In yesterday’s post, I promised that today I would provide you with a list of the basic pieces of baking equipment you’ll need to start off in your baking adventures. So here is what I consider the bare minimum, plus a few handy “druthers.”
Measuring Cups and spoons
Your baked goods come out much better when you are able to carefully measure the ingredients. You’ll need a basic set of measuring cups that include 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 and 1 cup measurements. If you’re lucky, you can find one that includes a 2/3 and 3/4 cup measurement, as well.
Your measuring spoon set should include 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon and 1 Tablespoon.
For extra credit, get yourself a straight icing spatula to make sure your measurements are level.
And finally, you’ll want a glass measuring cup to measure liquid ingredients.
A basic set of baking pans will include:
- A 9 x 13 pan, which is good for sheet cakes
- A jellyroll pan or cookie sheet. A jellyroll pan has a side on it and can be used to bake cookies, jelly rolls, and brownies. A simple cookie sheet is flat and can be used to bake cookies, as well as some bread and pizza.
- A bread loaf pan
- A cake pan
- A muffin pan
Sometimes sets will include a pie pan, as well.
Now you purchase all of these items separately and create your own set. However, I recommend that when you’re just starting out with baking equipment, you get a set until you know what you like to work with. Sets are often less expensive than purchasing separate items.
You will definitely need a set of wooden spoons. You can probably get a decent enough set at your local dollar store. Buy new ones regularly — about once a year if you use them a lot; once every other year if you don’t.
You should also invest in a good hand mixer. A standing mixer is nice, but you can get by with just a hand mixer. You really don’t want to have to beat your ingredients with just a wooden spoon!
You’ll also need a rubber scraper to scrape ingredients from the sides of the bowl. Again, you can probably get a decent set at your dollar store.
You’ll need a set of mixing bowls in a variety of at least two, if not four, sizes. You’ll use the large mixing bowl the most, but a medium and small bowl is great for when you need to mix dry ingredients separately from wet ingredients.
You’ll need a cooling rack to help your cakes, cookies and other baked goods cool off before you serve them. There are some that are single stack, others that are multi stack. You just need a basic one but feel free to go fancy with the stacked options if you think you’ll be baking a lot of cookies.
Advanced Baking Equipment
Well, there you have it! Those are all the basic items you’ll need to get started with baking. Now if you want to get a bit more fancy, here are few more advanced baking equipment items you might want to put on your wish list.
Sometimes holding that hand mixer gets tiring, especially when you have to hold it with one hand while turning the bowl with the other. With a standing mixer, you don’t have to hold the mixer for however many minutes you need to mix. It also turns the bowl for you. This not only takes less of your energy but also frees you up to do something else (like preparing the next ingredient) while your batter is mixing.
My favorite brand in KitchenAid, but there are other brands that are high quality, as well.
Specialized Baking Pans
Besides your basic cake and pie pan, you might want to expand your reportoire to Bundt cakes (my favorite!) and tarts.
Bundt pans come in a variety of shapes, but for a beginner you’ll want the traditional one. You can’t go wrong with Nordic Ware’s Bundt pans, but there are other options.
The difference between a pie pan and a tart pan is in the sides. A pie pan’s sides are sloped, a tart pan’s are not. Also, a tart pan’s sides are often fluted.
Specialty Baking Pans
It can be a lot of fun to bake “mini” versions of muffins, sweet bread, and Bundt cakes. You can also bake cakes in fancy shapes. If there’s a niche interest, there’s probably a cake pan to go with it! You can find these types of pans in your local Michael’s or hobby store, as well as on Amazon — basically wherever you can find Wilton brand baking supplies.
Other Helpful Accessories
There are other things that can make baking easier, but you probably won’t use them a lot. So I’ll just list them here:
- Parchment paper: You can sometimes use wax paper as a substitute. This paper is used to line pans so that what you are baking won’t stick.
- Cupcake/muffin tin liners: These come in pretty colors and patterns. You can find them made of paper (one-use only) or silicone (re-usable). I’ve posted some examples below. They prevent your cupcakes and muffins from sticking and make them looks pretty, too.
- Rolling pin: This is used when baking pies or fancy-shaped cookies
- Cookie press: This is needed for certain types of cookies and allows you to make some pretty fancy shaped cookies
- Pie crust shield: You can prevent pie crusts from burning by covering them with aluminium foil or one of these.
- Silcone baking mats: Like parchment paper, they help baked goods not stick to the pan. You can also use them as a surface for rolling and kneading.
I hope this simple guide to baking equipment is helpful. It is not comprehensive but is a good place to start. If you still have questions, feel free to post them in a comment below and I’ll answer to the best of my ability.