109 of My Essential Ingredients: How to Stock Your Baking Pantry

91 of My Essential Ingredients: How To Stock a Baking Pantry | browneyedbaker.com

[Post updated on 8/20/2014 to include spices, per reader feedback.]

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share feedback on Monday’s post about what you’d like to see on the site; it was immensely helpful and I appreciate it very much! One of the things that many of you mentioned is that you’d like to see some information about my favorite ingredients, kitchen tools and equipment. While I have some specific recommendations on my Tools of the Trade page, I haven’t done an in-depth look at everything I use on an (almost) daily basis. I loved the idea and figured I would start with ingredients; I will do a future post on the equipment and tools that I use in my kitchen, so stay tuned! Now, on to the ingredients…

The picture above is my pantry, which is one of my most favorite things about our house. It’s enormous, and I love that the middle shelf can accommodate all of my large appliances (and a microwave – yes, there are outlets in there!). As you can see, I take advantage of every last bit of space and then some. Most of my dry baking staples are located on the bottom shelf in airtight containers. Prior to moving last year, I used Lock & Lock containers for storage of things like flours and sugars; however, given the depth and height of the shelves, I found that these square food storage containers afforded me the ability to pack more containers of the same volume into the same space, so that’s what I use now. I also have a label maker, because I’m a total nerd when it comes to organization and office supplies!

Below is a list of all of the things that I keep stocked in my pantry and refrigerator, along with brand recommendations, if applicable. Unless I run out of something mid-recipe, I rarely have to make emergency trips to the grocery store. I’m pretty well stocked for any recipe that comes my way, unless it includes a specialty ingredient. Once I see that I’m low on something, I add it to the list for my next grocery run (my grandma ingrained this habit into my brain!).

UPDATE: Many of you asked for information about the spices that I keep stocked, so I have included a section on that below, as well. Here is a photo of my spice cabinet, which is to the left of my cooktop.


Again, with the uniform containers, alphabetical order and label maker 😉 I use Libbey 4½;-ounce spice jars for almost all of the spices, with the exception of things like salts, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon sticks – for those I use the 12½;-ounce storage jars. I’ve added a section below for spices, and I’ve kept the list to things I use specifically for baking.

If you have any questions about the ingredients below, feel free to ask in the comments below!


I buy all of the flours below from King Arthur Flour; my local grocery store carries most of them, but I’ve provided shopping links for your reference.

1. All-Purpose Flour (I order this in a 25-pound bag)

2. Bread Flour

3. Cake Flour

4. High-Gluten Flour

5. Rye Flour

6. Whole Wheat Flour

7. White Whole Wheat Flour


I buy my granulated sugar and powdered sugar in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club and order the superfine sugar from King Arthur Flour (link below); the others are purchased at my local grocery store. 

8. Granulated (white) Sugar

9. Light Brown Sugar

10. Dark Brown Sugar

11. Powdered Sugar

12. Superfine Sugar


All of my bulk chocolate is Valrhona brand, and I order it from Chocosphere.

13. Unsweetened Chocolate

14. Dark Chocolate

15. Semisweet Chocolate

16. Milk Chocolate

17. White Chocolate

Cocoa Powder

I use Hershey’s brand unsweetened cocoa powder from the grocery store; I buy Valrhona Dutch-process cocoa powder from Chocosphere

18. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

19. Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder


I use a variety of brands for my chips, all of which I buy at the grocery store, with the exception of the cinnamon chips. See notes below.

20. Dark Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli)

21. Semisweet Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli)

22. Miniature Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli)

23. Milk Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli)

24. White Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli)

25. Peanut Butter Chips (Reese’s)

26. Butterscotch Chips (Nestle)

27. Cinnamon Chips (King Arthur Flour)

Vanilla and Extracts

These are all purchased at the grocery store, except where noted below. 

