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This is my ultimate list to my 24 must have essential baking tools that I keep in my kitchen at all times. Stock your cabinet with these baking tools and equipment and you will be able to whip up delicious desserts every time.
When it comes to
baking, successful baking you are only as good as your tools. I truly believe that. I have had those sitautions where I didn’t have the right tools on hand. Either I was trying out a new recipe and had to improvise. I was on vacation in a house different than my own and I just had to make do. In those situations, baking became more difficult and sometimes did end up successfully as I would have liked.
Now this list might seem daunting. 24 tools?! Yes. Twenty four. But I’m going to guess you already have some on hand. So just focus on the next recipe you want to make and add to your pantry as you go. You won’t regret it.
I’ve broken down this list into different categories depending on their use:
- Measuring Tools
- Mixing Tools
- The Sidekicks (these are the extra tools that I think help to make baking from scratch easier)
What Type Of Tools Do I Need To Bake With?
- Quality – this doesn’t mean expensive. For each type of category below I listed which tools I use and recommend.
- What’s Called For In the Recipe – if a recipe calls for using a specific tool it is for a reason. Usually it is to make your life easier and get the job done faster. Yes you can use one pan over another but be warned this can change the baking time. You may need to use a conversion chart in order to ensure the recipe comes out right. That’s why I included a conversion chart in my Ultimate Baking Handbook.
- Non-plastic : Above all else avoid plastic. Plastic can retain odors and grease over time which can impart unwanted flavors. And grease can prevent egg whites from whipping up.
So let’s dive into the specific baking tools you need to pretty much bake up any type of dessert.
- Kitchen Scale – When it comes to baking, measuring by weight really is the best way. Hands down, no comparison. You cannot get the same accuracy if you measure by volume (i.e. using your dry measuring cups). And for some more trickier recipes, it’s worth its weight (pun intended) in gold to not waste your time and money ingredients to use a kitchen scale.
- Dry measuring cups– Although measuring by weight using a kitchen scale is best, most of us don’t do it. Including myself. We will talk more about how to properly measure certain ingredients using your dry measuring cups later. The typical set is either heavy duty plastic or metal and ranges in size from 1/4 cup to 1 cup. Sometimes a 1/8 cup and ¾ cup if you’re lucky. I recommend using metal ones, because plastic ones can break, warp, retain a greasy residue, and have the measurements rub off over time. I think having at least two sets on hand just makes life easier. That way you have two of every measurement when you are working through a recipe.
- Measuring spoons – Just like my measuring cups, I recommend investing metal ones. The typical set will include a ¼ teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon.
- Liquid measuring cup — Be sure to invest in glass ones, as opposed to plastic ones. And I like having a 1 -cup and a 2-cup size on hand.
- Electric Mixer– Most recipes require the use of some sort of a mixer. I recommend using a stand mixer the majority of times because it makes quick of work of different methods, such as creaming and kneading. A stand mixer is a serious investment, but one I think is well worth it. A good quality stand mixer will last you a lifetime. However, if a stand mixer isn’t in the budget or you are just starting out, then a hand mixer is the way to go. It will just take longer for certain methods to get the job done. Like my buttercream frosting takes 8 minutes in my stand mixer (with a hand mixer it could take 10- 15 minutes)
- Whisks – For certain steps and the blending method, a whisk is needed to make sure all the ingredients are evenly mixed with each other. Be sure to invest in a sturdy balloon whisk. The metal coating can sometimes peel off on cheap whisks.
- Spatulas– You can’t have enough of these. I like using ones that are made of one piece because they are sturdier.
- Mixing bowls– I recommend owning various sizes of these. And make sure these are metal. Plastic bowls will retain a greasy residue over time, even after being cleaned and can inhibit egg whites from whipping up.
- Pastry Cutter– For the biscuit method, this tool is a must have. Get one with a comfortable grip for easy when cutting in your butter.
- Food Processor– This can make quick work of certain methods, but it can also quickly overwork a dough so use cautiously. It’s great to have on hand for certain things like to make a graham cracker crust, finely chop nuts, or whip up a pie crust.
- Cookie sheets (2) – I recommend light colored sturdy aluminum cookie sheets.
- Baking Pans – There are numerous pans you can stock your kitchen with. But with each pan it’s important to use light or glass colored dishes. Darker pans can bake your goods too quickly. The pans I recommend owning are:
- 13×9 pan
- 8×8 pan
- 9×9 pan
- round cake pans (8-inch and/or 9-inch)
- loaf pans
- springform pans
- Muffin tins (cupcake pans)- these come in various sizes as well
- Bundt pan
- Tube pan (used for angel food cake)
- Pie Plate – I recommend investing in a glass pie plate, so you can easily see if the bottom is baked.
- Cooling racks – These are essential in properly cooling your baked goods. Leaving your baked goods on a cookie sheet or in a cake pan can cause your baked goods to overbake Using cooling racks allow air to circulate around your baked goods to properly cool.
- Spring Loaded Scoops– I use these to ensure all my cookies are the same size and bake evenly. I own and use a 1-inch and 2-inch scoop.
- Rolling Pin – I prefer one that has tapered ends as opposed to handles, but either way a rolling pin is a must for certain methods like lamination dough.
- Pastry Mat– I love my pastry mat and would gift wrap one for you if I could. It provides a large and non-stick surface when rolling out dough. And there are pie guides and measurements on the borders so you can roll out a pie or cinnamon rolls correctly.
- Bench Scraper– This is one handy dandy tool to scrape up dough that is sticking to your mat or counter. By using this tool, you will handle your dough less with your hands causing the dough to warm up too much.
- Zester– There is no other tool out there that I can use to zest my lemons or grate fresh nutmeg with. I use this tool time and time again.
- Pastry Brush– You will use this to brush an egg wash on your pie crusts, or melted butter on your cinnamon roll dough I prefer silicone pastry brushes, because they are easily cleaned and won’t lose their bristles like natural ones, and can be used in boiling liquids.
- Sifters – You will need these to properly sift your dry ingredients for many recipes you will come across. It helps to aerate your dry ingredients and properly mix your leavening agents.
- Silicone Baking Mats– I love my silicone baking mats for an non-stick surface. These also help even browning on the underside of my cookies, biscuits, and scones I prefer have to 2 on hand, so I can have easily swap one cookie sheet in and out of my oven with ease.
- Parchment paper– I use my parchment to paper to line my cake pans with after greasing and flouring them. I simply place my cake pans on my parchment paper, trace the bottom of the pans, and cut out. Just be sure to flip them over in the pans, so the tracing marks on the underside.
- Biscuit cutters– A set of these are great to easily cut out biscuits, scones if you prefer this method. I have also used these for sugar cookies, and individual mini pies.
- Timer – Whether you get the classic dial timers, a digital one, or as I often use the one on my microwave. Make sure you have one somewhere in your kitchen. Although I also rely on my eyes and nose to tell me when my baked goods are done, a timer is a must.
Baking with the right tools is always going to result in better success! I hope you found this list helpful!