If you're just starting out on your baking journey or looking to replace some of your bakeware, you'll want to check out this Baking Essentials Toolkit!
I’ve been baking for so long that I can’t actually remember how I’ve managed to acquire so many different baking tools - they just seem to appear!
That said, over the years I’ve gone through my fair share of bad tools, good tools and those that I absolutely love and would, and do, buy over and over again! Some of my most trusted tools were down from my Granny.
After all my baking years, including running my own professional bakery, I understand what a baker really needs in their Baking Essentials Toolkit!
So consider this your quick reference guide to starting out on your baking journey - the essentials and must-haves, that will make it easier for you and will guarantee your recipe comes out perfect every time.
The Baking Essentials Toolkit
1. Hand Mixer
There are lots of different hand mixers out there from budget-friendly right up to singing and dancing top spec ones. But ultimately all you need is one that has a powerful motor and variable speed. For anything more, powerful you’re looking to invest in a stand mixer.
For the new budding bakers out there, and even the veterans, you can’t go wrong with adding a hand mixer to your baking toolkit - affordable and versatile!
What I Own
I love my Kenwood hand mixer, I’ve had it for over 10 years and it’s still going strong. On the days where a stand mixer is an overkill, out comes the hand mixer and off we go. From the filling for a no-bake cheesecake to whisking pancake batter or a quick batch of cupcakes, there’s nothing this little workhorse can’t achieve.
2. Digital Kitchen Scales
Now I know that cups are quick and easy to use, but trust me when I say weighing out your ingredients will be the best thing you ever do to help your baking. When something goes wrong with your bakes, 9 times out of 10 it will be due to inaccurate measuring.
There's one simple way to solve that - a set of digital kitchen scales and accurate weighing!
What I own
I really can’t rate these Salter digital scales higher than I already do! I had several sets when I had my bakery and I still do and still use them 10 years on.
They are a great, inexpensive set of scales, that have a large digital display and different weight units. And as they are flat with no bowl, you can weigh straight into whatever you are adding your ingredients into. Genius!
3. Ice Cream Scoops
What I Own
I don’t have a preferred brand, I went with the reviews on Amazon and purchased a set of three ice cream scoops, and I’m pretty impressed with them.
They came in three different sizes, with trigger handles; making it so much easier to get out when you’re juggling batter, cake trays and not trying to make a mess. I love that I get even portions, and actually, find that my recipe stretches that little further because there’s less wastage.
4. Mixing Bowls
Do yourself a favour and invest in a set of stainless steel mixing bowls in different sizes; they’re relatively inexpensive and you can use them for just about anything.
I do also use my trusty Ikea white bowls but they have a tendency to scratch and stain depending on what you’ve used them for.
What I Own
I’ve built up a collection of bowls to form a set over the years, but this set of premium stainless steel mixing bowls is great if you are starting out or looking to replace what you already have.
I love that they will easily nest together so they take up less space in the cupboard. They are also relatively deep, so your batter shouldn't slosh out the top when you’re mixing.
5. Oven Thermometer
How accurate do you think your oven temperature dial is?
I know mine is a good 5-8 degrees cooler than it should be, and so I find myself having to either adjust the bake time or set my oven to be warmer than the recipe states. But again there’s one simple and affordable solution that will have your cakes evenly baking without any hassle - an oven thermometer!
Pop an oven thermometer in the oven when heating up, and just double check your temperature before you pop your bakes in. If it’s not quite warm enough up the oven temperature a little and see what happens.
What I Own
I’ve had a KitchenCraft stainless steel oven thermometer for as long as I can remember. It sits in the oven on the middle shelf so I can check the temperature. The beauty of this thermometer is that the numbers on the dial are big and clear so it’s easily readable through the oven door window.
6. Spatulas, whisks and palette knives
I bet if you open your kitchen drawer you’ll find you have so many different utensils that are perfect for baking. I’m sure we have enough spoons for 1 a day, a month without having to wash up!
As you rummage around your utensil drawer, keep an eye out for flat rubber spatulas, perfect for scrapping the last bits of batter out of your mixing bowl. You’ll also find a balloon whisk, handy for whipping up your eggs and palette knives are your instrument of choice when levelling over batters, brownies and cheesecake fillings, especially an offset palette knife.
What I Own
When it comes to rubber spatulas, they must have a sturdy handle and a flexible rubber blade, so I can get right into the mixing bowl and give it a good scrape down. I love the Ikea ones, they’re inexpensive and durable. Alternatively, the Starchef spatulas do the job too just as well.
For a hand whisk, I can’t beat my trusty OXO Good Grips balloon whisk. This one does everything I need it too; it’s a great size for incorporating air into the mix and the handle means that you can get a good grip and beat. I love this for whisking the egg and sugar mixture when over the double boiler when making swiss meringue buttercream.
Don’t forget to add a palette knife to your baking toolkit - especially an offset one. I swear by my Ateco palette knives, and arm myself with a wide flat blade one for helping to smooth on buttercream for crumb coats and a smaller offset palette knife for levelling off brownie, cheesecake and cake batters, without dragging my fingers through it.
