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25 essential pieces of baking equipment

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Which pieces of baking equipment should you buy for your kitchen? The BBC Good Food team provide a checklist of baking gadgets for beginners and recommended buys.

We’ve picked products we think you’ll love and may earn commission from links on this page. Read about why you can trust BBC Good Food reviews. This page was updated in October 2021.

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Baking is an art-form that requires the right tools for success. In the course of writing thousands of baking recipes, we've discovered which products are essential for keen bakers.

Read on to discover our recommended buys, plus find specific product suggestions courtesy of our expert buyer's guides. For more on equipment, visit our reviews section and also check out our round-up of Black Friday stand mixer deals for some great discounts on top models.

25 essential pieces of baking equipment you need...

1. Round cake tin

cake tin with a coloured background

There are many tins on the market of all shapes, sizes and materials. At BBC Good Food, we prefer heavy-duty tins, like springform cake pans. Dark-coloured silicone bakeware has a tendency to absorb heat and make the sides of the cake dark. It's essential to use the correct tin size and shape stated in the recipe, or cooking times will need to be adjusted. Read our review of the best cake tins for our full guide, including loaf tins and bundt pans.

Recommended product:

Le Creuset springform round cake tin

This Le Creuset tin is a cut above your average springform tin. It has a clasp with a heat-resistant silicone cover to make unclipping that bit easier and is worth spending a little extra money on.

2. Cooling rack

Cooling rack with 3 leg supports

This is an essential piece of equipment for helping air to circulate around your freshly baked cake or biscuits, avoiding sogginess during the cooling process. Read our review of cooling racks.

Recommended product:

ProCook stainless steel cooling rack

This budget-friendly rack ticks a lot of boxes being both non-stick and dishwasher safe, as well as made from sturdy stainless steel. This all-rounder is large enough to handle two large cakes at the same time.

Available from Procook (£15.00)

3. A dredger or shaker

dredger or shaker with a coloured background

A dredger – also known as a shaker – 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. Read our review of the best shakers.

Recommended product:

Borough Kitchen stainless steel mesh shaker

This model is a classic dredger design and is strong and high quality for a good price. It has a high-grade gauze lid that screws on tightly and a pleasing, well-sized shape.

Available from Borough Kitchen (£8.50)

4. Icing smoother

PME icing smoother, steel and plastic handle

A handy tool for cake decorating, a smoother helps to give you a professional finish, smoothing down your marzipan or fondant ready-to-roll icing after you've applied it to the cake. You can buy this from specialist cake decorating shops. Read our review of cake decorating gadgets for more ideas if you want to create showstopping layer cakes.

Recommended product:

PME plain edge side scraper tool

This smoother is highly versatile and effective for all sorts of bakes. It will help to reduce air pockets in icing, buttercream and ganache. It is also ideal for handling dough and scraping out any leftovers from the bowl.

Available from The Cake Decorating Co. (£5.05)

5. Food mixer

A food mixer (also known as a stand mixer) is not essential for cake-making but it does save time and minimise effort. Plus, they often come with different attachments to help with non-baking tasks, too. Read our review of the best stand mixers to find the perfect investment mixer for you.

Recommended product:

KitchenAid 6.9-litre Artisan stand mixer

KitchenAid is a renowned, heritage brand for a reason. The build quality, ease of use and excellent results of this iconic machine make it a worthwhile wish-list product for bakers. The Artisan model has been around since 2012 but is already a classic.

Available from John Lewis (£699)

6. Baking parchment

baking parchment box with roll

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 butter or oil the paper before spooning in the cake mix. Baking paper or greaseproof paper is also useful bakes and is available in supermarkets.

Recommended product:

ProWrap professional baking parchment roll 300mm x 50m

For home and professional bakers alike, this baking parchment is great for wrapping cakes or lining baking trays. Perfect for pastry work, it also has an easy cut safety blade for fuss-free cutting to size.

Available from Amazon (£8.99)

7. Food processor

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. Read our review of food processors.

Recommended product:

VonShef 750W food processor

For the price, this machine packs a punch, coming loaded with various functions. It's easy to use and does the basics well. It has a neat footprint and its smart design would look good on show in a kitchen.

Available from VonShef (£68.99)

8. Marzipan spacers

marzipan spacers with a rolling pin and dough

If you like to decorate cakes with marzipan or sugar paste, then spacers will help you achieve an even thickness. These can be bought from specialist suppliers. Follow our marzipan recipe collection for all things almond flavoured.

