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I KNOW! It’s not even Thanksgiving yet. I’m sorry.
But I really really really wanted to bring this to the blog this year, because I get questions every year about my favorite baking tools and essentials around this time of year from people who are either buying for a baker or want to ask for something to add to their baking collection.
In this gift guide, you’ll find over 50 of my favorite tools, some essential and some a little more specialized, and even some other goodies sprinkled (duh) in there.
I’ve broken it down into sections so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
Or maybe you have no idea what it is you’re looking for, but you’re looking to find some inspiration!
Either way, check it out and if you have any questions or think I missed something big, leave me a comment or shoot me an email and let me know!
Now, onto the good stuff…
GENERAL BAKING ESSENTIALS
Baking sheets: every baker needs SEVERAL baking sheets in their kitchen lineup. I like Wilton’s because they’re sturdy and clean up nicely, and they aren’t so expensive so that if they wear out, I’m not breaking the bank to replace them. I use my baking sheets weekly for cookies, veggies, and meat.
Ceramic 9″ x 13″ baking dish: it’s always good to have this size of a baking dish, and ceramic is my favorite because it’s PRETTY, so you can serve it in style. Use for baked ziti or sheet cakes like my ice cream sheet cake or even my make ahead breakfast casserole. It’s also the perfect size for cinnamon rolls (funfetti, of course).
Standard measuring cups and spoons: I am a MEGA fan of all of my utensils matching. I am currently obsessed with this set of cups and spoons, and OMG did you see the little ones that are magnetic? Adorable and so practical!
A measure all cup: this is AMAZING for measuring weird, sticky things like peanut butter, honey, or other ingredients that are hard to get every last bit out of a measuring cup. I have the OG Pampered Chef one, but OXO makes a great one too.
Mixing bowls: bowls for batter that have lids are essential in my kitchen. I need to be able to cover up cookie dough and let it sit in the fridge for sometimes much longer than I expected to. Also, if a toddler pulls my bowl out of the fridge, a lid protects my precious dough from going everywhere. Also, spouts + a handle make pouring batter so easy and less messy!
Hand mixer: I will sing praises for my KitchenAid stand mixer until I die, but there is no reason to spend a ton of money on a hand mixer. Sure, KitchenAid makes some gorgeous colors for their hand mixers, but this Black & Decker one has done me well for going on 11 years. Want to splurge? Go for it. Your baker will love you!
Kitchen scale: I’ll be honest and say, we own 3 different kitchen scales. One we use for eating ourselves, one I use for baking, and another one I have just for sprinkles. I have a lengthy post about why it’s important to weigh your ingredients, and the baker in your life could use a tool to help make baking even easier!
Spatulas: I LOOOOOOOOVE my silicone spatulas, and I love having them in multiple sizes. I use them for everything from mixing batters to scraping every last bit of almond butter out of the jar to sauteing veggies and even some of the work I do with making my own custom sprinkle colors. I also love that these aren’t super expensive, so if they wear out, rip, or get stuck in the garbage disposal (happened!), it’s not detrimental to the budget.
Rainbow whisk: my rainbow whisk just makes me extra happy. That is all!
Marble rolling pin: I’m very sad to repot that my marble rolling pin recently BROKE and I am heartbroken. I love marble rolling pins because they not only look beautiful, but they also bring functionality in that you can chill them to work with dough that you may not want to disrupt the temperature of (like my spiced gingerbread cut-out cookies).
Pie dish: EVERYONE should have a solid pie dish, and ceramic is my favorite. It’s sturdy and heavy and it holds up to lots of “stuff.” And while you’re at it, pie weights/pie chain and a pie crust shield are mega helpful for the serious pie baker in your life!
Silicone baking mat: I use these for legitimately everything. From lining cookie trays to baking veggies, they’re the perfect solution to lining a tray without throwing away parchment paper every time.
Stacking cooling racks: did you see that? STACKING. COOLING. RACKS. They take up so little room, which is great if you live in a small space or just don’t want to take up all your counter space with cooling cookies.
Flour dredge: absolutely essential for dusting surfaces for rolling out cookie dough or kneading bread dough. Never reach a goopy hand into your flour container ever again!
Pastry mat: I would be so lost without my pastry mat. I like to use it for rolling out dough that needs to be measured (like knowing how large my rectangle is for cinnamon rolls or babka). It’s also huge, so it covers a large surface.
Bench scraper: I use my bench scraper for so many things. From scraping off extra icing while frosting a cake to cutting scone batter, I love using this scraper for everything, even lifting/moving cake from a display stand to a plate for storing.
Oven thermometer: it’s imperative to know exactly what temperature your oven is. This is a super cheap but super valuable tool!
AmeriColor gel colors: these are hands down the very best colors for coloring batter and frosting. The gel base won’t water down your batter, and the colors that are available are insane. I’ve linked the basic collection, which has 12 bottles of color. But I have the 50 pack. And I have no regrets.
Cake tester: never waste a toothpick again and make a small incision that isn’t as gigantic as a knife. I love this thing and it’s probably my top 10 favorite kitchen tools.
