Essential Tools for Cake Making
Always be prepared for your next baking adventure.
Fundamentally, baking is a science (albeit a tasty one). And like all scientific endeavors, a specific set of tools is needed to be successful. They need not be fancy, expensive, or overly specific—the only requirement is that they make your life easier when it comes time to step into the kitchen.
The list of essential tools for cake-making is practically the same as it would be for any category of baking. These are tools that allow us to measure and mix efficiently and tidily—and many of them are multi-functional. You’ll also need a small set of items that attend more specifically to cake.
Depending on the type of cakes you make most often, you’ll want to invest in a cake pan or two.
Round cake and spring form pans are the most practical to have on hand, as most classic cake recipes call for one or the other. A standard round cake pan is often used to bake layer cakes and simple crumb cakes; spring form pans come in handy for more delicate cakes since the mechanism allows you to remove the sides of the cake pan gently and carefully.
If you’re a lover of quick breads, a loaf pan is a must. Many quick bread recipes yield two loaves, and since they freeze well, it’s a great way to keep a sweet treat within reach at all times. As such, having two loaf pans is a good—if not necessary—idea.
Lastly, square and rectangular pans are often used for coffee and snacking cakes, as well as bar cookie recipes, that are served cut into squares. Rectangular pans are especially wonderful for serving a crowd, since the yield is high and cutting and serving is easy.
No cake batter can be made without a mixing bowl. Heatproof glass bowls are great for mixing, microwaving, and using on double boilers, while metal bowls are best for whipping egg whites, maintaining heat, or cooling something down quickly in a water bath.
You’ll use a rubber spatula for practically every baking recipe you make. They come in various sizes, and it’s always good to have a few on hand, since they are so useful for mixing, scraping down bowls, and transferring and smoothing batters.
Offset spatulas and palette knives are also good to have on hand for frosting cakes and spreading toppings easily.
Cooling cakes according to the instructions is as important as any other step. Most often, you’ll want your cake to cool completely before cutting into it. That’s why cooling racks are so helpful: they ensure that your cake cools evenly and efficiently.
Measuring Cups or Scale
It almost goes without saying that you’ll need some way to measure your ingredients. Whether you want to depend on the exactitude of a scale or the ease of measuring cups and spoons, a reliable way to prepare your ingredients is key to baking successfully.
Toothpicks are the best way to test whether a cake is done baking.
Parchment paper is a baker’s jack-of-all-trades. Use it to line your cake pans and cookie sheets, turn it into a piping bag, or place it under a wire rack when glazing cakes for easy cleanup.
If you’re interested in more advanced cake-making, there are a few more tools to consider for more refined results:
Piping Bag and Tips
If you want to delve into more elaborate cake decorating or want to write on a cake, you’ll need a piping bag and a few different types and sizes of tips. You can opt for disposable or reusable bags, per your preference.
A thermometer is an essential tool if you’re going to make Swiss Buttercream, as well as many other sweet stovetop confections, like marshmallow, marmalade, or candy.
A cake turntable makes perfecting layer cakes a far simpler task. Since you’re able to rotate the cake as you assemble, crumb coat, and frost it, the end result will be much more even, smooth, and beautiful.
Stand or Hand Mixer
Published on May 31, 2016