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20 Essential Tools For The Home Baker

May 17, 2020

It’s World Baking Day! And since that’s pretty much every day around here, I’m rounding up my top 20 essential […]

It’s World Baking Day! And since that’s pretty much every day around here, I’m rounding up my top 20 essential tools for the home baker. I’m often asked which mixer is my favorite and what cake pan can I not live without. And my favorite question of all….how do you get those perfectly round cookies?? Pretty and practical, stylish and functional, each one of these kitchen essentials is a tool I use and trust. Read on for a list of all the gadgets and goodies every home baker needs.

  1. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

A smaller version of KitchenAid’s commercial-size models, this special-edition 5-quart stand mixer is designed with plenty of power and capacity to whip up all of your favorite recipes without compromising counter space. And can we talk about that pretty vintage blue…it’s my favorite! The KitchenAid brand is pretty much the gold standard of kitchen tools and not a day goes by that I don’t put my mixer to good use. Whether creaming together sugar and butter, whipping up a batch of cookie dough or whisking together a meringue, you can’t go wrong with this expertly crafted appliance. And this timeless style will last a lifetime and be treasured for years to come.


2. Baking Sheet + Cooling Rack


If there is one item I cannot live without in my kitchen, it’s my cookie sheets and cooling racks. I bake a lot, and I mean a LOT of cookies, and a good quality baking sheet is a must. It’s the most essential pan you’ll ever have and I highly recommend stocking up on your favorite pans and cooling racks so you have one to use and one to wash. I love this baking sheet from Nordic Ware made of pure aluminum for perfectly baked, golden brown cookies. And the cooling rack is the perfect place to rest those fresh from the oven cookies, cakes and loaves.

3. Assorted Mixing Bowls


These OXO mixing bowls are made of stainless steel and they are perfect for mixing and prepping doughs and batters. Every baker will love this simple and practical design and they easily double as serving bowls. The set includes three sizes that nest together for easy storage and I think we can all agree they get bonus points for being dishwasher safe. Plus they have a handy non-skid bottom. Winning!


4. Square Baking Pan

This square baking pan made of aluminized steel serves up perfectly baked cakes, brownies, and blondies every time. It’s thick material and ridged design allows for even heat distribution and easy release. If you’re wondering why your brownies and cookie bars don’t turn out like the ones you see on the internet, get this pan! It’s hands down my favorite baking pan ever.

5. Whisk

This pro quality French whisk from Sur la Table was a stocking stuffer for Christmas a few years back. I love the beechwood handle and the long, narrow shape is perfect for beating eggs, mixing batters and stirring ganache. It’s such a pretty whisk to boot and I love using it in my photo shoots.

6. Set of Cake Pans

If you’re going to bake a cake it pays to invest in a set of quality cake pans. These 8-inch cake pans from Wilton will last a lifetime and the two inch depth is perfect for baking taller cake layers. Pro-tip: buy two sets so you can whip up a three layer cake in no time.

7. Kitchen Scale


When I started making macarons I learned the hard way just how critical precise measurements are for baking those finicky little cookies. A kitchen scale is an absolute necessity for cooks and bakers alike and my baked goods always turn out perfectly when I take the time to weigh my ingredients. This one from OXO is super user friendly, it’s easy to clean and the price is right. Put this kitchen appliance at the top of your list and take the guesswork out of baking.

8. Oven Thermometer

If there is one thing I’ve learned in all my years of baking, it’s that no two ovens are created equal. Every oven runs differently and no two are the same. Some run hot. Others run cold. To take the guesswork out of figuring out your oven temperature, invest in a simple oven thermometer. Position it on the center rack of your oven and adjust your baking temperature as needed. Keep in mind that oven-safe thermometers are relatively inexpensive and do wear out over time. I set a calendar reminder to replace mine once a year.


9. Hand Mixer


Sometimes it just easier to break out the hand mixer for an easy, no fuss recipe. This one from Cuisinart is my go-to for quick tasks and the price is perfect for every budget. It’s lightweight and has seven speeds to tackle any mixing job, big or small. Wanna know the best part?? It has a count up digital timer to keep track of your mixing time. Definitely not your grandma’s mixer! This appliance seriously makes baking a breeze and cleanup is a cinch.

