23 essential pieces of baking equipment

Which pieces of baking equipment should you buy for your kitchen? The BBC Good Food team provide a gadget checklist, plus handy product reviews…

1. Baking tins

There are many tins on the market these days of all shapes, sizes and materials. At Good Food, we prefer heavy-duty, silver-coloured tins. Dark-coloured silicone bakeware has a tendency to absorb heat and make the sides of the cake dark. It is essential to use the correct tin size and shape stated in the recipe or else cooking times will need to be adjusted.
 

2. Cooling rack

The best cooling racks

This is an essential piece of equipment for helping air to circulate around your freshly-baked cake or biscuits, avoiding sogginess.
The best cooling racks
 

3. Cutters

A selection of metal cutters allow you to create simple but effective cake decorations and fun biscuit shapes.
 

4. Dredger/ Shaker

Flour shakers
A dredger is useful for lightly dusting surfaces with flour or icing sugar when rolling out doughs or icing. However a tea strainer or sieve can perform the same function perfectly well.
The best flour shakers
 

5. Icing smoother

A handy tool for cake decorating, the smoother helps to give you a professional finish, smoothing down your marzipan or sugarpaste (ready-to-roll icing) after you've applied it to the cake. You can buy this from specialist cake decorating shops.
 

6. Food mixer

Food mixers

A food mixer is not essential for cake-making but it does save time and minimise effort.
The best food mixers
 

7. Greaseproof paper

This type of paper is ideal for wrapping food, particularly greasy or fatty foods. It's often suggested as a suitable wrapping for fruit cake before placing it in a tin. It can be used in the freezer as well as the microwave and oven. If you are using it for lining a cake tin, you should also lightly grease the paper before spooning in the cake mix.
 

8. Food processor

Food processors

Useful for so many functions both sweet and savoury, the food processor can also be used for many cake recipes and is good for rubbing fat into flour when making pastry.
The best food processors
 

9. Marzipan spacers

If you like to decorate cakes with marzipan or sugarpaste then spacers will help you achieve an even thickness. These can be bought from specialist suppliers.
 

10. Measuring spoons

Measuring spoons

People often under- or overestimate the size of a teaspoon or tablespoon. Measuring spoons ensure an accurate amount is used. If you like to use American recipes, it's also worth buying a set of measuring cups to avoid tricky conversions.
The best measuring sets


11. Measuring jug

Baking recipes often include oil, milk or other liquid ingredients and a measuring jug is essential for getting the quantities right. As a measuring jug is needed for so many cooking purposes, it's always useful to have one to hand.


12. Mixing bowls

Mixing bowls

It's useful to have at least two large mixing bowls as many recipes require more than one. Choose glass, metal or plastic according to preference but it's worth having heatproof ones so that you can put them in the microwave or over simmering water when melting chocolate.
The best mixing bowls


13. Palette knife

A palette knife is a long, thin implement with a rounded end. It has a wide range of uses, including smoothing on icing or cake fillings, scraping bowls and cutting butter into flour.


14. Pastry brush

Pastry brushes

A pastry brush can be used to glaze your pastry with egg wash or milk or for brushing filo pastry with melted butter. It's also good for brushing off excess icing sugar when cake decorating.
The best pastry brushes


15. Sieve

A fine sieve made from metal or plastic is ideal for sifting flour and icing sugar, which is highly recommended when cake-making. It can be easier to use a small tea strainer to dust surfaces and decorate desserts with icing sugar or cocoa.


16. Rolling pin

Rolling pin

You can buy one-piece rolling pins or the type with a fixed handle at either end, depending on which you find easiest. For really smooth results make sure the pin is wide enough to fully cover the width of dough or icing you are rolling out. If you do a lot of cake decorating with sugarpaste/ready-to-roll icing it is handy to have both a wide pin made from smooth plastic and a mini pin for intricate work.
The best rolling pins


17. Skewer

A metal skewer will help you determine whether your cake is cooked. If you insert it into the cake and it comes out clean, your cake is ready.


18. Scales

Scales

As accuracy is key in baking, a good set of scales are necessary for measuring out ingredients. Choose from digital or manual – we like digital as they can usually accurately measure right down to a gram or two. 
The best digital weighing scales


19. Zester

It's handy to have a zester, fine grater or microplane, as many baking recipes require citrus zest. The latter two can also be used to grate nutmeg.


20. Spatula

Spatulas

Avoid leaving cake mixture or melted chocolate in your bowl by using a bendy spatula which can easily skim around the sides.
The best spatulas


21. Spoons

A wooden spoon is a great all-rounder in the kitchen. If you don't have a food mixer, use it for beating your cake mixes. A large metal spoon is handy for folding in flour or whisked egg whites.


22. Whisk

Whisk

Whisks are designed to give volume and aerate foods and are therefore important for cake making. A balloon whisk is a handheld tool with metal loops that form into a bulb shape at the end of a long handle. It's always handy to have one of these in the kitchen as in addition to whipping cream, whisking egg whites and gently folding in flour, you can also use it to remove lumps from sauces. An electric whisk or a food mixer make short work of whisking and creaming. The food mixer, with its different attachments, is more versatile but also much more expensive.
The best whisks


23. Baking parchment

This is a non-stick paper ideal for lining cake tins. It is also known as silicone paper. Baking parchment is both greaseproof and moisture-proof. You can use it to line cake tins and baking trays. No additional greasing is necessary. It can be used in the oven and freezer.

More on baking... 

Our best-ever baking recipes
Our cakes & baking section
Guides to baking
Baking videos

What baking kit do you rely on? We'd like to hear your product suggestions... 

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