14 Kitchen Tools Every Baker Needs

14 kitchen tools every baker needs and why.

Here are 14 kitchen tools every baker needs whether you are a beginner or pro!

Welcome back to my baking basics series! Today’s post has been 2 years in the making.

Not that it took me 2 years to write it– I’ve just had this post idea in the back of my mind for awhile. A place to list the most important baking tools in my kitchen, narrowed down to the 14 most essential.

I’ve been baking for as long as I can remember; it runs in the family. It’s what keeps me going and, because of this food blog I’ve built, what pays the bills. I’ve gone through my fair share of kitchen tools to know exactly what works best and why. I have enough gadgets for, like, 17 kitchens. And a ton 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.

That being said, let me show you which kitchen tools are my most-loved. 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.

From one baker to another, my top 14 kitchen tools:

1. OVEN THERMOMETER
What I own and love: Rubbermaid Oven Thermometer

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.

2. HAND MIXER
What I own and love: KitchenAid 5 Speed Hand Mixer

KitchenAid 5 Speed Hand Mixer

I know most of you thought I’d list a stand mixer here, but I’m not. To be honest, I 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 have TWO of these stand mixers! But for beginner bakers, a hand mixer is perfect. I recommend this 5 speed hand mixer. Completely affordable and fantastic quality. I’ve had mine for 7 years. The same one. And you know how much I use that thing! Mine’s light pink. Obviously.

3. FOOD SCALE
What I own and love: OXO Good Grip Food Scale

OXO Food Scale

Hi, have we met? You know I’m a stickler for weighing ingredients! That’s why I list my baking recipes in cup and gram measurements. And because I have readers overseas (hi everyone over there!) who measure everything this way. 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. I own a small kitchen scale and it is, by far, the most used tool in my kitchen. I recommend it to every single baker.

4. SILICONE BAKING MATS
What I own and love: Silpat Silicone Baking Mat

Silpat Silicone Baking Mats

These have changed my life. And that sounds crazy, but it’s 100% true. Parchment paper is great and all, 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. Cleaning is a breeze since they’re dishwasher friendly. Hand-washing just takes a little scrub to rub off grease or residue. I own 5 of these in the half sheet size (about 11-12 x 16-17 inches).

5. COOKIE SCOOPS
What I own and love: OXO Cookie Scoops

OXO Cookie Scoops

These are not just for perfectly shaped cookies! I have one in each size and I use the large for cupcake/muffin and pancake batter, ice cream, and the prettiest mashed potato scoops. 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 you can’t beat OXO in my opinion.

6. SIFTER
What I own and love: Mrs. Anderson’s Hand Crank Sifter

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. The sifter I own is super sturdy, durable, stainless steel, and easy to clean (just use soapy water and rinse off). It’s inexpensive and crucial.

7. COOLING RACKS
What I own and love: Baker’s Secret Cooling Racks

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. I own a million of these cooling racks. They take up an entire cabinet. Obviously you don’t need that many; 2 is perfect. 🙂

8. ROLLING PIN
What I own and love: Ekco Wood Rolling Pin

Ekco Rolling Pin

An obvious must. These vary in price, but mine is inexpensive and has lasted years through my constant use. Hellooooo sugar cookies.

9. BAKING PANSWilliams Sonoma Goldtouch Baking Pans

In a couple weeks, I’m going to write a different post with a complete list of baking pans I use on the regular, my favorite brands, etc. (UPDATE here is that post stock your kitchen with these 8 baking pans.)  But here are my suggestions for stocking your kitchen. 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 like Williams Sonoma Goldtouch lineCalphalon, and Nordic Ware brand.

10. RIMMED BAKING SHEETS
What I own and love: Calphalon Classic Rimmed Baking Sheets

Calphalon Classic Rimmed Baking Sheets

I have 6 of these and I have NO IDEA what I would do without them. I use them for baking cookies, sheet cakes, breads, pouring out toffee/brittle/bark, roasting vegetables, meat, you name it. That’s why I have an army of them and some days, that’s not even enough! 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.

11. PASTRY BLENDER
What I own and love: OXO Pastry Blender

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

StarPack Premium Silicone Spatulas

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 a cute 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!

13. MIXING BOWLS
What I own and love: way too many

Mixing Bowls

I own this glass bowl set and they are fantastic. So many sizes for so many different ingredients! You can’t go wrong with any of them though; so many options out there. I’m sure you’ve seen the Cake Boss bowls I own in some of my step-by-step recipe shots. I love them! Heavy-duty with pour spouts and rubberized bases– but they are not microwave-safe. I also have these Cake Boss mixing bowls, too.

