Cake Mate Decorating Icing Just Isn’t as Good as Wilton’s

I love to bake and one of my favorite things to make is cake. That’s why I usually volunteer whenever cake making and decorating is called for. It puts me in my happy place.

Most of the time when I think about baking, Wilton products are involved somewhere in the equation. After all, Wilton is THE name when it comes to all things cake related.

I admit; however, that when I’m in a hurry, I sometimes take shortcuts. One of my favorites shortcut items to use is Wilton Ready-to-Decorate Icing. It is much easier than making, coloring, and piping my own from scratch and it comes out almost as good.

I use Wilton Ready-to-Decorate Icing for two reasons. First, the icing is of good quality and second, the consistency is perfect for accomplishing a lot of different types of decorations.

Recently; however, I had the occasion to bake a gingerbread cookie cake with my grandson. He wanted lots of different colors of icing with which to decorate. One of those colors was black.

Unfortunately, it seemed that Wilton either didn’t make black in their Ready-to-Decorate Icing line or it was unavailable. Therefore we turned to another brand of ready-made icing for that color.

The brand is called Cake Make. Their Decorating Icing comes in the same type of plastic tube as Wilton’s. It also operates in the same manner. You can attach a number of decorating tips directly to the tube.

That is, unfortunately, where the similarities end. While the taste of the product, on the surface, seems identical to Wilton’s, it is not.

There is an unusual chalky aftertaste that lingers on the palate long after the frosting has been consumed. That is not a good thing.

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My grandson took one taste, screwed up his face and proclaimed “I don’t want black after all.” That pretty much summed it up for me as well.

In honesty, it could be the food coloring used to achieve the black color that is affecting the taste of Cake Mate Decorating Icing. For that reason, I refuse to rule it completely out in the future.

I have even tasted a few Wilton products that didn’t work on some level. For that reason, I’m only going to review the black version of Cake Mate Decorator Icing and not the entire line.

Let’s look at the nutritional facts. A serving size of black Cake Mate Decorator Icing is 1 tablespoon. That means there are approximately 20 servings inside a single 4.25-ounce tube.

There are 30 calories in each serving. Of those, one-third are fat-related.

There is 1 gram of fat per serving along with 8 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of sugar, and 15 milligrams of sodium. Unfortunately, Cake Mate Decorator Icing has no nutritional value whatsoever.

Ingredients include citric acid, cornstarch, corn syrup, mono and diglycerides, natural and artificial flavor, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, potassium sorbate, salt, soybean, sugar and water. Hydrogenated vegetable oil includes cottonseed and soybean. Dye colorings include red-40, blue-1 and yellow-5.

Before using the product it is necessary to knead the tube with your hands for several minutes. This helps to smooth out the icing as well as distribute the dye throughout the container.

To use, cut away the plastic covering to open the tube. Attach one of the decorating tips made especially for Cake Mate Decorator Icing. As you decorate, make certain to use a steady, even pressure in dispensing the icing from the tube.

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Here is my summary review:

Taste: 3 stars. Cake Mate Decorator Icing in black has an unpleasant aftertaste that might keep children from enjoying this frosting. While adults may have a higher taste tolerance, they might also push the cake or at least remove the black frosting before eating it.

Appearance: 5 stars: This icing, oddly enough, is black. I am sure that has to be a difficult color to replicate and make it look right. I have to give props to Cake Mate for making it happen.

Nutrition: 3 stars. Icing is full of sugar and that simply isn’t good for you if you consume too much. However, at least Cake Mate Decorator Icing contains only 1 gram of fat and 4 grams of sugar. I’ve seen a lot worse.

Ease: 5 stars. Cake Mate Decorator Icing works on the same principle as its competitor’s icing tubes. The icing is as creamy, pipes as well and achieves a beautiful finished product.

Green rating: 0 stars. The product comes in plastic tube that isn’t biodegradable or recyclable.

Packaging: 3 stars. Cake Mate Decorator Icing comes in a tube that is partially white and partially the color of the icing inside the tube (in this instance, black). The red tulip Cake Mate logo is featured prominently on the front along with the name Decorating Icing.

Bands of baby blue and red provide accent colors. I’m not sure the purpose of the confetti like shapes and stars unless they are supposed to represent a party theme.

The packaging seems a bit overworked. On the other hand, there should be no missing it on the store shelf.

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Ease of storage: 3 stars. The tube is relatively small at 7″ in length by 2″ in width and a little over 1″ in diameter at maximum depth. It should fit easily into a cabinet, drawer, or cake decorating kit.

Availability: 3 stars. Cake Mate products are not carried in every grocery store, craft store, or cake decorating supply house. Finding this brand versus Wilton will likely be more difficult. I purchased mine at the commissary, which is the only place I have noted it locally.

Price: 5 stars. Cake Mate Decorator Icing is less expensive than Wilton. I bought mine for under $1 a tube at the commissary.

Product purchase probability: 2 stars. I am partial to Wilton so would more than likely choose that over Cake Mate whenever possible. However, I would not rule out using Cake Mate again, just not in the color black.

Final rating: 3.2 stars. Unfortunately, this product comes in a distant second to Wilton.


5 stars – outstanding
4 stars – good
3 stars – average
2 stars – below average
1 star – poorNote: Cake Make Decorating Icing comes from Signature Brands of Ocala, Florida.