I’ve been interested in baking for the past 5 or so years now, I like to think (and have been told) that my techniques, recipes, decorations etc have been getting better over this period.
I think having the right equipment helps a lot! Here’s is a list of MY bakeware essentials and why I find them useful.
1. Cookie cutters
Not just for baking cookies! I’ve found they can also be used for cutting foundant / royal icing for decorations too – it took longer than it probably should have to realise that!
Cookie cutters come in a variety of fun shapes, but to start with a set of round cutters in various sizes (such as Lake land) will come in handy.
Other essentials would be stars, gingerbread men and, for me, hearts.
I have 100s (1000s?) of themed cookie cutters too, e.g. Winnie the Pooh, Doctor Who and Star Wars! It definitely depends on what events/people you’ll be baking for.
2. Loose-bottomed deep tin
For cakes that won’t be layered or ‘sandwiched’, e.g. fruit cakes, a deep tin is best.
I have a couple, one 6″ and one 8″, I tend to use the 8″ most often as that’s what the recipes I’m using recommend.
Having a loose bottom allows for a much easier release.
When it comes to cake tins, I prefer non-stick metal. I’ve tried silicone pans but find the results aren’t as good.
3. Baking sheet
Simply, a flat metal sheet used to bake pastries, biscuits etc. Anything that doesn’t require a mould.
The one I have is non-stick and has a ‘lip’, making it a lot easier to get out of the oven!
4. Loaf tins
Many of my go to recipes recommend a loaf tin, e.g. lemon drizzle cakes. I have two, a 9×12 one and a – neither are non-stick! But I’ve never had any problems with cake sticking to the tins – Both have been handed down to me from family members. Sentimental value.
Loaf tins can come in a range of sizes, there is no ideal shape – it’s up to you to choose one/two (or more) that’ll suit your needs.
5. Hand-held electric mixers
Sometimes I’ll use my hand-held balloon whisk – mostly if I need to mix eggs – but for most things I use my electric mixer.
An electric mixer will save you time and effort, but won’t exercise those arms as much.
6. Loose-bottomed tart tins
I only have one of these, an 9″ fluted tin and although I don’t use it often, would be lost without it. I use it for tarts, quiches etc – both sweet and savoury.
Like the loose-bottomed cake tins mentioned previously, these also allow for an easy release.
7. Rolling pin
I have three rolling pins! Two are decorative and the other is a more practical wooden one.
There are so many things you’ll use one for, rolling dough for example.
8. Cupcake / Muffin tin
As the name suggests, these are used to cupcakes! But can also be used for a range of make small cakes and pastries.
Considering this is one of the things I use most of the time, I’m surprised I didn’t think of adding it before/earlier on.
9. Cooling rack
They allow heat to escape from all sides of the cake at once. When a cake is left in the tin or on a plate, it can make the cake soggy – speaking from experience!
10. Sandwich tins
I have a couple of 8″ (20cm) ones, both are non-stick and loose-bottomed. This tends to be the most commonly used size.
They’re ideal for filled sponges, such as a Victoria sponge cake.
Besides the bake ware essentials noted above, I also have various ‘specialist’ tins in my cupboard, that I’d recommend:
- Bundt tin: Used for making ring cakes – I have two different sizes.
- Heart-shaped tin: For Valentine’s Day cakes – I have two in the same size which I used for layer cakes or filled sponges.
- Novelty tins: For Birthdays and other special occasions. I have a Dalek, Dinosaur and Car one (to name a few).
- Square tin: For brownies
- The Lakeland Hemisphere cake tins
Other baking essentials
- Measuring Spoons / Cups – or both! – I own both.
- Mixing bowls
- Fine-mesh Sieve
- Cake Tester