Sally’s Mixing Bowl Addiction.

14. MEASURING CUPS & SPOONS 
What I own and love: well, I own way too many but my favorites are these Bekith Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons

Bekith Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons

I love this set because of the soft easy-grip handles, stainless steel (great quality), and the fact that there’s a 1/8 cup measuring cup. Which is rare in sets. 1/8 cup = 2 Tablespoons, a measurement used quite often. So it’s convenient! Great price for 10 pieces. PLUS they’re pretty. I own these too– also fantastic and great quality. And 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.

Pyrex Liquid Measuring Cups

Umm, did you make it down this far?!

That’s it as far as baking essentials go. What are your favorite baking tools? Share your favorites with me! To me, discussing baking supplies is like discussing hot celebrity gossip to normal people.

More Baking Basics Posts

and more!

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!

135 comments

  1. Hi Sally! 

    I just discovered your blog and it is a joy to read! You have reignited my love for baking 🙂  Purchased pretty much everything on your list of necessities, getting the rest of the items tomorrow, so excited! After I threw away all my teflon-coated pans and plastics, I have been searching for good quality metal baking sheets. So thanks a million for your recommendations! Question- what do you use to slice the brownies and not scratch the nice aluminum pan? Or do you first take the goodies out of the pans before cutting? 

    Thanks! 
    Ksenia

    • So glad this article was helpful for you! I always line the pans with aluminum foil so it overhangs on the sides– so I can lift the foil out, then slice the brownies outside of the pan.

  2. What size of cookie scoop do I need for mini muffin?
    I really need this. Thank you! 

  3. Do you have any recommendations for towels or cloths used for baking bread? I see articles about linen dish towels, cotton napkins, etc. 

  4. Hi Sally! I just dropped by your site and I’ve got plenty of ideas what to use in my baking session with my kids, thank you for sharing and good day!

  5. I need a food processor and not sure what I need and which one is best to purchase. Any suggestions?

  6. Hi Sally! I just had to let you know that I finally caved and bought an oven thermometer after reading this post a few months ago, and oh my goodness, it was life changing. I’ve been wondering for literally YEARS why my baking is always a little off even when I follow a recipe, and it turns out my oven is 55 degrees off. Yikes. Anyway, just wanted to say a huge thank you!!!

  7. Love this list. All these items can make your baking life so much easier. I have a question on ovens. Do you bake with convection or just regular? I’m in the search for a new oven and I love to bake, but not sure if I should spend the extra money for an oven that comes with convection option.

    Thanks

    • To be honest, I use my convection option for a lot of casseroles and meals. I never use it for baking. I only only only use conventional when I bake. This is a personal preference but, to be honest, I get much better baking results in the conventional!

  8. Oh my goodness. This post was the answer to my baking prayers. I am a baker in the “baking” right now. As a college student, my budget is very limited. Looks like I have an early Christmas list! Keep the “Baking Basics” coming! As of two days ago (and about 50 blog posts read) I have declared you my baking mentor! Honestly though, I cannot stop reading your blog. 

    Sincerely, 
    A legend in the Baking ( I would like to patent this if it’s not already)

    Melody 

  9. I bought some silcone mats, and they rock!!! They are so easy to use, and so easy to clean! Thank you so much for this reccomendation.

  10. My favorite is an army of spatulas. Spatula is not only you can use to mix the baking ingredients but it also can use cooking. Yes I agree with you! I use this for cooking as well. A lot of thing a spatula can do, be it for cooking or baking. It is a must to have an army of spatulas at home. So what are you waiting for, come and get your spatula with us!

  11. This is my first time to read your blog, that was fantastic! I’m going to left my job to take care of my son and I will try to bake at home so I decided to search baking tools. Thank you so much for sharing! grace from philippines…

  12. Hi Sally,

    Just wondering which bowls you use with your hand mixer – is it the glass ones you recommend?. I’ve been using Pyrex bowls with my current hand mixer but the bowls are getting damaged by my mixer (all scraped where the mixer touches the bowl). Also, the coating on my mixer blades is coming off too. I’m looking to buy the Kitchen Aid hand mixer but want to make sure I use it with a bowl that won’t damage it or vice versa. 

    Thanks for your help! 

  13. Hello can you please tell me the name of the utensil used for spraying the top of a pastry or desert that sprays out flame. It looks like a hand dryer.

  14. Thank you Sally for the response, it is not a touch. I saw it used by the masterchef contestants. When they spray the flame on pastry it gives a good crunchy brown.

  15. Once again thank you. I have found it and you are right. It is actually a blow kitchen torch. When you mentioned torch my mind went to the regular torch light.

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