When I first decided to try out decorating cakes, I was gifted with one of those big beginners kits that are sold on Amazon. There was SO much in it! Out of the roughly 100 items that were in that kit, about 4 of them are now my go-to, must have items. The rest of those items? Well, they either junking up my cake decorating supply cabinet, have been replaced by higher quality items that actually work, or my son has incorporated them into his fisher price kitchen set. The truth is, while the items in that set were marketed as tools every beginner needs, most of them were junk. Here, you can find inexpensive cake decorating supplies that you actually need.
Today, I want to share with you the bare bones, essential cake decorating supplies that will equip you with the tools that you need to create hundreds of gorgeous cakes. The best part is, you can get these inexpensive beginner cake decorating supplies for under $25! Making beatiful cakes doesn’t have to be pricey!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links’. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.
Inexpensive Cake Decorating Supplies to Frost and Stack a Cake
The first thing you need to decorate a cake are all of the tools to stack, fill, and ice a cake appropriately. In order to get flawless frosting, you will need a 3 essential items.
- A cake turn table
- An offset spatula
- A benchscraper
There is no way that I could ice a cake without any one of these three items. I continue to use the ones that came in my beginner cake decorating set that I mentioned earlier. Many of those tools were useless, but these are staples for me!
I recommend this kit for all of essential, inexpensive beginner decorating supplies for stacking, filling, and icing a cake. And, this entire set is less that $14! This set does inclue an extra spatula that will likely come in handy, some textured cake combs, as well as one of my favorite tools; the wire cake leveler! I didn’t include the wire leveler in the list of essential supplies because you could level your cakes with a large knife. However, I use it every single time I bake and stack a cake. It makes it so easy to get perfectly flat cake layers which keeps your cake from leaning.
A cake turn table is a must have cake decorating item. This allows you to turn your cakes smoothly as you ice them. Without a turntable, it will be nearly impossible to create smooth buttercream on your cakes. There are a couple of options when it comes to turntables. If you are a bargain hunter like me, the plastic turn table is a perfect fit. It is lightweight, but doesn’t slide around while working and it turns smoothly. I have decorated nearly all of my cakes on my plastic turn table and I love it!
Another option that many bakers love is the alluminum turn table. Naturally, this is a more expensive option, but many bakers say that they wouldn’t want to use anything else. These turntables are heavier than the plastic ones and can usually get more speed when spinning the turn table. Because of the plastic turntable’s lightweight nature, it doesn’t get that speedy spin on it like a metal one does.
Looking at both of these options, I feel that the plastic turntable is much more economical and works very well. If you are looking to begin cake decorating on a budget, this turntable is a great option.
Cheap Trick Alert!*
*If you are in a bind and cannot spend the extra money on a turntable, try using a lazy susan! If you don’t have one at home, check out some second hand shops or yardsales. This is an item that I see somewhat frequently while thrift shopping. When buying a lazy susan or turntable second hand, be sure that it turns smoothly! Any skipping while it is turning will likely result in a dent in your frosting.
You will use an offset spatula to apply and spread the buttercream between the layers of your cake and on the outside of your cake. They usually come with a regular straight spatula as well. I have ended up with a drawer of straight and offset spatulas of different lengths, but I always come back to my medium, wooden handled offset spatuala that came with my beginner cake decorating kit. I know it and I love it.
Another necessary tool to ice your cake is a bench scraper. There are a few different options here as well. My go to is the small, plastic bench scraper that came in my beginning cake decorating kit. It is what I am used to and it gets the job done. This is a plastic bench scraper similar to the one that I use and the one that is included in the essential, inexpensive beginner cake decorating supply kit that I am recommending.
You can also choose to use a metal bench scraper, or even an acryllic bench scraper. If you are looking for a good bench scraper while out bargain hunting, be sure to look for one that has square corners. Rounded corners will prevent you from getting those crisp, clean edges on your cake. You will also want to be sure that the handle of your bench scraper isn’t wider than the actual metal portion, or you won’t be able to set your scraper at a 90 degree angle while frosting. This will prevent you from creating nice, straight sides.
Overall, I think you will be happy with the bench scraper that comes in the inepensive cake decorating kit that I referenced above. But, if you prefer a different option, there are many to choose from!
Cheap Trick Alert!*
If you cannot spend the money on a new bench scraper at the moment, check out your local hardware store for inexpensive putty knives like this one! Just be sure that it is wide enough to accomodate your cakes. There are some drawbacks to using a putty knife, but it is a great option if you are in a tight spot!
Inexpensive Cake Decorating Supplies for Piping Buttercream
If you don’t plan on piping on your cakes, you can snatch up your essentials kit for less than $15 and you are all set! However, if you plan on creating cakes with piping, or at least want to give it a go, there are a few things you should know. Please don’t be fooled by those cheap beginner cake decorating kits with tons of piping tips. I thought I would have a fabulous collection from my kit, but I didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, there are wonderful, high quality piping tip sets out there. However, the tips that came in the kit that I was gifted were not what I was hoping for. First of all, while small tips have their place, those piping tips are much to small to create the large rosettes or fluffy swirls of buttercream on top of cupcakes or a cake that I was hoping for. Secondly, I have experienced issues with seams on these cheap tips beginning to come apart. I love to find a products for cheap, but I won’t recommend a product to you that I don’t love.
To create that instagram worthy piping, you will want to use extra large tips. It took me way to long to figure out that the generic tip size is much to small to make those large swirls and rosettes. I also learned some of the most popular tips that are used are 1M and 2D. This extra large tips set from Wilton is a perfect piping tip starter kit that will allow you to create those classic swirls, rosettes, and so much more. This set includes the 1M and 2D tips as well as 2 other popular tips. This set even comes with some piping bags to start you off. Most importantly, the whole piping set is a great quality product for less than $10!
Wilton also has some great information on how to use these popular piping tips! While there are tons of piping tips to choose from, I think this set is a wonderful start for beginers. I recommend starting with this versatile set, then purshasing other tips and sets as needed for specific cake designs.
Luckily, the Wilton set comes with a collection of nice piping bags to get you started. After those run out, you have a couple of options. You can purchase disposable piping bags or reusable piping bags. Personally, I like to keep reusable piping bags on hand. I love the reusable silicone piping bags. They are a small investment in the beginning, but over time you will be replacing them much less often than plastic piping bags and producing less waste. When going for a disposable piping bag,I like Wilton disposable piping bags. They are so sturdy, that I can get a couple of uses out of each bag. I simply wash them like I do my silicone bags before reusing.
Cheap Trick Alert!*
*If you can’t get piping bags today and need a quick substitute, you can use a ziploc bag! I prefer the freezer bags because they are thicker and tend to hold up better than the sandwich bags. Just snip a corner out of the bag, insert your piping tip, add your frosting and pipe as usual. Using a ziploc won’t feel as comfortable as a piping bag and I find that I don’t have the control with a ziploc that I do with a piping bag. But, they are great in a pinch!
Inexpensive Beginner Cake Decorating Supplies in Review
If you are starting with no decorating supplies at all, I would highly recommend this inexpensive beginner cake decorating supply kit that include a cake turntable, spatulas, bench scrapers, cake leveler, and textured cake combs for less than $15. And if you plan on piping rosettes, cupcake swirls, etc., I would recommend this Wilton piping tips set that inlcudes 4 tips and 8 piping bags to get you started for less than $10. These two sets together are less than $25! Cake decorating supplies don’t have to be expensive! You can create beautiful cakes without breaking the bank.
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