Recommended product:

PME marzipan/sugar paste spacers (set of two, 38cm)

These simple but effective tools will allow an even layer of marzipan or icing so that cakes look effortless and very neat. Easy to use and clean, these will sure be a winner if you're a keen baker!

Available from Amazon (£4.45)

9. Measuring cups and spoons

Stack of measuring cups

People often under- or overestimate the size of a teaspoon or tablespoon. Measuring spoons ensure an accurate amount is used, important in baking. If you like to use American recipes, it's also worth buying a set of measuring cups to avoid tricky conversions. We've got guides outlining the best measuring cups and spoons for you to stock the cutlery drawer.

Recommended product:

JosephJoseph eight-piece nest measuring cup set

This cup set looks sleek and fresh. The handles have a non-stick coating, which is great for buttery fingers. The pointed scoop is so logical that you wonder why this design hasn’t been done before.

Available from Amazon (£12.00)

10. Measuring jug

pyrex measuring jug with lid

Baking recipes often include oil, milk or other liquid ingredients, so 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.

Recommended product:

Pyrex 1-litre classic prepware measure jug with lid

A classic homeware brand, Pyrex provides great quality glassware kitchen accessories for easy cooking and baking. This measuring jug has a multifunctional lid, with two different sized spouts for fast or slow pouring and a full cover lid function for keeping contents fresh. A 1-litre measurement capacity, it is the perfect universal size for baking and cooking and is made from sturdy borosilicate glass.

Available from Pyrex (£13.99)

11. Mixing bowls

mixing bowl nest with coloured background

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. Read our review of mixing bowls.

Recommended product:

Joseph Joseph nest 9-plus

This nest of bowls is an impressive all-in-one option. The large mixing bowl is 4.5 litres, a good size for getting big bakes underway, while the little bowl is perfect for smaller tasks. Neatly stacked inside, the colander and sieve are big enough to tackle standard tasks. The handles are easy to grip and the set is lightweight.

12. Palette knife

palette knife with rounded edge and black handle

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. Read our review of cake decorating gadgets.

Recommended product:

Wilton angled palette knife

Larger palette knives, like this 13-inch one, are perfect for icing larger cakes as their wide metal edge helps cover more surface area.

Available from Amazon (£6.99)

13. Loaf tin

black loaf tin

Whether it be a cake loaf or warm bread loaf, you can't go wrong with having one or two good quality loaf tins in your baking cupboard. We recommend going for non-stick, handled rim loaf tins that are not too heavy but sturdy enough not to bend while in the oven. Follow our review of the best cake tins for more equipment must-haves.

Recommended product:

Vogue non-stick loaf tin, 255mm

A great universal product for cake and bread, this is a 1.5Ib loaf tin, with layered non-stick coating, made with carbon steel and has an even heat distribution.

Available from Nisbets (£8.39)

14. Pastry brush

pastry brush on a coloured background

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. Read our review of pastry brushes.

Recommended product:

Matfer natural pastry brush

This professional-standard natural brush comes with a super-strong plastic handle for easy cleaning. It doesn’t flake or leave lines or pools of liquid in the pastry as some of the silicone brushes do, and the floppy bristles are ideal when you’re working with a delicate egg glaze. The brush is also nice and flat and very affordable.

Available from Nisbets (£4.90)

15. Sieve

sieve on a counter top

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. We've reviewed the best kitchen sieves for you to try.

Recommended product:

ProCook double walled stainless steel sieve, 20cm

This sieve will make it easier to sift flour and icing sugar whilst baking. This will allow for smoother consistencies of batters and buttercreams. Made from anti-rust stainless steel, it is sturdy and substantial and will ensure ingredients get sifted effectively. It could also be used to drain liquids.

Available from ProCook (£13)

16. Rolling pin

rolling pin on a coloured background

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 or ready-to-roll icing, it's handy to have both a wide pin made from smooth plastic and a mini pin for intricate work. Read our review of rolling pins.

Recommended product:

Sous Chef tapered rolling pin

Wooden pins are often favoured by bakers as flour tends to cling to them. This simple rolling pin is cheap and effective, and while officially designed to make pasta and pizza, it doubles as a baker’s best friend. It’s also lightweight so can be used on more delicate raw materials.

Available from Sous Chef (£7.95)

17. Skewer or cake tester

skewers

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.

Recommended product:

Borough Kitchen stainless steel flat skewers (six-pack, 30cm)

These stainless steel skewers are so multifunctional. They can be used for meat and poultry on a barbecue, to hold marshmallows over a fire and of course, to test the bake of a cake. The ring handles are for an easy hold, perfect when tossing over a barbecue. These are also available in 15cm and 20cm lengths.

