Included In Your Kit
KEY: GOOD ★★★ FAIR ★★ POOR ★
1. Winco Revolving Cake Decorating Stand
Reviewed in Cook's Country December 2015
Winner - Highly Recommended
We rated each stand on height, weight, stability, surface, and rotation. This stand was tall, providing excellent visibility and comfort. It was solid but light, and its surface and base were attached. This made it easy to carry but also meant it couldn’t be submerged in water (although we did just to see what would happen; it still spun perfectly). It rotated quickly and smoothly yet stopped precisely where we asked it to, and it had three shallow circles etched onto its surface for easy centering.
HEIGHT: 5.3" • WEIGHT: 4.8lbs • SURFACE DIAMETER: 11.5"
2. OXO Good Grips Bent Icing Knife
Reviewed in Cook's Illustrated September 2015
Winner - Highly Recommended
EASE OF USE ★★★
We tested six offset spatulas by slathering dozens of jelly rolls and layer cakes with heavy cream cheese frosting, glossy meringue, thick caramel, and smooth buttercream. From handle to tip, this spatula was sized right. The 6.5-inch blade was sturdy but nimble, and testers made quick work of icing cakes with all types of frosting. It also felt exceptionally comfortable in hand, thanks to an easy-to-grip rubber-coated handle.
ANGLE: 28° • BLADE LENGTH: 7.75" total, 6.75" flat •
BLADE THICKNESS: 0.81mm
3. Test Kitchen Self-Assembled à La Carte Decorating Set
This set has all the essentials: six core tips in the right sizes, twelve 16-inch disposable pastry bags, and a set of four reusable couplers. The six tips make topping cupcakes, decorating cakes, piping pâte à choux, and filling savory foods effortless.
⁃ 12 Wilton 16-inch pastry bags
⁃ 2 small plastic couplers
⁃ 2 large plastic couplers
⁃ Wilton Tips: #4 round, #12 round,
#70 leaf, #103 petal,
#2D large closed star, #1M open star
4. Digital Download: America’s Test Kitchen Cake Decorating Tips & Tricks
Free with the purchase of The Ultimate Cake Decorating Kit
Link to download will be included in your order confirmation email
Cake Decorating Tips & Tricks
Avoid these Layer Cake Mistakes
Cake layers that are domed won’t stack securely. Doming is caused by cake pans that are too small or an oven that’s too hot; use an oven thermometer to check. If your cakes do dome, slice off the dome with a serrated knife.
To ensure layer cakes bake evenly, bake side by side on one oven rack. We tested our yellow layer cake baked side by side on one oven rack, on two racks with one pan directly above the other, and on two racks with one pan on the top left and the other on the lower right. Only the cakes on the same rack baked evenly.
Three easy techniques for finishing layer cakes with a polished look.
Giving cakes a polished look need not require pastry bags and years of practice. Here are three easy techniques for finishing layer cakes.
Beginning on side of cake, use small spoon to make C-shaped swirl. Make second swirl next to first about 3/4 inch away, orienting C in different direction. Make more swirls, oriented in different directions, over sides and top of cake until frosting is completely covered.
Gently run spatula (offset works best) over sides and top of cake to smooth frosting. Holding 12-inch-long serrated knife at both ends with blade facing down and centered over top of cake, gently move knife from side to side to create zigzag pattern.
Set cake on turntable-style cake stand. Place tip of offset spatula or spoon at center of cake. Slowly rotate cake while dragging tip of spatula or spoon toward edge to create spiral.