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A Dozen Baking Tools Every Baker Needs

Today, I’m sharing the essential baking tools that every baker needs. With them, you’ll be well on your way to making cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies, and breads!

This list is perfect for beginner bakers and for engagement and wedding gift ideas!

Once you’ve moved beyond the basics and are looking for more specialized and fun products that bakers love, check out my list of gifts for bakers!

Collage of baking tools

Baking Pans

The first five items on this list are all baking pans. It might seem excessive, but having the right pan for the job is really important when baking.

You'll find that this list will get you through 90% of the baking recipes out there.

Half Sheet Pans

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Half sheet baking pans are an essential baking tool. You might hear them referred to as cookie sheets and they are perfect for all kinds of cookies, but that isn't their only use.

Be sure to get a sheet pan that has lip on all sides. Then, you'll be able to use it for making sheet cakes and brownies as well!

To keep your sheet pan in great condition, always cover it with parchment paper or a silicone mat before adding the cookie dough or cake batter to the pan.

Also, I've found that many sheet pans can lose their finish in the dishwasher. Wash them by hand if you want to keep them looking great for years to come.

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Muffin Tins

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Muffin tins are needed for making both muffins and cupcakes.

Muffin batter can be poured directly into the muffin tins (be sure to grease them first).

Always use liners in the muffin tin when making cupcakes.

When selecting a muffin tin, look for one that has a little bit of a lip on the edges of the tin. This will make it easier to grasp and remove from the oven.

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Pie Pans

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At some point, every baker is going to want to try their hand at baking pie. A pie pan is a must!

Pie pans are also useful for baking round loaves of bread or even cakes!

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Springform Pans

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A springform pan is a specialty cake pan where the bottom detaches from the side.

Cheesecakes are always made in this type of pan.

But, you can use a springform pan whenever a recipe calls for a round pan. They are especially useful for upside-down cakes and tarts.

Your springform pan can serve as your go-to cake pan.

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Bread Pans

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Loaf pans (also called bread pans) are useful for baking classic bread loaves, and also for more brunchy breads like zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, or banana bread.

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Mixing Tools

The next set of tools relates to mixing.

Mixing batter, cookie dough, and frosting in just the right way is key to achieving perfect baking results.

These products will help you to get perfectly mixed ingredients.

Spatulas

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Spatulas are needed to mix ingredients together and are oh-so-handy for scraping the dough or batter out of a mixing bowl.

I prefer silicone spatulas because they withstand heat (you can rest them on a hot pan or pot and not worry about them melting) and because they have some give and can get around curves and corners of pans.

Silicone spatulas are not all the same. Some are rigid while others are more floppy. I prefer the rigid kind that have a large surface area and a little curve to them.

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Whisks

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So many recipes call for using a whisk. You'll need it to fully mix dry ingredients or to aerate eggs. I find metal whisks work much better than silicone ones. Other than that, find one that is comfortable in your hand. I keep a small whisk around for little jobs like whisking one egg white, but you can easily get by with a single mid-sized whisk.

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Sieve

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A sieve (also called a strainer or a colander) is useful for rinsing fruit, but where it is really needed in baking is to sift dry ingredients.

You can buy a tool specifically for sifting, but a sieve is all you need and it's so useful to have around.

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Electric Mixer

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Whether you get a hand-held electric mixer or a stand mixer, an electric mixer will make your life in the kitchen so much easier!

In fact, it's nearly impossible to make a light and airy buttercream frosting without one - and making whipped cream and meringue will go from a huge workout to a breeze once you own this gadget.

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Mixing Bowls

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You can never have too many mixing bowls. I recommend getting one nesting set with every size you might possibly need. It doesn't really matter if the bowls are glass, plastic, or metal - just get what you like.

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Measuring Tools

Accurately measuring ingredients is one of the most important parts of baking. Get the measurements wrong and your treats won't ever turn out correctly.

You'll need these tools to be able to measure your ingredients.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

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A good set of measuring cups and spoons is a must! Look for larger sets that include more cup sizes like 2/3 cup and 3/4 cup to make your life easier.

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Liquid Measuring Cup

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Did you know that liquids are measured differently than solids? A liquid measuring cup will allow you to accurately measure water, milk, oil, juice, and any other liquids needed for your recipes.

Make sure that the numbers are easy to read. I like these OXO cups because you see the measurements in two places - from the traditional side location as well as when looking down into the cup.

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Bonus Items

The following baking supplies didn't make my top 12, but you'll find yourself regularly reaching for them if you have them.

Rolling Pin

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If you don't have a rolling pin, you can roll out dough with a wine bottle. But, having a rolling pin makes things way easier.

Look for the longest rolling pin that you can easily store. When you want to roll out a big piece of dough, a short rolling pin will make the job take much longer.

This Joseph Joseph rolling pin is one of my favorite rolling pins. The removable rings on the end let you roll dough to specific sizes so you don’t have to guess if the dough is 1/4″ thick – I love this feature.

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Kitchen Scale

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As you get more serious with your baking, you'll want a kitchen scale. There are some ingredients that are impossible to measure in a measuring cup. For example, unless you are using chocolate chips or you are buying chocolate in pre-weighed blocks, you’ll need a scale to know how much chocolate to add to your chocolate cupcake recipe.

In many cases, I also give nut measurements in ounces because, depending on how finely you chop them, you could fit wildly different amounts into a cup.

Once you have a kitchen scale, you’ll find that you use it for all kinds of little tasks – even knowing how much postage to put on your mail.

Make sure that your scale has both ounces and grams and that it has a tare button (to zero out the weight of your bowl). Most every scale will have these features and you don’t need anything fancier than that.

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Set of Cookie Cutters

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You can cut cookie dough with the rims of glasses, but it's really helpful to have actual cookie cutters if you want your cookies to be a specific size. This is the set I reach for most often, but, of course, once you get into cookie baking, you'll want cutters in all different shapes and sizes!

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Piping Bags and Tips

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If you plan to do any kind of cake or cupcake decorating, you'll need piping bags and tips. Get a starter kit and if you find that you are doing a lot of decorating, you can buy more tools down the road.

If you don't buy piping bags, you can do simple decorations by putting frosting in a sandwich bag and cutting the tip off of a corner of the bag.

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More Baking Dishes

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Aside from the must-haves listed above, the other most common baking pans that you'll need are a square baking dish and a rectangular one.

Small baking dishes and ramekins are also helpful for single serving desserts and crème brûlée.

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Cooling Rack

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You can cool your desserts right on the counter, but you'll have better results with a cooling rack where air can flow around the baked goods from both top and bottom.

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Did I miss anything that is essential in your kitchen? Let me know in the comments!

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