22 baking essentials you need to start baking from scratch. With these tools and gadgets, you can bake anything and everything: from brownies to quick breads, from cheesecakes to multi-layer cakes, and everything in between!
As a wanna-be minimalist, I try to stick to minimum tools and gadgets and only recommend what you absolutely need.
To give you a little back story, I started my baking journey in 2011. And since then I’ve tried SO many different kitchen tools and gadgets. Some are useful, and most were not. And when we moved to our new house over 2 years ago, I got rid of a lot of non-essential stuff and I kept only the essentials. And I haven’t missed a thing! So, all of my recommendations are coming from my personal experience.
Whether you’re stocking your new kitchen, or just getting into baking, I hope this list of baking essentials will help you to build a nice foundation to your baking adventure.
1. Muffin Pan
Standard 12-cup muffin pan is important for everyday baking. So many uses for it: simple banana muffins, cupcakes, even upside down mini peach cakes. I own this Anolon muffin pan, and I love it!
2. Baker’s Half Baking Sheet
I recommend heavy duty aluminum baking sheets, because they’re absolutely most versatile baking sheets ever. I use these sheet pan for everything: roasting vegetables, roll cakes, sheet cakes, cookies and macarons, you name it! Unlike flimsy cookie sheets, these baking sheets distribute heat evenly and don’t warp at all. I recommend this set of baking sheets.
3. Square Pan
I own this 8×8 Pyrex one, but I’d recommend metal one as they’re ideal for brownies. Also, you can either go with 8×8 or 9×9, both are quite common sizes.
4. Round Cake Pan
I recommend a set of 2 or 3 of the same size pans, which is super convenient for layer cakes. In my opinion, 9-inch pan is most standard. I own and love two of this 9-inch round cake pan, and two of this 7-inch cake pan.
When shopping for cake pans, pay attention to the sides of the pan. You want straight sides, not tapered.
5. Bread Pan
A standard 8.5×4.5-inch bread pan is one of baking essentials for sure. It’s great for making quick breads, loaf cakes. I use this bread pan and absolute recommend it.
6. Springform Pan
If you love a cheesecake, you’ll definitely need a springform pan. I recommend 9-inch springform pan, as most cheesecake recipes are written for this size pan.
7. Cooling Rack
You gotta have a set of cooling racks to properly cool your cookies and cakes. I use this set of stainless steel cooling racks, and highly recommend them over coated ones, because they’re oven safe and won’t chip and scratch.
8. Kitchen Scale
I highly recommend using a scale in baking. I love my OXO scale, because it’s heavy duty, easy to clean, weighs up to 11lbs and has a handy pull-out display, which is super convenient when you’re using a large bowl!
9. Measuring Cups
While I mostly use a scale for measuring dry ingredients, especially flour, measuring cups come in handy as well. They’re convenient for measuring things like sugar, chocolate chips, etc. I use and love this set.
10. Measuring Spoons
I absolutely love these magnetic measuring spoons. Not only do they have 2 sides on each end, but they nest and store neatly in the drawer!
Spatulas, Scoops and Whisks
11. Silicone Spatulas
I’m obsessed with silicone spatulas, and own definitely more than I need it in different styles and sizes! My absolute favorite one is this large one-piece silicone spatula. Then this silicone scoop and spread is my another go-to.
12. Offset Spatula
This handy little tool is used in SO many different things. Just to name a few: lemon curd, various custards and sauces.
14. Cookie Scoops
15. Electric Mixer
16. Mixing Bowls
I have so many mixing bowls, but this set of glass bowls are my go-to. I love variety of size, and they double as a meal prep container (thanks to the lids!)
Miscellaneous Baking Essentials
17. Pastry Brush
I went through multiple different pastry brushes over the years, and this OXO pastry brush is my favorite. It doesn’t shed bristles, holds liquids, like egg wash, perfectly and super easy to clean!
Sifter plays 3 important roles in baking: 1. mixes dry ingredients, 2. aerates dry ingredients for perfectly fluffy cakes and such, and 3. removes lumps and clumps in dry ingredients, especially in cake flour, which tends to clump more than regular all-purpose flour. I love my hand crank sifter.
19. Rolling Pin
This’s obviously an essential tool for rolling out pie dough, cookie dough, cinnamon rolls, and more. I use a simple wooden rolling pin and it does the job quite well.
20. Circle Cutters
Before getting various fun cookie cutters, I got this set of circle cutters. They’re incredibly versatile and can be used for cutting scones, biscuits, cookies and more!
21. Pastry Bag
If you love decorating cakes and cupcakes, you’ll absolutely need a pastry bag. This large reusable pastry bag with plastic coating is my favorite!