Cake Basics: Equipment

Bakeries today are turning out cakes that are ever more gorgeous and creative. However, many of us still prefer the tradition of baking our own cakes to recognize special times in the lives of those who are most important to us. If this describes you, you’ll want to take a look at our cake recommendations and tips, starting with equipment. Having the right stuff on hand helps ensure successful baking ventures.


□ 8”-9” round pans

□ 12” round pans

□ 16″ round commercial grade pans – straight sides

□ 9”X13” rectangle

□ 18″ X 13″ rectangle commercial grade pan – straight sides

□ A “ball” style cake pan, such as a Wilton™ ball pan or our own Soccer Ball Cake Pan

Selecting Pan Size

Of course, the pan you select for a particular cake depends mostly upon the number of guests you’ll be serving. Keep in mind, though, that bigger can sometimes be lots more fun, especially if you intend to make the cake the centerpiece of the party. Also, if you are going to carve a shape from a basic sheet or round cake you’ll need to compensate for the discarded scraps and shavings.

  • 1 boxed mix will fill two 8” or 9” pans, a 9”X13” rectangle or a ball pan, and serve 12-14 guests

  • 2 mixes will fill two 12” round pans or an 18” X 13” rectangle, and serve 24-28 guests

  • 3 mixes will fill two 16” round pans, and serve 36-42 guests

  • If you are going to serve a few more people than one of the above the guidelines call for, we suggest either baking up a few cupcakes or a plain sheet cake, which can be cut and served outside the view of the main attraction.

    Other Equipment & Supplies

    □ Flexible metal spatulas – one with a narrow tip for small areas, and one with a large tip to smooth frosting on large flat areas

    □ Pastry bag and couplers

    □ Pastry bag decorating tips, including 2-3 writing tips, and a star tip at minimum

    □ Cake boards

    All of these items can be purchased at specialty baking stores, and many craft supply stores now carry them.

    We hope you’ll find our cake equipment checklists useful! Find more ideas on our Cake Decorating and Catering Supplies pages.

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