Are you serious about making cakes and bread? Check out our pick of the best baker's kit on the market to help you whip up a showstopper with minimum fuss.
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Joseph Joseph Whiskle
This genius little invention manages to combine two of a baker's most used tools; the whisk and the spatula. Whisk away to your heart's content, then turn the whisk and use the built-in spatula to scrape up any mixture that's still stuck to the bowl. The design is fairly light, meaning kids can use it too, plus it's easy to clean and dishwasher safe. One thing to note is that, with the spatula attachment, this may be a little tricky to fit inside your cutlery drawer, so consider alternative storage options.
Non-stick baking tin
PushPan aluminium deep tin
Credit to PushPan whose tins are genuinely non-stick – no baking paper required. Yes, they do exactly what it says on the tin so it's a win for the environment as well as for the home baker. During rigorous testing with wet batters, there were no nasty leaks either, meaning no scrubbing burnt cake off the bottom of the oven afterwards. The tin itself is fairly easy to clean, but like most baking tins, we'd recommend washing by hand with soapy water as the dishwasher can diminish greaseproof qualities. Also, the PushPan heats up four times faster than standard cake tins so be careful you don't overbake the contents.
PME baking belt
Ever baked a sponge and pulled it out of the oven only to find there's a crack on top? This tends to happen when the heat hasn't been distributed properly, resulting in an uneven bake. Ensure you achieve a consistent, smooth-topped cake with this smart little baking belt. Simply soak it in cold water and strap around your cake tin. The tin will then heat uniformly, so the cake will bake at the same speed throughout. Ideal for perfectionists, this will save you time having to straighten your sponges with a cake-leveller.
Available from The Cake Decorating Company (£2.69).
Lékué silicone bagel moulds (set of 6)
Making bagels at home is a time-consuming business, but these crafty little moulds allow you to make six at once with relative ease, from dipping the dough into boiling water to finishing in the oven. The silicone material is non-stick, so that all-important hole in the centre stays uniform as each bagel bakes around the cone. Plus, perforations in the moulds allow excess moisture to evaporate in the oven resulting in a perfectly crisp finish with soft pillowy bread on the inside. Because they're silicone, they're generally easy to clean, are dishwasher safe and stack neatly on top of each other to save cupboard space.
Wilton icing smoother
To achieve that smooth buttercream finish on a cake, invest in a decent scraper – they're easier and more efficient to use than a palette knife. This tool looks like something you might see a plasterer using and, trust us, it produces the same results. Just apply your chosen buttercream to the tops and sides of your sponge, then hold onto the comfort grips on the scraper before placing it up against the buttercream. If you have a turntable, spin the sponge and hold the scraper firmly in place so that the buttercream spreads itself out evenly over the cake. Repeat for the top of the cake too. If you don't have a turntable, just make sure you can reach all sides of the cake. The scraper is 9 inches, so it's ideal for tall, tiered cakes.
Digital measuring spoon
Technoline digital kitchen spoon scales
Often when baking, recipes require very tiny amounts of ingredients, particularly things like baking powders or spices. Sometimes such tiny quantities can't be accurately measured on your digital scales, which often jump in units of five grams and that can result in inaccurate quantities within your mixture. This digital measuring spoon solves that problem by weighing anything from 1 to 300g. They are quite sensitive, so you need to have a steady hand when measuring. However, the ‘hold’ functionality is useful for locking the screen until you are ready to weigh.
Available from Maplin (£9.99).
Chlorine-free baking cups
If You Care large baking cups
Any cupcake fans out there who fret about using too many non-recyclable cases when baking can rest easy with these entirely unbleached baking cups. They're large enough to make standard-sized muffins or fairly huge cupcakes, are made from unbleached and recycled cardboard packaging, plus they're chlorine-free. That means that no chlorine is dumped into oceans, rivers or lakes as a result of them being recycled.
Available from Big Green Smile (£1.61).
Norpro silicone oven push/pull
Bakers need not worry about burning their hands or arms on scorching hot ovens with this nifty little handle. The Norpro oven push/pull latches onto your cake dish (or any casserole dish for that matter) allowing you to pull your bake out of the oven with little risk of having to touch the sides, thus reducing the chance of burns. It's also pretty handy for when you need to test the centre of your cake to ensure it's cooked – simply pull out, pop in your skewer, then push back inside. Easy peasy.
Available from Amazon (£8.75).
For all of the products mentioned in this review, various retailers have been suggested by our affiliate partner Monetizer 101 and are not suggested or chosen by BBC Good Food. For more information on how these retailers are selected and the nature of our partnership, please read the Monetizer101 FAQ page.
Big fan of baking? Once you're all stocked up, check out our best baking recipes.
This review was last updated in March 2018. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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