How we tested
For frosting a cake, there’s no better tool than an offset spatula. The long, narrow blade is ideal for scooping and spreading frosting, and it bends like a stairstep where it meets the handle for better leverage. The blades can be as long as 10 inches, but we’ve found that 7- and 8-inch lengths are ideal because they can get good coverage on layer cakes but are still maneuverable inside baking pans. We tested six (priced from $5.93 to $9.99) by slathering dozens of jelly rolls and layer cakes with heavy cream cheese frosting, glossy meringue, thick caramel, and smooth buttercream.
Every blade was strong enough to hold a big dollop of frosting, but some were easier to use than others. We quickly formed a preference for blades offset to a roughly 30-degree angle, which was sharp enough to keep our hand a safe distance above the frosting (unlike one almost flat, 18-degree model) but far more comfortable than 40-degree blades when held vertically to frost the sides of layer cakes. Better blades also offered at least 6½ inches of flat usable surface area (the length of an offset spatula blade includes the angled “step”), allowing us to cover the radius of a 9-inch layer cake with wide, smooth strokes and provide support when we slid those cakes from the cooling rack to a cake stand. They were also very thin—ideally less than 1 millimeter thick—which made them easy to slide underneath cake layers.
Two models combined all of our desired features, but our winner edged out the runner-up with its exceptionally comfortable rubber-coated handle that allowed us to frost cakes with even more ease.