14 Kitchen Tools Every Baker Needs

Here are 14 kitchen tools every baker needs. Updated in 2021.

collage of kitchen tool images with text overlay that says 14 must-have baking tools

Welcome back to my baking basics series!

I’ve been baking for as long as I can remember; it runs in my family. I’ve gone through my fair share of kitchen tools and know exactly what works best and why. I have enough gadgets for, like, 17 kitchens. And a lot of it isn’t even used! So I understand which kitchen tools a baker truly needs and which kitchen tools a baker can get away without having.

Consider this your one stop shop for stocking a baker’s kitchen, narrowed down to the 14 most essential tools. These are my most loved kitchen tools. If you’re a new baker looking to stock your kitchen, a bride looking to register for new baking items (congrats!), or an experienced baker interested in trying different products or brands, this list is for you.


What I own and love: Rubbermaid Oven Thermometer. My love for oven thermometers shouldn’t be a surprise and here’s why: unless you have a brand new or regularly calibrated oven, your oven’s temperature is likely inaccurate. When you set your oven to 350°F, it might not really be 350°F inside. It could only be off by a little – 10 degrees or so. Or more than that – 100 degrees or even more! Incorrect temperature ruins baked goods and you waste hours spent on the recipe and money spent on ingredients. The inexpensive remedy to this mess is an oven thermometer. While cheap, they’re irreplaceable in a baker’s kitchen. Place it in your oven so you always know the actual temperature.


What I own and love: KitchenAid 5 Speed Hand MixerI use my hand mixer more than my stand mixer. If you can afford both, definitely get both. When I’m working with an enormous amount of dough/batter or making something that requires several minutes of mixing (old-fashioned fudge, marshmallows, etc) a stand mixer is key– I recommend these stand mixers. But for beginner bakers, a hand mixer is perfect. Completely affordable and fantastic quality. I’ve had mine for 11 years. And you know how much I use that thing! 


What I own and love: OXO Good Grip Food ScaleYou know I’m a stickler for weighing ingredients! That’s why I list my baking recipes in cup and gram measurements. Why do we measure this way? Because a gram is always a gram. An ounce is always an ounce. A cup is NOT always a cup. In baking, precision is everything and that slight mis-measure could spell baking disaster. A small kitchen scale is, by far, the most used tool in my kitchen. I recommend it to every single baker.


What I own and love: Silpat Silicone Baking Mat. These have changed my life. And that sounds crazy, but it’s 100% true. Parchment paper is great, but why not bake and cook with something reusable? And something that lays flat on the cookie sheet!! Every single vegetable I roast, meat I cook, and cookie I bake is on top of a silicone baking mat. I use them as an easy nonstick surface for pouring out my toffee or brittle to cool, after I dip candies and truffles (they release SO easily!), for rolling out cinnamon roll dough, pie dough, pizza dough, and more. The bottoms of my cookies are always evenly baked and they slide right off the mat. I own 5 of these in the half sheet size (about 11-12 x 16-17 inches).


What I own and love: OXO Cookie Scoops. These are not just for perfectly shaped cookies! I have one in each size and I use the large for muffins, cupcakes, pancakes, meatballs, mashed potato scoops, and ice cream. I use the medium mostly for cookies. And I use the small for truffles, tiny cookies, and as a melon baller. They’re infinitely handy. And, for kitchen tools, you can’t beat OXO.


What I own and love: Mrs. Anderson’s Hand Crank Sifter. Some recipes require sifting dry ingredients like flour, sugar, chemical leaveners, and/or cocoa powder. That step is not just for fun or to make your life difficult. It aerates these ingredients and rids any lumps so your recipe turns out! This sifter is super sturdy, durable, stainless steel, doesn’t make a huge mess, and is easy to clean (just use soapy water and rinse off). It’s inexpensive and crucial.


What I own and love: Baker’s Secret Cooling Racks. Never let your cakes, cupcakes, muffins, etc cool in the pan set on the counter. The bottoms’ cooling rate is incredibly slow because no air is getting to that bottom portion of the pan. And for cookies? They must cool on racks, most certainly not on your counter or GASP (!!) on the baking sheet. Cooling racks are imperative so that the cooking process stops and your baked goods cool evenly. Think about it: baked goods cook on racks, right? They should cool on racks as well. Unless you bake every single day, owning 2 is perfect.


What I own and love: French Kitchen Marble Rolling Pin. An obvious must. A marble rolling pin is cooler to touch, which makes it perfect for rolling out pie crust and sugar cookie dough. And it’s a great price!


