Baking for Beginners: Essential Tools and Ingredients to Get Started

Baking for Beginners: Essential Tools and Ingredients to Get Started

Baking in

Baking is a great hobby, and it’s no surprise that so many people are curious about it. But when you’re new to it, figuring out where to begin can feel a bit daunting. You might think you need a bunch of fancy tools and ingredients to whip up delicious cakes or muffins. But here’s the thing: once you start with your recipes, you’ll find that many of those “essential” items aren’t really essential at all. That’s why we’ve put together this beginner-friendly guide. In this guide, we’ll break down the real tools and ingredients you need along with some handy tips that’ll make your baking journey smoother.

Must-Have Baking Tools


Here are some must-have tools and equipment you’ll need if you’re a beginner baker:

1) Mixing Bowls

Every kitchen needs good mixing bowls, especially for baking. You should have different sizes – small for beating eggs, medium for making frosting or small amounts of batter, and large for mixing dough or combining several ingredients.

When shopping for bowls, consider the material. There are usually three choices: stainless steel, glass, and plastic. Stainless steel bowls are tough and easy to clean. Glass bowls are safe to use in the microwave. If you’re on a budget, plastic bowls can work, but make sure they’re BPA-free. Also, look for bowls with a non-slip bottom so that they don’t move around while you’re mixing.

2) Measuring Cups and Spoons

When it comes to baking, accuracy is everything. That’s why you need a good set of measuring cups and spoons. For dry ingredients like flour and sugar, use cups with a flat rim for easy leveling. For liquids, go for a see-through cup with a spout.

Measuring spoons are essential for smaller quantities like baking powder, spices, or vanilla extract. Get a set that has different sizes, usually from 1/4 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon.

Material-wise, stainless steel is a great choice for its durability and ease of cleaning. However, plastic sets can be a colorful and affordable alternative. Just make sure they have clear markings that won’t fade over time.

3) Whisk and Spatula

Whisks come in handy for everything from beating eggs to mixing cake batter. Look for a balloon whisk, which has a wider and rounder shape. When it comes to material, you have two choices: stainless steel, which is tough and easy to clean, or silicone-coated whisks, which are gentle on non-stick pans and come in different colors.

Now, about spatulas. You want one that’s flexible and strong. A good spatula scrapes bowls clean, folds ingredients gently and spreads frosting smoothly. Look for flat silicone spatulas. They can handle heat, are non-stick, and come in different shapes and sizes.

4) Baking Pans

Baking pans are the foundation of many baking projects, so it’s important to choose the right ones. Start with a basic set: a round cake pan, a square baking pan, and a cookie sheet. These will cover most of your baking needs. Also, it’s a good idea to get both 8-inch and 9-inch sizes.

When it comes to material, go for aluminum pans. They heat up evenly, so your food won’t get burnt on the edges. Non-stick pans are also a great option for easy cleanup. If you prefer a more traditional pan, consider getting heavy-duty carbon steel or cast iron pans. 

5) Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer

A hand mixer is great for simple mixing jobs like whipping cream, beating eggs, or mixing butter and sugar. When shopping for one, look for different speed options so you can control how fast it mixes. Also, consider models that come with different attachments like beaters, dough hooks, and a whisk.

Stand mixers are ideal if you plan to do more frequent or heavy-duty baking. They are hands-free and do the mixing for you, which is great for making bread dough or big batches of cookie dough. When shopping for one, look for features like multiple speed settings, a tilting head or bowl-lift design, and various attachments like a flat beater, dough hook, and wire whip. A good option to consider is the MisterChef Pro Food Stand Mixer

6) Rolling Pin

A rolling pin is an essential tool for rolling out dough for cookies, pies, pastries, and more. A wooden rolling pin is a classic choice, but there are also silicone and marble options. Some rolling pins also have rings or discs on the ends that help you roll the dough to a certain thickness. When you’re picking one, make sure it’s smooth and has comfy handles to make rolling easier. If you’re looking for a reliable rolling pin, check out the MisterChef Rolling Pin

7) Digital Scale

Unlike measuring cups, which can vary depending on how you fill them, a digital scale gives you accurate and consistent measurements. When selecting one, make sure it has a display that’s easy to read. It should also be able to measure in different units like grams, ounces, and pounds, so you don’t have to do any math when following recipes. Look for a tare function too, which helps you start from zero, so you’re only measuring what you put in, not the container. If you’re looking for a scale that matches all these requirements, check out the MisterChef Digital Scale.

8) Sieve

A sieve is a must-have for removing lumps from dry ingredients like flour, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. When choosing one, look for one with a fine mesh so that you can get rid of any small lumps. Also, consider the size: a larger one is great for big batches of ingredients, while a smaller one is perfect for dusting sugar or flour on surfaces.

9) Knives

You might not be chopping vegetables, but you’ll definitely need a good knife for slicing fruits, chopping nuts, or even cutting your freshly baked brownies into perfect squares. For baking, you need two types: a chef’s knife and a paring knife. When shopping for one, look for handles that feel good in your hand and aren’t too heavy. The blades should be sharp (dull knives can actually be more dangerous) and made from durable materials like stainless steel.

