves. Once cut set your flowers aside to dry for a few hours before popping them on the top of your rich chocolate cake. Easy peasy and very delicious.
All in all it was a fabulous day with a fair few glasses of wine in celebration… any excuse is a good one!
Happy Birthday to a wonderful Gran, Mum and Sister! If I grow up to be half the women you are, I will be a very lucky lady! Love Steph (Granddaughter).