Six Essential Tools You Need for Icing a Cake

Frost your way to perfection with a spatula, rotating cake stand, and more.

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Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
Photo: Yuki Sugiura

Bake a moist and flavorful cake—whether it be Funfetti, red velvet, or carrot cake—and you're halfway to creating a standout dessert. Although unfrosted "naked" cakes have been trending in the last several years, a smooth layer of frosting with intricately piped details will always be appealing. To create a perfectly frosted cake that would make Martha proud, you'll need a few basic tools. Stock up on these basics and start decorating.

Wilton Offset Spatula
Courtesy of Amazon

Offset Spatula

This tool will help you smooth freshly whipped buttercream over a layer cake. It's just as handy for spreading a filling between two layers of cake as it is for perfecting the final layer on the top and sides of a cake. The angled spatula means it's more comfortable to grip and flexible enough to reach any area.

Shop Now: Wilton Angled Spatula, 9", $7.99,

Cake Lifter
Courtesy of Amazon

Cake Lifter

Wondering how to transfer a cake from the cooling rack to a beautiful stand for presentation? This tool is the secret. It's a giant paddle that will accommodate round- and square-shaped cakes under 10 inches, meaning you never have to worry about cracks or breakage again.

Shop Now: Nordic Ware 10-Inch Cake Lifter, $26.67,

Tovolo Bench Scraper
Courtesy of Amazon

Bench Scraper

You may be thinking, "Isn't that what I use to make bread and pizza dough?" And you'd be right. But this versatile tool is also great for smoothing both the crumb coat and final layer of frosting on the top and edge of the cake, thanks to its sharp, offset blade. It creates the illusion of a smooth-as-fondant finish.

Shop Now: Tovolo Bench Scraper, $10,

Wusthof Serrated Knife
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Serrated Knife

The best knife for cutting a cake in half or thirds horizontally is one with a serrated blade. It will help maintain a smooth, precise cut that's perfect for when you want to add a flavorful layer of fruit jam or fluffy buttercream to a birthday cake.

Shop Now: Wüsthof Classic 9" Serrated Bread Knife, $79.95,

JK Adams Cake Stand
Courtesy of Food52

Marble Rotating Cake Stand

Although pricey, this cake stand does double duty as both a revolving turntable—which makes the job of frosting your treat a whole lot easier—and a modern presentation pedestal.

Shop Now: JK Adams Marble & Walnut Rotating Cake Stand, $110,

Kootek Cake Stand
Courtesy of Amazon

Aluminum Rotating Cake Stand

Looking for something less expensive but just as functional? This top-rated cake turntable made of aluminum is durable and easy to use.

Shop Now: Kootek Aluminium Alloy Revolving Cake Stand, $31.99,

Ateco Pastry Bags
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Pastry Bag Decorating Kit

If you want to add detail such as scallops, rose petals, or a basketweave to the top and sides of your cake, then you'll need some pastry tools. This kit contains six different shaped tips and two reusable nylon bags, which are more eco-friendly than disposable plastic pastry bags because they can be used over and over again.

Shop Now: Ateco Pastry Bag Decorating Kit, $19.95,

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