Recipes

Baking Essentials & Baker’s Gift Guide – Everything Your Kitchen Needs to BAKE!

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I love being in the kitchen.  Pouring a glass of wine, turning on episodes of Golden Girls, and making my kitchen smell great with baked goods is one of my favorite things to do.  I create my recipes, based on my gramma’s old creations, or inspired by something I see, taste or smell.  Honestly, I bake a LOT, and my family and friends absolutely love it 🙂

There are some amazing products I use every time I bake, so I compiled these for you.  Whether you’re brand new to the idea of baking, or just as comfortable in the kitchen as I am, you’ll want these products!  Some save time, others make baking easier.  Grab your favorites of my favorites, then check out my fun recipes!

Speaking of yummy recipes, here are some of my favorites!

Now, let’s get to these awesome gifts for bakers and baking essentials!

Every kitchen needs a KitchenAid Mixer!  These come in several styles and sizes, plus offer some great attachments, as well.  It makes beating, creaming and mixing so much easier. Of course, if you prefer the hand-held version, I still recommend the KitchenAid brand for reliability and function.

If you aren’t a KitchenAid fan, or need something a little more budget-friendly, I suggest these great brands:

Cheesecake isn’t the only thing you can make with springform pans, but it’s probably the most popular.  Make deep dish pot pies and pizzas with springform. Create beautiful tower cakes, pull-apart breads and layered pasta dishes.  The ideas are endless! This Springform Pan Set comes with 7”, 9”, and 11” pans, with an option for a set of 9”, 10” and 11” pans.  I suggest getting the first set.

Not all kitchens are equipped with enough counter space for big baking jobs.  That’s why I adore this very smart and very simple Betty Crocker 3-Tiered Cooling Rack. It’s a huge space saver, and made with a non-stick coating, so cookies don’t crumble or sink while they cool!

This Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin might be one of the most brilliant baking items ever created! It was created so that you can have evenly flattened dough, for uniform baking.  Just remove the discs (1/16, 1/6, 1/4, and 3/8-inch) that you don’t need, and pick the disc for the thickness you require.  Roll out and the discs help keep it even!

Every time I make cookies, I use my OXO Cookie Scoop.  It’s medium size – 1 ½ tablespoons worth of dough, creating about 2 3/4 “ diameter cookies. I can’t say enough about it! You might also like the other sizes, just in case, but definitely grab the medium if you ever make cookies.

When I make cupcakes, I prefer the mini versions. Two-bite cupcakes are adorable AND easy to snack on! 🙂  But sometimes I make muffins, and those require the regular muffin pan size. One thing that doesn’t change is the type of muffin pan I use.  Trudeau Silicone Muffin Pans are my absolute favorite. They don’t let the cupcakes and muffins stick, and are ridiculously easy to clean.

Let’s talk spatulas!  I use a lot when I bake, and love having options for different sizes.  The kitchy spatulas with flirty cursive quotes and fun images on them are cute – but the focus for them is being cute, not being functional. They break often. Go with the Di Oro 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set for some serious quality.  For a more budget friendly, but nearly just as good quality, check out the Wilton Easy Flex Silicone Spatula Set.

You’ll definitely want a conversion chart.  Nothing is worse than having sticky, doughy fingers while trying to carefully google “how many teaspoons in a tablespoon?”  This Kitchen Conversion Chart is great, and has some awesome and useful information that you’ll always reference.  Plus, it’s magnetic!

Pyrex is a trusted brand for good reason.  You can’t go wrong with a set of Pyrex Smart Essentials Mixing Bowls with Lids.  They are durable and have wide mouths, so they are really easy to mix in, without fear of making a mess.  Plus, the lids are great for storing frostings and dough in the fridge!

Candy makers – rejoice!  Instead of those pesky candy thermometers you have to hold in your bubbling concoction, or clip to the side of the pan, there’s this ToppKitchen Spatula!  It’s a candy thermometer AND spatula in one, solid design.  I can’t imagine stirring candy without it, and don’t remember what life was like before it.

Measuring cups and spoons are an absolute necessity. Some recipes can be made with your best estimates and “pinches” of ingredients.  But most, especially for new bakers, will require a good set of measuring spoons and cups.  For spoons, I highly recommend this Prepworks Magnetic Measuring Spoons set. It features 2 of the same size spoon on each side – one for liquid and one for powder measurements.  Plus, they are magnetic, which is a huge space saver! For the cups – go with KitchenAid’s 6-Piece Stackable Measuring Cups in Stainless Steel for dry ingredients, and the classic, never fails Pyrex 2-Cup Measuring cup for liquids.

A good baking sheet and baking pans really can help make your baked goods… or break them.  I love this Rachael Ray Oven Lovin’ Bakeware Set.  It comes in 3 color choices, and with a 4.6 out of 5 star review on Amazon, I’m clearly not the only person in love with it.  Grab those silicone muffin pans and this set, and you’re ready to go with your bakeware!

Sifting your dry ingredients helps to distribute them more evenly and easier. It also helps weed out the lumps, and allows it to mix better with the wet ingredients.  For me, I suggest always sifting the dry mixture before adding it to the wet mixture.  I prefer the old school sifter like this MaMix Sifter. I also sometimes use one of these Tasty Strainers – they work well, and you can use them for straining foods, too.

Of COURSE your baking essentials can’t be complete without cookie cutters!  You can go for the fun, festive shapes appropriate for all seasons.  But I also recommend that you also have the standards. This 22-piece Nesting Cookie Cutter Set is awesome because it’s a bargain, and you can flip most of them over. That means you’re getting a beveled edge AND straight edge in one piece!

When it comes to piping frosting, you don’t necessarily need a fancy piping kit.  In fact, I generally use a Ziploc bag, with a corner cut off in lieu of a piping bag and tip.  However, if you want the fun designs with lots of options, you’ll want the Wilton Deluxe Cake Decorating Kit. It comes with everything you need, and then some!

Other tools I recommend:

  • Microplane Grate – for zesting citrus rinds, chocolate, nuts and more
  • Bench Scraper – for cutting dough (I also use mine for scooping up diced fruits)
  • Pastry Brush – for spreading glazes, oils and butters
  • Parchment Paper – for baking the perfect cookies
  • Oven Rack Push/Pull – for pulling out and pushing back in the oven rack without having to touch it with an oven mitt

Hopefully these baking essentials can help you fine tune your baking hobby!  Don’t forget to check out some of my baking creations and try them for yourself! HAPPY BAKING!

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13 Comments

    • Jeni Hawkins Reply

      You’re so welcome, Mandee! These things are all my absolute favorites for baking! 🙂

  1. Love the ideas given here. I have a friend who loves to bake cookies and actually I had not thought of the cooling tier. Will look into getting and gifting it to them for the holidays.

    • Jeni Hawkins Reply

      Hey Maureen! Thanks so much for stopping by! And YES – that tiered cooling rack is AMAZING! It all breaks down, too, for easy storage!

  2. There are so many things that I just added to my baking wish list! Thanks.

  3. LeAnn Harbert Reply

    This is a great list. My daughter in law wants to start learning to decorate cookies and cakes.

  4. Leah Shumack Reply

    The spatula thermometer is awesome! I am gonna add that to my wish list and give it a try when I’m making my candy next Christmas!

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