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Best Baking Tools for Any Skill Level

As a published baking cookbook author, I’ve tested out MANY baking tools. And this Best Baking Tools list is a great place to start if you’re a beginner baker, are creating a registry, or are shopping for a gift for someone who likes to bake (or wants to learn). I also have a complete Recommended Baking Tools page.

graphic displaying kitchen tools photos with text 14 must have baking tools on top.

I’ve been baking for as long as I can remember. And with more than 1,300 published recipes on my website and in my books, you can bet I’ve gone through my fair share of kitchen tools! Along the way, I’ve learned exactly what works best and why; which tools are essential for baking (and which tools you can live without); as well as which brands provide the best quality and value for the price.

Consider this your one-stop-shop for stocking a baker’s kitchen, narrowed down to the 14 most essential baking tools.

The 14 Best Baking Tools I Use

All of the baking tools in this list are items I own. I list 14 here, but some include more than 1 item. Use your best judgment on which items you would use based on my descriptions. None of this post is sponsored—truly just items I love and am happy to recommend to fellow home bakers. A lot of these links are affiliate links.


What I own and love: Rubbermaid Oven Thermometer

Quantity recommended: 1 per oven

Unless you have a brand-new or regularly calibrated oven, your oven’s temperature is likely inaccurate. When you set your oven to 350°F, it might not really be 350°F inside. It could be off by only a little—or it could be off by a lot! You could do everything the recipe instructs exactly right, but if your oven is off, you’ll be left wondering what you did wrong. Such a waste of your time and money!

The inexpensive remedy (or preventive measure) is an oven thermometer. Place it in your oven so you always know the actual temperature.

oven thermometer.


What I own and love: KitchenAid 5-Speed Hand Mixer

Quantity recommended: 1–2

An electric mixer is a must if you bake a lot. I use my hand mixer and stand mixer often. If you want both, definitely get both. When I’m working with an enormous amount of dough/batter or making something that requires several minutes of mixing (e.g., fudge, dough, meringue), a stand mixer is key.

For beginner bakers who will mainly use a mixer for cookie dough, a hand mixer is perfect. This KitchenAid version is affordable, fantastic quality, and works wonderfully for mixing together cake batter. If you bake often, and try more advanced recipes, a stand mixer is certainly handy.


What I own and love: OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Quantity recommended: 1

This is most definitely in the top 3 of my very best baking tools list. A small kitchen scale is, by far, the most used tool in my kitchen. I recommend it to every single baker. You know I’m a stickler for weighing ingredients! That’s why I list my baking recipes in cup and gram measurements. Why do we measure this way? Because a gram is always a gram. An ounce is always an ounce. A cup is NOT always a cup. Baking is a science, so precision is key; and that slight mis-measure could spell baking disaster.

For more accurate measuring, definitely pick up a food scale. This OXO brand food scale is the one I use.

using a food scale


What I own and love: Silpat Premium Nonstick Silicone Baking Mats

Quantity recommended: At least 2

Baking mats are an essential cookie-baking tool. Coating your baking sheet with nonstick spray or butter creates an overly greasy foundation, which causes the cookies to over-spread. I always recommend a silicone baking mat (11×16-inch size to fit your half sheet pans) because they grip onto the bottom of your cookies, preventing the cookies from spreading too much.

They’re reusable, dishwasher-safe, and perfect for protecting your baking sheets when roasting veggies, meats, fish, potatoes, etc. Read more: How to Clean Your Silicone Baking Mats.

strawberry white chocolate cookie dough balls arranged on silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet.


What I own and love: OXO Good Grips Cookie Scoops

Quantity recommended: I have a set of 3 sizes, but if you just want one, the medium size cookie scoop is the one I use most.

Cookie scoops are extremely handy. They help keep your drop cookies uniform in size and shape; an easy squeeze of the handle cleanly releases the sticky dough ball; plus, they have so many other uses! I use the large size (3 Tablespoons) cookie scoop for cupcake/muffin and pancake batter, ice cream, meatballs, and even for serving mashed potatoes. I use the medium size (1.5 Tablespoons) for most cookies—particularly textured oatmeal raisin cookies and sticky coconut macaroons. And I use the small size (1 Tablespoon) for homemade chocolate truffles, smaller cookies like these peanut butter cookies, and as a melon baller.

2 images of oatmeal cookie dough in a cookie scoop and oatmeal cookie dough in a glass bowl


What I own and love: Mrs. Anderson’s Hand Crank Sifter and Cuisinart Set of 3 Fine Mesh Sieves

Quantity recommended: 1

Some recipes require sifting dry ingredients like flour, sugar, chemical leaveners, and/or cocoa powder. That step is not listed just for fun, or to over-complicate things. It aerates these ingredients and rids any lumps so your recipe turns out as it should! A sifter or sieve is a must-have tool for making homemade cake flour substitute, angel food cake, and for dusting cocoa powder on tiramisu.

This sifter is sturdy, durable, and easy to clean (just use soapy water and rinse off). I also regularly use this set of fine mesh sieves, for everything including rinsing quinoa, dusting powdered sugar over buttermilk waffles, or sifting confectioners’ sugar into caramel frosting; plus, they’re dishwasher safe.

set of 3 mesh sieves.


What I own and love: Wilton Perfect Results Cooling Rack and Ultra Cuisine Wire Cooling Racks

Quantity recommended: At least 2

Cooling racks are imperative so that the cooking process stops and your baked goods cool evenly. I typically allow my baked cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheets once I remove them from the oven. However, I immediately transfer them to a cooling rack after that. Why? The bottoms of the cookies need some air in order to cool, and we want to avoid soggy cookie bottoms.

