Kitchen Tips

All the must-have baking tools for your kitchen

In order to bake up a storm, you need to have the right tools! Here’s our handy guide to your ultimate baking tool kit, plus some of our favourite recipes for tasty baked goods.

1. Rolling pins

Most rolling pins are made of wood, but they can also be made of metal, ceramic, glass or even marble, all of which can be chilled to help keep pastry cold. A clean, dry wine bottle (label removed) also works well.

2. Thermometers

There are many different kinds – an oven thermometer helps determine the accuracy of the oven temperature. Meat thermometers are inserted into the meat to show whether the internal temperature is optimal for the cut you are cooking. Sugar thermometers take the guesswork out of jam and confectionery making, and may also be used for deep-frying.

3. Small cake pans

There has been an explosion in the types of small cake pans available – nowadays cupcake, muffin (from mini to Texas), friand and petit loaf pans are abound. Make sure paper cases are the right size for the holes.

4. Measuring spoons, cups and jugs

Be aware that volume measures vary between countries, especially products from Australia – their tablespoons are 20ml, whereas everywhere else is 15ml. A US cup is 240ml, not our 250ml. When measuring liquid, place the measure on a flat surface and bend down to check at eye level.

5. Baking paper

This silicone-coated paper is primarily used for lining pans and trays so cakes and biscuits don't stick, but it also helps prevent wire racks from marking delicate cakes, and can be used as a guide when rolling up sponge rolls.

6. Digital scales

These are essential where precise measurements are required, and are more accurate than cup measures.

7. Sifters/sieves/strainers

These are different names for a kitchen tool that comes in many different sizes and has many different uses. Use one to sift dry ingredients (a large one for flour, a smaller one for dusting with icing sugar), strain puree, remove eggy bits from a custard, or to separate aromatics from liquid after infusing.

8. Mixing bowls

We prefer glass, china or stainless steel bowls. You need a variety of sizes. Wide-topped bowls are the easiest to use for hand-mixing. Tall, deep bowls are the best for beating with an electric mixer.

9. Spatulas and wooden spoons

Keep at least two medium-sized wooden spoons just for baking; if you use them for stirring savoury dishes, they soon absorb flavours such as garlic. Spatulas can be wood, rubber or silicone (which handles high heat really well, so is great for making toffee or caramel).

10. Cake pans

A basic set of pans would include a rectangular slice pan, two loaf pans of different sizes, a deep 20cm round pan and at least two oven trays with sides no more than 1cm high. A ring pan is always handy, and a square 20cm pan is useful for Christmas cakes.