Nice Must-Haves:

  • Pastry Brush
  • Wire rack
  • Zester
  • Citrus juicer
  • Kitchen timer
  • Baking paper/parchment paper
  • Ramekins
  • Icing smoother
  • Palette knife
  • Oven thermometer
  • Skewer or cake tester

Essential Baking Ingredients

Now that you have your tools and equipment ready, here are some must-have ingredients you need to have:

1) Flour

Flour is essential for most baking recipes. If you’re looking for a versatile option, all-purpose flour is suitable for everything from cakes to cookies. If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, you can consider whole wheat flour, almond flour, or oat flour. 

When storing flour, keep it in a cool, dry place to prevent it from absorbing moisture and odors. An airtight container is best to keep it fresh for longer.

2) Sugar

Sweetness is key in baking and sugar helps with that. Granulated sugar is the most common type used. But it’s also good to have powdered sugar for making frostings and glazes, and brown sugar for that rich, molasses taste. Keep in mind that brown sugar comes in two varieties: light brown and dark brown. Light brown sugar has a milder flavor, while dark brown sugar has a more intense molasses flavor.

3) Baking Soda and Baking Powder

Baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents that make your baked goods rise. Baking soda is used with acidic ingredients like buttermilk, yogurt, and lemon juice while baking powder is already combined with an acid and just needs moisture and heat. 

Keep in mind that these ingredients can lose their potency over time, so it’s a good idea to replace them every six months or so. To test if they’re still active, you can mix a small amount of baking soda with vinegar – it should bubble vigorously. For baking powder, mix it with hot water.

4) Butter

Almost every baked treat will need some butter, so it’s good to have enough on hand. When choosing a type, make sure to go for unsalted butter since it allows you to control the amount of salt in your recipe. However, if you’re making recipes where a slightly salted flavor is preferred like shortbread cookies or salted caramel treats, then you can use salted butter. But by default, it’s a good idea to stick with the unsalted type unless the recipe says otherwise.

5) Eggs

Another essential you’ll often need for baking is eggs. This is especially important if you’re going to be using flour in your recipe. The eggs will bind everything together. Keep in mind that when a recipe mentions eggs, they usually mean large-sized eggs, not smaller ones. If you’re looking for a vegan alternative, you can always use chia seeds.

6) Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract gives baked goods a warm, spicy aroma and flavor to your baked treats. You can get it as a liquid or paste, and since it’s so strong, you only need a small amount. Since vanilla is a big deal in baking, it’s best to skip the imitation stuff and go for the good quality, well-known brands.

7) Salt

Of course, you can’t forget salt when baking. There are two types: table salt and sea salt. Table salt is what you’ll require in most recipes and is mixed right into the ingredients. Sea salt, on the other hand, is usually sprinkled on top at the end to get a direct salty taste. To know which one to use, just check your recipe.

8) Cocoa Powder

For all the chocolate lovers, cocoa powder is a must for delicious chocolate cakes, brownies, and cookies. When shopping for it, make sure to go for the unsweetened kind. Also, if your recipe includes baking soda, get the natural kind, and if it needs baking powder, go for the Dutch-processed one to balance out the acidity.

9) Milk

Milk is a common ingredient in recipes like cakes, muffins, and bread. It helps mix the batter or dough, contributing to the overall structure and texture of the baked product. 

It’s best to use whole milk because it has more fat which adds a creamy richness. But if you’re making something lighter, you can go for low-fat or skim milk. For those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, there are plenty of non-dairy options. Almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk are popular substitutes that can be used in most baking recipes.

Nice Must-Haves:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Whipped cream
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruits
  • Yeast

Baking Tips for Beginner Bakers


Alright, now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about some handy tips to make your baking even smoother:

1) Stick to the Recipe

When you’re baking and following a recipe, the golden rule is to do exactly what it says, even if some steps seem irrelevant. If it tells you to preheat the oven to 120 degrees, go ahead and do it. If it asks for melted butter, melt that butter! Follow each step in the order the recipe tells you. Baking recipes are designed to be simple and they’ve been tested, so trust that the order matters.

2) Sift Dry Ingredients

Whether the recipe calls for it or not, make sure to sift your dry ingredients. This way, you get rid of any lumps that may have formed. You definitely don’t want to bite into a clump of cocoa powder in your chocolate cake or find a chunk of flour in your bread after all the hard work you put in.

3) Don’t Make Substitutions (if the recipe doesn’t mention it)

As mentioned before, baking recipes are written after being tested. Making unplanned ingredient substitutions can lead to unexpected results. So, until you’ve gained more experience and become a better baker, it’s best to trust the recipe and resist the temptation to make any unmentioned swaps.

4) Don’t Open the Oven Door Beforehand

Patience is key when baking. Even though it’s tempting, avoid opening the oven door too soon, as this will let out hot air and bring in cold air which in turn will cause your baked treats to fall flat in the center. Wait until the timer signals that it’s time to check.


With the right tools and ingredients, baking for beginners can be a great adventure. Start with these essentials, follow recipes closely, and practice your baking skills. Soon, you’ll be creating delicious treats right in the comfort of your kitchen.

And, to make your baking experience even smoother, consider upgrading your kitchen with high-quality baking tools from MisterChef, including stand mixers, rolling pins, and kitchen scales. Whether you’re baking cookies, a classic cake or even making banana bread, our tools can handle it all. Shop with us today.

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