12 Essential Baking Tools Every Home Baker Needs
In this baking tools guide, you will be armed with everything you need to know to build an arsenal of essential baking equipment to keep stocked for everyday baking. From bowls and mixers to pans and measuring cups, this is your one-stop shopping guide for beginning your baking journey!
A while back, I shared my list of essential baking ingredients for stocking a baking pantry for everyday baking. This companion list of essential baking tools will set you up nicely so that you’ll have everything you need if you want to whip up a batch of cookies, brownies, or even a chocolate layer cake.
While there are many, many, many more items in my kitchen, I feel like if you have the basics on this list, you can make close to anything!
#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 22-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!
#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: Baking Pans
We need something to bake all of those delicious goodies in!
Must-Have Baking Pans
If you’re just building your supply, then these should be your go-to for easy recipes:
- Rectangular Baking Pan – Glass is the most versatile, but a metal one with straight sides is great, too.
- Square Baking Pan – Again, start with glass then add in a metal one if you’d like! I recommend one 8-inch pan and one 9-inch pan.
- Round Cake Pans – 9-inch pans are standard for most layer cakes and I recommend buying three so you’re prepared for triple layer cakes!
Nice-to-Have Baking Pans
This is where it gets fun! Add to your collection when you can with these pans and you’ll be ready to make almost any recipe!
- Bundt Pan
- 8-inch Round Cake Pans (again, I recommend three for triple layer cakes)
- Cheesecake (Springform) Pan
- Loaf Pans – 8½ x 4½-inch and 9×5-inch
- Muffin Pans – Standard size, mini size, and jumbo size.
- Tart Pan
#6: Pie Plates
What I use and recommend: 9-inch Pyrex glass pie plates. I own three of these, and I think keeping one ceramic deep-dish pie plate is a great “nice-to-have” option.
#7: Rimmed Baking Sheets
What I use and recommend: Vollrath Wear-Ever Half Sheet Pans. These are 13×18-inch and I use these all the time, from baking Ina’s outrageous brownies and countless batches of cookies to roasting vegetables and potatoes. I own four of these.
I also own two 10x-15-inch jellyroll pans (hello, Texas sheet cake!).
#8: 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.
#9: 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.
#10: 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.
#11: Fine-Mesh Sieve
What I use and recommend: Rosle Stainless Steel Fine-Mesh Sieve. This is a workhorse in my kitchen; I use it for sprinkling powdered sugar on waffles to making silky smooth pastry cream and everything in between.
#12: 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.
If you make a lot of pies and pastries, you may want to invest in a marble rolling pin, as it stays cool and makes handling pastry dough easier.
I am a long time baker, but I do not have an oven thermometer. Thank you for reminding me to purchase one.
Im a newbie here and I’m loving all your emails full of tips and recipes.
Thanks for the info!
Can you possibly tell me where to buy a twisted whisk like seen on tv… Lindt Candy advert?
Sorry if I missed it, but what do you use for a candy thermometer? Thank you, Julie
Michelle, What type of spatulas do you use? Brand name. Thanks a lot!
I’m still half awake here so did I miss seeing an off-set spatula on your list? That is a must-have for spreading cake, brownie and quick bread batters, frostings, etc. :)
Thank you! I only might add the dimensions of the rectangular pans. I have 9×13 and 7×11 glass pans.
Unfortunately, Cuisinart ditched the count-up timer on their hand mixers, or at least that’s what I was just told by their customer service agent, who said, “what a great idea!” Now I’m all disappointed, and I need to take a few minutes to sob uncontrollably…
The only essential that I would add is a bench knife or plastic scraper. Most useful tool in my kitchen. Use it for bread making and for transporting chopped veggies to the pot (as well as cleaning the cutting board).
You left out Pryrex or metal 9 x 13 size baking pans. A must for any kitchen. I have 4 to use for hot or cold desserts and all kinds of entrees.