28. Whole Vanilla Beans (Beanilla)

29. Pure Vanilla Extract (homemade or King Arthur Flour) and Vanilla Bean Paste (King Arthur Flour)

30. Almond Extract

31. Anise Extract

32. Anise Oil (King Arthur Flour)

33. Coconut Extract

34. Lemon Extract

35. Mint Extract

36. Peppermint Extract

37. Food Coloring


38. Allspice (ground + whole berries)

39. Anise Seed

40. Baking Powder

41. Baking Soda

42. Caraway Seeds

43. Cardamom (ground + green and black pods)

44. Cinnamon (ground + sticks)

45. Cloves (ground and whole)

46. Cream of Tartar

47. Espresso Powder

48. Everything Bagel topping

49. Ginger (ground)

50. Nutmeg (ground and whole)

51. Poppy Seeds

52. Pumpkin Pie Spice

53. Sage (dried)

54. Sesame Seeds

55. Salts – Table Salt, Kosher Salt, Sea Salt and Fleur de Sel

Dried Fruit

All purchased either at the grocery store or in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club.

56. Dates

57. Dried Apricots

58. Dried Cranberries

59. Dried Figs

60. Dried Mango

61. Raisins


All purchased from Nuts.com.

62. Almonds

63. Cashews

64. Peanuts (dry roasted, honey roasted and roasted Virginia)

65. Pecans

66. Pistachios

67. Walnuts

Miscellaneous Baking Ingredients

If not purchased at the grocery store, a link is included. 

68. Breadcrumbs (plain, Italian and panko)

69. Candies, such as peanut butter cups, M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, Hershey’s Kisses, candy canes, etc.

70. Cornmeal

71. Cornstarch

72. Corn Syrup (light and dark)

73. Crystallized Ginger

74. Diastatic Malt Powder (I use this in my bagels.)

75. Evaporated Milk

76. Graham Crackers

77. Honey

78. Lyle’s Golden Syrup

79. Malted Milk Powder

80. Maple Syrup (always use pure maple syrup for baking, not imitation such as Log Cabin, Aunt Jemima, etc.)

81. Marshmallows

82. Molasses

83. Non-Stick Cooking Spray (i.e. Pam)

84. Oats (old-fashioned and quick cooking)

85. Peanut Butter (I don’t recommend using natural or homemade peanut butters for most baking recipes, as they are too oily. My brand of choice for baking is Skippy.)

86. Pumpkin (canned)

87. Shredded Coconut (sweetened and unsweetened)

88. Sweetened Condensed Milk

89. Tahini

Refrigerated Ingredients

I purchase all of these at the grocery store, and buy organic where possible.

90. Butter (salted and unsalted)

91. Buttermilk

92. Cream Cheese (Philadelphia brand, always)

93. Eggs

94. Sour Cream

95. Whole Milk

96. Yeast (Red Star Active Dry Yeast and Red Star Rapid Rise Yeast)


These are all purchased at the grocery store. I don’t do much baking with olive oil or sesame oil, but I do use them often in my cooking.

97. Coconut Oil (refined and unrefined)

98. Olive Oil

99. Sesame Oil

100. Vegetable Oil


Again, these are all purchased at the grocery store. I primarily use white vinegar for baking, but figured I would include everything in my stash.

101. Balsamic Vinegar

102. Golden Balsamic Vinegar

103. Champagne Vinegar

104. Cider Vinegar

105. Malt Vinegar

106. Red Wine Vinegar

107. Rice Vinegar

108. Salad Vinegar

109. White Vinegar

~     ~     ~     ~     ~

This is a pretty comprehensive list of everything I keep stocked for recipes, with the exception of things that are purely for everyday eating, such as rice, cereal, pasta, bread, etc. I included brands and sources where applicable, but again, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask below.

I hope this has provided inspiration for adding some fun ingredients to your pantry!


105 Responses to “109 of My Essential Ingredients: How to Stock Your Baking Pantry”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks on August 20, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Wow, just wow! First, thank you for taking the TIME to write this all out and show what you have, you use, you like, etc. Super informative. Love that your such a King Arthur loyalist, me too 🙂

    Next, that middle shelf! What I wouldn’t give to be able to store my Vita, food proc and stand mixer all in one place, on a shelf. Mine are seriously wedged into multiple places and not user friendly but I hate visual clutter. I should have thought of that before living in a tiny urban condo though, right 🙂 No.storage. Your pantry is bigger than my daughter’s room I think LOL


  2. Jaclyn on August 20, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Dang girl you are organized, teach me the tricks!


