Pastry Tools and Baking Utensils List

What You Need if You Want to Bake

You need only a few baking utensils to make pastry, bake a cake, bread or muffins, so the initial outlay is low, but benefits are much higher.   Baking not only warms the kitchen but also the heart.  It's a known fact that if you are staging your home to sell it, just throw a cinnamon-laced dish in the oven when a possible buyer is coming to see the place.  The spicy aroma is sure to win them over, because they can't resist that welcoming feel that baking gives a home.  

But there are...MORE other reasons why people bake - to save on their food budget and to control the additives that go into their food.  And some, just love to bake - love doing it, like the baking results and get much satisfaction out of the family enjoying the baked treats too. 

Whether you plan to bake a little or a lot, there are some essential baking utensils you'll need to accomplish your baking tasks. Of course, there are a few appliances that can also help with your baking and I'll address these a little too.  Though you can bake without them, they are time-savers and those minutes can surely add up.  They also help if you have problem hands and need a little more muscle to mix and knead.

  • 01 of 19
    Woman rolling out fresh bread dough
    Howard George / Getty Images

    Muffin and Cupcake Liners - Optional or Essential?

    Do I have to use liners when making muffins or cupcakes?

    Answer: No, muffin liners are entirely optional. You can bake excellent muffins or cupcakes and remove them safely from pans without using baking liners, as long you grease your baking pans. However, sometimes greasing pans is inadequate and muffin liners could save the baking. Here are a few reasons in the case for using muffin liners:

    • Muffins and cupcakes are easier to handle when in...MORE liners.
    • Using liners is more hygienic (when handling).
    • There's no need to grease baking pans when using liners.
    • Liners reduce wear and tear on the nonstick finish.
    • Easier no-fear removal of delicate cupcakes.

    Muffin liners are sold in different sizes but it can be difficult to find some for tiny muffin tins. Not all regular (medium) sizing are the same; sometimes they are on the small side. I've also found that cheaper brands of liners do not always remove well from muffins or cupcakes, so best not to skimp when it comes to buying liners.

    Most muffin and cupcake liners are affordable and you can get more than one batch from a pack. There are also special occasion liners if you want to dress up your cupcakes or muffins. Make sure you buy the correct size of muffin liners for your pans. Liners are the same for making either dessert but are called either muffin liners or cupcake liners.

    Rolling pins come in all sizes, lengths, and types of materials, but the most common are wooden pins with or without handles.  There are also silicone pins as well as fancy (pattern-making) models for specific tasks. 

    Regardless of the type of pin you choose, it's a matter of getting used to the feel of it and how much flour it needs to keep the dough from sticking to it. You need a rolling pin if you intend on making pastries, tea biscuits, cut-out cookies, donuts and other delicacies, but not for cakes, bread, muffins or squares. 

    When choosing a pin, consider the length - if you plan on making large pies or several butter tarts, you might want to get a longer one, so you can roll out a larger pastry.  That being said, a shorter pin (less pastry) is easier to handle and roll, if you're new to baking.

  • 02 of 19
    Pouring water from jug to mix with other ingredients in bowl (making bread)
    Will Heap / Getty Images

    Whether you bake a lot or only on special occasions, at least one or two large mixing bowls are a must.  You can use any type of bowl - plastic, ceramic, glass or stainless, as long as you have enough room to mix a number of ingredients. 

    If you plan on making several loaves of bread, you would need an extra large bowl for mixing the dough to the point where you turn the dough out onto a board to knead.  You'll more likely want to have more than a couple of mixing bowls and different sizes...MORE are very practical. 

    When it comes to making cakes, many recipes will call for dry ingredients to be mixed in a smaller bowl, to be transferred later into a second, larger bowl that contains the wet ingredients.  Mixing bowls are very versatile kitchen equipment that can be used for serving dishes, salads or left-overs.

  • 03 of 19
    Boy cutting shapes from dough with cookie cutters.
    Rebekah Logan / Getty Images

    If you plan on making cut-out cookies - where you roll out the dough with a rolling pin and cut out the cookies - you'll need a few cookie cutters. Likewise, if donuts are on your to-do list.

    A cookie press is used with a simple dough recipe to make pressed or formed dainty cookies, more commonly enjoyed around the holidays. Presses are easy and fun to use, and results look amazing.

    Cutters and presses are economical to buy and very durable.  Rosettes are a different kind of cookie, deep fried...MORE using a rosette or timbale iron.

  • 04 of 19
    baking Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips
    CeliaYu / Getty Images

    Baking pans come in various sizes and shapes from sheets for baking cookies, pans for cakes, bread or muffins to shaped or Bundt cake pans.

    If you want to bake a variety of goods, you'll probably need one or two of each type. For cakes and dessert mixes, you should have a 9"x13" pan for standard cakes, as well as an 8" or 9" square pan for smaller mixes.

