Like almost anything, the right tools make cooking and backing much, much easier, and often tastier. Over the years, I’ve found my favorite essential baking tools and the “nice to have” items, and I’m excited to share the best baking tools with y’all here!
Before I get too far into this, Happy 2021! I know that flipping a calendar page won’t magically solve all the problems or alleviate all the stress from 2020, but it does feel like a proverbial weight has been lifted off our shoulders. Here’s to hoping things turn around this year and we can end 2021 on a high note.
In the meantime… let’s talk about the best baking tools.
If you’re starting to build out your kitchen collection, or if you’re looking to clean out and replace some items, this post is a great place to start. I’m not going into pots and pans or anything like that today (maybe in a future post?). Today we’re talking strictly the tools you’ll need for the best baking at home. There are hundreds of brands and styles out there, so explore and find what you like best.
These are the BEST baking tools I keep in my kitchen.
These are my essentials and favorites. I can hardly cook or bake without these items.
Silicone baking mats. Sure, parchment paper is great, but using a lot of it can get wasteful. Silicone baking mats can get pricey, but mine have more than paid for themselves in just a few uses. They’re easy to clean, too. I do recommend replacing them every six months or so.
Good spatulas, whisks, and spoons. A solid whisk and wooden spoon go a long way in your kitchen. If you can find heat-proof spatulas, those are optimal so they don’t melt or get ruined in hot pans or bowls. Get a variety of sizes; mini whisks and spatulas come in handy way more often than you’d expect.
Good measuring cups and measuring spoons. Careful and accurate measuring really makes a difference, especially in baking.
Hand mixer (at the least). Most recipes can be mixed by hand, but many of them are not fun to mix by hand. I don’t know about y’all, but I’d rather not cream butter by hand. A good, reliable hand mixer makes tasks like that a lot easier. While yes, I am obsessed with my stand mixer, sometimes a good hand mixer is all you need (or want to deal with).
Cake pans—in all shapes and sizes. Round, square, rectangle, springform or not. You may not use all of them all the time, but you’ll be glad you have one of each kind in your cabinets. I use my 9×9 square pan the most. Don’t forget baking sheets, too, obviously.
Wire cooling rack. As the name suggests, these are essential for letting your bakes cool appropriately. Cookies, cakes, cupcakes, biscuits, scones, muffins, pizza… you name it, it probably needs to cool on a wire rack. (Pro tip: wire racks are also great props for your food photos!)
Now, here are some of my favorite “nice to have” baking tools.
Madeleine pan. Madeleines require a special pan to get the classic madeleine shape and “hump.” These pans can be a little tricky to find, but a good Madeleine pan will last quite a long time. They’re easy to care for and clean, too.
Stand mixer. Y’all, I am obsessed with my KitchenAid stand mixer. I almost listed this as an “essential.” But there’s still plenty you can do with a hand mixer.
Candy dipping tools and molds. I don’t make fancy candy or truffles often, but when I do, having the right tools for molding, dipping, rolling, and coating makes the process so much easier.
Bundt cake pan(s). I love a good bundt cake. Sometimes bundt cake pans can be tricky to prepare and clean, but a well-made bundt cake (like my Birthday Bundt Cake, for instance) is worth the extra effort. My favorite bundt cake pans are Nordic Ware.
Citrus juicer. This sounds a bit frivolous, but trust me. If you do a lot of juicing, these make the job a hundred times easier, and gets you more juice for the squeeze.
Bread lame. If you’re a big bread baker, a lame makes decorating and scoring much easier. You could use a super sharp knife, but lames are easier to handle, clean, and store. There are hundreds to choose from on Amazon (I have this one), so just find one that works for you.
Dutch oven. Not only are Dutch ovens great for soups, stews, pastas, and chili, they’re the perfect bread-baking vessels. Mine got a lot of action in the early days of quarantine when I first learned how to make sourdough bread. Baking bread in a Dutch oven gives it a golden, chewy crust that makes the most satisfying crackle when you slice it.
I could keep going on more of my favorite baking tools and kitchen gadgets, but I’ll save those for another day and another post. The ones I’ve included here are a great start!
What are some of your favorite baking tools?
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