  3. Liz @ Floating Kitchen on August 20, 2014 at 1:24 am

    Totally jealous of your giant pantry. AMAZING! And let’s have a nerding out party where we organize and use our label makers!


  4. Annie on August 20, 2014 at 3:17 am

    I love all the different cereal boxes and peanut butter jars 😀


  5. Kerry @ Kerry Cooks on August 20, 2014 at 3:22 am

    Whoa, what you couldn’t make with all of that!


  6. Rachel on August 20, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Do you have preferred brands of baking soda and baking powder? Don’t see those on here. This is a terrific list!!!


    • Michelle on August 20th, 2014 at 8:06 am

      Hi Rachel, I buy those from the grocery store to reduce the likelihood that they’ll go bad before I can use them. I buy Arm & Hammer baking soda and Clabber Girl Rumford baking powder.


  7. Alice | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind on August 20, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Do you buy your baking powder and bicarb (baking) soda in bulk as well? They don’t have the longest shelf-life, but I’m sure you manage to get through a fair bit of them! What about dried yeast?


  8. Estelle on August 20, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Whoa!! You ARE organized. I have a large pantry, but I’m not nearly as organized as you. Ahhh something to do this weekend. *L* Thanks for taking the time to give us your list!!


  9. Lisa H on August 20, 2014 at 7:00 am

    What a great post! I love King Arthur as well! Thank you again for asking for feedback and posting this so quickly! I look forward to reviewing your blog everyday.


  10. Sue on August 20, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Oh, Michelle, this is just what I was hoping you’d do. This is perfect. Thank you so much….and that pantry, it’s awesome! Always use King Arthur too! It’s the best!


  11. Heidi on August 20, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Beanilla and Cocoasphere? Woo-hoo!


  12. nancy k on August 20, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Love the peanut butter stash! I love Valrohna cocoa powder…so rich and makes for delicious products. I have a BJ”s Wholesale Club locally which often has bulk packages of Ghiradelli Bitter Sweet Chocolate Chips…a great buy for sure. Finally, I have found Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Chips to be far superior to any others. Thet ate less sweet and much more peanut buttery.
    Thanks for sharing your list. I know taking an inventory is not super fun but it is so informative for all us readers.


  13. carol on August 20, 2014 at 7:22 am



    • Michelle on August 20th, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Doh! I will update the list with my spices later today 🙂


      • A Young Wife on August 20th, 2014 at 10:04 am

        Yay! I was going to ask the same thing! Thank you so much for taking the time to list and link everything. Your pantry is a baker’s dream. It is very beautiful!


  14. Chef Effie on August 20, 2014 at 7:28 am

    I love this website, and I’m always on the hunt for unique recipe flavor combinations. Regrading you list of ingredients, I wondered if your readers are aware that buttermilk can come in powder form found in the baking aisle. (After opening should be kept in fridge.) This format saves money over the liquid version!


    • Chef Effie on August 20th, 2014 at 7:31 am

      That should read “regarding”.


    • Michelle on August 20th, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Great tip! Thanks for sharing!


  15. Michelle W. on August 20, 2014 at 7:57 am

    What brand of coconut extract do you use? Most of the ones I have tried have a fake coconut taste.


    • Michelle on August 20th, 2014 at 8:18 am

      Hi Michelle, I use McCormick brand, which I buy at the grocery store. However, King Arthur Flour has huge assortment of extracts and oils – I’m certain they would have coconut. I haven’t tried it, but I love the other ones I’ve used from them, so might be worth a shot!


  16. Sally on August 20, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Wow! I cook from scratch daily and bake at least weekly. My entire pantry has about the same number of essentials.


  17. Megan Jenkins on August 20, 2014 at 8:19 am

    This is pretty much my pantry too!! My husband I don’t think understands how important it is to have stock. I don’t think I have as many flours and sugars, but I do have more grains — which I see in your pantry on your top shelf but not in your post 🙂 I guess those aren’t really “baking staples”, but in my opinion, are cooking staples. I also keep on hand soy sauce, curry paste, coconut milk, sriracha, and worcestershire sauce. Then, I always have jasmine/basmati rice, quinoa, millet, brown rice, shaped pasta, long pasta, and popcorn on hand, all in sealable containers because we have had issues with pantry moths, no matter how hard we try to get rid of them! Great post!


