Baking Essentials List: 10 Tools for Beginner Bakers to Have in Kitchen

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Spending time in the kitchen baking treats for your family is a fun and creative way to spend a Saturday afternoon or any afternoon! Baking has become a national pastime in many countries, with televised bake-offs and contests drawing big audiences in plenty of places. Watching these TV shows is a great way to get inspiration for new and delicious recipes. There’s no doubt about it – baking is a wonderful way to spend time with your kids and fuel their creativity. Let your imagination run wild baking all kinds of party and other big occasion goodies, like birthday cakes, and festive cookies at holiday time. But before you dive into a yummy-looking recipe, it’s important to take stock of your kitchen tools and supplies.

Besides a handful of storecupboard baking ingredients that are worth having on hand, do you have the baking essentials you need to start this new and exciting endeavor?

If you’re just beginning as a baker, you may not be sure what those baking essentials are. We’re here to help! In this article, we outline 10 tools you need to start baking. Some are tailor-made just for whipping up treats, while others serve several functions in meal prep and savory dishes. All of them are necessary if you want to get your baking career off to a successful start. Every one of these baking essentials is worth investing in because they are all vital for creating everything from filo pastry and flaky pie crusts to delicious cookies, brownies, and other treats.

Kitchen Scales

Baking isn’t like cooking – it demands precision. When you’re making, for example, a stew or soup, you can vary the spices and seasonings according to your own preferences. A little off-the-cuff improvisation is often the mark of an excellent cook! Not so with baking. Baking requires accurate measurements of all ingredients, so a kitchen scale is a wise investment. The more closely you follow the recipe, the more likely it is your sweet creation will taste and look just like the original recipe in your cookbook.

A kitchen scale lets you weigh ingredients in different units, including ounces, grams, and pounds. Knowing the exact weight of a particular ingredient contributes a lot to a perfect baking outcome. And having a scale on your pantry shelf is handy for other recipes too, not just the ones you use for baking.

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Measuring Cups and Spoons

No matter what recipe you’re preparing – an entree or a dessert – they all begin in the same fashion: a list of ingredients, each one with measurement, is the first thing offered. They usually include items in tablespoons, teaspoons, and cups. These baking essentials may not be the coolest tools in your kitchen – may be that title belongs to your food processor or pasta maker. But they are vital tools nonetheless. Measuring out ingredients in the correct proportions helps ensure your baking is successful.

Measuring spoons and cups allow you to consistently use the proper proportions each and every time. And as we stress throughout this article, in baking, accuracy is key! Using these baking essentials means you won’t second guess yourself, because everything you measure will be precisely what the recipe calls for.

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Flour Sifters and Mesh Sieves

Some dry baking ingredients, including flour, sugar, sugar, and cornstarch can sometimes form clumps when stored in your pantry, even if they’re in well-sealed jars. That’s why a good sifter and sieve are so important.

Sifting these dry ingredients together before continuing with your recipe helps your batter or dough turn out super smooth and silky – always the goal of a good baker! Once they’re all sifted together, they combine more easily with wet ingredients like milk, beaten eggs, and other things. Everything mixes together evenly and perfectly. Another advantage to owning a mesh sieve is that it’s the tool you need for sprinkling, for example, a little chocolate dust on top of your cake or cookies – the final flourish to your gorgeous and delicious sweet treat.

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The Right Set of Mixing Bowls

These are incredibly versatile baking essentials that you’ll use in all kinds of food preparation, not just when you’re baking. Having more than one or two allows you to set out all the measured ingredients separately, so they’re right in front of you when it’s time to combine them all in one, large bowl. Usually, mixing bowls come in sets of three: a small one that holds 1 to 1&1/2 quarts; a medium-sized bowl that holds 2&1/2 to 3 quarts, and a large one that holds 4 to 6 quarts.

Mixing bowls are widely available in a variety of materials, including plastic, ceramic and stainless steel. Stainless steel is your best option, as it’s easy to clean and light in weight.

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Silicone Spatulas

Well, you need a spatula that’s bendable and easy to clean, and silicone offers both those benefits. Furthermore, it makes mixing ingredients really easy, as food doesn’t stick to it. It won’t scratch your baking sheets and pans, either. This tool lets you scrape food from the sides of the bowls and blend ingredients quickly and smoothly. And finally, silicone is flexible and almost impossible to break – a bonus in any baking essentials you buy. This spatula helps you smoothly spread your batter or dough into the pan, too.

Spatulas come in other materials, of course, but we strongly recommend silicone because of all these features.

