When it comes to cake design, there’s no shortage of gizmos, gadgets, tools, and techniques. Here are five I’d like to try. If you’ve already had the pleasure, please let me and my readers know what you think by leaving a comment.
1. Fondant strip applicator by Ateco. Vertical fondant stripes are hard. Horizontal fondant stripes are even harder. This applicator claims to make the job much easier, but even watching this tutorial didn’t convince me. I generally like Ateco products, so I think I’ll have to try this one myself.
2. The Cricut Cake Cutter. Let’s face it: the Cricut can do a lot of things I can do but a whole lot better. From what I understand, it has its limitations, but as far as I’m concerned the design possibilities are endless. The Cricut debate may rage on, but when I see a cake as beautiful as this one by Elizabeth Hodes, it sure takes a lot of steam out of the argument.
3. Agbay cake leveler. I generally torte my cakes with a serrated edge knife, but this apparatus looks so daunting I figure it must do a good job.
4. Rubber stamps. My friend Andrea of Superfine Bakery is known for this cake. The beautiful dandelion embellishment was done with a rubber stamp. Like many tools originally used for other purposes (think stencils), there’s no limit to what you can create with rubber stamps. It’s a technique I’ve yet to use, but because they’re so accessible and inexpensive, this one is a must-try. I really like the ginko leaf stamp below by Nature Watch.
5. Scalpels. I use X-acto knives a lot for hand cutting, and used them a lot more during my applique phase, but Elisa Strauss, owner of Confetti Cakes and author of The Confetti Cakes Cookbook, uses scalpels. According to Elisa, whose father is a surgeon, “[s]calpels have the finest, sharpest blades you can find…They are disposable, so after a few uses you can throw them away.” I know once I use one, I’ll never go back to X-actos again. You can buy them here.