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Baking supplies are endlessly inventive because baking is endlessly inventive. A “celebrity chef” from the early 1800s and the inventor of French haute cuisine, Marie-Antoine Carême, said it well: “The fine arts are five in number, namely: painting, sculpture, poetry, music, and architecture, the principal branch of the latter being pastry.”
Home baking, of course, can be either beautifully simple or intensely complex. It all depends on available time, resources, and personal taste. In this curated selection of baking supplies, we’re including the basic tools used in almost every recipe, whether sweet or savory. A good tool can make the work so much easier.
For delicious, enjoyable, time-saving baking, here's our list of the best baking supplies.
Best Bakeware Set: Calphalon Simply Nonstick Bakeware 6-Piece Set
Heavy duty steel prevents warping
Six essential baking pans
Bundled for a great price
Nonstick and dishwasher safe
Non-stick coating may wear or scratch over time
This classic set of six nonstick pieces is a great place to start or is perfect for refurbishing your collection of baking supplies. It has all the basics, including two 8-inch round cake pans for classic layer cakes, one medium loaf pan for sweet or savory breads, one 9 x 13-inch cake pan for quick breads or bars, one 12-cup muffin pan for cupcakes or muffins, and one 10 x 15-inch baking sheet for cookies, jellyroll cakes, or just about anything else.
Manufactured by the well-trusted Calphalon brand of Perrsyburg, Ohio, the heavy-gauge steel won't buckle in the oven, and the nonstick surface is designed to release up to two times better than Calphalon Classic Bakeware. This set is oven safe to 450 degrees and dishwasher safe. This makes a great gift for someone new to baking or for your own kitchen.
Includes:  8-inch Round Cake Pans,  9 x 5-inch Loaf Pan,  9 x 13-inch Cake Pan,  12-Cup Muffin Pan,  10 x 15-inch Baking Sheet
Best Cooling Rack: Checkered Chef Cooling Rack
No coating that might chip
Fits into a half sheet pan
Hard clean under crossbar by hand
A cooling rack gives your baked goods a place to cool while allowing air to circulate below and around, preventing moisture from forming, which will cause sogginess. This grid is versatile because you can also pop it in the oven if you want to crisp a pizza or veggies, bake some bacon with easy drainage, or even prepare a roast. The cooling rack is oven safe up to 500 degrees which should tackle most of your home-cooking projects. It’s built of heavy-duty stainless steel and reinforced with a crossbar that runs the length of the rack, as well as three sets of feet where other racks tend to have two — so don’t hesitate to load it up!
When you’re finished, the Checkered Chef cooling rack can be cleaned in the dishwasher, although any tough bits may need to be scrubbed a little by hand for the best results. While one cooling rack is essential, if you plan on doing a lot of baking, it might be worth it to pick up two of these racks.
Includes: One 16.93 x 11.42-inch stainless steel cooling rack
Best Spatula Set: OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set
Unibody silicone design
Three useful sizes and shapes
Easy to clean, dishwasher safe
Long heat-resistant non-slip handles
Lighter silicone colors may discolor over time
To get started, you’ll need at least one silicone spatula for folding batters, fluffing frostings, and filling pastry bags. But you’ll quickly find that having more than one spatula available, and in a few different styles will be a huge help. This 3-piece set from OXO Good Grips is our favorite set for baking, as well as almost any savory cooking you might need a silicone spatula for as well. The red “everyday” spatula is perfect for a wide variety of uses, and quickly became our tester’s favorite go-to spatula during home baking and cooking tests. The smaller, light blue spatula is similarly shaped but smaller, making it easier to reach into wide-mouth jars and cans and working with smaller batches of baked goods. Finally, the large white spoon-shaped spatula makes scooping up batters and frosting much easier, all while making sure the bowl is scraped clean.
This is the newest version of OXO’s popular silicone mixing spatulas. The upgrade included covering the spatulas entirely in silicone for a seamless unibody design that’s more stable and easier to clean. Our tester found that the silicone made the handles just as heat-resistant as the heads of the spatulas, which was helpful when leaning them against the edge of hot pots and pans. It also made it easier to handle the spatulas if liquid or grease got onto the non-slip spatula handle. The long handles are easy to grip and help keep your hands out of danger when cooking especially hot foods, like bubbling caramel. And when you’re finished, the spatulas are easy to clean by hand, or dishwasher safe for a deeper clean.
