Over the course of my baking/blogging career, many people have asked me what some of my favourite essential tools are – the ones I couldn’t live without in my kitchen. I didn’t want to put together a list that just included the basics (like measuring spoons (duh)), so these items are things that you may not have or have even heard of (with a couple basics thrown in for good measure).
I wanted to include links for each item, so you’d be able to see what it is and where to get it. These links are affiliate links, which means I may receive a (very) small commission if you click a link and then purchase something. I only link to products I use, trust, and wholeheartedly recommend. I hope you find my list of tools for bakers helpful!
1. EVENBAKE CAKE STRIPS
If you bake a lot of cakes, these strips will make your life so much easier! Using them helps ensure your cakes come out nice and flat straight out of the oven, which makes them much easier to stack and decorate.
You can take a look at my detailed Flat Top Cakes post to see what a difference these strips make.
2. JENNINGS DIGITAL SCALE
For a baker a good scale is a must, and I love this one. The scale I had previously would only do increments of 2 grams, whereas this one does 0.5 grams. Way more accurate! Not to mention I love that it has a cover/tray and that you can plug it in when the battery dies.
It’s a great investment, and I use it almost every time I bake something. Rather than using countless measuring cups and spoons, it’s much easier to just weigh out the ingredients right into the bowl.
3. FAT DADDIO’S SILICONE BAKING MAT
I only bake my cookies on Fat Daddio’s mats. I know a lot of people swear by other mats, but the Fat Daddio’s ones are amazing for cookies. I find that my cookies spread too much on the on other mats I’ve tried, and I don’t like thin cookies! The Fat Daddio’s mats are a bit thicker, which likely helps in controlling the spread.
You can read more about the differing results in my post here.
4. GOOD QUALITY BAKING SHEETS
The ones I like to use for cookies are these ones, but my set is actually 2 of the larger cookie sheets, and it came with 2 cooling racks and a cookie spatula all for $25. Pretty good deal right? That was 5 years ago.
Recently, I purchased a couple of Nordic Ware baking sheets that I’m also really happy with. They have a bunch of different sizes, are really good quality, and don’t break the bank. I’m also very intrigued by their Prism line of bakeware and can’t wait to try it out!
Good quality baking sheets are a great investment and will last forever!
5. FAT DADDIO’S CAKE LIFTER
Now this is a specialty item I suppose, and not many bakers may have/use this, but I use it every single time I make a cake. This cake lifter makes it so easy to transfer your cake from your turntable onto your pedestal, or from your pedestal into your cake carrier. I don’t have to worry about it slipping off (or breaking) a thin spatula.
On that note, this cake carrier is my absolute favourite – collapsable and works for cupcakes too.
6. WILTON CAKE LEVELER
My cakes generally bake up pretty flat thanks to item #1 in this list. So I use this leveler to cut the cakes in half horizontally to create nice, even layers in my cakes. Take a look at the layers in my Nutella Cake to see what a great job this does!
I do not recommend the large folding cake leveler from Wilton. The blade is way too flimsy and bends really easily, resulting in not-so-even layers.
7. KITCHENAID STAND MIXER
This is one of those staples that is essential if you do a lot of baking. For any serious baker, you need some kind of stand mixer. It’s a lifesaver!
Almost any stand mixer will do, and there are a lot of great ones out there, but I love the retro look of the KitchenAid mixers. I have this one, which Ryan got me for Christmas 5 1/2 years ago. It’s still going strong and I don’t know how I’d survive without it. I would get another one if counter space allowed! And if money were no object, I would 100% splurge on the 6 qt Copper KitchenAid. It’s stunning!!
BONUS: NEW METRO DESIGN BEATER BLADE
The last one is a bonus item that ties in with the mixer. This beater blade is honestly the best thing ever. You will never have to stop your mixer to scrape down the sides of your bowl again. Ever! Maybe this isn’t a big deal to some of you, but I hate to do it, so for me it’s worth the $20!
