Help me spend $! ;)

I am just starting out in my little cake deco business and I have a little money coming that I can use to get some supplies or equipment with. It’s not a lot…let’s say around $500 USD max. What would you buy if you where me? (What supplies/equipment are invaluable to you?). For example, I have considered a 6qt Pro Kitchenaid (altho I do have a 5qt already that works fine) and a printer just for edible images, or even some software that would help with designing since I draw like an elementary student, lol. But, I want to get the most for my money and get things that will help me advance as an artist.

So….what would you suggest?


-- Crystal Memories in the Baking

advice question tip idea



IMO my most used tools.

A must for fondant rolling but DO NOT CUT ON THIS MAT! I tried to cheat and cut really lite and I got 2 1inch cuts in my mat.

Clay Guns

I have both of these, I honestly like the first one more, it’s a little worn down now but I have had it for years. The second more expensive one started breaking a couple of months after I bought it.

Clay Tools

I dont own this set but it looks alot like mine, I got mine at Michael’s in Anchorage and two of the pieces are used almost everytime I cake.

Self Healing Mat×12-Inch-Healing/dp/B004DNX70A/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1334038575&sr=8-4

Thea, Rachel and myself all own and use this one, I have used it for a few years and need to get another soon just cause I now got a few deep cuts on it. They do sale this one at Walmart. Rachel just got a bigger nicer self healing mat that I want to get too.
The new mat I want to get

Other than this stuff which I love I recommend:

  • A really good turn table, they make ones that tilt, mines about 20 years old, I didn’t even know they made tilting ones, getting one before we move. Thea says Wilton actually has a good one, I will ask her what hers is.
  • A metal ball tool, I dont like the plastic ones.
  • Some good cutters, letter cutters, shapes (hearts, circles, etc) before I jump into the software.
    FMM cutters, there is a great variety.
  • A good heavy rolling pin, I LOVE my marble rolling pin, I got it for a buck at a yardsale, now I know you wont find that here but I love the weight it helps me roll out fondant.

I seriously could go on and on. I would hold off on the printer and software right now. I myself am going to get one soon but I have been building on my tools for a very long time so now I tend to spend on cake toys verses cake needs, just dont tell my husband I tell him everything is a need. Also feel free to come over one day and check out some tools. There has been plenty of times I wish I actually got to see the items in person before I bought online. We dont have that luxury up here.


Oh! Thanks Jessica! That’s just the kind of info I am looking for. And I absolutely might take you up on looking at your stuff ;). That is one of my issues with making the purchases on things I want, since I can’t actually look at it until it gets here. Thanks for including links too!


Love your links Jessica!!

This is my turn table… I’m generally not a fan of Wilton products, but I LOVE this one:

La Tienda sells marble rolling pins for less than $30 ~ also a must have like Jessica said

A collection of the Ateco cutter sets ~ hearts, circles, ovals, etc

And like Jessica said, the Ateco silicone fondant mat. It’s changed my fondant ‘world’ :)

Also willing to play show and tell any time you’d like ~ half the items I’ve bought lately have only been after trying out Rachel & Jessica’s, it’s been great!


I agree with all the previous comments and I have a few to add:

If you don’t already have a good set of pans, invest in a commercial set like Magic Line or Fat Daddio’s.

I love my Ateco turntable with the cast-iron base but Wilton makes a similar one. There is no comparison in my opinion between the cast iron and the plastic ones. Free shipping on this one:

The printer will be invaluable to you if especially if a client orders several dozen zebra-striped or paisley toppers. Believe me, I’ve hand-painted them and now that I have the printer everything looks so much more professional and takes a fraction of the time.

An airbrush is another purchase you might want to consider. I don’t use mine much but there are certain projects that can’t be done without it.

By far, the most invaluable item I own is my Agbay leveler. I purchased it a couple of months ago and it’s saved so much time and energy, not to mention it makes perfectly level cuts. I bought the Deluxe which has two blades so each cake is leveled and torted with one cut. It’s really expensive but, if it makes you feel any better, it’s a company owned by a former cake designer and she includes a little hand-written thank you note in the box! I don’t know if I would’ve bought it starting out if I’d known about it but if you do have an extra $300 or so lying around it’s the best investment you’ll ever make for the sake of your time management, your end result and your sanity.


Very nice! Some of these things I didn’t even know existed! Thank you for your input so far…it’s just what I need. Keep those suggestions coming, please

And @Thea…I may show up at your house too ;) Lol. I have a “tilting” Wilton turntable now, but it is the little green one and I haven’t actually been able to get it to “tilt” during decorating. I may just have to splurge on the other…

@Kendra…my hubby just bought me an airbrush system for my birthday. I haven’t purchased any color yet, but I realized I needed one when I had a cake requested and she sent me a pic of an airbrushed cake. Can’t wait to play with it. Any recommendations on where to buy my colors from?


I think both Jessica and I buy our airbrush colors from ~ they have good prices and the most reasonable shipping ~ order well in advance though, it takes over a month to get all the way here :)

Donna Tokazowski- Cake Hatteras, Hatteras N.C.

If I had an extra $500 to spend I would spend it on something I could get multiple uses out of.
The mixer would be a worth while investment. (You can double and triple some of the recipes, saves time)

And that link to the turn table that KendraHicks sent you, That is the best price on a turn table I’ve seen yet. (I’ve been shopping) and she’s right, there is a huge difference between the cast iron and the plastic. It’s like the difference between driving a Volkswagen and a Cadillac.
Good Luck, I hope you find some fun toys!


Ok, I ordered my new 6QT Pro 600 Kitchenaid, and the mats, and some of the tools you all mentioned. I decided to wait on the printer and turntables for now…(I’m secretly hoping my parents send me a gift card so I can grab at least one of those soon). Thank you all for your input! It was really helpful. Now I can’t wait to get my new “toys”!!!


I agree with the cast iron Ateco turn table. It is so much smoother than the wiltons. I would marry it if I could! Can’t wait until I can afford an agbay!

I think getting a bigger mixer was a great decision for you. I have an artisan (5 qt?) and now wish I had a bigger one and I know for a fact that if I had to use it for my business I would want to pull my hair out. I rent a kitchen so it has bigger mixers, but I couldn’t do it in an artisan.