Includes: 10-inch blue spatula, 12.5-inch red spatula, 12-inch white spoon spatula
"These spatulas quickly became my favorite spatulas. The red everyday spatula is the perfect size for almost every baking and cooking project, and the white spoonula spatula made it easy to transfer both frosting and thick pâte à choux dough into piping bags. The smaller blue spatula was strong enough to stir butter and cream into thick mashed potatoes without bending or breaking." — Jenny Kellerhals, Product Tester
Best Zester: Microplane Premium Zester
Heavy-duty sharp stainless steel blades
Soft non-slip grip handle
Countless pastry and savory uses
Sharp enough to cut yourself
A Microplane zester is such an essential tool in professional kitchens, that cooks will refer to a zester as a “Microplane”, regardless of the brand. The Microplane brand is known for its sharp and long-lasting zesting blades that can tackle the fine outer layer of citrus peels with the same efficiency as hard pieces of whole nutmeg. It’s also great for finely zesting hard cheeses onto salads and pasta, grating fresh ginger, garlic, and even zesting fine chocolate flakes. The height of the zester blades are actually designed to slice through the outer layer of citrus without grazing the bitter white citrus pith below, so you’re going to get perfect citrus zest with every use.
The zesting blade is made from surgical-grade stainless steel, which is why it can stand up to harder ingredients and keeps its sharpness for longer. While a Microplane is incredibly easy to use, make sure to watch your fingertips and knuckles because it's sharp enough to zest you as well. The soft plastic handle makes it easier to keep a firm grip on the zester while you work. The Premium Classic Microplane zester is currently available in 25 handle colors, to coordinate with nearly any kitchen décor you may have, or to set your tools apart from others in a larger kitchen setting. Microplane zesters are dishwasher safe but are just as easy to wash and rinse by hand for less wear and tear over time.
Includes: One 12-inch stainless steel zester with ergonomic plastic handle
"A Microplane is one of the tools I use most when creating new recipes, adding, and building flavors in baked goods. Lemon pound cake wouldn't be possible without one, and it's ideal for zesting whole nutmeg into baked goods." — Jenny Kellerhals, Baking Expert for The Spruce Eats
Best Mixing Bowls: Nordic Ware 4-Piece Prep N Serve Mixing Bowl Set
Attractive colors and design
Microwave and top rack dishwasher safe
Sharp utensils may scratch surface
No kitchen is complete without a set of mixing bowls. Whether you're whipping up a batch of cookie dough, mixing a salad for dinner, or reheating leftovers, mixing bowls are some of the most versatile and occasionally underrated tools in the kitchen. This 4-piece bowl set from Nordic Ware is a great place to start building your mixing bowl collection. The set includes a 2-quart, 3.5-quart, 5-quart, and 7-quart bowl that can stand up to most cooking projects. During testing, these bowls performed well when using a hand mixer, without ingredients flying out of the bowls. Our tester also noted that the plastic bowls also tended to be less noisy when mixing with metal utensils than their metal counterparts.
We like that these bowls are safe to use in the microwave and the dishwasher for easy heating and cleanup and lightweight enough for just about anyone to handle with ease. The cool tones color palette with decorative bowl design makes the bowls fitting not just for mixing but for serving meals any night of the week and convenient for outdoor dining. Nordic Ware makes a wide selection of cookware and bakeware and is a trusted name in the world of kitchen products, so you know you're getting reliable goods.
Includes: Four plastic mixing bowls, in 2-quart, 3.5-quart, 5-quart, and 7-quart sizes
"There wasn't any splashing outside the bowl when using a hand mixer, which was a little surprising since these are a bit wide, but they're still deep enough." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Whisk: Winco 12-Inch Stainless Steel Piano Wire Whip
Appropriate for both pastry and savory cooking
Stainless steel handle gets warm
When it comes to whisks, there are a lot of options out there. But if you just need one reliable whisk that can power through nearly anything you throw at it, go with what the professionals use. The Winco Stainless Steel Piano Wire Whip is about as heavy-duty as it gets, without being too heavy and still capable of handling whipping up delicate creams and sauces.
