Here’s a list of my favorite cake tools that won’t break your budget.

cake tools, mesh strainer, zester, and other bowls and utensils sitting on a countertop.
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Let’s make the biggest impact on your baking and the least impact on your wallet.

Here’s a quick list of my favorite tools for cakes baking and decorating. These aren’t just once-in-a-blue-moon, nice-to-have-but-non-essential-items. I use these all. the. time.

All of the links provided are to the exact same cake tools I have in my own kitchen!

I’ll even provide a separate list at the bottom of some nice-to-have-but-non-essential items that you will really love, but can totally do without in the beginning!

1. Digital Food Scale

That’s all. Period. This is the most inexpensive way to IMMEDIATELY improve all of your baked goods!

2. Oven Thermometer

Again I say, YOU. NEED. IT.
This is the second most inexpensive way to immediately improve all of your baked goods. Trust me!

With a simple oven thermometer, you can take out the guess work and finally know the true temperature of your oven. *Spoiler alert* YOUR OVEN IS PROBABLY A LIAR!

Save your sanity, save your tears, and save your cakes!

3. Offset / Angled Spatula(s)

I cannot tell you how many minutes of my life I have wasted in utter frustration from trying to frost a cake with a butter knife. If this is you, just stop. Please. Think of your sanity!

Offset spatulas are the perfect tool for scooping, heaping, swirling, and smoothing your frosting! You can also use them to create more interesting textured finishes in your buttercream.

In my opinion, the offset spatula comes before the bench scraper (next on the list). You can use it for a number of purposes in the kitchen, and when it comes to frosting a cake, its function is much more diverse.

You can get away with just one! I did for a long while! But it may be more economical to buy a set. It’s also handy to have the different sizes for different decorating projects.

4. Bench Scraper

Ah, yes. The bench scraper. My favorite.

This is the main tool that comes to mind when I envision professional cake decorating. It’s the tool used to create those perfectly smooth buttercream edges on the cake!

I did a lot of bench scraper research before making my purchase and ended up selecting one of the more pricey options due to size, material, and durability.

There are more inexpensive bench scrapers around, but I wanted a larger one to smooth taller cakes. My scraper is 10″ tall and perfect for my four layer cakes! It’s made of stainless steel with a wood handle. It’s extremely durable and comfortable to wield.

There are a number of other options for bench scrapers, or “cake combs” on Amazon and around the web. Here is a great inexpensive one from Wilton! If you prefer to keep searching, just be sure to check the reviews and manufacturing materials. Not all bench scrapers are made equally!

5. Cake Pans

You know those dark, nonstick coated, round pans that are about 1″ deep, with the slanted sides? Like some kind of strange very shallow pie pan? Stop using those for layer cakes.

Stop using the pie plates. Stop using the cake pans with slanted edges.

I’m going to be a real Karen about these cake pans and say if you want to make a tall and sturdy layer cake, invest in the appropriate cake pans.

These are the pans I use for my 6″ layer cakes and my PERFECT vanilla cake recipe, and they are fantastic! They are super easy to clean (hand wash only please!) and the results are fantastic. There are of course more expensive options for aluminum cake pans, but these work great for me!

6. Fine Mesh Sieve

There was a time in my life where I believed sifting ingredients was just some nonsensical fancy pants step in the recipe. Whisking is enough. Sifting is frivolous.

That is wrong and ignorant thinking right there, folks.

The fine mesh sieve is essential for sifting almond flour for macarons, sifting powdered sugar, sifting cocoa, and for sifting together your own cake flour. It’s an absolute must for elevated baking.

Just one will get the job done, but I do like having the various sizes for various purposes!

There you have it. These are the essentials.

See? Not too much stuff at all! You may even have one or two of these items already in your kitchen! Even if you’re starting from scratch, you can create a strong foundation for your baking and cake decorating journey for just about $60.

If you happen to be on a tighter budget, just take it one item at a time. None of these items are particularly expensive, but altogether it can start to add up. I know we don’t have $60 just laying around our house!