**NOTE**: This is the one that fits my bowl lift 5-qt mixer. If you have a tilt head or 6-qt you will need a different size, so be sure to check for the one that’s right for you.
I could go on and on, but wanted to keep this list to a somewhat reasonable length. I hope this has been helpful and that you’ve discovered a new tool or two to add to your baking arsenal!
What type of muffin tin do you recommend for your cookie cups??
Hi Miranda! I’ve found that my cookie cups bake up best in dark colored pans with less angled edges. My pan is from Wilton, it’s quite a few years old but very similar to this one: http://amzn.to/2CBoM10
Lauren Paumier says
Fantastic starter kit idea! I’ve just gotten into making my own stuff instead of from a box and can attest to a lot of these items on your list! Just wondering if you’ve made an update or plan to do an update to this? I’m obsessed with your site and can see you’ve come a long way since this post.
Thank you for sharing your recipes and tips with us 💕
Hi Lauren! Thanks so much!! I am actually thinking of doing another one around the holidays — sort of a ‘holiday gifts for the baker in your life’ kinda thing. Stay tuned! 🙂
Hey lovely article
May i also know which brand of cake pana do u use and reccomend?
Hi Nida! I have a few favourite brands that I use for bakeware, but for round cake pans specifically I recommend Fat Daddios:
If you can’t find those, Nordic Ware is also a great choice!
Aww this is like the holy baking list I have been looking for. I am so happy I finally found a list I can use. I am about to order number 1 and 2 and asking number 7 for Christmas hehe. Thankyou soo much for this incredible list.
Awesome!! Omg if you get #7 you HAVE to report back and let me know!! 😀
Jess @ whatjessicabakednext says
Great roundup! I’m always looking for new pieces of equipment for my baking! Definitely going to invest in the beater blade! 😀
It’s honestly the BEST thing ever. You won’t regret it 😀 And thanks!!
Claudia | Gourmet Project says
? I need some shopping! Thanks for the tips!
You’re welcome Claudia! 😀
Chrissie (thebusybaker.ca) says
I love this post! As a fellow baker I definitely appreciate most of these items myself (especially the KitchenAid…mine’s 10 years old and I’ve NEVER had a problem with it!). I think I need to take a peek at that cake lifter, though. I could use one of those for sure!!
10 years, awesome! I love the KA. The cake lifter is a handy tool! And thanks! 😀
Cathy @ Our Mini Family says
Love your list! I totally agree. I think if there is one thing I had to stress, its’ that my baking went to the next level when I got my standing mixer!
Thanks Cathy! 🙂
Amanda | The Chunky Chef says
Ohhh I could not agree with you more on the stand mixer and the beater blade. I have that same one and it is so amazing! I’ve been wanting to get some cake strips, so I’m definitely putting some of these on my birthday list 😀
The beater blade is so awesome, right?! You won’t regret the cake strips! 🙂
This article is so useful. I never heard of ever bake cake strips. Thanks for sharing this information.
I’ve never even heard of a cake lifter but it sounds super handy! May need to invest in one 🙂
It is a handy little tool for sure!
Erin @ Platings and Pairings says
I’ve never heard of the flat bake cake strips – Genius!!! Putting on the Amazon wish list!!!
They are a game changer, seriously!! 😀
I have all except the strips and the leveler.. 🙁 I’ve also got the older mixer, so only the bowl raises 🙁
The strips are awesome! One day we will upgrade our mixers 🙂
I never heard of cake strips before…but I don’t bake many cakes. I’m still using a hand mixer, if I had space, a KitchenAid would be nice!
Space is always an issue. I dream of a giant, brightly lit kitchen where I have so much space that I’m having trouble filling it 🙂
I love these, but that Kitchen Aid .. pure love 😀 I’m currently struggling with a no name mixer and secretly dreaming about my KA lover :))) It was meant to be one way or another, it was meant 😀
Thanks Oana! You will one day have your very own KitchenAid! After such a long wait I think you deserve the copper one :D.