During testing, we found that the Winco whisk was able to easy mix together thick pecan pie batter and emulsify vinaigrette efficiently. Our tester liked the shorter handle that allowed her to get closer to the food and use less energy to whisk everything together. Since both the wires and the handle are made from stainless steel, remember that the handle will get hot if it’s left resting on the side of a pot.
The Winco whisk comes in several sizes, including 10, 12, 14, and 16-inch. For regular home use, we’d recommend the 10 or 12-inch sizes, although you may find the 14 and 16-inch sizes helpful if you tend to cook much larger batches of food at one time. The whisk is dishwasher safe, although our tester noticed that the handle tends to lose its shine when run through the dishwasher.
Includes: One 12-inch stainless steel whisk
“I love this whisk. When you don’t want to break out the stand mixer, this whisk has the weight to make mixing by hand a cinch. The wide handle was comfortable to grip, and the rigid piano wire easily cut through even the heaviest ingredients.” — Carrie Honaker, Product Tester
Best Egg Yolk Separator: Tovolo Silicone Yolk Out Egg Separator
Small and lightweight
Dishwasher safe to sanitize
Small learning curve
When a recipe calls for separated eggs, things can start to get a little messy. Juggling separate bowls, making sure no egg shells get into the egg whites, and taking special care not to break the yolk can all make the process distressing. While you get the hang of things, this handy silicone egg separator from Tovolo is a convenient little gadget that can make the work of separating yolks and whites a little easier.
It works like this. Crack your eggs into a bowl, then use the silicone egg separator to suction up the yolks, one by one. You can then deposit the yolks into another bowl, or toss them if you don’t need them. The separator is small enough to be used one-handed and weighs less than an ounce. When you’re finished, the whole thing is dishwasher safe and small enough to fit in any drawer for storing.
Includes: One easy-squeeze silicone suction-style egg separator
Best Pastry Brushes: Tezzorio Set of 2 Pastry Brushes
2-pack for a variety of projects
Natural bristles provide better coverage
Hanging hole for optimal drying and storing
Hand wash only
Pastry brushes are an essential baking and cooking tool. You can use one to spread egg washes or glazes over pastries, brush melted butter over bread, baste meat with a marinade, and much more. Though silicone pastry brushes are commonplace, there’s a lot to be said for the old-fashioned natural bristle brush. This set of brushes has natural boar hair bristles that hold and distribute liquids and sauces more smoothly and with greater precision than silicone bristles.
The set includes a 1-inch and 1.5-inch pastry brush, which come in handy for different project sizes — but it’s also convenient to have two brushes on hand when working on projects that require both a wet brush for glazes and a dry brush for dusting off flour and crumbs. These brushes should be promptly hand-washed in warm soapy water, and left to air dry hanging, flat, or bristles up. When you first start using the brushes, there may be a few loose bristles, but if larger chunks of bristles come loose after use, it’s time to replace the brush.
Includes: One 1-inch natural brush, one 1.5-inch natural brush
“The soft bristles aren’t overly dense, which means it won’t tear the dough or the crust as you brush delicate pastries or seal pie crusts.” — Irvin Lin, Product Tester
Best Food Scale: Zwilling Enfinigy Digital Kitchen Scale
High 22-pound weight capacity
Rechargeable, no batteries required
Attractive and easy to clean design
Button to change units under scale
Whether for serious baking or for calorie counting, a good scale must be adaptable and easy to use. This digital scale by Zwilling has a lot going for it: It's digital, can weigh up to 22 pounds, and has a tare function. All of these features combined make things like scaling ingredients directly into your pot or bowl much easier, even if you’re working with a heavy cast iron pot that can easily weigh 11 pounds or more. Plus, its minimalistic glass top design means your countertops won't look cluttered if you leave it sitting out, even in the smallest kitchen. It’s available in both black and white to seamlessly match your other kitchen appliances.