They are included under “Baking Pans” :)
Thank you for this list! I have almost everything but some different brands. I am surprised you did not list a stand mixer. My Kitchenaid is a workhorse, and I use it for most of my baking…probably because I am always doubling my cookie recipes. Heh, heh, heh!
I didn’t because I don’t deem it be necessarily essential to getting started baking. I think you can tackle most baking projects with a hand mixer if that’s all that you have the space or budget for. However, totally agree that it’s a workhorse and if you do a lot of baking then it’s most definitely a nice to have option!
I wonder how many essential kitchen equipment shall I prepare when I move to my new house? and now thank you for this post I got this information now.
Thanks for the post. I really like reading your articles. They are very helpful. Please suggest me few essential equipment for my minimal kitchen.
It is really a great list for me. I bought some of them for my new home according to your recommendation.
thanks for it because it is helpful our bakery food service.
Nice list. We have a lot of items in common.
Can I add a special mention for those pots that come with lids with holes in so you can drain your pasta? Ideal for those moments of extreme laziness
Thanks for this list, I bought a dough whisk based on your recs!!
What is the best thermometer for deep frying? I am considering buying the Thermoworks chefAlarm thermometer. Would this product work for frying and making candy?
Hi Michelle, Yes, definitely. I use the ChefAlarm for frying, caramel, candy, etc. It’s awesome!
Topic idea. A list of the utensils, kitchen gadgets you wish you hadn’t spent money on. I can start that list. The OXO mango cutter. It’s supposed to go through, and fit around the pit, but I tried it on several, and out of 8 mangos, it fit ONE. The rest just got mangled when I tried to force it. I am a total sucker for every new “toy”, so I’ve tried a LOT of them.
One thing I didn’t see that I use almost daily is a ceramic blade mandolin. $26 in chefs catalog. You can slice things on it that could oxidize with a metal blade. it has a bar you twist on the back, that adjusts to 4 slice sizes. I evem use it to fine shred lettuce for salads, and sandwich fillings. The only thing is that it’s a bit fragile. Not the blade, that never seems to break, but the plastic around the blade. I am on my 3rd one, because I am rough on my things.
Thank you for such a post. I’m amazed by your organizing skills! Envious too!
How do you store your pans? I have much trouble fitting in my cupboards the round pie and cheesecake dishes, the square ones for gratins, the cake pans, silicon ones etc….piling them up is a nightmare and I’m desperate to sort out an organizing solution.
Hi Tellou, I actually don’t have great organization for all of my pans! They’re just stacked haphazardly in bottom cabinets ;-) If you find a great solution, let me know!
Wow, what a great list! Just what I needed, a reason to buy MORE kitchen stuff :)
What a fun post, thanks for sharing! :)
This is a great list! Especially helpful for anyone starting their own home.
You’ll love having a cherry pitter when your baby is a toddler, nothing worse than trying to cut a cherry in half with a pit still in it, so you can give your child some. That’s why I have mine!
One thing from your blog I consistently reach for is my chocolate chopper. That baby’s a life saver! I couldn’t have gotten through last year’s Christmas baking spree without it. :)
I prefer to use a pastry roller (http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-673806/Stainless+Steel+Dough+Roller) a lot of times for rolling out pizza dough. Sometimes a regular rolling pin is just too big and bulky for me, and this is small enough that I don’t feel bad about the storage space for it in my drawers.
I know you have your cookie sheets listed but do you also use silpats too? I know they are popular with some other bakers and wondered about your thoughts on them
Hi Minnie, I don’t use silpats, just parchment paper.
This list is AWESOME. Thanks so much for sharing, Michelle!
I love this post! Thank you!! Any recommendations for a vegetable spiral cutter for making zucchini “spaghetti”?
Hi Mossie, I don’t, have used a spiralizer yet!
I think OXO makes a hand held spiralizer. I have the big one and it takes up too much space and I don’t use it enough to warrant having it. I wish I had a small one that went in a drawer instead.