Available from Borough Kitchen (£4.00)

18. Square baking tin

square cake tin

Square cake tins are essential because they are great for all sorts of bakes, including upside-down fruit sponges, layered cakes and of course, brownies. It is best to go for non-stick tins and ones with a handled rim edge so that you have easy transfer in and out of the oven.

Recommended product:

Wilton square non-stick cake tin (20.3cm)

This square cake tin is great quality, made from non-bending alloy steel and also has a non-stick coating, great for smooth cake edges and an easy clean up, post-baking. Its heavy-gauge construction provided in the material allows for an even bake, where heat is passed through the tin equally.

Available from Amazon (£5.29)

19. Zester

micrograter or zester on a coloured background

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. Read our review of graters.

Recommended product:

Microplane gourmet fine grater

This is a kitchen classic for good reason. The trademark fine blade is exceptionally efficient, making light work of citrus peel, as well as hard ingredients like nutmeg. The handle is comfortable and can be stored on a hook, making it a space-saver, too.

20. Scales

black scales with a silver middle

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.

Recommended product:

Salter stainless steel aquatronic kitchen scales

This ultra-slim set of scales are the perfect kitchen tool for a keen chef or baker. It can weigh both liquid and dry ingredients, all up to 6kg. It has a clear and easy-to-read LCD display with multiple options for unit of measurement. It also has a handy add-and-weigh function, which will allow you to weigh ingredients in the same bowl. After use, it can be wiped clean and stored in a dry place.

Available from Lakeland (£19.99)

21. Spatula

pink spatula on a coloured background

Avoid leaving cake mixture or melted chocolate in your bowl by using a bendy spatula to easily skim around the sides. Read our review of spatulas.

Recommended product:

KitchenCraft Colourworks silicone spatula

This bright KitchenCraft spatula has the right edge for scraping mixture and icing. It’s available in a range of pastel shades including purple, green and pink, and despite the light colour, it's made from stain-resistant material should you want to use it with cocoa or spices.

Available from Amazon (£7.34)

22. Spoons

3 set wooden 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.

Recommended product:

KitchenCraft three-piece spoon set

This three-piece set of wooden spoons will be a game-changer for non-hand-mixer owners. Made from beech wood, these spoons are great for non-stick surfaces and can provide a useful mixing tool when not in possession of a hand mixer or stand mixer. The set includes a 20cm spoon, one 25cm spoon and one30 cm.

Available from Wayfair (£8.13)

23. Whisk

balloon whisk on a coloured background

Whisks are designed to give volume and aerate foods, so are useful in cake-making. A balloon whisk is a hand-held 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 an addition to whipping cream, whisking egg whites and gently folding in flour, and 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. Read our review of whisks.

Recommended product:

Bakery Bits Danish dough whisk

This unique whisk makes light work of mixing dough compared to a wooden spoon. Its purpose is mixing the ingredients for bread prior to kneading. It proved brilliant at breaking up the lumps and getting the water, flour and any sourdough starter mixed up.

Available from Bakery Bits (£9.10)

24. Hand mixer

Morphy richards mixer

Electronic hand mixers – sometimes called beaters – are a good choice for people lacking storage space in the kitchen. They make quick work of creaming butter and sugar, whipping cream or whizzing batters, and take up a fraction of the space of stand mixers. Read our review of hand mixers.

Recommended product:

Morphy Richards Total Control hand mixer

This hand mixer is solidly built, and powerful for its price bracket. In addition to five speed settings, there is a turbo button for extra bursts of power. The attachments slot in easily and can be detached quickly with the eject button. The beaters have rounded edges that reach well into the curves of bowls.

Available from Amazon (£31.99)

25. Bundt cake tin

bundt tin

The ultimate speciality bake tin with truly stunning results. These decorative pans have a distinct ridged design in a traditional ring shape. Read our review of bundt cake tins.

Recommended product:

MasterClass Talan non-stick round fluted cake pan

Nordic Ware are the king of bundt cake tins (they even trademarked the name) and their intricate tins don't disappoint. We loved the sharp peaks and leaf-shaped pattern on this gilded tin – the cake slid out easily after being left for 10 minutes to cool.

Available from Wayfair (£13.29)

More on baking...

Our best ever baking recipes
Our cakes & baking section
Guides to baking
Baking videos
8 new gadgets every baker needs to own
18 of the best baking gifts
Best cake stands
Best serving dishes and platters

This review was last updated in October 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

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