  18. Reshana on August 20, 2014 at 8:28 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your pantry! Wish i had one like that.
    So organized and has EVERYTHING 🙂 Thanks for sharing BEB!


  19. Kim on August 20, 2014 at 8:38 am

    This is just incredible!! You are, and will continue to be, my baking hero 🙂 Thank you so much for letting us delve into your pantry!


  20. Brittany R on August 20, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Thanks for sharing! I live in a small town and it is very difficult to find certain items locally. Vanilla beans are terribly expensive in my local grocery store so I am very excited to order in bulk. I love your blog!


  21. Krista on August 20, 2014 at 9:14 am

    This is awesome – thanks for sharing! I noticed you said you will only use Philadelphia cream cheese. I usually buy store brand to save money, but I also don’t bake for a living, haha. Do you think there is a huge difference in the texture/quality of Philadelphia as opposed to the store brands? Just curious! Thanks again!


    • Michelle on August 20th, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Hi Krista, The store brands typically have a higher water content than Philadelphia, which can cause runniness, especially in things like frosting.


      • Krista on August 20th, 2014 at 9:48 am

        Good to know -thank you!


        • Marsha on August 20th, 2014 at 1:10 pm

          FYI – a large percent age of cream cheese is manufactured by Schreiber Foods, including Philadelphia (owned by Kraft). The only difference is when the exterior packaging goes on. This was told to me by an employee. There are are specialty producers out there with the organics and such and I am guessing Challenge recently started making their own, but Schreiber produces the vas majority of the others. Just passing along.


    • luchetti on August 20th, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      Some sotre brands are better, the Publix Cream Cheese if better than Philadelphis and the Publix Baking Semi Sweet Chips are better than Ghiradellli


      • Maralyn Woods on August 21st, 2014 at 12:22 am

        I agree. Publix brand products are better than most major brands. I never used a store brand in my life until I started shopping at Publix. Made a believer out of me. I live in California now and sure do miss them.


        • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 8:27 am

          We don’t have Publix where we live, but my in-laws used to live in Florida and my father-in-law LOVED Publix stuff!


  22. Pam T. on August 20, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Are the smaller containers also square food storage containers? Great post. Thanks.


    • Michelle on August 20th, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Hi Pam, Yes, that website sells a large variety of sizes – I currently use three different sizes.


      • Katie on August 20th, 2014 at 1:24 pm

        Just curious if you know what sizes you use for the flour and sugar? I have had my eye on these containers and didn’t know which would hold a bag of flour or sugar. Thanks in advance! Love the post!


        • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 8:30 am

          Hi Katie, Sure! The 4-quart containers will hold 5-lb bags of flour and sugar (with a little room to spare). The 2-quart containers are good for the bags of brown sugar (again, with room to spare).


  23. Calvin | Granola Factory on August 20, 2014 at 9:24 am

    This is a great comprehensive list of what to have for baking. We also use nuts.com for various nuts and fruits. Their plump dried cranberries and blueberries are the best on the market. Thanks again for posting this, and I’ll share this on our twitter page!


    • Maralyn Woods on August 21st, 2014 at 12:27 am

      Yes – Nuts.com is the best! They sent me a sample of their Turkish figs with one of my orders and I never tasted anything like them. So big and moist. Also their Medjool dates are huge and plump and delicious. Highly recommend them. They also have Jordan almonds at a great price – a hard to find item in my neck of the woods.


  24. Beth Sammons on August 20, 2014 at 9:27 am

    A flavoring I discovered last year on KIng Arthur (and then ordered from Lorann in a 16 oz when I ran out) Princess Flavoring – its a vanilla-e citrus-e flavor that is great for white cakes and sugar cookies. Also I have moved to Neilson Massney Vanilla Bean Paste instead of dealing with the whole vanilla beans. I have used NON Diastatic Malt powder for my bagels and always wondered what the difference is. I get it from King Arthur and the recipe from them uses the Non Diastatic? Also not sure if you have heard of it but there is a cool Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar store in Harmony PA just north of Pittsburgh. They have amazing infused oils and vinegars and I am hooked. My fav – white balsamics – Cara Cara Orange and Vanilla, Quince and Pomegranate, Coconut, Dark Balsamic – dark chocolate, vanilla, Maple. OIls – Lemon grass and mint (great with the coconut!), Cilantro and Roasted Onion, Tuscany. I highly recommend even though they are kind of spendy!)