Cupcake pans: mini, standard, jumbo… Some of each! Also the same pans you’d use to make muffins. Very versatile.
Cupcake/cake carrier: this cupcake carrier is EPIC. It’s collapsible, and when collapsed, it holds 12 cupcakes. When expanded, it can hold 24. And if you take out the cupcake inserts, it can hold a cake. So versatile and so perfect for transporting all kinds of treats.
Cake turntable: decorating a cake without a turntable is so hard. Your life will change if you use a turntable, and cake decorating will become infinitely easier! You could also go with this turntable that comes with offset spatulas (see next recommendation for this separately).
Offset spatulas: these are seriously essential in cake baking and decorating, and it’s great to have them in several different sizes. I have found one billion uses for my offset spatulas in my years of baking, and I’d be totally lost without them! The angle makes them great for evening out surfaces of no bake pies.
Cake pans in various sizes: all the pans, friends. All of them! I have everything from 4″ to 12″, and if I had to recommend the most used, I’d say 6″ and 8″ are my standard go-tos.
Wilton decorating tip set: a basic set of tips will give you infinite ways to decorate cupcakes and cakes. This is a great starter kit!
Couplers: these are perfect for times when you’d like to swap out decorating tips on your piping bags. They also make removing the piping tip from the piping bag a little easier!
Cookie cutters: I’ll be honest and say that I have about 250-300 cookie cutters, but I’ve made all kinds of shapes in my baking life. This set includes several basic shapes (hearts and stars) but also gives the option for fluted edges in circles and squares. I also use my 3″ circle cookie cutter for everything from biscuits to pull-apart bread. They’re multi-functional and a definite must-have if you’re getting started in cookie decorating.
Cookie scoops: essential for making sure all of your cookies are the same size! Also way better than pulling dough out with your hands. Just scoop right into your hands and roll it up!
KitchenAid stand mixer: I know. This is a super expensive gift. But I use mine for everythingggg. Granted, I bake more often than the average home baker, but I would be so lost without my mixer. From whipping cream to making frostings to starting up yeast breads, I’ve used every single one of my attachments a million times.
Donut pan: if the baker you love doesn’t already have a donut pan, you’re going to need to make that happen for him or her!!
FOOD PRESENTATION OR FOOD PROPS
Cake stand: while I personally LOVE the functionality of this cake stand (it’s a stand! It has a cover! It can be a punch bowl! Or serve chips and dip!), it’s not all that beautiful, especially if you’re a food photographer. So while I realize not everyone chooses aesthetics over functionality sometimes, I’m going to offer up this super cute cake stand as another option, which comes in a whole slew of colors.
Tiered dessert stand: I have this stand and love it. It’s great because it can be 3 separate pieces, one whole set, or a combination of two with a single one. It’s great for bridal or baby showers or just plain pretty presentation at a party.
FOR THE SPRINKLE LOVERS
Sprinkle subscription box: what sprinkle lover wouldn’t want three 4oz sprinkle blends sent to their house 4x a year? I mean, come on! This gift is just asking to be bought for your baker!
Christmas cookie sprinkle pack: essential for all that Christmas cookie baking. Act fast– there’s a limited supply!
Any sprinkles: really, any of our adorable sprinkles make a great gift or stocking stuffer.
“Life is better with sprinkles” tshirt: because it is.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Engraved wooden spoons: I personally love the one that says “lick me.”
Customized stainless steel spoon: how adorable!
Personalized cutting board: especially perfect for someone with a blog or a cooking/baking brand.
LitMitts: this is my new favorite gift. SERIOUSLY. I got my own LitMitt that has this cappuccino cookie on it. It’s freaking adorable and it has the most cozy inside. Get someone’s face on it, your dog, your favorite baked good… Just seriously. Get one. And use my code FRESHAPRIL for 20% off your mitt!
Cupcake bracelet: this adorable Alex & Ani bracelet features a cupcake charm!
Measuring spoon necklace: I mean, COME ON. That is so cute.
Whisk necklace: I’m partial to this one because there’s a whisk in my logo, but… Adorbs!!
Sally’s Baking Addiction, Sally’s Candy Addiction, and Sally’s Cookie Addiction: while I am personally friends with Sally and may be a bit biased, I think Sally’s cookbooks are so amazing. Her first book is a general cookbook, and I’ve made so many of the recipes, all of which have been a hit. I even have the shortbread crust from the lemon bars in that book as the base for my blueberry lemon pie bars. She’s great, and she’s one of my biggest influences and mentors.
Hello, Cookie Dough: this cookbook is new to me, and you may remember that I shared a recipe from this book a few weeks ago– chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream pie. This book is FULL of edible cookie dough recipes, and Kristen is just the sweetest. It’s actually a great read… Is that weird to say about a cookbook? Probably. #bakerproblems
The Chow Down: this is my cookbook! 20+ puppy chow recipes inspired by your favorite treats! This was my first baby and I loved writing and photographing it.
Well… That’s all she wrote!
Find anything you love or didn’t know you always needed?
Find something you must gift to the baker you love?