The Kitchen Items You’ll Crave for Baking Season
Fall and winter are the perfect time to gather at home with family and indulge in homemade baked goods. It’s a wonderful way to show the people closest to you how much you care.
As cozy as home made goods can be, they can also be quite the challenge without the right equipment. If you’re on your own personal baking journey or you’re shopping for someone who loves to create in the kitchen, here are a few trending baking items that are sure to make the process so much more enjoyable.
Rotating Cake Stand
If you are a baker, a rotating cake stand is a must. It takes decorating cakes to the next level and allows you to make store quality cakes at home. You can get them in many styles and at lots of price points. There are even collapsible ones that can be easily stored.
Measuring baking ingredients accurately with a kitchen scale can be a game changer in the kitchen. Baking might as well be a science and a couple grams of sugar can make a huge difference. In order to keep your food consistent, most professional bakers recommend using a digital scale. You can also purchase analog scales if you’re on a budget, but they aren’t as easy to use or accurate.
Silicone Baking Mats
Baking can get really sticky (literally and figuratively)! One of the worst things in baking is realizing your deliciously beautiful creation is permanently stuck to the pan. After doing this one too many times you’ll never want to bake without a silicone mat. Not only are they amazing for baking, but they are also useful for just heating up frozen food like French fries and mozzarella sticks. They are worth their weight in gold for clean-up time you’ll save and keep your cookware looking new.
Have you ever had cookies that came out perfect...except for the burnt bottom? This problem can be solved with a cooling rack. Cookies are a little finicky. Leaving them on a hot cookie sheet can cause them to over cook. This can happen with many baked treats. Cooling racks allow the food to cool quicker, ensuring the food doesn’t burn. Don’t forget to stock up before the holiday cookie season. If you’re constantly running out of counter space while cooling cookies, stackable cooling racks make baking mass quantities so much easier.
Working a pastry mix by hand can be exhausting. Many cooks dread making pie dough from scratch because of the heavy arm workout. A pastry blender will make it so much easier. It’s essentially curved blades that help mix softened butter and dry ingredients. They're inexpensive (less than $20!) and will cut your prep time in half.
French Rolling Pin
All bakers should have a comfortable, reliable rolling pin. French rolling pins are tapered at each end and this allows you to use more of the rolling pin since it’s longer and it doesn’t have handles. They also tend to be smaller in diameter and lighter. French rolling pins are light, easier to use, easier to store and overall, more useful.
Hydroponic Herb Garden
Always having fresh herbs to cook with can really elevate your baking, but who has the time to take care of a small garden? These small, self-sustaining gardens require very little attention. They are great for growing herbs right in your kitchen since they can be very small and incredibly affordable. Think of the possibilities of adding fresh lavender to sugar cookies and fresh mint to a lemon butter cake.
When the holidays come around it’s cookie baking season. Cookie scoops will absolutely change your holiday baking game. They are small ice cream scoops that spoon out the perfect amount of dough every time. It’s a great way to keep your hands clean and your cookies looking consistent -- since we all want them picture perfect for the ‘Gram.
Offset spatulas are long, thin spatulas that are great for icing as well as getting baked goods off of cookie sheets. The flat, flexible design makes it a great multi-use tool in the kitchen. Using an offset spatula to ice the sides and tops of your cakes will give you a professional, clean finish without a lot of extra work. It also works great for loosening stubborn cakes from pans without ruining them.
The worst part of baking is trying to scrub all of that sticky dough out of the bowls when you’re done. So much dough gets wasted. Once you get one you’ll have no idea how you lived without it. It’s a flat edged piece of silicone with a grip and you use it to scrape down the sides of your bowls or even your cutting board. They’re budget-friendly, easy to use and they help avoid a lot of waste and mess.
There's something about a tea towel that just fancies up a kitchen space. If you're stumped on what to get that hard-to-shop for person on your holiday shopping list, tea towels are always appreciated. That's because they are both functional and fanciful. Look for elegant patterns that will bring visual interest to the monochromatic tones of most kitchens.
Marble Pastry Board
Pie dough can be incredibly finicky and keeping the butter in the crust cold through the whole process can be difficult. Marble pastry boards can help with this. These boards retain heat and cold really well and can be stored in the freezer the night before baking. This ensures that your puff pastry, filo pastry and pie dough stay at the right temperature through the whole process. We promise you’ll feel like you work in a French patisserie mixing dough on this elegant board.
Pie Crust Molds
Shaping a pie crust can be difficult for a beginner or intermediate baker. It requires a lot of patience and practice to do it by hand. Using a pie crust mold can help you get an impressive pie crust without all the hassle. Most pie crust molds are silicone and come with three to four patterns. They can be as simple as a traditional braided crust or as intricate as leaves and pumpkins. Check craft stores during different holidays to see what you can find!
Heirloom Cookie Stamps
Cookie stamps are detailed pieces of metal or plastic that usually have a handle. They cut the cookie out, but they also leave a little stamped design in the cookie. These were very popular in Europe for a long time and have slowly made their way to the US. You can buy them online, in craft stores or you can find them second hand!
The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion (published 2021)
Baking fans are wild about King Arthur. Not if you’re a baker, the brand makes a high quality product and their book is no different. It has everything from basic bread recipes to gingerbread recipes. It breaks down the science of baking in a way that is easy for anyone to understand. Instead of calling your grandma to ask what a leavener is, you can just reach for your baker’s companion!
Nadiya Bakes (published 2021)
Many of us absolutely fell in love with Nadiya during her season of The Great British Bake Off and now there’s excitement for her new book. The recipes in it are classic and challenging. She offers twists on old favorites like pumpkin pie but also includes quite a few new and exciting bakes like Rhubarb and custard butter kisses.
If you’re a baker looking to up your game, don’t feel the need to outfit your kitchen with everything on this list. You can take your time to collect them. Each will make a huge difference in your baking. They will certainly make baking easier, but the thing that matters most is that you are pouring your love into whatever you bake and enjoying the creative outlet that comes from spending time in the kitchen. Happy baking!