[–] FlimsyArmadillo [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

No 1. It all begins with a recipe and a great cake pan. 8″ round pans are the best place to start your cake pan collection. Splurge on two as most recipes will make at least two layers of cake. It is perfectly fine to use box mix, if that is what you prefer.

No 2. A decorating turntable gives you a base to assemble your cake and makes spinning a cinch. A necessity for straight sides and smooth icing. These can be pricey depending on what you choose, I found an old Ateco solid metal one at a yard sale - cleaned it up and repainted it. Looks as good as new and I avoided the $80 price tag that goes with the brand. Avoid wilton ones, they are cheap for a reason!

No 3. Speaking of smooth, a fondant smoother polishes away imperfections to create professional-looking fondant. Leave no trace of fingerprints behind. These are a must have for fondant cakes!

No 4. This non-stick rolling pin has slide on rings to guide you. Roll an even layer of fondant each and every time. Some of the pros actually use PVC pipe cut to length, just your standard plumbing stuff. Once washed totally, they are food safe!

No 5. Cake boards come pre-cut, pre-wrapped, and ready to go! Available in oodles of shapes,sizes and colors. Get one several inches larger than your cake. An 8″ cake deserves a 10″ board. ** I prefer personally to use plain cake boards covered in fondant, with the fondant decorated/colored to match the theme of the cake. It gives it a more professional look.**

No 6. Make sure the baker is as cute as the cake with a must-have accessory, like this rainbow striped apron. **Another must have, otherwise you'll be covered in powdered sugar haha ** No 7. Skip the food coloring in the grocery aisle and go for the good stuff. Get the shade you really want using Americolor Soft Gels. Grocery store liquid colors are far too runny and mess with the consistency of your buttercream! Pay the extra and get Americolor - they have a MASSIVE range of colors.

No 8. A few basic utensils will go a long way. Plastic spatulas to mix, stir, scrape. An off-set palette knife to apply and smooth frosting. And a pastry wheel to trim fondant.

No 9. Spend more time eating your cake and less time on clean up duty. Disposable piping bags make cleanup a breeze. Go for the big box and you’ll be ready to handle any frosting that comes your way. Extra tip: you can put a disposable bag inside another bag that has the piping tip on it already, super handy for changing colors of buttercream when you are using one piping tip!!

No 10. An assortment of piping tips, like this Ateco 29 piece kit, includes all of the basics plus a few fancies. A great starter kit for beautiful buttercream cakes. ** Wilton at your local grocery/craft stores has a small collection of starter tips also.**