Have you been that person rummaging through the utensil drawer (for ages) like a crazy person trying to find a decent wooden spoon or a silicon spatula, only ending up not being able to find what you needed, because you didn't have what you needed?
If this sounds like you, you're not alone.
But it doesn't have to be like that anymore. And here's why. Over the least few years I have been making a conscience effort to buy the utensils, tools and equipment I need when I am baking in the kitchen. It has totally revolutionised the way I cook and use my kitchen. And I really want that for you too.
Below are the baking essentials I can't live without, and I hope they'll soon be all the baking essentials you can't live without. I have made sure to include a range of baking essentials with a range of prices as well. Some are definitely investment pieces, while others you can grab right away.
Baking tins are the staple of every home (and professional) baker. There are many tins of all shapes, sizes and materials, however the great thing is this - you only need a few to get started and you only need one of each. Hot tip: I prefer heavy duty tins and pans as they last longer, and retain the best heat for baking. Here are my favourites:
Cooling racks are essentials for helping air to circulate underneath and around your freshly baked cakes, muffins, cupcakes and cookies. They also help avoiding sogginess and sweating during the cooling process, which no one wants. You honestly only need one large non-stick cooling rack, but sometimes a medium sized one is super useful if you sometimes bake in small batches.
When you see a beautifully iced cake, I'm sure you've wondered how they've managed to get the icing so smooth and perfect. And what about icing cupcakes? Well, it's actually quite easy to learn how to ice like this as long as you have the right tools. I am a big fan of straight spatulas, palette knives, flat edge icing smoothers and decorating kits; Jason bought me my first straight spatula and it literally changed the decorating game for me. Best of all, they are all inexpensive and relatively easy to use. Icing cupcakes can be a little bit more difficult than icing a cake, but with a bit of practise, your cakes will go from drab to fab! Depending on your preferences, I've given you some options below.
In the past, I have always used a hand mixer but have found them extremely limiting. Mixing dough to make some bread? Forget about it. They are great for small bakes, such as cupcakes and cakes but nothing beats having a stand mixer so you can get on with other tasks during your bake. Last year we saved up and bought a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, and it's been the single best investment ever. If I had to choose one item out of this entire list, a KitchenAid Stand Mixer would be it.
Back in the day, I always thought food processors were something chefs used. I was so intimated by them and all of the attachments, but when I discovered KitchenAid's range of Food Processors, I knew I had to cave in. And I am so glad I did. They are very easy to use, clean (all the attachments are dish washer friendly hurrah!) and store. A winning trio in the kitchen my humble opinion. There are a few to choose from, but the one below is the one I have and it's a great middle level option.
Non-stick baking paper is a baking staple and I always make sure we have both white baking paper and brown baking paper at home. Why do I have both? Because sometimes the paper is part of the final bake, like a muffin and I like to make sure the white or brown paper goes with the final aesthetic of my bake. Every supermarket has either, or both. It's totally up to you which you choose, but get both if you can.
Below is a list of kitchen essentials that I use every week; they're not as common as your everyday wooden spoon but they are the items that will completely transform how you bake and cook in the kitchen.Rolling Pin - I recommend having a wooden rolling pin and a marble rolling pin. The wooden rolling pin is great for your everyday baking, while you'll find the heavy weight of the marble rolling pin is better to use for cold pastries, especially when you need to roll out cold pastry for a homemade quiche, like my Autumn Wholemeal Heirloom Tomato Quiche.