Whether you enjoy baking or it scares you, it’s great to try. Baked goods taste, well, good, and they can be just as fun to make as they are to eat. Often times, the precision of making baked goods and having the equipment needed to produce many desserts has many people picking up a pack of cookies instead of pulling their own fresh batch out of the oven. Baking isn’t as daunting as it seems and practice definitely makes perfect. Before you turn on the oven and download some recipes though, make sure you have some of the basic items lying around in your cabinets.
Measuring cups and spoons. Using precise measurements is one of the most important aspects of baking. While it may seem not seem bad to have a few extra dashes of sugar here and there, using the wrong measurements can be seriously detrimental to the makeup of desserts. If you don’t have them already, invest in a set of both measuring cups and spoons to accurately measure out ingredients.
Rubber Spatula. Almost as important as measuring cups is the rubber spatula. Incorporation is important for the art of baking and you will almost need a spatula to clean the sides of the bowl as ingredients are added. A spatula also makes it incredibly easy to get each and every drop out and onto the pan.
Cookie sheet and cake/cupcake pans. You may think that cookie sheets are just for cookies but that’s not the case! Sheets are great for other items such as bars and also putting under pans that might make a mess in the oven. If cakes are more your thing, make sure to have cake pans or cupcake pans on hand.
A hand or stand mixer. For some recipes, this item might not be necessary but for many, its important. A hand mixer can cost anywhere from $20 while a stand mixer might set you back a few hundred dollars. If you are serious about baking though, these items will be extremely helpful and make choosing recipes to try much easier.
Wooden Spoon. A wooden spoon is not always necessary but it's great to have on hand. When recipes call for heating things on the stove (such as caramel), a wooden spoon is used so the mixture doesn't stick and also doesn't melt in the extremely hot liquid.
Baking spray or parchment paper. In the commercial kitchens, parchment paper is the non-stick surface of choice but for home, baking spray works just as well. Baked goods have a tendency to stick to their pans so make sure to always grease the pan for items such as cakes and cookies and look to recipe directions for other items.
While you may need other items depending on what you’re baking, these are just some of the more important things to get you started. All of the above items come in a variety of price points, sizes and designs so find what feels comfortable and what you like and make sure to try them out!