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Hi Beth, Thanks for the tip on the princess flavoring, I’ve seen it in their catalog, but never tried it. I also use vanilla bean paste, forgot to include it, but I’ve now added it. Love it! I hadn’t heard about that store in Harmony, I’m going to have to check it out! Thanks!


  25. Christine Myers on August 20, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I noticed you have both Mint Extract and Peppermint Extract. I remember you had a recipe that specifically used MInt. I was not able to find it at my local grocery store in the McCormick section. What exactly is the difference and do you have a suggestion on where I might purchase. I do have Peppermint in my pantry.


  26. nancy g on August 20, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Thanks – this was very helpful. I guess I’m just plain nosy, but I love knowing what other people stock and how they’re organized. I remodeled my kitchen a few years ago and have a great pantry now (complete with ‘appliance garage’).


  27. Ellen on August 20, 2014 at 9:38 am

    92. Dried Cherries I get them at Sam’s in a big bag. Nice change from Dried Cranberries,

    Wish I had your organizational skills. I think I have the room, but it is at the bottom of a short flight of stairs–kitchen storage is not great. Thanks for compiling the list–a labor of love!


  28. Mandy on August 20, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Nice organization! My cousin has an actual walk-in pantry, but yours is pretty nice too. Either beats my pantry which has an opening of about 6 inches LOL

    So, just a couple things.. Costco has a really great deal on the Raskas brand of cream cheese. You get like 6 blocks under $10, I think. Cheesecakes taste just as good as ones made with Philly brand, IMO 🙂

    Trader Joe’s has the pound plus bars of chocolate for something like five bucks. It’s pretty good, maybe not quite as good as Valronha but I refuse to use the super expenstive stuff for making something in bulk or if I’m just melting down to make a pan of chocolate bark.
    TJ’s peanut butter chips are the best too.

    Also love the Ghiradellhi bittersweet chips at BJ’s.

    Finally, I’m lazy and cheap and just use vanilla bean paste in place of whole vanilla beans. It turned out fine in vanilla bean ice cream, and a number of other things. I think I’ve seen it in the King Arthur catalog, but I just pick up the smaller jars from Home Goods, Marshalls, etc and it lasts me forever. Might be a good tip for your readers who don’t have access to real vanilla beans 🙂

    Also, I stick my whole wheat flours in the fridge to help keep it fresh. I also use whole wehat pastry flour in my baking. I keep them in sealed plastic Martha Stewart containers.
    Also, a long time ago you asked about fruit/veggie storage in the fridge. Martha has some great open-style acrylic containers that I storage fruit in so I can toss the plastic baggies they come wrapped in from the store.


    • Mandy on August 20th, 2014 at 9:45 am

      One more thing.. you mentioned nuts in this post on your pantry, but I always keep mine stored in the freezer so they don’t go rancid.
      Ok, sorry for the novel! 😉


      • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 8:38 am

        Thanks for sharing! I keep my whole wheat flours in resealable freezer bags in the freezer, and the nuts I store according to the directions. Since I get them from Nuts.com, they include storage directions for each variety, along with shelf life (so helpful!). They all go in the refrigerator with the exception of the pistachios and cashews.


  29. Julia on August 20, 2014 at 9:54 am

    I am in love with your pantry now! I love the idea of always having ingredients on hand to make almost anything, but do you have guidelines for a single person who only cooks occasionally on the shelf life of various ingredients? Are there things on your list that lose their flavor/effectiveness over time, and thus should be bought fresh and used quickly?


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 8:42 am

      Hi Julia, Most ingredients should have expiration dates on them, but a lot of things should last a long, long time. The things that are most important for being fresh in terms on making sure a recipe actually works are baking powder, baking soda, and yeast.


  30. Monica on August 20, 2014 at 10:02 am

    This is great, so organized. You will soon need to clear some space in the pantry for baby needs.. Thanks for this post…


  31. a on August 20, 2014 at 10:51 am

    This is AWESOME!! thanks so much for sharing!!!


