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Every Must-Have Item for the Bakers in Your Lives

Wood rolling pins; the cover of "Frosted" cookbook"; cakes in silver pans
Muro/Page Street Publishing/Farberware

For bakers, skill is only half the job: the other half is excellent equipment and recipes! Whether you’re an avid baker or just happen to know one, these picks are exactly what should be at the top of your next shopping list.

Baking can be a lot of fun, but it can also be pretty tricky to get right. For bakers of all skill levels, having the right equipment will take some of the stress and uncertainty out of the equation. From basic pans to unique rolling pins to gorgeous cookbooks, here’s what every baker should have ready to go before getting ready to turn on that oven.

Happy Holidays! This article is part of our Holiday 2021 Gift Guide where you can find the best-of-the-best recommendations from LifeSavvy, How-To Geek, and Review Geek to help you pick the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

A Basic Baking Set

Baked goods in silver pans; a set of silver bakeware
Farberware

Instead of trying to find one pan at a time as recipes demand, start out ahead of the game with a baking set that includes everything a baker needs in one simple kit. These sets are perfect for anyone who’s just starting a baking hobby (or who needs to replace a few old pieces).

The Farberware Nonstick Steel Bakeware set includes the most common pans used in baking anything from cakes to cookies and more. You’ll get two cookie sheets, two round cake pans, two square cake pans, a loaf pan, a 13×9 inch baking pan, a 12-cup muffin pan, and a cooling rack, all in one durable, nonstick set.

Farberware Nonstick Steel Bakeware Set

All the bakeware you need to get started.

Silicone Baking Mats

Amazon Basics

One of the secrets that separates skillful bakers from less experienced ones is how they avoid sticking. Silicone mats are durable and reliable for providing a nonstick surface that isn’t coated with consumables like parchment paper or residues like cooking spray.

These inexpensive Amazon Basics Silicone Baking Mats will give you all the nonstick qualities you need at an affordable price point. Easy to clean and even easier to use, they’re the perfect addition to any baker’s collection!

Amazon Basics Silicone Nonstick Baking Mat

An easy nonstick surface for your bakeware.

Stackable Cooling Racks

Stable, multi-tiered cooling racks make the most of your counter space and allow you to cool multiple batches or up to three cake layers at once. Cooling is crucial to getting the baking process right—if you don’t turn your baked goods out to cool, the hot pan may continue to “cook” its contents even after being pulled out of the oven.

For a simple, easy-to-store solution, try the Wilton Excelle Elite 3-Tier Cooling Racks. Nonstick coating on these sturdy racks will help to avoid crumbs sticking, while the rack collapses down for easy storage.

Wilton Excelle Elite 3-Tier Cooling Rack

A three-tiered cooling rack that collapses for storage.

Reliable Glass Measuring Cups

Pyrex

Pro tip: don’t try to bake a complex recipe without a high-quality set of glass measuring cups! Precision is key, especially in baking, and using transparent, accurately marked glass means that it’s easy to get precise liquid measurements.

Start with a durable set like the Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup Set. Featuring three different cups, bakers can easily measure any amount (and in cups, ounces, and milliliters too). It won’t absorb any odors from any liquids. Plus, they’re sturdy enough to use for small-scale melting too—for instance, for chocolate chips.

Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup Set

Three-pack of durable glass measuring cups.

A French Rolling Pin

Wood rolling pins in a tray with towels and eggs; a rolling pin being used on dough
Muro

One piece of equipment that separates the novices from the pros in the baking world: a French rolling pin. Unlike the everyday rolling pins you’re used to, these are one piece of solid wood, without handles or a roll mechanism, giving bakers more control. Plus, they’re easy to clean, since there are no nooks and crannies where the pieces join together.

Start with a reliable piece like the Muso Wood French Rolling Pin. Made from solid beech wood with tapered ends, it’s a sturdy rolling pin that dough won’t stick to. Once you’ve mastered the use of this kind of rolling pin, you’ll never go back!

Muso Wooden French Rolling Pin

A tapered beech wood rolling pin.

A Set of Metal Measuring Cups and Spoons

Accmor

Instead of plastic measuring cups and spoons, it’s definitely worth upgrading to a metal set. More than anything, they’re incredibly practical: durable, easy to clean, unlikely to pick up odors and stains, and neatly kept on a handy ring to avoid losing them.

The Accmor 11 Piece Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons Set includes both cups and spoons in all the significant measurements. Plus, they’re aesthetically interesting, so if you’re the kind of baker who likes to show off your tools as kitchen décor, they’re just the right pick!

Accmor 11 Piece Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons Cups Set

Measuring cups and spoons in every important size.

Cookbooks for Inspiration

There’s nothing more fun than trying out new recipes! Whether you’re a brand-new baker trying to find a perfect recipe for your favorite basics or someone trying to expand your horizons, a cookbook full of great recipes and beautiful photography is always a good idea.

Zoë Bakes Cakes

From Zoe Francois comes a cake cookbook for everyone who wants to feel like a fancy pastry chef. The focus is primarily on a exceptionally well-made, simple recipes, with a deep dive into flavor and making every element perfect. The book also features a “cake academy” at the beginning that teaches the mechanics and chemistry of perfect baking.

Frosted: Take Your Baked Goods to the Next Level with Decadent Buttercreams, Meringues, Ganaches and More

Want a cookbook to take the basics to the next level and turn them into baking masterpieces? This collection from Bernice Baran starts by teaching bakers to master frostings, meringues, ganaches, and more, with a step-by-step technical focus. Then, there’s a series of recipes that combine those basics into delicious treats that look a lot fancier than they are!

Simply Sweet Nostalgic Bakes: 55 Elegant Takes on Comfort Classics

For the baker with a classic style, this cookbook from Emma Duckworth is the perfect choice! 55 timeless treats are given an elegant, updated twist in these unique recipes, all while keeping the comforting familiarity and classic techniques of the recipes we all know and love. Out Nov. 23.


Ready to bake with all your shiny new equipment? Now it’s time to try it out! Sign up for a baking class or just pick up your oven mitts and get cracking (eggs, of course!).

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »

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