Whether you’re baking a cake for the very first time or you always have a fresh, homemade loaf of bread on the table, every baker needs a set of trusty tools that make the job quicker and easier. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential baking tools and equipment that you need to get started!

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The 17 Baking Tools Every Baker Needs

1. A Digital Scale

A digital scale should be the first item on your list when you’re setting up your kitchen for baking.

When you’re building your collection of baking tools, one of the most important ones to add to the list is a digital scale for weighing your dry ingredients. Unlike cooking where confident chefs can wing it, baking is more of an exact science when it comes to measuring out everything you need. Don’t forget to put your bowl on the scale first and then reset it to zero! 

2. Measuring Cups and Spoons

baking materials
Measuring cups are essential baking tools for getting accurate quantities of your ingredients.

If you find yourself researching “what are the different tools and equipment used in baking,” you’ll see that measuring cups and spoons are on almost every list. Like a digital scale, these help you measure accurate quantities of your ingredients. Measuring cups with a spout are perfect for liquid ingredients, while flat-topped are better for dry ingredients like flour. A set of measuring spoons ranging from ⅛ teaspoon to one tablespoon should cover you for any small measurements you need to make.

3. Mesh Sifter

sift flour
Mesh sifters are helpful for aerating dry ingredients and removing any lumps.

Most of your recipes will require some type of flour, so a mesh sifter should be on your list of baking tools and equipment. You can use a sifter for any ingredient with a fine consistency, like icing or confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, or baking soda to help them stay aerated and remove any clumpy sections before mixing into your wet ingredients.

4. Mixing Bowls

mix in
A set of mixing bowls is essential for whatever type of baking you’re doing.

Don’t think that one mixing bowl will do the trick. Even if you’re looking for basic bread baking tools, having a set of four or five different sized bowls will help to keep your ingredients separate until it’s time for mixing. Glass bowls like Pyrex are usually a good choice as they’re easy to clean and microwave-safe. Stainless steel bowls can also be a good choice, and some even come with pouring spouts on one side to make mixing ingredients easier.

5. Silicone Spatulas

sticky things in bowl
Silicone spatulas make scraping bowls and stirring sticky ingredients much easier.

Any spatula or wooden spoon will do for mixing most ingredients, but many bakers say a silicone spatula is among their essential baking tools. They’re heat resistant so they can even be used in your everyday cooking, and they’re easy to clean, which means you can reuse the same one for both your cake batter and icing after a quick scrub.

6. Whisk

A wire whisk should be one of the top items on your baking tools shopping list.

A sturdy wire whisk, also known as a balloon whisk, is going to be one of your most-used cake baking tools. A 10 or 11-inch size is great for most uses, and try to find one that has a good connection between the head and the handle–you’d be surprised how easy it is to snap a flimsy whisk when you’re in the middle of mixing, especially if your ingredients are thick!

7. Hand Mixer

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Hand mixers are the perfect affordable tool for whisking and whipping ingredients.

Hand mixers are affordable (you can usually find one for under $30) and can dramatically reduce the time it takes to whisk or whip something manually. They also make it much simpler to get the perfect texture when you’re whipping cream or egg whites. Most come with several different attachments and their own storage container, so they’re easy to transport or hide away if you’re short on kitchen space. 

8. Electric Stand Mixer

mixing flour
Stand mixers can be pricey, but they’re great for whisking and kneading if you plan to bake on a regular basis.

Mixing by hand is always an option, but if you want to save yourself the arm workout, grab an electric stand mixer. They can be expensive, but they’re definitely worth the money if you plan to bake regularly. Especially if you’re looking for good bread baking tools, having a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment will save you time when it comes to kneading bread dough.

9. Rolling Pin

roll out dough
Rolling pins are essential for getting an even flatness in your pastry.

For most amateur bakers, a rolling pin that takes up drawer space may not be on your list when you’re thinking, “What are the different baking tools and equipment I need in my kitchen?” But if you want to get serious about your baking, ditch the empty wine bottle and invest in a solid wooden rolling pin. A roller-style pin is best for beginners, as you won’t need to put as much pressure on your dough or pastry to get an even, flat finish.

10. Pastry Cutter

pastry cutter
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Pastry cutters make it much easier to blend your pastry fat and your flour.

