Here is a list of some of my favorite tools for professional cake baking, filling, torting, carving, building, assembling and construction.
The best kind of cake pan is deep enough that it can be used both for baking and filling layer cakes. For home baking, I like these round removable bottom pans and square removable bottom pans. For commercial baking, a better investment is solid round cake pans and solid square cake pans. Read more about this topic here: Best Cake Pans to Buy.
The heating core is a tool that helps radiate heat into the center of large or deep cakes, reducing baking time and allowing for a more even rise and a more evenly baked cake. Read more about it here: How to Bake Cakes with a Heating Core.
A large wood lazy susan is cheaper than a professional baker’s turntable but works just as well for carving and decorating shapes. I like how it sits low to the table, which allows for optimal control. It also acts like a cutting board against the knife. Because it’s compact, it’s easy to store when not in use.
This heavy duty professional cake turntable with cast aluminum stand is the kind most commonly found in bakeries. The weight of it keeps the base well-grounded. The smooth, level spin helps achieve a perfect frosted finish.
I often use inverted pizza pans as the platforms for cakes that are in process. I also use scraps of corrugate but I like the pizza pans better because they don’t bend, warp, or get soggy and they can be reused over and over. They essentially act as extensions of the cake wheel. I like this 12″ pizza pan.
In commercial bakeries, every tier of every cake gets paired with a cardboard base that is the same shape/size of the intended result. For example a 7” round cake gets paired with a 7” round cardboard. In cases where the cake is oddly shaped, we cut a custom cardboard base with a serrated knife. This is not part of the presentation as it will never show. The cardboard lends support and functionality to each tier of the cake throughout the process of construction, decoration and assembly.
Wood dowels are my preference when it comes to internal cake supports. The kind I use the most Wilton 12″ long, 1/4″ diameter bamboo rods. They are stiffer than most kinds of wood and cut more cleanly as well. This is my go-to dowel for both short vertical supports and long pointed supports. Read more about this method here: How to Use Wood Dowels in Stacked Cakes.
When adding thicker dowels to a cake, it’s imperative to first remove the cylinder of cake that will be displaced by the wood. If you don’t core out a spot for thick dowels, the pressure of the added volume risks cracking the cake. I like this set of four different sized corers, which can accommodate a variety of different sized dowels.
For building tall cakes, I use acetate, a type of sturdy plastic that comes in sheets or rolls. Acetate is often used in bakeries to make chocolate decorations or to serve as a protective wrap for naked cakes. Read more about how I use it here: How to Make Tall Layer Cakes.
For slicing cake layers, I like this long serrated knife with a wide and thin blade.
Offset Serrated Knife
For carving sculpted cakes, I like this offset serrated knife.
The bench scraper is my preferred tool for frosting the sides of cakes – especially square cakes. It also works great for making rough cuts during the cake sculpting process.
Small and Medium Offset Spatulas
The small offset spatula is a useful tool for applying crumb coats on smaller cakes, sculpted cakes, or highly contoured cakes. It’s also handy for leveling off dry ingredients in measuring spoons, for lifting small cakes, and for maneuvering cake decorations.
The medium offset spatula is the best general frosting tool. It is especially compatible for frosting medium and large sized standard-shaped cakes (cylinder, square, rectangle tiers). It also works well for lifting and transferring larger sized tiers.
Flexible Measuring Tape
Sure you can whip out a calculator and punch in ∏ * d or the sum of all 4 sides to determine what length of modeling chocolate swag or print pattern is required to wrap a cake tier but that only works on round and square cakes. Flexible measuring tape, found anywhere that sells fabric supplies, conforms to all shapes.
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