The scale measures in both ounces and grams, and is precise down to the single gram and .1-ounce measurement, depending on which function you’re using. The rechargeable battery is built-in and a charging cord is provided, so you’ll never have to scramble to replace batteries in the middle of a project again. As an added bonus, there's an accompanying app that you can download to search a database of recipes to fuel more inspiration in the kitchen.
Size: 9.6 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches | Includes: Scale and micro-USB charging cord
Best Dry Measuring Cups & Spoons: Simply Gourmet Measuring Cups and Spoons Set
Seamless cup and handles
Measurements clearly engraved on handles
Dishwasher safe stainless steel
Small cup handles may be difficult to hold
This 12-piece stainless steel measuring set includes six dry measuring cups and six measuring spoons that can be used for either liquid or dry measurements. There are a few features that set these apart from the competition. The first is that there are some additional cups and spoons with measurements that aren’t often included with traditional sets. There’s a ¾-cup measuring cup, as well as ⅛th and ¾-teaspoon measuring spoons, which are all convenient to have.
Additionally, both the cups and spoons are made of stainless steel, with a seamless construction — which means the chances of the handles falling off is slim to none, unlike cups with handles welded on. The cups are designed with flat bases, so they won’t tip over when filled. Both standard and metric measurements are stamped on the handles of both the spoons and cups. All of the handles have holes for looping together and hanging, and conveniently nest into each other for compact storage. Everything is rust-resistant and dishwasher safe, although they’re also easy to wash by hand too. If you're looking for slightly more or less variety, Simply Gourmet also makes a 7-piece set of measuring cups only and a 15-piece set with an additional cup, spoon, and leveler.
Includes:  measuring cups — ¼, ⅓, ½, ⅔, ¾, and 1-cup, and  measuring spoons — ⅛, ¼, ½, ¾, 1-teaspoon, and 1-Tablespoon
Best Liquid Measuring Cups: Pyrex Prepware 3-Piece Glass Measuring Set
Microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, and freezer-safe
Won't stain or discolor
Standard and metric measurements
Glass is heavier
Classic Pyrex measuring cups and dishes are a part of American kitchen culture at this point. They’ve been around since the early 1900s, are made in the USA, are sturdy and useful, and are marked for U.S. and metric measurements. There are significant advantages to using Pyrex tempered glass over other materials: It’s heat-resistant, transparent, well-tested over years of use, doesn’t absorb odors, and doesn’t stain or warp.
This set comes with a 1-cup, 2-cup, and 4-cup measuring cup, so you'll be set for all your baking endeavors, big or small. These measuring cups are microwave-, fridge-, and freezer-friendly, in addition to being dishwasher safe. Plus, the handles are designed to allow the cups to be stackable for compact storage.
Includes: 1-cup, 2-cup, and 4-cup liquid measuring cups
"I use Pyrex measuring cups for so much more than measuring out wet ingredients. The cups are also fantastic for microwaving wet ingredients, mixing small batches of salad dressing in, and straining hot liquids into while cooking. Having multiple sizes is ultra-convenient, especially when preparing large meals or multi-step baked goods." - Jenny Kellerhals, Baking Expert for The Spruce Eats
Best Cake Decorating Kit: Wilton 263-Piece Ultimate Cake Decorating Tools Set
Everything has a place in the caddy
Complete with both buttercream and fondant tools
Instant tool collection
Includes limited instructions
Buying cake decorating tools a few pieces at a time is likely going to be an expensive investment over the long term. But if you’re ready to dive into the world of cake decorating, it might be worth it to invest in a comprehensive set of tools from the very beginning. The Wilton 263-Piece Ultimate Cake Decorating Tools set has tools for baking, building, and frosting cakes, as well as decorating tools that will get you started with both buttercream and fondant (or gum paste) decorating. Everything comes packed in the kit, so you know it can all fit back together again. The plastic caddy conveniently keeps all of your tools in one place so you aren’t searching for piping tips in one drawer and a fondant smoother in a different place. And the individual bins in the caddy are see-through to make finding what you need easier.
