The Essential Baking Supplies Every Home Cook Needs
Love to bake or looking to become a more serious baker? Check out the baking tools you need—as chosen by our Test Kitchen and editors—to make everything from pies to pastries, cookies to cupcakes and so much more.
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Sydney Watson/Taste of Home
Whether you’re a new baker or an experienced one, you all need some essential gear to stir up your favorite recipes. See what baking essentials our Test Kitchen and editors love to use whether they’re making a simple one-bowl recipe or tackling an all-day bake.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer
If you’re a serious baker and don’t have a KitchenAid stand mixer ($380) yet, consider adding this appliance to your cart stat. Kitchenaid received the highest marks in our Test Kitchen stand mixer trials and is beloved by bakers everywhere. This mixer can help you stir up cookie dough, blend cake batter and so much more all without breaking a sweat. Combine its amazing performance with some great attachments and you’ve got a kitchen workhorse you’ll use for years to come.
As much as we love our KitchenAid mixers, not every bake requires such heavy equipment. If you need to make some whipped cream fast or want to make a simple cream pie, a good hand mixer will do the trick. We recommend this Oster mixer ($39)—winner of our Best Loved Brand award.
Pyrex Liquid Measuring Cups
Having dedicated liquid measuring cups in the kitchen is a must. The Taste of Home Test Kitchen relies on Pyrex measuring cups for their liquid measures. We recommend having a smaller measuring cup, like this one cup version ($5), for small measures, and a larger measuring cup for bigger quantities. This eight-cup version ($19) is especially handy; it’s large enough to mix up small-batch bakes.
Don’t eyeball small measurements in baking. Instead, turn to a good set of measuring spoons to get the right amount of baking powder, vanilla and other ingredients in your recipes. Our editors recommend these magnetized spoons ($16). They stick together in your drawer, plus the different spoon shapes mean you can dip into any size jar.
Dry Measuring Cups
Chances are one of your first-ever baking purchases was a set of measuring cups. Of course! They’re essential for making any recipe (just be sure you’re measuring correctly). A good set of measuring cups (not just any ol’ set) is a worthy investment. This stainless steel set ($49) is easy to clean, plus the set includes some extra measures, like the 2/3-, 3/4-, 1-1/2- and 2-cup scoops.
Set of Mixing Bowls
The type of bowl you use to mix up your batter matters. Opt for glass over plastic as it’s microwave-safe and won’t cling on to pasts flavor. Be sure to snag a few sizes to suit whatever recipe you’re tackling. Our editor’s pick is this set from Baked by Fire King ($30). You can see them in action stirring up buttermilk biscuits here.
How did we ever bake before parchment paper? This nonstick paper helps you create cookie perfection (and saves you clean up). It’s also a must for lining cake pans. Our editors love the unbleached parchment paper ($5) for their at-home bakes. Plus, there are tons of other nifty uses for parchment around the house.
Bakers know that they’re craft is just as much science as it is art. As such, you should try to be precise as possible in baking. A great set of measuring cups and the proper measuring technique will get you close, but measuring ingredients by weight is the most accurate method. Learn more about weighing ingredients here. Invest in a kitchen scale like this OXO model ($49) that our Test Kitchen uses for spot-on measures. The pull-out screen is a game-changer when you’re using larger bowls. Don’t forget to bookmark this page with common volume-to-weight conversions.
Don’t waste any batter when you bake with a good silicone spatula. This one from GIR ($13) can help scoop out every bit of batter or dough from your mixing bowl. Plus the heat resistant silicone is great for stirring up anything you’re heating over the stove, like gooey, salted caramel.
A set of mesh strainers ($22) might sound odd in our list of baking essentials, but these versatile tools will come in handy. You can use a large strainer to sift flour and other dry ingredients—a must for clump-free batters. Use a smaller one to dust powdered sugar over the top of any bake—one of Mary Berry’s signature moves.
Need to mix your dry ingredients together? Make a smooth custard? Stir up a great ganache? You’ll need a good whisk to do the job. A classic balloon whisk ($10) is our Test Kitchen’s go-to, but this flat whisk is winning some of our editors over.
Wire Cooling Racks
Whether you’re baking up a batch of our famous Big & Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies or a fabulous layer cake, you’ll need a wire rack to let those bakes cool, Invest in a few of these nonstick wire racks ($15) and you’ll be ready to bake all day.
We love a good multi-tasking tool in the kitchen. A good offset spatula like this one ($10) is a go-to for frosting cakes, spreading batter into pans and even leveling off flour in your measuring cup.
While a food processor isn’t a must for basic baking supplies, it’s definitely one of those really-nice-to-have items. A good food processor—this is our Test Kitchen’s favorite ($219)—makes quick work of so many baking tasks like crushing graham crackers for a quick crust, chopping nuts, pureeing fruit and even making pie crust. Plus, you’ll find plenty of savory applications for this gadget, too.
The Whole Kit and Caboodle
If you’re truly new to baking (or just looking for a refresh of your baking supplies), try Taste of Home’s new line of bakeware. This 10-piece set ($110) includes all the pans you need to make our best baking recipes.