  32. Trena on August 20, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Hi there!
    Would you be willing to list how many of the CamSquares you have and what sizes you use? I’m hoping to upgrade my dry goods storage and would love to hear in a bit more detail what you use!
    Thanks 😉


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 8:55 am

      Hi Trena, I use the 2-quart CamSquares for my brown sugars, malt powders, cocoa powder, cornstarch, cornmeal and extracts. I use the 4-quart ones for my flours, oats and granulated sugar. Then the 6-quarts I use for my bulk chocolate (I buy them in 3kg bags), powdered sugar, and corralling random candies and ingredients like marshmallows, coconut, ets. Hope that helps!


      • Trena on August 21st, 2014 at 9:28 am

        Thank you SO much! I’m about to order some for my new kitchen and this will he very helpful!


  33. paul on August 20, 2014 at 10:55 am

    In what instance do you choose to use the chocolate and chocolate chips? Is one better for cold recipes, one better for baking, one just for when your in the mood?


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Hi Paul, I use the bulk chocolate when I need to melt chocolate down for a recipe, or I need coarsely chopped chunks. The chocolate chips I use anytime you would normally use chocolate chips in a cookie or bar recipe.


  34. Vickie S. on August 20, 2014 at 11:12 am

    From one baking nerd to another, high fives on this wonderful post! My baking pantry isn’t quite as extensive as yours, but it’s pretty darn good. I also love the King Arthur products. I hate it when I get the urge to bake something and first have to run out and get ingredients, so I keep a very well stocked pantry. I just moved about a year ago and luckily had the opportunity to have a baking center built on an empty wall in my kitchen! I hired the same cabinetry place so it matches (both cabinets and granite) exactly to the rest of the kitchen. I love that baking center so much, I could sleep on it! There was an electrical outlet at the bottom of that wall near the floor, and my installer cut out a small rectangular hole in the back of the cupboard, so now I always keep an extension or power cord to the KA plugged in there. It’s so convenient! Thanks for sharing all this wonderful information!


  35. Becky on August 20, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I noticed you mainly use Ghirardelli baking chips – may I suggest another Bay Area original that (in my opinion) surpasses Ghirardelli, hands down? GUITTARD is my go to baking chip brand. This is the same chocolate See’s Candies uses to make their confections (don’t know if you’re familiar with See’s Candies – more of a West Coast thing perhaps – but I have yet to find their equal). Guittard uses and old world Belgium recipe and is simply the best. More difficult to find in the grocery stores but worth ordering online.


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 8:58 am

      Hi Becky, Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve tried Guittard once but didn’t think it was any better than Ghiradelli; maybe I’ll give it another try for my chips. I have tried Callebaut chips and for SURE didn’t like them as much as Ghiradelli. They just opened a See’s Candies in the mall near my house, but I haven’t tried anything from there yet.


      • Becky on August 22nd, 2014 at 10:15 am

        Oh my well you simply MUST go to See’s…like as soon as possible haha. I frequently go and unashamedly hand pick a one pound box just for myself. I grew up on these candies so I’m pretty partial. If you go, my recommendations: Milk or Dark Chocolate Bordeaux, Orange Cream, Dark Coconut Special, Milk Chocolate Buttercream, and Vanilla Buttercream. Actually, buying a prepackaged box of Soft Centers would give you a good taste of what they have to offer 🙂


  36. Jennifer on August 20, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I have major pantry envy now! I have spacious kitchen cabinets but they aren’t very user-friendly because I haven’t put in sliding shelves or drawers. And the ones above my counter top are so high up and I’m short!


  37. Patty on August 20, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I heart you for putting your lists in alphabetical order. That’s not weird, right?
    Thanks for a peek at your pantry.


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 8:59 am

      Haha, not at all! Glad you appreciate it! I’m an organization nerd, through and through.


  38. Julie @ HostessAtHeart on August 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    This post would have taken me forever! I also label containers holding flours and sugars. I sure wish I had a great pantry like yours! I am anxious to see your spices too!


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 9:02 am

      Hi Julie, I just updated the post with the spices, so you can check them out above!