I wrote a separate post about this: Stock your kitchen with these 8 baking pans. I recommend at least: 3 9-inch cake pans, 2 9-inch square pans, 2 12-count muffin pans, 1 9-inch pie plate, 1 9×13 baking pan, 1 24-count mini muffin pan, 1 9×5 inch (or 8×4 inch) loaf pan. These sizes are what I use most often. I love Fat Daddios brand for round cake pans. I also enjoy Calphalon, Wilton, Nordic Ware, and USA Pan brands.


What I own and love: USA Pan Half Sheet Pan. I own an army of these rimmed baking pans and I have NO IDEA what I would do without them. You’ll use them for baking cookies, sheet cakes, breads, rolls, pouring out toffee/brittle/bark, roasting vegetables, meat, fish, frozen foods, you name it. The 12×17 inch size is perfection for holding a dozen cookies and the rimmed edges prevent any sauces/syrups from dripping off the sheet. I recommend having at least 2.


What I own and love: OXO Pastry Blender. Pie dough, biscuits, scones, streusel, and other delicious miracles are made with a pastry blender. It’s handy for breaking up cold butter into tiny little bits and pieces among your other ingredients– but not completely incorporating it. These cold butter bits = flaky dough. A metal pastry cutter keeps your butter cold where other tools (or your hands) might warm it, which is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish. Here is the one I own. Inexpensive and easy.

12. An Army of SPATULAS & WHISKS

What I own and love: StarPack Premium Silicone Spatulas and OXO Whisks. Nothing beats spatulas, especially if they are well-made and heavy duty. I own plenty, but my favorite and most-used are these StarPack spatulas. From stirring and mixing, to scraping the sides of bowls, spreading frosting, cooking, etc. I use them for everything, everyday. And you obviously need one with acute saying, too! As for whisks, this is a no-brainer! I recommend at least 2 of these. Any that you purchase, just make sure they are quality. I’ve broken plenty of flimsy little whisks while trying to whisk heavy cake batters.


What I own and love: way too many. I own this glass bowl set and they are fantastic. So many sizes for so many different ingredients! We also love these Cake Boss bowls and these OXO Mixing Bowls. Both sets are heavy-duty with pour spouts and rubberized bases. If you’re looking for stainless steel mixing bowls, we use and love these OXO Metal Mixing Bowls.


What I own and love: OXO Measuring Cups and Spoons or Bekith Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons. You can’t go wrong with both. They all have soft easy-grip handles and are stainless steel (great quality). I also appreciate that there’s an 1/8 cup measuring cup in the Bekith set. 1/8 cup = 2 Tablespoons, a measurement used quite often. Also, make sure you have at least 1 liquid measuring cup too. I own the 3 pack option; it’s convenient to have all different sizes depending on the recipe.

Q: What are your favorite baking tools? To me, discussing baking supplies is like discussing hot celebrity gossip to normal people.

More Baking Basics Posts

I am not working with any of these brands, though some of these links are affiliate links. These tools are the brands of kitchen tools that I trust and encourage you to use in the kitchen as well!


  1. One of my favorite gadgets is the Microplane rasp. I use it for nutmeg, cheese, ginger, plus for lemon, orange or lime rinds. Whoever came up with using a wood rasp for grating food was a genius!

    1. One of my favorite too. Thanks for mentioning it

      1. I have that same set of glass mixing bowls amd I love them – my only mistake was buying them FIRST at the mall that day… Had to lug them around for hours!

    2. My fav too!

  2. I like Oxo mixing bowls because they have a rubbery bottom that keeps the bowl from scooting around the counter.

  3. Besides all the things you mentioned, I use a granny fork and a Danish dough whisk often enough to mention. The granny fork is great when you don’t want to over mix…like biscuits for example. The Danish dough whisk gets through yeast doughs like nobody’s business, and I can’t even figure out why it works, but it does!

    1. Where do you find the danish whisk

  4. In one post you say you like Williams Sonoma Goldtouch line, Calphalon, Nordic Ware, and USA Pan brands; but in another post you say you swear by Fat Daddio’s cake pans… do you have a true preference?

    1. Hi Tara! I’m happy to clarify. I love all of these brands and have each in my kitchen. They are all high quality for a decent price. I use Fat Daddio pans for my round cake pans– I swear by them.

  5. Terri Roberts says:

    I received my kitchen aid mixer for Christmas one year. Best gift I ever got!