7. Cooling Rack
If there is anything that is a must-have for your baking tool essentials toolkit, then it’s a wire cooling rack, and even better still a stackable one - ideal for letting all those fabulous cookies you’ve baked cool down properly.
They are great for sliding your baking parchment onto, complete with bakes, once you’ve finished baking. They also allow air to circulate around your cakes and bakes cooling them down gently.
What I Own
I have several sets of the Lakeland stackable racks - they are strong and sturdy, and can be separated out if you only need to use 1 rack. I can get three 6 inch round cakes on each tier or about 24 cookies, so there’s plenty of room. If you can’t get hold of the Lakeland ones, the Tala cooling racks are just as good.
The only thing I would definitely recommend is don’t go cheap, I’ve been there and the racks aren’t as good - they have big gaps between the wires and they don’t hold heavier bakes as well; so stick with the more sturdy, wire grid ones. Oh and make sure you have at least 3 individual racks… trust me you’ll need them!
8. Baking sheets, cupcake trays and cake pans
Just like spatulas, knives and whisks, I bet if you open your cookware cupboard you’ll find that you have a plethora of bakeware that you could use. From baking trays to muffin tins, most of them have multi-use purposes that will get you through.
However, if bakeware hoarding isn’t your guilty secret, like mine, then you might be wondering where to start; what do you need? Sometimes it will depend on what you are wanting to bake. A wedding cake will need various sizes of cake pans, but for a home baker, baking as a hobby, then you might only need one size pan, maybe a cupcake tray and a baking sheet or two for cookies.
What I Own
I like to think that I’m a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to cupcake trays; baking 1,000 cupcakes a week on my own in my bakery, I accumulated quite a collection - 24 to be precise! And all the same.
I absolutely love the Masterclass Professional cupcake trays. They are deep enough for cupcakes and muffins, heavy-gauge so they give a really even bake and reasonable on price. I recommend these to everyone all the time. I’ve not found anything to beat them!
For baking trays, I don’t stray far from Masterclass non-stick baking sheets. The double-layer means that they don’t buckle from the oven heat, and the lip on one side makes it easier to take in and out of the oven.
When it comes down to cake pans, I must have several in every size up to 20-inch diameter! I prefer to bake my layers in individual pans rather than one deep one that I then split up; the cakes bake quicker and don’t overbake. Therefore go for 3 pans in the same size, and I’d recommend 6-inch Wilton pans, 2-inch deep; that’s what most of my recipes are baked in unless I say otherwise.
9. Silicone Baking Mats
If you haven’t come across silicone baking mats or Silpat before, then trust me you are going to love these mats as much as I do!
No more having to peel the little tiny fold of paper that wedged itself in your pavlova base as it baked.
You literally place the mat on your baking sheet and pop your meringue or cookie dough onto it, and bake. It won’t stick and you’ll get an even bake across your base too. And the best bit, they are reusable. Just think how much faff you’ll save cutting up parchment as well as reducing your waste.
What I Own
I’ve had my silicone baking mats from Silpat for a long time and they’re still going strong!
You can get different sizes for different size baking sheets. And there are other brands out there that do the job just as well; so keep an eye out whilst your shopping and you might be able to pick up a bargain.
You can also get reusable baking parchment on the roll, that you can cut to size. I've previously used Bake-O-Glide to make liners for the base of my cake pans. No more faffing to cut out circles every time!
10. Stand Mixer
Whilst it’s not an utter baking tool essential, and you can certainly get by with a hand mixer and a strong arm for whisking, if you have the budget then stretching to a stand mixer would be the ultimate icing on the cake!
The best thing about a stand mixer is that you can pop the ingredients in the bowl, turn it on and away you go; leaving your hands free to pour in other ingredients as it mixes.
Using the stand mixer for making swiss meringue buttercream is worth the cost alone for me - it saves me knocking things over and getting in a right pickle as I juggle bowls, whisks and butter!
What I Own
Now before this sounds really cliched, I do absolutely love my Classic KitchenAid mixer. But I’ll admit it hasn’t been all happy baking, it took me a while to get used to it having been a Magimix girl for many years.
I’ve also tried the Kenwood KMix out as well - and to be fair, I love that as well. If the KitchenAid was to give up on me, I’d probably switch to the Kenwood, just out of personal preference. Although, the KitchenAid can be colour coordinated to your kitchen!
There you have it, my baking essential toolkit! The basics that if I was starting off all over again that I’d go out and grab. That said, once you start baking you’ll find that you might have a favourite brand of cake pan or appliance that you can’t live without.
And the journey to filling all available kitchen cupboard with baking tools begins!
So tell me, what are your essential baking tools?
Pin The Baking Essentials Toolkit
Whilst this post is not sponsored and I am not working with any of these brands, some of these links are affiliate links. All the tools I’ve mentioned are ones that I actually use in my kitchen and I’ve tried and tested, therefore I trust them to give me great results. If for some reason all my baking equipment disappeared overnight I’d make no hesitance in buying them again. I do love them that much!