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Today's selection of cake decorating tools is endless, but you may find yourself with a lot of nifty gadgets you don't use. Getting back to basics, the following items are a good starting point for frosting a simply beautiful cake. Investing in high-quality, useful core tools will last you a lifetime of cake decoration.

1. Offset Spatulas. An offset spatula is used to apply frosting and is made from high quality stainless steel. The curved handle is polypropylene and resists moisture. This particular shape allows you to reach more angles easier than using a standard knife. Spatula blades are typically between 4 to 12 inches in length and cost between $ 4 and $ 20. If possible, have two sizes on hand so that you have ones for larger and smaller surface areas.

2. Revolving Cake Stand. Cake stands, also known as turntables, vary widely in materials and price.

There are glass, plastic and cast iron versions that can cost into the hundreds of dollars. Some have a tilt feature that is handy for more detailed decorating. But for a more casual cake decorator, we suggest a non-tilting cast iron version. If you're not ready to invest in a cake stand, you can also use a tabletop lazy susan. Keep in mind that you may be working on the cake for some time, so you want a height that is comfortable for you. Cake stand brands include Ateco and Wilton. Martha Stewart also makes some attractive cake stands in a variety of shapes and sizes.

3. Cake Boards. Cake boards help you handle your cake safely and easily. They sit beneath the cake and come in a variety of shapes, colors and materials such as silver and gold foil.

However, typical cake boards are white cardboard, and are commonly sold in bulk for about 50 cents each. You can also make your own cake boards, but be careful that the surface resists grease and frosting color. A cake board is not fully visible beneath your finished cake, but it is an important detail in your cake's presentation. The board should be two inches larger than the cake itself. So, for an 8-inch round cake, use a 10-inch cake board. Using a plate can prove difficult when frosting a cake, particularly if it is raised or not perfectly flat.

Visit Frosting Recipes for more cake frosting tips.


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