12 Must-Have Baking Tools
There are lots of baking tools lists out there, but I can’t resist sharing my personal favorites with you. This is not the standard list. I’m skipping over the basics like measuring spoons and cookie scoops (which you can find in my Cookie Baking Essentials) in favor of some other tools that I find myself using over and over again.
Oven thermometer – If you don’t take anything else away from this list, I hope you’ll seriously consider getting an oven thermometer. It’s fairly common for oven temperatures to be inaccurate. Baking at the wrong temperature will greatly affect your baked goods. Once you get your thermometer, it may take some experimenting to figure out just where to set your oven, but it will be so worth it.
Pastry blender – Pastry blenders have become a favorite of mine for making things like pie crusts and shortbread. Some people have success using two forks to accomplish the same thing, but I find that a pastry blender is easier to use. They are available in a few different designs. There are some quite sturdy looking ones that have blade-like components, but I personally prefer the simpler ones.
Mini measuring beakers – I’m a big proponent of getting all my ingredients ready before I begin baking. That can be a little tricky with small amounts of liquid ingredients like extracts. Sure, you can measure into a measuring spoon and then pour into a small bowl. But measurers that stand do the job without dirtying another bowl.
Bench scraper – Bench scrapers are designed to do exactly what their name says. Use them to scrape up most anything from a work surface. I use mine often to help gather up chopped chocolate and nuts. I have had the same one for quite some time, and it serves its name quite well. It also has a somewhat sharp edge that I often use to make quick work of cubing butter.
Small spatulas for small jobs – I’m a bit of a spatula hoarder. I like different ones for different jobs. But I have a couple of smaller ones that I use for small jobs like stirring melted chocolate for brownies or even scraping out the last bit of peanut butter from a jar.
Cake tester – I keep a supply of toothpicks in a drawer next to my oven for testing doneness when I bake. I’m sure a lot of you do, too. They’re inexpensive and just the thing for testing brownies, bars, and layer cakes. But for Bundt cakes, quick breads, and other taller baked goods, I reach for my cake tester. It’s length makes it a better choice than a toothpick.
Ruler – Yes, a ruler! I keep one in a kitchen drawer and use it quite often. It comes in quite handy when making doughs and pie crusts that need to be a certain thickness or have specific dimensions. It’s a great way to divide doughs and pastries like Chocolate Chip Pecan No-Bake Cookies and Berry Cream Cheese Pastry Swirls.
Tart tamper – I first used a tart tamper years ago, and it remains one of my favorites. It’s a great tool for making mini pies or any small dessert with a crust. You can also use them to press cookie or shortbread crusts into larger pans, but the bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers will work just fine for those, too. The one that I have fits perfectly into mini muffin pans, making it a must for my annual baking of so very many Mini Pecan Pies.
Offset spatula – These little guys are the perfect tools for spreading frostings. The shape of them lets you spread frosting without worrying about your hand getting in the way. I also use them for spreading batters in their baking pans. It makes quick work of it and evens out the batter well.
Microplane grater – A Microplane is my favorite tool for zesting citrus, grating ginger, and more. I actually have a few different Microplanes that I use in both baking and cooking, but a basic one will suffice for most everything you need.
Dusting wand – I admit that this little guy is more fun than it is essential. It’s the perfect way to sprinkle confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder. It covers evenly by just shaking it or with just a little tap of the wand against your opposite hand.
There are plenty of honorable mentions for this list, too. I could keep listing many more of my favorite tools. There’s my favorite chef’s knife, the only plastic wrap I’ve ever not hated, or maybe the biscuit cutters I’ve had for years.
Living in a small apartment, I tend to be more than a little choosy when it comes to my kitchen storage space. These are some of the tools that have proven worthy of my space. I hope you’ll find these useful as well. And if you have a baking tool you love, please share it in the comments!
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