How to Build a Baking Pantry, Part II: Ingredients (Advanced)


[This is Part Two in a four-part series on stocking a baking pantry. You can catch up on basic ingredients by checking out How to Build a Baking Pantry, Part I: Ingredients (Beginner).]

So, you’ve mastered chocolate chip cookies and quick breads and feel like you’re ready to move on to more advanced baking, but you aren’t sure exactly what you may need to add to your pantry. This list is for you! In this second installment of Building a Baking Pantry, we’ll be building on the list from Part I: Ingredients (Beginner) and running through all of the ingredients you may want to keep on hand if you’re planning on taking your baking up a notch.

There were many comments on the Basic Ingredients post asking what type of containers I use to store my flours and sugars in. I use Lock n’ Lock storage containers, which I have found at Target, Wal-Mart, and some (larger) local grocery stores that have a food storage section. You can also find them online here.  As far as sizes go, the 16.75-cup square container will hold a 5 lb. bag of flour or sugar, and the 5-cup square container will hold 2 lb. bags of brown sugar perfectly. In addition to those I use a variety of other sizes for almost all of my other ingredients like powdered sugar, cake flour, my cocoas, baking powder, baking soda, salt, etc. They keep everything fresh and are so easy to stack and organize. I have also found that if you drop them (which I may have done a few, or 20, times) they stay perfectly sealed.

This list is comprised of what you’ll find in my ingredient stash, and I think it’s pretty all-encompassing; however like I had mentioned yesterday – if you notice anything that is missing please shout it out! I’ll edit the list to include it, so I appreciate your feedback. The hope here is to help and inspire new bakers to have the tools needed to conquer the kitchen! Enjoy!

In the Refrigerator:

♦  Heavy cream

♦  Buttermilk

♦  Yeast – Active Dry

♦  Yeast – Instant

In the Pantry

♦  Whole wheat flour

♦  Bread flour

♦  High-gluten flour (you can order this at King Arthur Flour, and I’ve also seen it at Sam’s Club)

♦  Semolina flour

♦  Malt powder (used when making bagels)

♦  Dark brown sugar

♦  Superfine sugar

♦  Sanding sugar (for topping some cookies)

♦  Meringue powder (used to make royal icing for decorating sugar cookies)

♦  Malted milk powder

♦  Sweetened condensed milk

♦  Dutch-process cocoa powder (I get mine from Penzeys)

♦  Molasses

♦  Extracts (lemon, orange, anise, peppermint, rum – to name a few)

♦  Vanilla beans

♦  Espresso powder

♦  Crystallized ginger

♦  Candied orange and lemon peel

♦  Jams and preserves (your favorite flavors) for filling cookies and cakes

♦  Poppy, sesame and sunflower seeds

♦  White chocolate (bar and chips)

♦  Bittersweet chocolate (bar and chips)

♦  More chips (milk chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, mint, caramel, toffee, cinnamon, M&Ms, etc.)

♦  Liquors (Amaretto, Triple Sec, Frangelico, Kahlua, Kirsch, Dark Rum are a few that come to mind)

♦  Gelatin (unflavored, like Knox)

Did I miss any ingredients?
Are there any other ingredients in addition to these and the basics that you keep on hand and use often that I haven’t listed here? Share them below!

Stay tuned for final two installments of this series, to be posted next Thursday and Friday, where I’ll talk about baking equipment. From baking pans to gadgets, we’ll cover them all!

Part III: How to Build a Baking Pantry, Equipment (Beginner)
Part IV: How to Build a Baking Pantry, Equipment (Advanced)

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27 Responses to “How to Build a Baking Pantry, Part II: Ingredients (Advanced)”

  1. Randy on August 28, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    As I commented yesterday, ground cloves, ground ginger and nutmeg (whole, never preground) are essential for holiday baking in my house. Can’t make spice cake or Moravian spice cookies without them.


  2. Amalas on August 28, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Is pre-made buttermilk better than making it yourself? I’ve always used lemon juice and milk to make my own buttermilk on the fly.

    Also, I would recommend trying to keep a couple lemons on hand if possible. It seems I am always using lemon zest in things. But that may be because both my husband and his brother LOVE lemon things.


  3. Michelle on August 28, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Randy – I actually added ground cloves, ginger and nutmeg to the basic list yesterday. I will update this one with whole nutmeg. Thanks for your feedback!

    Amales – I have never made my own buttermilk, so I really can’t say which is better! Has anyone else had experience with both and can offer input?


    • TTs Cakes on February 1st, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Homemade is better, but I use vinegar and milk to make mine!


  4. Jessie on August 28, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    very informative! I’m going to try and build my kitchen cabinet into a mini food pantry.


  5. Michele on August 28, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Okay, I take it back, I hardly have ANY of these items! LOL I’ll stick to cooking and leave the baking to you. You’re so good at it!


  6. BAKING is my ZeN on August 28, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I always have lemons and limes in the fridge. I use it in baking and for savory. So, it is a staple in my fridge.


  7. Christine on August 28, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    I have looked everywhere for cinnamon chips to make cinnamon chip bread, but can’t fine them. Where did you get them?


  8. Megan on August 28, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Thanks for another great list! I would add food coloring gels and liquids… for decorating cakes and cupcakes!

    I had been avoiding making recipes that called for espresso powder but finally had to make some brownies with it and bought some. I think I’m pretty well stocked except I don’t have nearly as many different flours as you… nor do I have malt powder.


  9. Ram on August 29, 2009 at 12:55 am

    I have toffee bits or Bit O Brickle, M & Ms, sprinkles in my pantry.


  10. Pam on August 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I love pantry’s!

    Great informative post…..thanks!


  11. Erin Brooks on August 29, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Drool! You are the luckiest person I know! I kill to have a pantry like that! I can’t wait till I can get a job and can afford to have all that for my own (although it will be a problem cause I don’t have that much r
    room lol.


  12. juliana on August 29, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    love this post! can’t wait for the equipment posts to come!


  13. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on August 30, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I love this series of posts! Cant wait for the other 2!


  14. Annika on August 30, 2009 at 10:47 pm



  15. niksen on August 31, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I guess you could add the hint to use scraped out vanilla beans for flavouring sugar. Since I do it, i’m never out of vanillasugar and can use it in every recipe, and I think it’s the cheapest way of getting real vanilla flavour in your pastry. Don’t know how I could get through the christmas days without it ^^
    (sorry for the bad english -.-)


  16. Eliana Ramos on August 31, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    This is an awesome list. I am actually picking up a few things for a close friend that wants to get into baking and is moving into a new apartment. So this and your next posts will really come in handy.


  17. shoshana Ohriner on August 31, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Great list! I would add sweetened coconut as well, and for people who want to do any non-dairy baking coconut milk, soy milk powder and soymilk/ricemilk/almond milk are essential pantry items.


  18. Michelle on September 2, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Christine – I get cinnamon chips from King Arthur Flour:


  19. Ram on September 2, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I’d like to add jams, preserves for filling cookies or cakes flavors like raspberry, apricot, strawberry, etc.


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  22. Liadan on March 27, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Any advice for us gluten free types?


    • Michelle on March 29th, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      Hi Liadan, I apologize, unfortunately I’m not very versed in gluten-free baking ingredients yet.


      • Liadan on March 29th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

        That’s ok. It was worth a shot. I have finished cleaning and organizing my pantry and I now have my baking center all organized too. thanks for the assist.


  23. Edahani on December 14, 2015 at 4:47 am

    Hi there, very useful list indeed! Did you come around to the next 2 lists for the equipment? I’m so looking forward to that! 🙂


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