Start at the top of my essentials list and work your way down! I’ve listed them in order of the impact they will have on your bakes. Just buy one item whenever you have a little extra “cake money” in the budget!

Now, here are some cake tools that are super nice to have and make my baking experience even more enjoyable!

1. Cake Strips

I used to make these out of paper towels and aluminum foil (Thank you so much, John at Preppy Kitchen!) and while they were effective, it became a pain to assemble them each time I baked a cake.

I purchased these off-brand cake strips from Amazon and they are incredible! I never bake a cake without them now. I always get a nice flat, even cake top as a result. No leveling required.

2. Rubber Spatulas

These are soooo nice to have. I use this set of rubber spatulas for cakes, frostings, and macarons.

Before, I was just using a large metal or wooden spoon to mix ingredients and that was OK for a while. However, the scrapers are a much easier and quicker way to really scrape all of the sides of the bowl and reduce food waste.

My exact set of spatulas is no longer available. These are similar to what I have, and these are the ones I’ve got my eye on for my next purchase!

3. Parchment Circles

I’ll just say it. I’m cheap. I cut my own circles of parchment to line the bottom of my cake pans for a while! I truly thought that was most economical. I thought the precut circles were for lazy rich people!

But when you’re working on nap time, time is also money. And cutting the parchment circles myself was putting me in the red.

Not to mention all of the useless scraps I had laying around. Like a crazy hoarder lady, I stored my random triangles and slivers of excess parchment in my baking drawer in case I ever could use them! One day that drawer was so stuffed full of scraps that I could barely open the drawer without shards of useless parchment confetti flying out. That’s when I decided to buy the precut circles.

So anyway, *swallows pride*, here are the parchment circles that I now use for all of my cakes.

4. Cake Leveler

Do you love using a laminator? You will love this cake leveler.

It’s really nothing like using a laminator, but that oddly satisfactory feeling is the exact same.

If you’re using cake strips, chances are you won’t need to level the tops off of your cakes. BUT I still love using this tool to torte my cakes, and sometimes if I have a cake that’s slightly overdone on top, I do use it to remove a thin top layer on my cakes.

5. Piping Bags

I was torn between listing theses as an essential, or an extra. To me, they are essential, but I do aloooooot of baking and decorating. To someone just starting out, I’m confident they are extra.

I love these piping bags because they are so durable and have a great texture on the outside that makes for a good grip (which can be huge when working with buttery buttercream!)

I buy the 18″ bags and use them for buttercream frosting as well as piping macaron batter. They are perfect for both! If I’m using just a little buttercream, I can easily cut the bags down to a smaller size. This particular set of 100 is most economical for me since I do use them so often.

If you’re just starting out and don’t need 100 piping bags, try these 12″ Wilton bags. They are also super durable! I’ve NEVER had a Wilton bag pop on me!

6. Piping Tips

Next to the bench scraper, piping tips are my FAVE cake tool!

While they aren’t essential for getting started (there are so many gorgeous cake designs that you can achieve with simple items you already have in your kitchen. I’m rolling out a whole series about it real soon!), they sure make the experience more fun!

Now, note that not all piping tips are made equally. I’ve tried some off-brand tips and they were a no for me dawg. I mostly use Wilton, but Ateco is another great reputable brand for piping tips!

Here’s a list of some great, versatile tips to get you started:

7. Piping Tip Couplers

Once you get into some more intricate cake designs involving multiple buttercream colors and piping tips, piping couplers are a total game changer!

The couplers allow you to swap piping tips between frosting bags without starting a whole new bag of frosting. Incredible, right?

That’s all of my recommendations for now!

This should be more than enough to get you started on this baking journey. I hope you found this post to be helpful! If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to email me at

I’ll be rolling out new series soon that’s all about how to decorate a fabulous cake using common kitchen items that you probably already have! Subscribe to Wildflour Mama emails to be sure you don’t miss it!

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