After baking for decades and running this website since 2007, I have used countless pieces of kitchen equipment. Today, I am sharing with you what I consider my essential tools for cookie baking. Whether you need to update your kitchen tools, are looking for a gift, or starting a registry, this is a wonderful list of basics to get you started!

Collage of product photos with a pink frame in the center around the text "Essential Tools for Cooking Baking".

When most people start baking, cookies are usually one of the first recipes to be tackled. And for good reason… most cookie recipes do not require any specialty ingredients, the mixing methods are simple, and you don’t need much in the way of equipment.

That said, I do believe that using the right tools can greatly increase your chances of success, and we all want to be successful in the kitchen! It gives us the motivation to keep baking and keep trying new things, like homemade Oreos:

Overhead photo of a tin holding homemade Oreo cookies stacked neatly inside, filling side up.

So I’ve gathered up my short list of cookie-baking must-haves below; if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer!

#1: Oven Thermometer

What I use and recommend: CDN Oven Thermometer. One of the most critical pieces of baking equipment! I keep one in my oven at all times to ensure that the oven temperature is correct (spoiler alert: most times it’s not!).

I actually have to set my oven’s temperature 75 degrees cooler than I want it because it runs hot. I’ve only used one oven that was true to temperature since using oven thermometers religiously; I highly recommend one!

#2: Food Scale

What I use and recommend: OXO 11-pound capacity kitchen scale. I’ve used this scale for nearly a decade and love it so much. Easy to use and gives readouts in ounces, grams, cups, and milliliters, I use it for baking as well as other household tasks.

🌟 READ: The Importance of Weighing Ingredients When Baking

#3: Hand Mixer

What I use and recommend: Cuisinart 7-Speed Hand Mixer. I have owned this for over 15 years and it’s still going strong! I love that it has a count-up digital timer so you know exactly how long you’ve been mixing something. While stand mixers are pretty and useful, I use my hand mixer for 95% of my kitchen projects!

⭐️ Bonus Recommendation: While I think a hand mixer can handle 95% of all recipes, a stand mixer is definitely a nice, hands-off option. For nearly all cookie recipes, the classic KitchenAid 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer is perfect!

#4: Mixing Bowls

What I use and recommend: A set of nested glass mixing bowls and a set of nested stainless steel mixing bowls.

I like to keep both on hand in a variety of sizes; glass is great for microwaving, while stainless is heat-safe and can be used as a double boiler on the stovetop.

#5: Measuring Cups & Spoons

Measuring cups fall into two categories: dry and liquid. The vessels measure capacities differently, so you’ll want to use dry measuring cups for all of your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, etc.) and liquid measuring cups for any – you guessed it! – liquids.

Dry Measuring Cups and Spoons

What I use and recommend: OXO Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons. Can you ever have enough?! You’ll want at least one set of each (I keep three or four on hand) and I highly prefer stainless steel for both.

Liquid Measuring Cups

What I use and recommend: Pyrex 1-cup, 2-cup, and 4-cup set. You can certainly get by with a single 1-cup measuring cup, I actually use my 2-cup version much more frequently and would recommend that one first. The 4-cup one is great for melting chocolate or measuring large amounts of liquids.

#6: Whisks & Spatulas

What I use and recommend: DI ORO seamless silicone spatulas. I love that these are a single piece of silicone so the head doesn’t get loose or get dirty at the crease. Plus, they are heat resistant and incredibly easy to clean.

For whisks, I use OXO wire whisks. I keep two large balloon whisks, a small whisk, as well as a flat whisk that I use mostly for cooking-related tasks like making sauces and gravies.

What I Use and Recommend: Vollrath Dishers are my scoopers of choice! For most cookie recipes, you will use the black #30 (it is the equivalent of 2 tablespoons) and the purple #40 (it is the equivalent of about 1½ tablespoons and the smallest scoop I own). If you make any extra-large cookies calling for 2 ounces or ¼ cup of dough, then I recommend the blue #16 disher.

#8: Rolling Pin

From pie crust to pizza dough and sugar cookies, every kitchen needs a rolling pin! The one I have my mom passed down to me, so I have no idea what brand it is; it has no handles (it’s very similar to this one), which I actually love because it keeps you from being too heavy-handed with it.

What I Use and Recommend:

I love having a set of plain round cutters in varying sizes for things like biscuits, alfajores, homemade Oreos, and copycat Lofthouse cookies, and then of course fun shapes and sizes when we make our very favorite cut-out sugar cookie recipe!!

#10: Half-Sheet Pans

What I Use and Recommend: Nordic Ware Half Sheet Pans

These are 13×18-inch and I use them all the time, from baking Ina’s outrageous brownies, sheet cakes, and countless batches of cookies to roasting vegetables and potatoes. They are the workhorse of our kitchen!

How Many? I own four of these and would recommend starting with at least two.

Quick Note: You can get parchment paper sheets to fit in these half-sheet pans.

Bonus Size: Last year, I discovered that Nordic Ware made “big baking sheets“, a size up from the traditional half-sheet pan, they are 15×21 inches and the extra space is amazing for baking cookies. I have two and love them!

#11: Cooling Racks

What I use and recommend: CIA Masters Wire Cooling Rack. If you’re big into holiday baking, you really can’t have too many! I own four of these.

Happy cookie baking! 🍪😄