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Which Brushes Should I Use in Cake Decorating?

Brushes are often used in cake decorating for a whole host of different purposes. When purchasing a set of brushes, you should consider why you'll be using them  for example, some brushes are catered for dusting, while others are designed to draw intricate designs with edible food paint. But fundamentally, there's one thing all brushes have in common: they're specially made to work on fondant, royal icing and modelling pastes. Generally constructed with soft, synthetic, food-safe bristles, you'll find a range of brush shapes and sizes out there  but which should you buy to satisfy your needs? Below, we've listed six of the most common types of brushes you should expect to find.


Liner Brushes

Liner brushes are predominantly available in a very fine size  and there's good reason for that! These thin, pointed brushes are perfect for painting thin lines and fine details with edible paint, or alternatively are great for using in brush embroidery. Dainty in size, these brushes make it far easier to control your painting when writing words and adding tiny details, such as facial features, onto toppers and cake decorations.

Fondant Rolling Pin

Round Brushes

Perfect for painting very broad thin or thick lines, depending on the size of the brush, round brushes are your general-purpose brushes in cake decorating. With a rounded end, these brushes are especially ideal for novices as they can be used with multiple techniques. Fine brushes are ideal for painting finer details, while small brushes are ideal for attaching decorations with edible glue, and medium brushes are ideal for generous brush strokes.

Cake Leveller

Flat Brushes

Flat brushes are available in a variety of sizes, each ideal for a different technique. Whereas smaller brushes are great for shading, blending and for use in brush embroidery, wider brushes are better for painting and blending larger surface areas, creating bolder strokes. Fundamentally, flat brushes are perfect for creating sharp, accurate lines and edges. Angled flat brushes are also available, however, allowing you to reach tight corners or paint curved strokes and petals with ease.


Mop Brushes

Designed for blending, gentle shading and softening, mop brushes are fuller than fine brushes and are especially ideal for painting a whole cake, instead of creating smaller details. Available in a range of sizes and shapes, these brushes are perfect for painting onto fondant cakes in a single colour, producing different effects when changing the direction of the strokes. If used lightly, mop brushes can elegantly soften an otherwise 'hard' edge.

Fondant Rolling Pin

Dusting Brushes

Ultimately, dusting brushes are ideal for dusting cakes or sugar decorations with edible dust. These wide-spread, soft brushes are gentle on your decorations and move incredibly smoothly across your cake. Larger brushes are ideal for covering larger cake areas or dusting entire decorations, such as gum paste flowers, with edible dust, whilst the smaller brushes are better for dusting smaller details onto decorations, allowing you to add realistic shading and tone.

Cake Leveller

Water Brushes

A slightly different brush, water brushes aren't used for creating decorations per se, but more to attach decorations to your cake. View these brushes as an alternative to edible glue  instead of dabbing adhesive onto your cake, your water brush is immersed in water to allow you to carefully moisten the exact area on your fondant-covered cake where you'd like to place your decorations. These brushes can attach fondant and gum paste decorations as well as glitter designs.

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