This is the list of baking tools, ingredients and cookbooks that I couldn’t list without. These are my “baking essentials” for any recipe!
This page is dedicated to my baking must haves- all the handy dandy kitchen tools, quality ingredients, and cookbooks I love that I use to whip up all my desserts!
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*this page contains affiliate links. These are all products I own and love and would not recommend otherwise! I do make a small commission if you click and make a purchase, but it does not cost you anything extra!
Baking Tools I Can’t Live Without:
- Kitchenaid Stand Mixer– I seriously can’t live without this thing. Now I know it’s an investment, but I’ve had mine now for over 10 years, that’s longer than any relationship I’ve been in. This thing will stand the test of time, so invest in one, and don’t think twice.
- Kitchen Scale– Although most of the time I use my dry measuring cups, I do bust out my kitchen scale when it comes to making macarons. Measuring is key when it comes to baking! You can read my posts on how to measure everything here, and how and why to measure your flour accurately here.
- Silicone Baking Mats– These are invaluable! You could use parchment paper, but invest in these and you won’t have to buy a box again. And these ones that I bought come in a package of 2, and fit your typical half sheet pan- which means you can have one pan ready while one pan of chocolate chip cookies bake in the oven!
- Half Sheet Pan– I own A LOT of pans. It’s kind of ridiculous. But out of all of them, this is my #1 go to. I always recommend getting two, just like your silicone baking mats. It’s a huge timesaver to be able to rotate one pan and one out when you’re baking. If you want to know the other 9 pans I can’t live without then you can read that post here!
- Wilton Candy Thermometer– I’ve used other thermometers in the past, but I keep going back to this one. It’s durable and clips right into your saucepan. When you are making homemade caramel sauce this thing is a must. Making candy can be fun, but kind of tricky. Here is a cookbook I own from a blog I love all about making candy!
- Pastry Mat– For rolling out pie dough, my pastry mat is my best friend. I love this thing for rolling out sugar cookie dough as well, and cinnamon rolls! It has measures for making perfect circles, and measurements along the side- let’s say for when you want to cut a lattice pie crust.
- Cookie Spatula– Do you own one of these? They are fabulous. I know it might sound silly to have a spatula just for cookies, but this thin flexible metal spatula works beautifully to carefully remove cookies. I’m telling you, when you get one, you’ll wonder why you didn’t own one earlier!
- My go to cupcake liners – No they are not all the same. These cupcake liners are greaseproof, which means the color and/or pattern will hold up after baking. There is no point in buying pretty cupcake liners if you can’t even see what they look like after you bake something in them! I use this brand all the time, but the brown ones are my favorite. I have no idea why.
Baking Ingredients I Use All The Time
If you bake as much as I do, you have certain brands you love and certain quality ingredients you won’t compromise on. For me, baking = quality ingredients for a quality product. Here are my faves:
- Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract– This stuff is pure gold. I love this brand of vanilla extract and the style. There are lots of different kinds of vanilla extract- Tahitian, Mexican, so on and so on from this brand, but this one is my fave.
- Valrhona Cocoa powder -Quality cocoa powder is a must in your kitchen. There are lots of different kinds of quality cocoa powder out there, but this one is by my far my favorite- trust me once you use a quality cocoa powder you’ll wonder why you haven’t always. The deep, dark rich color is true quality.
- Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour– I don’t always bake gluten free, but I have occasionally- like these lemon thumbprint cookies were made with this flour. There was a period of time though I was baking gluten free 100% of the time and this was my go to flour. I know it’s more expensive than others you might find, but I’m telling you it’s the only gluten free flour I have found where you can’t tell it’s gluten free. And trust me I tried them all. (and it’s a few bucks cheaper on Amazon than in my grocery store!)
Baking Books I Couldn’t Live Without
I own now close to a 100 cookbooks. Yup, 100. And I wouldn’t part with any of them. Now obviously this isn’t going to be a list of 100. These are the baking books I refer to all the time, go to when I don’t feel like creating a new recipe, and use as a guide to spark creativity in the kitchen and whip up my own recipes. These are the books I would buy for a friend if she asked “what should I get to get started with baking?”
- Cook’s Illustrated – Seriously, they are the cream of the crop. Behind extremely well-tested recipe is an explanation as to why the recipe is the way it is. Like why they ended using buttermilk instead of whole. That sort of thing. Either way, I’ve never been disappointed. This book is HUGE with every recipe you can imagine. And it’s not just a baking book,but it’s an everything cookbook- sweet and savory combined. You want to buy yourself your first cookbook, make it this.
- King Arthur Flour’s Baking Companion– As the book suggests, it’s a baker’s companion. I love this company, their recipe website, their products. You name it. So no surprise why I love this cookbook too. It’s chock full of not only recipes (over 400!) but also baking tips, tricks, and shortcuts- like why your cookies spread too much. It’s got you covered on all the basic baking recipes- like pancakes, waffles, and even two different kinds of chocolate chip cookies.
- PIE by Ken Haedrich – This title pretty says it for me. This is my go to book for pie recipes. It has over 300 recipes- from the classic to the not so classic and everywhere in between. It has every kind of pie- broken into sections (or maybe like slices, pardon the pun please)- fruit, custard, nut pies, even ice-cream pies! Feeling scary about pie, then get this cookbook- The first 60 pages are dedicated to making pie directions. And get this- over 20 crust recipes alone. Yea this is your pie guide.
- Ratio- The simple codes behind the craft of everyday cooking – I’m not sure you can call this a cookbook but I refer to this book all the time when dreaming up new recipes. Baking is a science after all. So the nerd in me loves this book. You won’t find a ton of recipes here, but what you will find instead is a simple ratio for your basic recipes for you to then go and create magic in the kitchen. Like cookie dough for example he states is a simple 3-2-1 ratio (flour to sugar to butter) and from there the sky’s the limit. And again, not just for the baking nerds here but he also gives ratios for many basic recipes at the heart of savory dishes as well- (like sauces, stocks and sausages). Think of this book as a “choose your own adventure”. Either way think of it as invaluable.
- The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts – This books is truly unique as far as cookbooks go. It’s not just divided up into sections like- cookies, pies, and cakes but instead is divided up into 12 master recipe categories. And from those 12 master recipes you can create anything you want. You will see how every recipe is related through this book and be thinking like a pastry chef would. For example, from one master recipe of ganache- you can go on and make chocolate sauce, chocolate souffle, and a deep dark chocolate tart. Master 12 recipes, create anything. Sounds good to me, how about you?
There you go everyone! A glimpse into my kitchen or basically every kitchen cupboard. These are my baking must haves. Again, these are all products I personally own, and use ALL the time. If you have any questions on any of these, let me know! And I’m sure this list will continue to grow!
If you loved this page- then be sure to check out my Baking 101 Posts!
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