One of my favorite kitchen tools is a Foley fork (sometimes called a mixing fork)! I use it in place of a whisk. It annoys me when thicker batters get trapped inside the tines of a whisk. This isn’t an issue with the forks.
Hi Shannon, I’ve never heard of this! I’ll have to check it out!
Hi Michelle~ I’ve never heard of a dough whisk before, and now I’m intrigued. Could you please explain what exactly it does, and what you use it for? It certainly does not look like a “normal” wiry whisk, so I’m very curious. Thanks!
Hi Michelle, A dough whisk is perfect for stiff dough or really thick batters – anything that might clog up a typical wire whisk.
This might be a dumb question, but what is the difference between a candy thermometer and an instant read thermometer?
Hi Jen, A candy thermometer is typically clipped onto the side of a pot so that the temperature increase can be monitored. It’s typically used for making candy (hence the name); the one I use now does clip on, but it has an attached digital readout with alarm. Love this since I can set it to the temperature I need and then go off and do something else, not constantly watching the thermometer to make sure it doesn’t get too hot.
If you happen to need any additional cookware you should take advantage of All-Clad’s semi-annual sales. Their cookware is absolutely wonderful!
Good tip! It’s not too far from me, so I should really hit it up one of these days!
No garlic press?
Hi Lynne, I do have a garlic press, but I typically don’t use garlic for my baking :)
Ah, of course, I was thinking of the broader, “essential kitchen equipment” in your title more than just baking.
Hi Michelle! Regarding your knives, where do you store them? It doesn’t look like you have a set of one brand since you have several different makers you’ve listed. So I am wondering if you store them in a knife block or drawer? When you gave away that beautiful set of Wusthof knives at Christmas I was sure that you owned a set yourself and now am surprised to see you don’t!!!! Those are the knives of my dreams, I’m hoping I can afford a set this year before the holiday’s :)
Hi Lucy, Doh! I should have taken pictures of my knife drawer! I use two of these side-by-side in one of my drawers: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/organizing-and-storage/utility-storage/wüsthof-in-drawer-7-slot-knife-block/s264621. They fit all of my large knives, in addition to 12 steak knives. There is still room on the side where I store my honing steel, carving fork, small paring knives, kitchen scissors, etc. I LOVE my Wusthof knives! One of these days I will convert them all over, but these serve me well for now :)
Maybe you can still take a picture and post it next time you get a chance? :) I’d love to see how it all works in your drawer. Thanks for the link also, I was thinking I would originally do the block and store on my counter but this is also another good option! Do you have the classic set or the gourmet set? I think I read a review and someone said the gourmet are not anywhere near as good as the classic Wusthof?
I also used bamboo organizers in my drawers, but when I recently remodeled my kitchen I decided to get the most from the space it would be best to make my own. Those bamboo organizers were just not quite right and took up too much space. I found this http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/diy-drawer-dividers-00100000085439/index.html and went to work!! I used paint sticks to glue together a mock up and make sure I liked it before I purchased the wood. I have to admit, I love my better organized drawers and I have room for even more tools and cutlery now!!
Oops! Wrong link. This is the right one. http://www.kevinandamanda.com/whatsnew/house-and-home/diy-kitchen-utensil-drawer-organizer-easy-and-cheap.html
LOVE that you did this and got the customization for your drawers! My attempts (combining various sizes of pre-made containers) have never been quite right – and now I want to do this!
Kimberly Clark, that is a Pampered Chef item. I happen to sell Pampered Chef if your interested in buying one.:) just let me know
Misty, Actually, they are not Pampered Chef. Please see my response above.
I read your article, however we have one that looks like that. I hope I didn’t step on any toes!
I see a small metal turned with a black handle. I have been looking for something like this. Where did you get it?
Hi Kimberly, My grandma gave me three or four of those little spatulas and said everyone needs a few for brownies and bars :) I just looked and one has an Oneida imprint on it, and the others aren’t marked with any brand at all (one has a black handle and the other has a metal handle).