    While cookie baking sheets are tin or stainless, you'll need to decide between silicone, tin or glass for cake and bread...MORE pans. Muffin tins are available in tin or silicone. Tin pans come in either plain or with a nonstick coating which helps with food removal and clean-up, but these pans require more care.

    Silicone bakeware is popular with some and not so with others.  If you do try out silicone pans, follow my tips for best results and remember that they are not nonstick and should be greased before using as you would do with a tin pan. 

    Continue to 5 of 19 below.
  • 05 of 19
    Measuring Cups and Chocolate Chips
    Miranda Lehman / Getty Images

    In order to follow any baking recipe, measuring cups and spoons are essential. You'll also find that having duplicate cups can be very handy.

    You can choose any type of measuring cups and spoons in plastic, stainless or glass, and you'll find the see-through (glass) one, two and four-cup measuring cups very practical for baking and cooking.

    Standard measuring cup sets usually have a 1-cup, 1/2-cup, 1/3-cup and 1/4-cup measures - and you will use these different sizes depending on the...MORE recipe.

  • 06 of 19
    Whisks, wooden spoon and a spatula
    Dave King / Getty Images

    The term spatula refers to several types of kitchen utensils including rubber or silicone tools to blend or scrape the food from the bowl; metal, silicone or plastic egg turners or flippers. 

    You need at least a couple of rubber or silicone spatulas to scrape the bowl, as well as a small metal spatula to serve desserts.  A few wooden spoons for mixing and blending are also handy. 

    An icing spatula, which is a long flat off-set knife, makes it easier to ice a cake.  A couple of wire or silicone...MORE whisks are also very practical baking utensils.

  • 07 of 19
    Preparing food
    BeautifulLotus / Getty Images

    You can simply use the range timer if yours is so equipped, but having a small minute timer can be very practical. It allows you to take the timer outdoors with you or to another room, so you can hear it and know that you should check or remove your baking. Having more than one timer is handy when you are cooking and baking.

    There are various types of thermometers, but the most common one used in baking is a candy thermometer if you plan on making candies, chocolates or boiled frostings.

  • 08 of 19
    Raspberry tartlets
    William Reavell / Getty Images

    While you can just cool cakes or bread ​by removing from the pan onto a board, the bottom of the baked goods tends to become soggy.  But if you use a cooling rack, the baking cools evenly because air can flow around it.  If you want to make it easier to store, choose a cooling rack size based on the type of baking items you usually bake.

    Continue to 9 of 19 below.
  • 09 of 19
    Cutting Butter into Flour with a Pastry Blender
    StockFood / Getty Images

    While they sound similar and are often referred to as the same type of pastry tool, a blender is somewhat different than a cutter. A pastry blender is used during the mixing of the pastry dough.  It also has lots of other applications, such as blending the flour, sugar, and butter for a fruit crisp or mashing boiled eggs for egg salad.  A pastry blender is a basic essential tool for mixing pastry.

    A pastry cutter, on the other hand, is used after the dough has...MORE been rolled, to cut out shapes as you would do with cookie cutters, or to cut strips of dough with a rotaty-type of a cutter, for fancy pie crust tops or other pastry delicacies. Depending on the type of baking you will be doing, you may find having a pastry cutter very convenient.

  • 10 of 19
    Close-up of turquoise blue cake cases on stainless steel non-stick baking tray, overhead view
    Claire Cordier / Getty Images

    Some home bakers cannot be without parchment paper to line their baking sheets and pans, while others tend to grease the tins.   Parchment paper helps with cake removal, does make pan cleaning quicker and it keeps them from discoloring. 

    Muffin liners are big on convenience, cleaning, and ease of handling.  Their low cost makes them very affordable and worth having on hand for cupcakes and muffins. But are they optional or essential?

    No, muffin liners are...MORE entirely optional. You can bake excellent muffins or cupcakes and remove them safely from pans without using baking liners, as long you grease your baking pans. However, sometimes greasing pans is inadequate and muffin liners could save the baking.

    Here are a few reasons in the case for using muffin liners:

    • Muffins and cupcakes are easier to handle when in liners.
    • Using liners is more hygienic (when handling).
    • There's no need to grease baking pans when using liners.
    • Liners reduce wear and tear on the nonstick finish.
    • Easier no-fear removal of delicate cupcakes.

    Muffin liners are sold in different sizes but it can be difficult to find some for tiny muffin tins. Not all regular (medium) sizing are the same; sometimes they are on the small side. I've also found that cheaper brands of liners do not always remove well from muffins or cupcakes, so best not to skimp when it comes to buying liners.

    Most muffin and cupcake liners are affordable and you can get more than one batch from a pack. There are also special occasion liners if you want to dress up your cupcakes or muffins. Make sure you buy the correct size of muffin liners for your pans. Liners are the same for making either dessert but are called either muffin liners or cupcake liners.

