The Beginner’s Guide to Baking Basics in 2020

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Baking is one of those hobbies that gets more rewarding (and delicious) the better at it you get. I learned how to bake from my grandmother and many Martha Stewart recipes, and while I’ve still got a ways to go to reach either of their level of expertise, I know my way around a mixing bowl at this point. Now it’s time for me to pass along the beginner’s guide to baking basics to you! It’s more relevant now than ever because we all know 2020 is The Year of Sourdough Bread.

If you’ve been thinking about getting into baking but aren’t sure what items you’ll need to tackle the baking basics. I’ve compiled a list of 15 baking essentials I swear by and simply can’t bake without.

We hope you find these products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: We are a participant in the Amazon affiliate program, and Brainjolt may receive a share of sales from links on this page. Prices on Amazon fluctuate so anything mentioned below might change as soon we publish it!

The Nonstick Baking Sheet Set That Has All The Essentials

The first thing you’ll need in your baking essentials kit is a set of basic cooking sheets. This one by Turbo Bee has everything you’ll need to make a variety of recipes: A 10×15-inch cookie sheet, 9×9-inch square pan, 10×5-inch loaf pan, 9-inch round cake pan, and 12-cups muffin pan. I like to use nonstick baking sheets since I never have to worry about my desserts sticking to the pans. You really can’t beat the quality and affordability of this 5-piece set. I recommend it to anyone who wants to start experimenting with baking.

The Stainless Steel Measuring Set That’s Classic And Durable

Measuring out the correct amount of ingredients is crucial if you want your baked goods to come out correctly. I learned this the hard way since I tend to just throw in random amounts when I’m cooking and figured I could do this for cakes, pies, and cookies, too. Wrong. This set of Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons and Measuring Cups is a great no-frills addition to your baking collection. They’re durable, give exact measurements, and look super professional. I always feel like I know what I’m doing whenever I use them (even if I don’t).

The Pyrex Measuring Cup Set That Every Baker Needs In Their Kitchen

If you don’t have any Pyrex kitchenware in your collection, it’s time to add some. Made from indestructible tempered glass that’s microwave, dishwasher, freezer, and oven-safe, these Pyrex Glass Measuring Cups are a favorite among professional chefs for a reason. This 3-piece set features clear, easy-to-read measurements and a trio of sizes so you always have the right measuring cup for whatever amount of liquid you need to measure. I love to scoop some coconut oil into one of these, microwave it to melt it, and then measure it without dirtying a million dishes.

The Mixing Bowl Set That Stays Put

These mixing bowls are a new discovery of mine and I just can’t get enough of them. I had been using the same set of old, chipped bowls that I’ve had since college for far too long, and I recently decided to replace them with this set by OXO. Talk about an upgrade! I love everything about them: The way they fit inside each other so they take up less space in my cabinet, the non-slip spots on the bottoms and handles, the fact that they have built-in spouts to make pouring easier. They’re basically perfect.

The Digital Kitchen Scale That Keeps Ingredients Precise

Remember what I said about precision? This Etekcity Food Digital Kitchen Scale is what separates amateur bakers from the professionals. Okay, so I know that you’re just starting out and are still a total amateur, but why not have your treats taste as close to professional as possible? The digital design makes it extremely easy to read so there’s no confusion in the kitchen. I use it whenever a recipe calls for grams so I’m not stuck trying to figure out the conversion. Plus, I love the sleek touch it adds to my counter.

The Baking Utensil Set That’s Colorful And High-Quality

Not everything in your baking essentials kit has to be sleek and modern-looking. This Silicone Spatula Set by Oannao comes in a bright rainbow of colors and includes every utensil you’ll need to create culinary masterpieces. Just look at how pretty that whisk is! This 9-piece set is made from heavy-duty silicone, so each piece is flexible yet durable. I love how well the standard spatulas scrape every last bit of batter out of my mixing bowls and the offset spatulas make frosting a cake a cinch.