Cooling racks are also essential for cooling cakes and pies in their pans, to allow air to circulate underneath the pans and allow the baked goods to cool faster and evenly.

I own a few of these cooling racks. They’re inexpensive, get the job done, and have lasted me years.

peanut butter cookies dipped halfway into chocolate


What I own and love: Wood Rolling Pin and French Kitchen Marble Rolling Pin

Quantity recommended: 1

A rolling pin is an essential tool in any baker’s kitchen. You use it to roll out dough for pie crust, cut-out cookies, croissants, turnovers, cinnamon rolls, and even pizza dough. This particular wood rolling pin is long and sturdy, and has held up well through years of frequent use.

A marble rolling pin is excellent, too. It’s cool to the touch, which makes it perfect for rolling out pie crust (which you want to keep cold). This one is beautiful enough to display—and it even comes with a stand to make that possible!

wooden rolling pin


Of course you’ll need various baking pans depending on what you’re baking. I have a separate post about this: Best Baking Pans.

Overall, my favorite lines are Nordic Ware, Calphalon, Wilton, Fat Daddio, and USA Pan. You can’t go wrong with any baking pans from these brands.

The sizes I use most often in my kitchen are:

But my top recommendation for the most essential baking pan to have in your kitchen is these multipurpose rimmed baking sheets, aka half sheet pans…


What I own and love: Nordic Ware Half Sheet Pan and USA Pan Bakeware Half Sheet Pan

Quantity recommended: At least 2

I use half sheet pans for baking cookies, scones, vegetables, potatoes, fish, croissants, pastries, breads, pouring out toffee or chocolate bark, cookie decorating parties, Christmas sugar cookies, and so much more. Both of these brands are excellent quality and have stood the test of time (and frequent use). The 12×17-inch size is just the right size for a dozen cookies, and the rimmed edges prevent any sauces/syrups from dripping off. Silicone baking mats fit these pans perfectly.

Traveling with your baked goods? Or just want to keep things fresh? Get the half sheet pan and lid!

two Nordic Ware brand baking sheets


What I own and love: OXO Dough Blender

Quantity recommended: 1

Pie dough, biscuits, scones, streusel, and other delicious miracles are made with a pastry blender. It’s handy for breaking up cold fat into tiny little pieces among your other ingredients, without completely incorporating it. Cold butter bits = flaky dough. A metal pastry cutter keeps your butter cold where other tools (or your hands) might warm it, which is the opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish.

This dishwasher-safe pastry cutter has a soft non-slip grip and sturdy stainless steel blades that make the process a whole lot easier and quicker.

cubes of butter in bowl of crumbs and then shown again mixed in with a pastry cutter.


What I own and love: Williams Sonoma Classic Spatulas and StarPack Premium Silicone Spatulas; OXO Good Grips Balloon Whisks or this heavy duty wire whisk

Quantity recommended: At least 2 spatulas and 2 whisks

Nothing beats spatulas, especially if they are well made, heat resistant, and heavy duty. From stirring and mixing, to scraping the sides of bowls, spreading frosting, cooking, etc. I use them for everything, every day. I own plenty, but my favorite and most-used are these spatulas from Williams Sonoma.

As for whisks, I recommend at least 2 heavy duty quality wire whisks that can handle a heavy batter. I love this OXO Good Grips Balloon Whisk, which has a comfortable soft-grip handle.

I also have a couple silicone whisks, which are great for whisking something you’re cooking on the stove—like homemade salted caramel!—and won’t scratch your cookware.


What I own and love: Glass mixing bowls and OXO Good Grips mixing bowls

Quantity recommended: At least 3 in varying sizes

I own this set of 10 glass bowls and they are fantastic. So many sizes for so many different ingredients!

I also love these OXO Mixing Bowls that come in a set of 3 useful sizes. They are heavy duty, dishwasher safe, and feature pouring spouts and rubberized non-slip bases.

If you’re looking for stainless steel mixing bowls, I recommend these OXO Metal Mixing Bowls.

apple chunks in glass bowl and poured on top of cake batter.


What I own and love: OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Measuring Cups, Rainbow Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons, Spring Chef Magnetic Measuring Spoons Set, and Pyrex Glass Liquid Measuring Cups

Quantity recommended: 1 set of measuring cups, 1 set of measuring spoons, 1+ liquid measuring cups

I love this set of measuring cups because of the soft easy-grip handles and quality stainless steel. I also love this set of measuring cups for the same reasons, and the fact that it includes a 1/8-cup measuring cup, which is rare. (1/8 cup = 2 Tablespoons, a measurement used quite often. Very useful to have!)

I love this set of measuring spoons because they’re double-sided, stack and stay put with magnets, and I appreciate that there’s an 1/8 teaspoon and a 3/4 teaspoon in there, which aren’t always included in measuring spoon sets. It even comes with a leveler, and you know I’m always telling you to spoon & level your flour!

set of OXO brand dry measuring cups

Also, make sure you have at least 1 liquid measuring cup too. I own all 3 sizes; it’s convenient to have all different sizes depending on the recipe. I like the Pyrex glass version because it’s heat-proof. You can use the small size to melt chocolate in the microwave, and the larger size is great for whisking, like when tempering egg yolks for crème brûlée.

More Baking Tool Recommendations

Many of the items on today’s list are repeated in other baking tools lists that my team and I have curated, based on what we use and recommend. The lists below are more specific to a particular category of baking, such as cakes, pies, and cookies. What are your recommended tools?

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