  39. Michelle on August 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    The only thing that I really use Anise for is Christmas cookie baking . . . my pizzelles and Italian Knots. I’m never really sure whether I should use the extract or the oil because how much to use of either. Is it the same amount of oil for the same amount of extract called for in a recipe? Can you clear this up for me?


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 9:06 am

      Hi Michelle, Anise oil is much more concentrated than extract, so you need to use much less. Typically 1 teaspoon of extract is equivalent to ¼ teaspoon of oil.


  40. wendyworldly on August 20, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Pleased to see someone else has as many kinds of vinegar as I do! What is the difference between salad vinegar and white vinegar? I have one more type (that I haven’t used yet) and that is pomegranate vinegar.


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 9:13 am

      Hi Wendy, Salad vinegar is a blend of white vinegar, malt vinegar and sugar. As such, it’s not quite as sour and a little more mellow than straight white vinegar. My mom used it a lot for salads growing up, before things like balsamic and red wine vinegar were all the rage 😉


  41. Mama V @ Snowflakes and Coffeecakes on August 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    LOVE your organization and list! I chuckled, thinking that my pantry USED to look like this before I had kids. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire shelf taken over by baby bottles, baby food, back snacks, and it will never be the same again. Not that it matters, but enjoy the beauty of your organized pantry while you can!


  42. Karla on August 20, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Great list. What is the shelf life for these items? Is there anything that should be used right away vs. a longer shelf life?
    Thank you.


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Hi Karla, Most things will keep for a pretty long time, and they all should have expiration dates. The most important things to keep fresh because they will affect the outcome of a recipe are baking soda, baking powder and yeast.


  43. marcie on August 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I’m extremely jealous that you have such a huge pantry — what I would do with that! Love your list of ingredients, and I have been buying Valhrona chocolate on Amazon. I’ll have to check out Chocosphere and see if there’s a price difference.


  44. Erica @ The Crumby Cupcake on August 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Oh my goodness, this is awesome!!! Thank you so much for compiling this list!! I’ll have to update my pantry as well and add a couple of these things. There’s some things in here I’ve never heard of…can’t wait to check them out and order a few! 🙂


  45. Sabrina on August 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    This is such a great list, and know i know i’m not crazy when people come and look at mine! I have seperated out mine i have the everyday food in my pantry and in two of the kitchen cabinets i have a good majority of the baking supplies. I have just about everything on your list except for the dried fruit. and i still need to have a extra cabinet out in the garage for the rest of the kitchen stuff that does not fit. thank you for this post can’t wait for the next great recipe!


  46. Kathy H. on August 20, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Have you ever used Neilsen Massey vanilla bean paste? That’s pretty much all I use now when a recipe calls for vanilla. I don’t even mess with the 4oz jars anymore…..I think I’m on my fifth 32oz bottle. It’s awesome, especially when you’re making a light colored frosting, creme brûlée, etc. (You can see the vanilla bean flecks,). They also make a vanilla powder that is good in baked goods like cookies.


    • Mandy on August 20th, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Seconding the love for vanilla bean paste! I made homemade vanilla bean ice cream with it and honestly could not tell any difference between that and using a real vanilla bean 🙂


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 9:18 am

      Hi Kathy, I do! I originally forgot it in the list above, but have since added it 🙂


  47. Jennifer on August 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Oh my god this is amazing thank you so much for doing this for me and everyone. Can not tell you how many I go to bake and having to run to the baking/cooking store to buy something.


  48. Maxine on August 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    It’s posts like these that make me love, love your blog!! I love these tips and suggestions, you are so organized!! Thank you 🙂


  49. Sarah on August 20, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Kudos for the picture itself! I wish my kitchen was organized. I do have an odd question, do you have a preference for which kind of maple syrup? Such as light amber (formally labeled grade A) vs. dark amber (grade B)? I usually only buy the dark amber.


    • Michelle on August 21st, 2014 at 9:20 am

      Hi Sarah, The version that I buy (a large 1-quart bottle of Market District – which is a “gourmet” store brand for a local grocery here in Pittsburgh) is labeled as Grade A dark amber.


