When first starting out with the cake decorating and baking, there are quite a large amount of tools you might need/want to buy straight away. Not all the items are necessary, but they are all practical and will make baking and cake decorating more enjoyable and often also quicker.
Can’t bake a cake without a cake tin! There are dozens of shapes and sizes that you can buy.
Traditional shapes are obviously round, square and rectangular. These shapes are versatile and come in several sizes. The rectangular cake trays are usually used for sheet cakes. Both rectangular and square cake pans come with sharp corners as well as rounded corners. Sharp corners will make a very nice cake with crisp edges, where rounded corners make it easier, to work with the fondant, but the edges are not as professional looking.
Non-traditional shapes or novelty shapes are pretty much all the other cake tins. Novelty cake tins can be anything from cute princess castle cake tin to a pirate ship cake pan. They make your life easier, since you don’t have to start moulding your cake yourself, and can easily just bake the shape you need. Be sure to thoroughly grease every corner and nook of these cake pans, as the cake tends to stick to the details. For an easier release, I do recommend to dust your novelty cake tin with flour for white cake or cacao powder for chocolate cake. It just adds that extra layer between the cake and the cake pan and makes it easier to remove from the cake from the tin once it’s cooked.
Cake Bake Even Strips And Heating Core
I use both; bake strips and heating core on all of my cakes. They are more important with the larger sizes but will make a difference with the smaller sized cakes as well. Heating core is put in the centre of the cake pan during baking to ensure that the cake bakes evenly. You can buy actual heating cores, made especially for that, but I love to use flower nails instead. They do just as great job as the heat cores, are much cheaper to buy and I can use them for buttercream flowers as well, so 2 in 1.
Bake even strips are designed to keep the sides of the cake pan from becoming too hot, causing the cake to stop rising on the sides. Bake even strips produce cakes with less of a dome and fewer cracks on top. Cake strips reduce the wastage, as you don’t have to level the cake as much, after the baking. Just soak the bake even strips in a bowl of ice cold water for 5 minutes and place it around the cake tin and you’re ready to go.
It is very important to prepare your cake tins properly before you pour the batter in. Failing to do so, and you’re facing lot of trouble once the cake is cooked and cooled, cause most likely it’s stuck to the pan. Most common practice is to oil your cake tin and use baking paper to line the sides and the bottom of the cake pan to ensure the cake won’t stick to it. Now days you can also buy precut baking papers for round and square cake pans, saving you time to do it yourself. Baking paper is also good for another thing. If your cake starts to brown too much on the top, but isn’t still fully cooked, cut a piece of baking paper and put it on top of the cake. It will help with the browning and aldo the cake will cook more evenly.
I always have a good variety of widths and styles of brushes on hand. Larger pastry brushes can be used for greasing the cake pans as well as removing excess crumbs from the surface of the cake before icing. Brushes with small, fine bristles are used for painting fine details onto cakes and cookies. Flat brushes with squared edges are ideal for applying colour to gum paste decorations with dusting and lustre powders. Flat brushes are also perfect for brush embroidery. Brushes with round, soft bristles are used for applying dust over larger surfaces. A variety of sizes of brushes may be used to clean excess cornstarch or powdered sugar from your projects.