Baking Basics: My Must-Have Ingredients

Baking Basics: A List of My Must-Have Ingredients

Welcome back to another Baking Basics installment! Today we’re talking about stocking your pantry with baking ingredients, one of my favorite topics!

I’m sure most of you keep the basics like flour, sugar, eggs and butter, but what else can you stock up on to be ready to whip up practically any recipe on a moment’s notice? I keep a big stash of baking supplies at the ready so that when inspiration (or a last-minute visitor) strikes, I don’t need to run to the grocery store unless there is a specialty ingredient involved. Once I start to get low on something, I put it on my grocery list so I can re-stock it (a habit I picked up from my grandma!) before I’m completely out.

Below is everything I keep in my pantry on a regular basis, along with brand recommendations and links, where applicable. Is there anything you would add to the list?!


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

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


I buy Scharffen Berger unsweetened chocolate; the rest are Ghiradelli, all purchased at my local grocery store.

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 (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. Ginger (ground)

49. Nutmeg (ground and whole)

50. Poppy Seeds

51. Pumpkin Pie Spice

52. Sage (dried)

53. Sesame Seeds

54. 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.

55. Dates

56. Dried Apricots

57. Dried Cranberries

58. Dried Figs

59. Dried Mango

60. Raisins


All purchased from

61. Almonds

62. Cashews

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

64. Pecans

65. Pistachios

66. Walnuts

Miscellaneous Baking Ingredients

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

67. Breadcrumbs (plain, Italian and panko)

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

69. Cornmeal

70. Cornstarch

71. Corn Syrup (light and dark)

72. Crystallized Ginger

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

74. Evaporated Milk

75. Graham Crackers

76. Honey

77. Lyle’s Golden Syrup

78. Malted Milk Powder

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

80. Marshmallows

81. Molasses

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

83. Oats (old-fashioned and quick cooking)

84. 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.)

85. Pumpkin (canned)

86. Shredded Coconut (sweetened and unsweetened)

87. Sweetened Condensed Milk

Refrigerated Ingredients

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

88. Butter (salted and unsalted)

89. Buttermilk

90. Cream Cheese (Philadelphia brand, always)

91. Eggs

92. Sour Cream

93. Whole Milk

94. 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.

95. Coconut Oil (refined and unrefined)

96. Olive Oil

97. Sesame Oil

98. 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.

99. Balsamic Vinegar

100. Golden Balsamic Vinegar

101. Champagne Vinegar

102. Cider Vinegar

103. Malt Vinegar

104. Red Wine Vinegar

105. Rice Vinegar

106. Salad Vinegar

107. 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!


Check out more posts in the Baking Basics series:

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing a Recipe

High Altitude Baking Tips

Flour 101: The Definitive Guide to the Different Types of Baking Flours

Cocoa Powder 101: Natural Unsweetened vs Dutch-Process

Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder: Everything You Need to Know!

Why You Should ALWAYS Weigh Your Ingredients

Chocolate 101

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