There are a few pieces in this set that are actually hard to find elsewhere, including a dishwashing tray for up to 10 standard-sized piping tips, elastic piping bag ties, bake even strips for your cake pans, and a dusting tool for fondant decorations. Not to say that you won’t need a few other tools — you’ll need to shop for a cake turntable and cake leveler separately, as well as specialty tips when you’re ready for an upgrade. You’ll also need to refer to the Wilton website for instructions on how to use some of the tools that you may not be familiar with, since the kit comes with limited instructions. But this extensive kit will have you well on the way to making an incredible amount of cake designs the moment you take it out of the box.
Includes: 263 pieces: plastic storage caddy, 2 angled spatulas, 2 straight spatulas, 18 decorating tips, 6 silicone tip covers, dishwasher tip tray and brush, practice board with stand & patterns, 62 piping bags, 12 bag ties, 4 couplers, flower nail sets, 50 pre-cut icing flower papers, flower lifter, 6 foil squares, icing comb, 2 bake-even strips, dusting pouch, fondant smoother, 3 decorating brushes, 3 circle cutters, decorative and geometric cutters, modeling tools, thick & thin fondant shaping foam, 28 foam decorating wedges, flexible flower impression mat, 2 wave flower formers, 6 flower forming cups, baroque fondant mold, parchment paper
"This kit is a great starting point for people who want to level up, have mastered baking and building cakes, and want to grow their decorating repertoire. All of the tools are basic, but there’s no doubt that it saves you from the hassle of buying all of these things individually." — Jenny Kellerhals, Product Tester
For new bakers looking to get started with the basics, the Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware Set (view at Amazon) has just what you need. The reliable 4-piece set of Nordic Ware mixing bowls are great for mixing up cookie doughs and cake batters, and the OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set will make any cooking or baking project easier to handle.
What to Look for in Baking Supplies
When acquiring new items for the kitchen, it's often a question of storage. How much space do you have for storage? Do the pans or bowls nest together easily for compact storage? Can they fit in the drawer easily, or will you need to make some special consideration for them? Consider, too, how often you might use the various equipment and supplies. That might help you figure out whether or not they will fit within the current configuration of your kitchen.
How to Clean
If you are the kind of person who prefers to put everything in the dishwasher, you'll want to first read the fine print about your baking supplies before you buy them. For example, many nonstick pans should not be put in the dishwasher, as it can compromise their surface. They should be hand-washed, along with those that have wooden components.
If you bake a lot, you'll want products that can stand the test of time and repeated use. Look for heavy-duty products made of durable materials such as stainless steel and without multiple parts to remove and clean. Those places where they come apart are ultimately weak spots.
What is the importance of baking tools?
Sometimes, buying something for your kitchen may seem superfluous, especially if you are new to baking and cooking. But having the right tools can save you a lot of agony and can make the process of cooking so much easier and more enjoyable. For example, you want a scraper that can get at every last bit of batter in a mixing bowl that's sturdy on your countertop and easy to grip. The smallest design differences can result in less than enjoyable circumstances.
Why do I need a dough scraper?
Dough scrapers, also called bench scrapers or bench knives, can help you scrape dough off the surface of your cutting or pastry board, and should be sharp enough to portion doughs out. It should be sharp enough to cut through dough easily, too. But they're also versatile items for chopping herbs, smoothing the sides of frosted cake, and transferring prepped ingredients (think chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or fruits) to a mixing bowl. Dough scrapers are incredibly versatile; their name doesn't quite do them justice.
Should I butter or spray my nonstick pans before baking?
In theory, you shouldn't need to, but nothing is foolproof. If a recipe tells you to grease the pan, do so with the fat intended. Try to steer clear of using cooking sprays because they contain ingredients beyond cooking oil, and over time those will tend to leave a filmy layer that will degrade the efficacy of your pans.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Karen Resta is a writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. She's also a former pastry chef and has traveled to Budapest, Kyiv, and Paris during their Fashion Weeks as a photographer and writer, always finding the best authentic pastries along the way. She now spends a lot of her free time baking at home and recommends quality within your given budget. Having the right tools available and knowing how to use them well (it can take practice, like anything else) makes all the difference, and she curated this list with that in mind.
This roundup was edited by Jenny Kellerhals, a New York City pastry chef of over a decade turned freelance food and beverage writer. She thinks that cooking is a skill that anyone can develop and that the right tools will make it easier.