Do you drool over the spectacular tiered-cakes you see in our gallery? Wondering how we manage to stack up delicate layers of fluffy cakes to create edible masterpieces? Here, in today’s post, we show you a sneak peek of the “secret” hardware tools that we use here in our kitchens, at Gurgaon Bakers.
We can read what’s running on your minds right now – hardware tools in a baking kitchen? What do hardware tools have to do with cake decorating? After all, don’t you just need a mixer and a balloon whisk?
Yes, while we have cupboards of regular cake decorating tools, we also depend on some hardware store finds from time to time. These tools are used for a range of purposes from providing cake support to adding that perfect finishing touch. We show you some of the “out-of-ordinary” tools that we store in our pantry.
1. An Electric Drill
If you thought these were used only by carpenters, then you are wrong. We use electric drills for both drilling holes in cake boards to building cake support structures. We also use them to securely stack our layers, on top of one another, with the help of a sturdy and safe central dowel. You need dowels if you don’t want one tier to slide off another.
Cordless drills are more convenient than corded drills since you don’t have to worry about wires getting on top of your perfect icing.
2. Drill Bits
If you are new to hardware tools, then you wouldn’t probably know what these are. The drill bits determine the size of the hole your electric drill makes. Here, at Gurgaon Bakers, we use two sets of drills.
- A high-speed drill set that lets us make holes from 1 cm all the way down to a few mm.
- Another set that we use is spade drill bits. This lets us make bigger holes from 1 cm up to 3.8 cm.
Apart from these, there are plenty of other drilling tools for making larger holds like Forstner drill bits, hole saws, self-feed bits and so on. Choose the right drill set depending on your specific requirements.
This is another tool that we cannot do without. You need a sharp, sturdy and non-rusty cake saw for cutting dowels as well as wood and plywood for structured cakes. For small tasks, a little hand saw will do.
4. A professional Glue Gun
Instead, of picking tiny craft store glue guns, invest in a professional glue gun, even if it costs more. The tiny craft glue guns don’t heat your glue hot enough, and they wear out quite quickly. If you are making structural cakes, as we do around here, then you will reach for your glue gun, very often. From gluing cake boards together to sticking dowels together, these glue guns work for a range of purposes.
These are our four-must have hardware store tools for baking and cake decorating for multi-tiered elaborate wedding cakes. The others on the list are the ones are optional. They optimize the cake making and assembling process, but if you are just getting started, you can give these a pass for now. And, add them later when you require.
5. Spirit Level
As professional cake bakers, we want to ensure that our cakes are perfectly level and straight. No wobbly tops and lopsided tiers. While you can check the levelness of your cake with your naked eye, the best way to make it perfectly level is by using a spirit level. You would have seen masons and carpenters using these. It’s an inexpensive tool that ensures your cakes are finished perfectly.
6. Floor Protectors
These are small stick-on tabs that are usually stuck on the legs of furniture so that it doesn’t damage the surface of the floors. You can stick these on to the underside of your cake boards. These help you to lift heavy cakes easily from your workbench top.
7. Paint Scrapers
The next time you visit a hardware store, pick up a couple of new paint scrapers. These scrapers help you get the perfect finish for your fondant, buttercream, and ganache. If you find it difficult getting perfect sharp edges, then these scrapers do a pretty good job. Make sure that you pick stainless/plastic scrapers that are rust-free and food-safe.
8. Flanges, Joiners & Pipes
We use these to build our gravity-defying stack cakes. Just like paint scrapers, look for rust-free ones. PVC pipes with threads work best.
9. Sanding Sheets
Here, at Gurgaon Bakers, we make foam dummy tiers for wedding cakes, when requested. To ensure that our foam dummies are as perfect as our regular cakes, we gently rub them with sanding sheets. Sandpaper also helps you get smooth edges while decorating novelty designer cakes.
10. Jig Saw
No, we don’t refer to those puzzles. Instead, we are speaking about the groovy hand-held saw. We use a small jigsaw to cut odd angles on plywood and other cardboards to give structure to our 3D cakes.
11. Table Clamps
With all the cutting and sawing, you need some firm grip to place your cake boards and other accessories. Don’t try to hold the object with your foot and try to saw your way through it. This is risky, and you could end up with severe cuts. Instead, take the professional route and invest in a pair of table clamps. You can also use these clamps to hold up your backdrops while shooting pictures of your masterpiece.
12. Toolboxes and Toolkits
If you are a professional cake decorator, then you would know that cake decorating involves a ton of supplies. From small piping tips to fondant levellers and cutters, there are plenty of tools to be used. And, what better way to store all these tools than by using professional toolboxes and toolkits. Check around your local hardware store for efficient storage items to hold all your cake decorating supplies.
So, tell us, dear readers, do you use any of these hardware store treasures to help you in cake assembling and decorating? Do you have any other hacks that you could share with our fellow readers? Share your comments, thoughts, and tips with us.