10. Cookie Scoop

One of the questions I am asked the most on Instagram is how do I get those perfectly shaped cookies? The trick is to use this cookie scoop from OXO. I love the ergonomic design with the comfy, soft grip handles which makes scooping cookie dough easy peasy. Just scoop your dough, weigh it and bake it. It’s that easy!! This is my go-to kitchen tool for perfectly uniform ice cream scoops too.

11. Silpat Mat

You might not think a silpat mat is all that essential for the home baker. But let me tell you…this handy little non-stick mat is a lifesaver when it comes to making macarons. I use this mat to bake perfectly sized cookies of any kind. No butter, grease, oil, or parchment needed. And this sleek surface makes clean up a breeze!

12. Measuring Cups


True story…I actually collect measuring cups. Yep. I’m obsessed like that. I have new ones and old ones, vintage ones and ultra-modern ones. A busy baker can never have too many measuring cups if you ask me. These stainless steel measuring cups have Italian olivewood handles that are {almost} too pretty to use. Each cup is designed to be sturdy in your hand and has a clean edge for easy leveling. Good news! This set from Williams-Sonona is on sale now.

13. Cake Stand


I declared 2020 the Year of the Layer Cake here at Browned Butter Blondie so this commercial quality turntable is coming in handy these days. It’s so profesh!! Let’s face it…frosting the perfect layer cake is hard to do. So make your life a little easier with this sturdy cake stand. Just set your cake the rotating top and then turn it with one hand as you frost or embellish your cake. Ateco has been creating high quality tools for bakers since 1905 and their quality can’t be beat.


14. Pastry Tools


Speaking of frosting cakes, I use the offset spatula from this Williams-Sonoma pastry tools set for perfectly smooth frosted edges. It works like a charm every time! Every good baker needs a reliable set of tool for everything from preparing pie dough to filling and frosting cakes and pastries. Made from durable stainless steal and beautiful olivewood handles, these tools are a must have for the well-equipped kitchen. I love that these classic pieces grow a patina over time and just get better with age.


15. Rolling Pin

It’s pretty much a no-brainer that every baker needs a good rolling pin. It’s tough to roll out sugar cookie dough, cinnamon rolls or pie crust with one. It’s great for crushing Oreos for a cheesecake crust too! Simple is best when it comes to rolling pins I’ve found and I adore this one piece, French style rolling pin with tapered ends.

16. Bundt Pan

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of a pretty little bundt cake. They are so easy to make, delicious to eat, and they are beautiful right out of the pan. I love the classic curved ridges and elegant design of Nordic Ware bundt pans. I trust these pans to bake up a beautiful bundt perfect for any special occasion or just because it’s Tuesday. Nordic Ware pans are crafted of cast-aluminum with an exclusive nonstick finish which means your bundt won’t stick to the pan.

17. Assorted Spatulas

Get your hands on these super sleek silicone spatulas!  This trio from GIR is my fave!! Durable, flexible and heatproof. What’s not to love??! And the best part is their one piece design makes them so easy to clean. Perfect for scooping batter and dough from every nook and cranny of containers and jars. And by jars I mean peanut butter jars! {wink, wink}. 


18. Sifter

I’m probably the world’s laziest baker but I will say that sifting your ingredients is worth the extra effort. Whether you’re making macarons, a fluffy vanilla cake, or dusting your brownies with powdered sugar, these fine mesh sieves make the job easy.

19. Parchment Paper

This is probably the most used {and cheapest!} kitchen tool I use on a daily basis. I use parchment to line cookie sheets and cake pans and you’ll often find me styling food for photo shoots with a crumbled piece of parchment. To say that parchment paper is a necessity is an understatement. I love this one from If You Care. Their products are 100% compostable, chlorine free and recyclable. All good things!

20. Biscuit Cutters



This set of 5 stainless steal cutters in various sizes are ideal for making biscuits and my personal favorite…sandwich cookies! The rims are extra sharp for even cutting and I love that they nest together for easy storage. And the decorative scalloped edges make the prettiest cookies around. I use a non-fluted version of this to spin around warm cookies fresh from the oven to make them perfectly round and uniform. This kitchen tool gets a 10 out of 10 from me!

I’m always in the market for the latest and greatest kitchen basics so let me know if you have a new favorite that I need to know about. And happy baking!


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