Baking Essentials For Beginners

Baking is a fun way to pass the time, but having the right tools and equipment in your kitchen makes it even more enjoyable. Baking tools are essential for easy, foolproof baking.

Baking utensils in a holder on a table
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Baking homemade goods is fun, especially for special events. Having the right tools and equipment make a big difference.

They speed up prep time and improve the final product’s taste, texture, and appearance.

Whether this is the start of a vegan baking journey, a shopping list for a kitchen in a new home or finding gifts for that baker in your life, here are some recommended tools that every baker needs!

12 Baking Tools & Equipment for Beginner Bakers

1. Kitchen Scale

Sifter with flour on digital food scale
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For precise baking, a scale is critical. This is the easiest way to ensure consistency and excellent results every time.

This is especially true when measuring dry ingredients, as measuring cups can often lead to inaccurate results due to user error.

Kitchen scales are easy to find at home goods stores or online. I currently use this OXO Good Grips scale. The backlit screen pulls out, so it’s easier to read under large bowls.

Here’s a tip: Weigh your most commonly used mixing bowls and write the weight on the bottom with a permanent marker or a piece of tape.

You’ll never have to remember to weigh the bowls first. This also makes it easier to divide the batter evenly when making cakes.

2. Measuring Cups and Spoons

Liquid measuring cups next to measuring spoons
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To accurately measure liquid ingredients, measuring cups and spoons are essential.

Measuring cups designed for wet ingredients typically have a handle and a pouring spout. Try to get one that’s marked with both cups and milliliter measurements.

Dry measuring cups may also be handy if you prefer not to use Metric. But as previously mentioned, they may not always be as accurate as using a scale.

When measuring dry ingredients, spoon (not scoop) the dry mix into the measuring cup until filled, then run a knife across the top to level off and remove the excess.

Currently, I use:

3. Mixing Bowls

Stainless steel mixing bowl next to towel
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An assortment of mixing bowls in different sizes is useful for baking. Some recipes require at least two mixing bowls.

One bowl may be for mixing dry ingredients, while another bowl is used for mixing wet ingredients. Then, they are combined in the larger bowl of the two.

This can be difficult with only one mixing bowl for some recipes unless you’d like to try this 1-bowl vegan almond flour cookies recipe.

Mixing bowls can be purchased individually or as a set. For beginners, a set of no more than 3 in different sizes is a good start.

Stainless steel mixing bowls are the most common. They are cheap, lightweight and easy to clean. Glass and ceramic bowls are also available.

If you plan on using an electric mixer, choose a bowl with high sides to limit splashing.

4. Baking Pans

Baked cakes of various sizes in cake pans
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Different baking pans are needed for various desserts. Some are single-use, while others have many applications.

For example, cookie sheets are flat with low rims, while baking pans have higher edges. Baking pans can also be used for savory preparations, while the same is not necessarily true for cookie sheets.

The material of these baking dishes is also a key consideration. Some are made from aluminum. Others are glass, ceramic, non-stick or silicone.

Baked goods that cook in a glass dish require a longer baking time because glass takes longer to absorb heat than aluminum. Non-stick baking trays are a good idea for cookie lovers.

Silicone baking dishes cost more, but they are flexible and light. Choose a good quality brand for silicone bakeware. They are less likely to leave off-odors in your food and will be more durable.

Silicone pans will need to be placed onto a baking sheet so that it’s easier to get baked goods in and out of the oven.

I personally prefer using aluminum pans for most of my baking needs. Currently, I use these 6-inch cake pans by Last Confection, and they are my favorite! They are durable and easy to clean.

RELATED: How to Prepare Cake Pans without Parchment Paper

5. Sifter or Sieve

Person sifting flour over ball of dough
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Some recipes require that specific ingredients are sifted. Flour and cocoa powder are two ingredients that tend to form lumps as they sit in their containers.

A sift can remove those lumps, aerate the ingredients and make batters easier to mix.

6. Mixing Spoons 

Wooden spoons on striped towel
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Spoons are essential for combining ingredients, especially in thick doughs or batters.

Plastic mixing spoons are fairly inexpensive, easy to clean, and common in most kitchens. Wooden spoons are a little pricier and harder to clean as they can stain easily, but they also do the job.

7. Whisk

Hand holding stainless steel whisk
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Whisks ensure that batters are lump-free and that the ingredients are well-incorporated.

They come in different sizes, but the medium size (9 to 11 inches) works well for most recipes. They come in stainless steel and silicone.

Both work pretty well. Silicone protects pans and bowls and prevents them from being scratched.

8. Spatulas

Yellow rubber spatula on table
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Spatulas serve many purposes in baking. They enable bakers to fold in ingredients carefully without overmixing batters and scrape all the batter out of mixing bowls.

They are also a great tool for evenly spreading out the batter in a pan.

Silicone spatula scraping cake batter into baking pan
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They are sold in a variety of sizes. Rubber spatulas are great for baking, but silicone ones are more durable under heat, especially when cooking sauces.

They are not expensive, so it’s good to buy a few. They will be pretty handy!

9. Rolling Pin

Wooden rolling pin on dough
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For vegan baking, a rolling pin is essential. Rolling out pie crust dough and sugar cookie dough to an even thickness is important for getting an even bake.

One may already be in your kitchen, but if not, it should be! They are available in different materials, including wood, plastic, stainless steel and marble – with or without handles.

Currently, I use this wooden straight rolling pin as it’s basic and durable enough for most baking applications.

10. Scoops or Dishers

Cookie dough balls on baking tray next to cookie scoop
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Scoops ensure that uniform amounts of batter are baked, resulting in perfectly even cookies, cupcakes and other baked goods!

Aside from influencing appearance, they also ensure baked goods cook evenly.

There are available in different sizes, but I often use a #24 (1.4oz) scoop for vegan chocolate chip cookies.

11. Pastry Brushes

Brushing dough with orange silicone spatula
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Many recipes call for brushing oil or a vegan “egg” wash onto baked goods. Pie crust, bread and phyllo pastries are just some examples.

When it comes to pastry brushes, investing in a durable, high-quality product makes sense.

The bristles tend to fall out more easily with the low-cost options. No one wants pastry brush bristles in their dessert!

12. Mixer

Electric mixer in bowl of cream
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If your budget allows for investment in one electric tool, a hand mixer is a must. Many baked goods require electric mixing to achieve a perfectly smooth consistency.

It may be possible to whisk or mix some batters by hand, but it will take additional time to get it done. Meanwhile, a mixer gets it done in just a few minutes.

There are plenty of great products available on the market to make vegan baking easy. There’s sure to be something that suits your needs and fits your budget. Happy baking!

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