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Bench Scrapers

Perhaps you’ve not heard of bench scrapers or used one in the kitchen before. But this is a baking essential you mustn’t be without! It can perform plenty of tasks in the kitchen, and not only when you’re baking. A bench scraper lets you divide the dough into equal portions, trim off bits of dough hanging over the loaf pan, and even tidy up flour on a countertop once you’re finished. It lets you cut butter easily and smoothly, and even chops vegetables because the blade is so sharp. You can use it to section off slices in a pan, too – like squares of brownies, for example.

Most bakers and pastry chefs opt for a bench scraper made of stainless steel. The blade is flat and sharp, and easily handles all the tasks we just mentioned. It’s also the ideal tool for smoothing frosting over the top of a cake or cookies, so it has that professional flourish all bakers aspire to. You can even use it to scrape stuff from a pan or cookie sheet after baking.

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Rolling Pins

A high-quality rolling pin is one of the most important baking essentials you can purchase before you begin baking. It’s not just useful too for baking, however – you can use it when preparing plenty of entrees, too. However, it’s vital for rolling out bread dough, cookie dough, biscuits and scones of all sorts, and even pizza dough. A rolling pin helps you get an even, flat dough for all these goodies, and more. An even thickness is crucial for the success of any baking recipe.

There are several types of rolling pins on the market, including two French designs and one American. The classic rolling pin most people choose is the American design, with handles at either end and a kind of heavy, solid tube between them, usually of marble or wood. Choose a style you like, one that feels comfortable in your hands. They all work on all the baking items we mentioned, so opt for the one you like best.

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Baking Pans and Molds

These innovative and uniquely shaped baking essentials can be purchased in a variety of styles. Here is a roundup of baking pan shapes you should buy for your kitchen.

  • A round pan, which is ideal for cakes.
  • A rectangular/square pan, which works for brownies, bar cookies, and even casseroles.
  • A loaf pan, for banana bread, carrot bread, and other loaves.
  • A pie plate, which is suitable for any kind of pie, including pecan and fruit pies.

There are other baking pans and baking molds available too, for muffins, cupcakes, and other goods. Having an array of differently-shaped pans on hand is a great way to make your baking project fun and unique. Silicone pans and molds are your best option, as they’re light and super easy to clean. If you’re trying a new recipe that calls for a specific pan, not in your collection, go ahead and treat yourself! Baking pans aren’t expensive, so building a collection of them is fun and economical.

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Pastry Brushes

A pastry brush is a right tool for brushing egg wash or a little melted butter on top of your dough, pastry, cookies, etc. You can also use it to add a dollop of something sweet on top of your baked goods. A pastry brush is also handy for sealing the sides of scones and turnovers, so the filling doesn’t seep out during baking. A good pastry brush is right for all kinds of minor baking tasks that make a major difference to the appearance and taste of your final product.

Invest in a good pastry brush made of quality material, which won’t let bacteria and germs build up on it if you hand wash it well after every use. A silicone pastry brush is your best option, as it’s easy to use and clean, and even hot temperatures won’t harm the bristles.

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Cooling Racks (Baking Racks)

Once your baked goods come out of the oven, it’s important that you’ve got racks handy so you can put the pans aside to cool. For example, let’s say you’ve just pulled a loaf of freshly baked bread out of the oven – what a heavenly aroma it has! Hold the pan with oven mitts, and turn the loaf out onto the rack to let it cool. If you set the loaf (or cookies, or whatever you’re baking) onto an ordinary plate, it will become soggy and soft, instead of firm and crisp. A cooling rack lets air get to the loaf on all sides and underneath, so there’s no risk of it becoming overly moist as the heat lessens.

Usually, cooling racks are narrow strips of stainless steel, either lined up parallel or crisscrossed. These baking essentials come in plenty of different sizes, and they aren’t expensive. Have a variety of them on hand for all your different baking projects.

One final note about cooling racks: turn cake layers out onto them before you frost them with icing. Cooling your cakes or cookies thoroughly is vital so the icing doesn’t run or melt when you apply it.

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Baking is a fun, delicious way to add to your cooking repertoire. With the right tools, the 10 we’ve outlined here, plus 9 must-have essential baking ingredients you should keep, you’ll be all set to bake delicious desserts like cakes, pies, and cookies for your family and guests. The baking essentials we’ve described aren’t expensive, and they aren’t hard to use. But they make your baking turn out the best it possibly can because these are the right tools for every step in the baking process.

Spend a day shopping at kitchen wares stores or perusing baking essentials online. No matter how you buy them, you’ll enjoy having the right tool close at hand the next time you try baking a new cake or yummy dessert squares for the family.

Ready? Set? Go! And from all of us – happy baking!

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