How do professional pastry chefs make it look so easy? They layer cakes with smooth icing, and cupcakes with perfect mounds of frosting, and there's not a crumb in sight. Sure, they’ve got culinary training, but they’re also using an indispensable tool: an offset spatula. The best offset spatulas apply icing and other creamy ingredients in uniform swipes, so you too can make bakery-worthy creations. But there’s more to consider in an offset spatula than you might think. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you shop:
As the name suggests, an offset spatula is simply a straight blade or spreader that's bent at an offset angle from the handle. This keeps fingers and knuckles at a distance from whatever you’re spreading, whether it's icing, batter, or condiments like nut butters and mayonnaise.
First consider the material of the spatula. Stainless steel blades offer flexibility for spreading and strength for lifting cakes or slices. You'll also want a handle that is easy to grip so you can maintain control while using it, even with greasy hands. Some manufacturers include the handle in the spatula’s overall length, so make sure to read the fine print so you know the length of the spreader, specifically. (I've done the legwork on this for you.) Lastly, since icing cakes and spreading batter can be a bit messy, you might want a dishwasher-safe spatula to make cleanup easy. Keep in mind that dishwasher-safe spatulas may cost a bit more.
With the right tools (and a little practice), anyone can look like a pro in the kitchen. The best offset spatulas below will help you do just that!
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1. The Best Offset Spatula: OXO Good Grips Offset Icing Spatula
If you had to choose just one offset spatula, make it this model from OXO. The length of the stainless steel blade is good for jobs big and small (customers measured it at 6.5 inches). It has enough flexibility to make spreading easy, but is stiff enough to handle scooping dense frosting and can support the weight of smaller cakes if you’re using it to lift or serve. The gripping handle is comfortable and provides extra stability when spreading ingredients, and, conveniently, it can be cleaned in the dishwasher. This also comes in a narrower size option better for cupcakes and small jobs, and costs $8.
According to one reviewer: "Worked very well, perfect size and weight. Holds a good amount of frosting and was the perfect tool for the job. I don’t know why I waited so long to buy an offset spatula!"
2. The Runner-Up: Wilton Angled Cake Spatula
This affordable offset spatula from Wilton is a good alternative to the overall best. Featuring similar dimensions (this also has a 6.5-inch blade), its plastic handle has an ergonomic thumb grip to keep hands stable when working with slippery or greasy ingredients, or when lifting items. The thin stainless steel blade can be used to slide down the sides of baking pans or to release loaves of banana bread before turning them out. One thing to note, though, the manufacturer recommends to you wash this offset spatula by hand.
According to one reviewer: "I got this to ice cakes. For years I used a regular spatula and it worked okay, but I kept seeing the pros on TV using an offset spatula. I have enough odd cooking gadgets I just hesitated to buy more just for one purpose. The price is certainly right and I finally ordered one. It really is a big help and I'm glad I bought it. The spatula is very sturdy and well made. The offset blade does make it easier to ice a cake and it looks twice as good as before."
3. The Best For Cupcakes & Small Jobs: Ateco 1305 Ultra Offset Spatula
Frosting small items can be surprisingly difficult, but this spatula from Ateco is very easy to handle, and comes at a price that outmatches the similarly narrow OXO offset spatula noted above. The shorter, narrower blade is lighter in weight than the overall best offset spatula, so it can be maneuvered around handheld items like cupcakes and cookies, and used to plate delicate items. The compact size is also good for lifting cookies from sheet pans, and spreading condiments like nut butters, mustard, and cream cheese. The 4.25-inch stainless steel blade and plastic handle are dishwasher-safe so this offset spatula can be easily maintained for daily use.
According to one reviewer: "Love my little spatula. It's perfect for getting smaller items out of the pan and loosening the edges around a cake pan. I've looked all over locally for something like this and couldn't find anything. So glad I found this as the quality is very good."
4. The Best Set: Ateco Professional Offset Spatula Set
This set from Ateco includes three sizes of offset spatulas, with blades that range from 4.5 to 9.75 inches long. Depending on what you’re making, you’ll have the versatility to decorate a variety of treats, from cupcakes to large sheet cakes. Each of the three plastic handles tapers so hands are stable and comfortable while handling any task. The stainless steel blade and polypropylene handles are dishwasher-safe for easy clean up.
According to one reviewer: "The spatulas are both strong and flexible. I have used them for icing, lifting and scoring without a problem. Nice selection."