Maybe this makes me old-fashioned, but in most situations, I prefer plastic-coated piping bags to disposable ones. I have a sizable stash of Ateco piping bags I've had for years, and they're still in great shape! As long as you make sure to wash and dry them well, you'll get years of great use from them--it's much more economical than buying lots of disposable bags, plus I just prefer the feeling of the softer bags over the crinkly plastic disposable ones.
My preferred fondant is actually homemade--I love making and using marshmallow fondant. But when I don't have time to make my own fondant (or when I need large quantities and it doesn't make sense to make it by hand), I turn to Satin Ice. I've tried a lot of packaged fondants, and this is hands-down my favorite as far as taste, texture, and workability. If you've been put off by other fondants in the past, try Satin Ice and see if it can change your mind about what premade fondants can do!
An offset spatula is the cake decorator's best friend. This little tool is exactly what you need for spreading filling inside cake layers and smoothing the top and sides of the cake. It can also help you create a beautiful swirled texture. Ateco is my preferred brand, and the medium size is perfect for most standard layer cakes.
If you ever plan on making a layer cake, you must get a revolving cake stand. It's the best way to slice even layers and get perfectly smooth frosted edges. While you can pick up a cheap plastic cake stand for about $15, they don't turn smoothly or quickly, and honestly, I don't think they're worth even the small amount of money they cost. My metal Ateco cake stand has lasted over a decade now and is still in perfect condition. It's sturdy, turns smoothly, and can hold even the heaviest cakes. It's one of the best investments you can make in your home baking!
If you're looking to add a little extra sparkle to your dessert, gold luster dust is almost always the answer! This glittery dust can be brushed on to chocolate, fondant, or other decorations to add a beautiful metallic shine. The dust is nontoxic, but many people recommend not ingesting it and instead using it on decorations that can be removed before eating, just to be safe.
This candy mold makes creating chocolate decorations a breeze! Use melted chocolate, tempered chocolate, or candy coating to make beautiful chocolate decorations to put on top of cakes, cupcakes, or other pastries. I like to brush them with a little luster dust after unmolding to make them sparkle and shine.
Cake collars are one of those pastry chef secret weapons that I think everyone should know about! They're most often used to line the sides of pans when molding mousse cakes or other soft desserts. The acetate collars keep the filling in and give the cake clean, crisp sides. They're also used to cover the sides of cakes with an edible chocolate shell or chocolate decorations.
This clever cake pan can be used for making perfectly round cakes (soccer balls! Basketballs!) but it's also great for molding gelatin, ice cream, and creating round chocolate shells. Be sure to order two pans so you can bake both halves of the cake at one!