The Best Standing Mixer That Won’t Cost You a Car Payment

If you’re interested in baking, you’ve probably heard all about how amazing KitchenAid standing mixers are. And, to be fair, they are. I was always transfixed by my grandmother’s KitchenAid mixer whenever I went to her house to make cookies as a kid. The good news is that you can find a standing mixer that gets the job done without breaking the bank. This one by CHEFTRONIC is a great option for those wanting to expertly mix their ingredients without having to drop 350 bucks.

The Women’s Aprons with Pockets That Keeps You Clean (And Stylish!)

It took me years to realize that I needed an apron when I baked. Every time I’d emerge from the kitchen after popping a mound of bread dough or an apple pie in the oven I’d be covered from head to toe in flour, butter, baking powder, and a variety of other ingredients. This set of two aprons has a spacious front pocket so I can keep recipes, scraps of paper for making notes, and writing utensils on hand while I bake. Oh, and did I mention that they’re surprisingly stylish? I actually feel cute when I wear them!

The Cookie Scoop That Makes Perfect Cookies

My mom makes cookies constantly, and she recently let me in on her secret to perfectly sized cookies every time: A cookie scoop! It grabs the correct amount of dough and forms it into a neat little ball so you don’t have to get your hands dirty. The handy trigger helps to eject the dough from the scoop so you don’t have to dig it out with your fingers. I also use these things for ice cream and when I make chocolate truffles. It comes in a 3-pack for under $12.

The Silicone Baking Mats That Cookies Slide Right Off Of

If your baked goods tend to burn and stick to the cookie sheet and you’re not sure what you’re doing wrong, I suggest you give these Silicone Baking Mats a try. Trust me, after you use them once, you’ll never bake another dozen cookies without them. Simply lay one on your pan before dropping on your cookies and they’ll slide right off; there’s no need for cooking sprays or parchment paper. This set comes with 2 plain non-stick sheets and one with printed circles for making macaroons.

The Cake Decorating Supplies Kit That Makes Your Sweets Look Legit

Although I’ve been baking consistently since I was young, I never felt confident enough in my abilities to tackle a cake, cupcake, or cookie with any type of intricate frosting design. But now that I have this Cake Decorating Supplies Kit by Vastar it’s all I want to do. This kit includes three reusable piping bags and 24 different icing tips that give you endless options for decoration and customization. I’ve made a dozen different cakes since I bought this set and I still haven’t tried all of the tips yet.

The Bundt Pan That Makes Fancy Cakes

If you really want to impress at your next party, whip out a beautifully iced bundt cake after dinner. Due to the sculpted shape of this Nordic Ware Pro Cast Original Bundt Pan, it looks much more complicated to make than it actually is. There are tons of bundt pans to choose from, but I like this one because of the nonstick coating, since it can be tricky to pull bundt cakes out of the pans due to all the curves and edges. Plus, the heavy cast aluminum is extremely durable.

The Flour Sifter That Would Make Your Grandmother Proud

Am I the only one who was completely fascinated with their grandmother’s old-fashioned flour sifter as a child? I used to play with it for hours and was always excited when she’d let me use it whenever we’d bake together. This is the exact same style that she had, and it even says in the description, “this is the kind of sifter your Grandma used”. If it ain’t broke, why fix it, right? This sifter grinds flour into a fine mist, meaning you get the lightest, airiest angel food and sponge cake imaginable.

The Microplane Zester That The Professionals Swear By

Here’s a product that you might be surprised to find on this list: A Microplane Premium Classic Series Zester Grater. Sure, it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you imagine baking essentials, but it’s definitely on my list of must-haves. The 18/8 stainless steel Micro plane blades add pure, concentrated flavor to your cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, and pastries, and adds a burst of freshness that simply can’t be reproduced with artificial flavorings. I first used this to add lime zest to a key lime pie and the result was life-changing.

The Cooling Rack That’s 3-Tiered

It may not seem like a very important step when it comes to baking, but sufficiently cooling your cookies is actually critical. I’ve bypassed this step plenty of times and paid dearly for it. The cookies come out chewy and lack that satisfying crispness that comes with proper cooling. This Wilton Excelle Elite Cooling Rack for Cookies has an amazing 3-tiered design that promotes maximum airflow and gives you enough space for dozens of cookies, cupcakes, or up to 3 cakes. Now, what are you waiting for? Get baking!