The One Tool You Need For Cake Decorating, According To Robert Lucas - Exclusive

Robert Lucas has had an incredibly fast (and inspiring) rise to food stardom. He only started baking in 2019, but he quickly amassed a following across several social media platforms for his elaborate, skillfully decorated cakes. Now, just a few years after making his first cake ever, he's an expert coach teaching novice bakers how to create cake masterpieces on "The Big Nailed It Baking Challenge," a spin-off of Netflix's "Nailed It!"

Mashed talked with Lucas and his fellow coach on the show, Erin Jeanne McDowell, in an exclusive interview, and we asked them about the must-have tools for people looking to get into baking and cake decorating. Lucas was definitive with his answer: "For decorating, you want to make sure that you have that turntable. That's one of the key things to making a cake." McDowell agreed, noting, "It's one of those things that a lot of new bakers think is an extra tool, but you really need it, you will use it."

A turntable is a rotating cake stand that allows you to access every part of the cake you're decorating without having to walk around a table. If you want to make showpieces that look even half as pretty as the ones Lucas produces, it's an essential investment. It's not the only tool he recommended, however.

Offset spatulas and bowls are also cake essentials

A turntable lets you spin a cake around, but it's not particularly useful unless you have something to spread the frosting with too. For this purpose, Robert Lucas advised beginner bakers to seek out two different tools: a cake comb and an offset spatula. With those utensils plus your turntable, you're ready to start decorating. "If you have those three things, that's going to be the base of a great cake. From there, you can build upon that," he said.

Of course, if you want to decorate a cake, that probably means you're going to have to bake one first. For that part, Erin Jeanne McDowell recommended buying a set of tools that might seem obvious but are often neglected in the home kitchen: a set of mixing bowls. And not just any mixing bowls either — "I use metal bowls because they're heat safe," she said. "You could use those in a lot of different situations and getting a set of different sizes is one of the things. When you're really serious about baking, people are always needing one more bowl." You can use metal bowls to set up a double boiler, they're durable, and if you buy a set, they all nest into each other so they won't take up too much counter space. Once you invest in some nice bowls (plus the decorating tools), you'll feel compelled to start using them to make amazing cakes.

You can watch "The Big Nailed It Baking Challenge" on Netflix now.