  50. Mavi on August 21, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Megan, Your “cooking staples” sounds more like my supply. I don’t have a pantry, just use my shelves. Love all the rices! Thanks for the tip on putting them in resealable containers…I’m embarrassed to say mine are in the original packaging, inside baggies, bound with rubber bands!! 😐 Thanks for sharing!


  51. Angela Fitton on August 22, 2014 at 2:27 am

    You have inspired me and I actually did mine today! Thanks!


  52. Jyoti on August 23, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Only one question – How are the spice racks stacked like that?


  53. Helen P on August 24, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Thanks for such a detailed pantry list and the links for purchasing the supplies!
    It’s always nice to see someone else’s ideas which gets me motivated to redo mine!


  54. Anne Schumacher on August 24, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    I am troubled by weevils in flour products occasionally. Is there any way to avoid this problem ? Does there exist an ultra-fine flour sifter which would catch these critters prior to measuring the flour for a recipe? Thanks….


    • Michelle on August 25th, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Hi Anne, I’m not sure about ultra-fine flour sifters, but you could store your flour bags inside of airtight ziploc bags or containers (my in-laws did this when they lived in Florida). I also keep my whole wheat flours in the freezer (in ziploc freezer bags).


    • margotgn on August 25th, 2014 at 11:12 pm

      Our first house was on a slab and consequently we had an ant problem. My first child was a baby and spent her days playing in the kitchen cupboards at my feet. I purchased Tupperware ModularMates for my staples and spices. They sealed well – no accidental spills and no surprises in the flour bin. I’ve used them for 25 years and still love them!


  55. Jyoti on August 24, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Thank you Michelle – my 3-tier spice rack is on its way from Amazon!!!

    Your post inspired me and I’m using my time off this week to re-haul my entire kitchen :).

    Any suggestions on label makers? I’ve been seeing products from under $50 to over $500 – confused ! Help?



  56. Coleen on August 25, 2014 at 5:25 am

    Michelle, great job organizing and thank you for sharing! Two questions, how and where do you store your chocolates?


    • Michelle on August 25th, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Hi Coleen, I buy my bulk chocolate in 3kg bags, which I empty into 6-quart containers (which I linked to above) and keep in my pantry. I have a separate container for dark, semisweet, milk and white. I keep my chocolate chips in 2 or 4-quart containers (also in my pantry), also divided by type of chocolate.


  57. Velvet on August 25, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    This is so ridiculously helpful! Thank you! I bookmarked this immediately. Haha


  58. margotgn on August 25, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Have you ever tried Penzeys for spices? When I finally tried them I feel in love with them and how much better my food tasted when I used them!


    • Michelle on August 26th, 2014 at 11:08 am

      I have shopped at Penzeys and use a number of their spices, but not a ton for my everyday baking.


  59. Rosebud on August 27, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I have what I believe is an excellent idea for you to help you keep track of all your staples. I use an app for my grocery shopping called Grocery IQ. My husband and I love it. We can sync our lists so that anytime one of us is out and about, he/she can pick up whatever is needed. Then, when they put it in their cart, they simply click next to the item and it goes down below and you can later eliminate everything you’ve purchased. You can add any new rows of items to your particular grocery store, rearrange rows, etc. You can also add the stores that you usually shop from. For instance I have our local stores here listed but then I also have names of stores in other towns we visit. It’s really worth looking at. You won’t be sorry. Everything can be done digitally; no messing with paper lists!!


  60. Heather on September 7, 2014 at 7:46 am

    What a wonderful resource! Thanks so much for the sources (especially for vanilla beans – they are SO expensive at the grocery store).


  61. Diane on October 17, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Hi, Michelle,
    I find your blog so helpful and informative. Thanks!
    I was reading your chocolate chip cookie throwdown/Levain Bakery posts, and I wanted to know which kind of kosher salt you use. The Diamond crystals are a little bigger than the Morton, and so I’m told they are not interchangeable as far as amounts are concerned. Could you let us know which one (if either) you use?
    Thanks again.


    • Michelle on October 17th, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Diane, I’m glad you enjoy the site! I use Morton kosher salt. I hope that helps!


  62. Diane on October 18, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Thanks for the quick response!! I’m going to be making some chocolate chip cookies *very* soon!


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