    Silicone baking sheet liners are an alternative to using parchment paper on flat baking sheets.  They have become very popular because they help the cookies to bake thoroughly and evenly while keeping pans easy to clean.

  • 11 of 19
    Flour Sifter
    Kurtwilson / Getty Images

    While flour sifters have gone by the wayside for many who prefer to use prepared cake mixes, home bakers who want to improve the texture of their homemade specialty cakes, still use them. 

    And there are other uses for a flour sifter, especially a one-cup size - to dust a cake with icing or confectioner's sugar, or add a cinnamon-sugar mix to cakes or desserts. 

    You can also use one to dust a pastry sheet with flour or to add flour to thicken gravy.  Whether it's an essential baking tool...MORE for you depends on how particular you are about your cake textures or alternate uses.

  • 12 of 19
    Using basting brush to glaze naan bread on baking tray
    Howard Shooter / Getty Images

    Basting brushes are essential for buttering the tops of breads and baked goods after they come out of the oven.  Most basting brushes are now silicone rather than synthetic hair and can more readily handle hot liquids. 

    While the silicone construction is not as nice to butter with, they do last longer.  Basting brushes are handy for more than baking, they're great for basting meats and poultry when roasting or grilling.

    Continue to 13 of 19 below.
  • 13 of 19
    Melting chocolate over hot water (Ban Marie)
    Simon Wheeler Ltd / Getty Images

    An absolute must for melting chocolate and there are different models available, but I like the dual pots the best because this unit allows you to melt both dark and light chocolates. 

    A chocolate melting pot removes the fear of burning the chocolate which is very easy to do using a pot on the stove.  These small appliances allow you the time needed to prepare and dip your dessert creations. 

    Similar to a small electric fondue, it melts the chocolate and keeps it warm for an extended period of...MORE time, so you can complete the dipping.  It's also ideal to use for a chocolate fondue pot, though capacity is much less than a standard electric fondue.

  • 14 of 19
    Woman decorating whipped cream on cake
    sot / Getty Images

    Decorating tools are a must if you plan on making birthday or special occasion cakes or cupcakes. Cake decorating tools include colored writing gels and icings, preformed flowers and trims, and the icing bags and tips you need to apply frosting or cream.  If you plan on making a lot of decorated cakes, a revolving cake stand makes the task easier and a cake decorating book can give you ideas and help you grow your decorating skill.

  • 15 of 19
    Easing baked bread loaf from bread making machine
    Ian O'Leary / Getty Images

    Also called breadmakers, these machines allow you to make homemade bread without having to spend time kneading it. While you can complete the baking cycle right in the bread machine, some models have a dough setting where it will do the mixing/kneading and first rising, then you can take over and shape it plus let it rise, and then bake it in your range oven. 

    Even the partial (dough) breadmaking process saves lots of time and effort. And making bread at home saves on your food bill. There's...MORE a slight downside, though, most tend to eat more bread when they make it at home - it's so hard to resist, but you can make healthier bread because you can experiment with whole grains to your heart's content.  You also get to control the additives that go into your family's bread.

  • 16 of 19
    Girl using an electric mixer in kitchen
    Elizabethsalleebauer / Getty Images

    Either type of mixer is very convenient for mixing cake batter or whipping desserts and toppings (even potatoes), but a stand mixer has an edge over a hand mixer. 

    You can turn it on to mix and walk away to gather or add ingredients, work on the project or start cleaning up.  If you want to be able to knead bread with a stand mixer, it should have a kneading or dough hook; and for whipping - a whisk attachment.

    A hand mixer may more readily fit within your budget and is easy to store, but it must...MORE be guided through the mixing stage and turned off to add ingredients.  

    A hand mixer does not have enough power to work or mix dough, and is used mostly to mix wet or soft ingredients.  If you lack counter space, a hand mixer may be the better choice for you even though its function is limited when compared to a stand model.

    Continue to 17 of 19 below.
  • 17 of 19
    Kitchen blender
    Image Source / Getty Images

    A food processor can be as much help with mixing the dough as it is processing vegetables and some have had tremendous success letting their food processor do the kneading/mixing for their bread. 

    If you plan on making several loaves of bread, you would need a larger processor (14-cup), but a 7-9 cup unit would be sufficient for standard dessert or cake batters. 

    A counter or hand blender can be helpful when it comes to preparing sauces, butter tart, and dessert fillings - mostly soft and liquid...MORE foods.

  • 18 of 19
    Prune cake
    Thorsten Suedfels / Getty Images

    If you want to nicely display and serve your baking creations in style, tableware such as a muffin tower, cake plates, servers and pie/cake lifters are essential.  Find something that works well for your baking.

  • 19 of 19
    The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
    Amazon.com

    Now that your kitchen is equipped for baking and you have all the pastry tools and baking utensils you need, your next task is to find great baking recipes to try out. 

    There's a good variety of baking cookbooks on the market and you can also find lots of recipes from About's Food Guides.

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