If you want to impress your friends with beautifully finished pastry, invest in a pastry cutter. Otherwise known as a pastry blender, these small, handheld tools help you to combine your solid fat (like butter or shortening) into your flour to form your pastry. The thin metal strips are pushed down into the flour mix to help break up the fat into smaller pieces and blend more easily.

11. Zester

zest lemon
Zesters are small, fine graters that help you to infuse the skin of citrus fruits like lemons and limes into your bakes.

Probably the thinnest grater you’ll ever own, a zester is the perfect tool for finely grating citrus zests into your bakes. While you can use a regular peeler and cut the skin up into small pieces, having a zester on hand will save you time as you work on your cakes and sweet treats (which leaves more time for eating them!). Plus, you can also use it for grating cheese onto your savory dishes.

12. Pie Crust Weights

pie weights in crust
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Pie weights help to evenly bake your pie crust before you add a filling.

If you’re a fan of The Great British Baking Show, you’ve probably seen the bakers use these. Pie crust weights are small, heat-resistant ceramic beads that you can use to fill your pie dish to blind bake your pastry. They help to evenly distribute pressure across the pie base as it cooks so that there’s no raw dough when you come to add your filling.

13. Ice Cream or Cookie Scoop

ice cream scooper
Ice cream or cookie scoops making even measurements of your creations easier and less messy.

When you’re trying to measure out cookie dough, going by eye or trying to detach sticky dough from a spoon can be a bit of a challenge. Having an ice cream or cookie scoop is a great solution and can be used for all kinds of batter and dough measuring.

14. Cookie Cutters

kid using cookie cutter
Cookie cutters aren’t just for the holidays and can be used for everyday baking like tarts and pies.

Nothing beats a plate of homemade cookies in all kinds of fun shapes. Cookie cutters aren’t just for the holidays, so stock up on a range of designs that can work throughout the year. A set of plain round cutters or round with crinkled edges are great for cutting pastry for mini pies or tarts, or even cutting out pasta dough for ravioli or tortellini.

15. Pastry Brush

bread pan
A pastry brush is a great addition to your baking toolkit!

Think of your pastry brush as a paintbrush for your baking. It may seem like a frivolous purchase, but they’re great for putting a milk or egg wash on your pastry before it goes in the oven (to get that all-important shiny glaze!) and can be used for greasing pans before pouring in the batter. Most pastry brushes in the past were made from animal hair, but these days, silicone brushes are a good choice for both amateur and experienced bakers.

16. Silicone Baking Mat

silcon baking mat with cookie on it
A silicone baking mat is an eco-friendly and easy-cleanup way to line your baking pans.

While using parchment, wax paper, or foil is perfectly fine, a silicone baking mat is reusable, and (usually) dishwasher safe. It’s better for the environment and it’s a much easier cleanup for those midnight-cookie-baking moments. Silicone mats can withstand high levels of heat so they’re great in the oven, and they even make a good non-stick surface for rolling out pastry dough. 

17. Pan Set

cookies on tray
Flat baking pans are perfect for almost any bake and can even be used for roasting in your everyday cooking.

You’ll always need something to bake your creations in! A basic set of pans will do if you’re stocking up on cake baking tools—this should include a rectangular loaf pan, a couple of 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans, and a 12-cup muffin tin. A single flat sheet pan should also be one of your essential baking tools. 

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Where to Buy Affordable, High-End, or Mid-Range Baking Tools

When you’re just getting started with baking, knowing where to buy baking tools can be difficult. You don’t need to buy the most expensive version of every piece of equipment, and it can be relatively affordable to get set up with all of the basics. 

Target, Walmart, or big department stores are usually a good place to start, especially if you’re looking for where to buy cheap baking tools. These stores will often have a range of options, from inexpensive basics (usually in a store brand) to pricier names like KitchenAid or Cuisinart. 

Once you become more confident with your baking skills, you may need to find specialist equipment to create more complicated recipes. While some of these all-purpose stores might have what you’re looking for, finding a dedicated kitchenware shop is usually the best choice. You’ll still get a range of options but you’ll also benefit from the expertise of the staff who can point you in the right direction.

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Written by:

Holly Landis