  6. I love my hand held mixer. It’s by far the most used item and I have had it for over 10 years. I am looking to also add a stand mixer to my inventory, but so far have been getting by fine with just my hand held one. It’s a great LOVE & TRUST relationship. 🙂

  7. Hi Sally,
    Thank you for sharing this list. It is really helpful !!!
    I am planning to bake a cake for a potluck. What would be the best way to store and transport it? Can I use a cake carrier? Which one should I buy ?


    1. Yes, a cake carrier is actually my preferred way to STORE cakes– not just transport them! I link to my favorite in this cake baking tips post. 🙂 (#10)

    2. In a pinch Dollar Tree often has a cake carrier that can store a 2 layer round cake. Only costs a $1.

  8. If you ever have a spare moment, would love one of these posts for pie tools – I would love to know about the different kinds of pastry cutters and crimpers and some great cutters to make cute shapes with crust. 🙂

    I find these so helpful and have bought so many of these things based on your suggestions!

  9. A marble rolling pin really does make such a big difference, even though they’re more expensive than their wooden counterparts. Less sticking = less frustration (and more fun!)

  10. I have avoided making pastry recently because of arthritis in my hands. I like your recommendation to use a pastry blender, I’m going to give it a go!

  11. Brooke Teeter-Stocz says:

    Which marble rolling pins do you recommend?

  12. Michele Tibbens says:

    I have arthritis also so I like using my food processor for making pie dough. Especially when I’m making more than one pie. A couple pulses and it’s done. Don’t forget to chill it.

  13. Because of my favorite baking recipes, one of my most used items is a set of 5 empanada /dumpling makers or presses. Individual sized pies, empanadas, pizza pockets, ravioli,etc they’re great!
    I also love my silicone muffin liners! They support themselves so I gave away my muffin tin and now I bake double batches by setting the liners on a cookie tray. Time and space saver!

  14. Other than the stuff listed, I absolutely love my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and Reynolds pre cut parchment paper baking sheets.

  15. Hi Sally,
    I need your help or advice.
    I was planning to bake a cake.
    What mixer is good to use?


    1. Hi Agatha, If you are only baking cakes you can absolutely use a hand mixer. I love my stand mixer for things that require a lot of batter or longer mix times, but for just a cake a hand mixer is great!

  16. Great list – and while I have many spatulas, consider adding a bowl scraper to your list. I have had one in my drawer for years – and a professional baker mentioned this in one of her classes. I pulled it out and started using it. so handy. Thank you for your posts and great recipes.

  17. Hey Sally, great post, as usual ! 🙂 I was about to order the Oxo cookie scoops but it seems your link isn’t working.

    1. Fixed! Thanks for letting me know, Tanya!

  18. Lisa Alford says:

    I bought one of those huge Mafter Whip whisks. I love making meringue with it.

  19. DIANA kashunsky says:

    if i want to use for your artisan bread or pizza dough, possibly, should i go with the 9 speed kitchen aid? or would i be ok with the 5 speed? Since the 9 speed is double in price, didnt want to overbuy.
    thanks so much
    diana k

    1. Hi Diana, You don’t even need a mixer for my pizza dough or artisan bread! But you can bake most recipes that needs a mixer with the 5 speed hand held mixer.

  20. What do you recommend for dry storage containers with a tight seal for flour and sugar? Thanks!

    1. Hi Marilyn, My favorite containers for bulk storing ingredients are these tightly sealed flour keepers. I own about 10 and recommend them to anyone who asks: https://www.amazon.com/Solutions-Progressive-Keeper-Leveler-Capacity/dp/B005M8Y41Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=sallsbakiaddi-20&linkId=6f9f3e06b76d8d1931e847409bdba011&language=en_US

      1. Thank you! I can’t wait to order them.

  21. THANK YOU for the tip regarding the oven thermometer! This is probably a silly question, but where do you put yours in your oven? Anywhere other than right at the front and I can’t read it…but then I worry that at the front it’d be cooler than the middle and back?
    Sigh** why cant the stupid oven just keep the correct temperature!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Steph, The oven thermometer linked here and that Sally uses in her kitchen actually hangs from the rack. You can place it anywhere that you can see it when you turn your oven light on instead of opening the oven door. You can actually see this one in action in the video in the post Top 10 Baking Tips.

  22. Madeleine Cogbill says:

    I have a question. I own an OXO rolling pin, which I bought because it’s dishwasher safe, would it be a good idea to switch to a marble rolling pin instead?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Madeleine! We love our marble rolling pins – use whichever works best for you. We’ve never had trouble cleaning it.

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