How do you not have an ateco cake turntable? It’s a lifesaver!
Great list. We have a lot of items in common. As for the cherry pitter, I highly recommend the Prepworks From Progressive International Cherry-It Multiple Cherry Pitter/Slicer. 4 cherries at once and no mess! Saves a ton of time.
Adding those mounting squares to your BB&B bamboo organizers was a great fix. My drawer organizers slide around in my drawers wayy too much. I should try this.
Do you have any opinions on Pampered Chef stuff?
Hi Belinda, I’ve used some of their things in the past and they’re fine (I wouldn’t recommend them over anything I’ve listed here), however I stopped supporting them when their consultants began taking the photos and ENTIRE recipes from blogs and posting them (in full) on Facebook in an effort to increase their followers.
I’m so sorry you and the other bloggers had that issue. Myself and many tried to cite our sources (link blog pages and the like) for recipes that weren’t our own or pulled from the Pampered Chef recipe pages. Unfortunately, if one consultant posted something in our PC group page on Facebook without posting a link (by making a RedStamp type photo with the recipe) and didn’t link a source and the recipe looked good, other consultants shared it as well and it would spread like wildfire. I apologize on behalf of the consultants as a whole. We were warned not to do this multiple times by the Home Office as well. If you find any specific consultants or repeat offenders still doing this, you can report them to Home Office at 1-888-OUR-CHEF.
I would also like to apologize for the issue that arose for you and for other bloggers. As Kara commented, some consultants did not site the sources of recipes and/or photographs that belonged to some bloggers. Unfortunately, some consultants did not know the original sources of recipes and photos, which continued the issue. I know that the Home Office has addressed this issue with all of the consultants and made it known that it would not stand for these actions.
I personally know that as a blogger, the traffic to your site drives your business, and I know that I would not do anything to harm someone else’s business intentionally. Please do not discount the great products that The Pampered Chef offers, because of some issues that happened in the past. I personally love your blog, and wish you nothing but success. Happy Cooking!
I am loving these posts, thank you for sharing! I’m usually very curious about what bloggers have in their kitchen to put together such tasty food ;P I’m slowly stocking my kitchen with all what’s necessary, looks I’m doing better than I thought picking out things!
Love how methodically you have aligned all this! I have a bit of an obsession with whisks. Purchased a Danish Dough Whisk a few years back, and am constantly amazed at how often I reach for it! Think heavier batters, doughs, and mixtures (potato salad, some casseroles,etc ) and a wooden spoon/ whisk combination.
Ahh, I forgot to include my dough whisk! I do have one of those, too – aren’t they great?!
That jumped out at me right away! Couldn’t imagine you would be without one of my most favorite tools. I use both the large and small Danish dough whisks almost daily!
Thanks for a look into your kitchen essentials! I’m loving all your dough scoops and how you have everything organized. Pinning this so I can start making my kitchen a little easier to navigate:)
Phew, Michelle, that must have been quite an exercise – getting it all together. Thanks so much!
What oven do you use? Also, curious, do you have a separate broiler/grill?
What are your recommendations for rolling pins – there is quite a variety these days, and would love to have an expert opinion.
Hi Priya, I have two Viking ovens; the way the kitchen is configured has them side-by-side underneath the stovetop. You can kind of see in this photo: http://instagram.com/p/e76RblrJHY/. I only use the broilers that are in the ovens. I don’t have a separate grill, we just use our outdoor one for grilling purposes. As for rolling pins, I actually use one of my mom’s old wooden ones that she gave me years ago. It is fairly thick and solid wood – it’s not tapered nor does it have handles. I love it more than any of the new ones I’ve tried!
My favorite pins are a single piece hand turned cherry pin that was a gift and is over 100 years old and a new Vick Firth 18″ rock maple french pin. I have a decent collection of varied sizes, styles and materials but I always come back to these two.