Gift Ideas for a (Cupcake) Baker // My Top 11 Kitchen Utensils for Baking
Monday, December 1, 2014
I've been thinking for a while that I need to compile a list of my favorite baking utensils for use in the kitchen. And what better time than to do it than at Christmas when you might be shopping for that special baker in your life? So. Below I'm drafting a list of what I think are the absolute best baking utensils to have in your kitchen. I'm making a lot of brand recommendations here, so pay attention ;)
1. Glass Mixing Bowls
Glass mixing bowls are the best because they're heat safe, you can make anything in them, and they aren't limited to being just mixing bowls. Plus you can successfully beat egg whites in them. One caveat: make sure the ones you get are kinda deep. I was tempted by this Pyrex Set with Lids, but I've found that I turn to something a little deeper for mixing. (Those ones with lids are great for other uses, however.) Still haven't found an amazing glass bowl set for mixing that does come with lids!
2. Dry Measuring Cups and Spoons
These are one investment I think you should make. I have two recommendations here: 1) Get ones that have the measurements engraved/embossed in them. If they're merely printed, the measurements will eventually rub off, and then you're left to guess! 2) Make sure they're sturdy. You don't want ones that bend when you're scooping sugar into them. I can't say I've invested in a super expensive set, but these Le Creuset Measuring Cups look excellent, along with their measuring spoon set. You can also go for some good aesthetics here. Anthropologie? Best selection ever. Loving their Nordic measuring cups and spoons right now.
3. Liquid Measuring Cup
Nothing fancy necessary here. Everyone loves that 2-cup Pyrex one. Though I do think these beakers from Schoolhouse Electric and this beaker from West Elm are pretty stylin'.
4. Frosting Spatulas
Fine, so these are more for decorating cakes. But you can use them in frosting cupcakes, as well. It's good to have at least a straight one and an offset one . Brand doesn't matter too much. I just like the wooden ones because they're pretty.
5. Rubber Scrapers/Spatulas
Honestly, the brand doesn't matter much here. Though, I'll explain what I most prefer: rubber scrapers where the handle goes right through the middle of the rubber part. Does that make sense? It's the kind of scraper that can scrape in both directions. These Le Creuset ones are pretty and do what I'm talking about. But honestly I think the best place to get these for a good deal is HomeGoods or the like.
6. Cookie Dough Scoop
These are a wonderful secret when it comes to baking cupcakes, muffins, etc. They make transferring batter from the bowl to the muffin tin so so easy. And mess-free. That OXO one is the one I use.
7. Ateco 3-Piece Piping Set
This really is the best piping set I can recommend to anyone who likes decorating cupcakes. It's cheap, no-nonsense, and has just what you need to make some stylin' cupcakes.
8. Muffin Pans
I've found that light-colored muffin pans work best. I use these Nordic Ware muffin pans. (They offer one that comes with a lid as well.)
9. Nice Baking Ingredients
It's so great baking cupcakes with higher-end ingredients. A few ingredients that are good investments and make great gifts: Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract, vanilla beans or paste, flour, and cocoa powder. Oh, and unique extracts . I've linked to a few things I know are good here, but this is another one where I think HomeGoods is your best friend—they have the best deals on nice baking ingredients.
10. Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
Hey, that rhymes. We all know the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer is at the top of every couple's wedding registry, but that doesn't mean you can't be just as happy with a nice hand mixer. In fact, I've been using only a hand mixer for quite some time now—simply because I'm young and haven't made the financial jump. The best hand mixer I've ever used? This Kitchenaid. It's so quiet. I was shocked. And the slowest speed is actually...slow.
11. A Cute Apron
I'll be honest—I only use an apron when I manage to remember. But these make great gifts and will beautify any kitchen. Anthro has the cutest ones, in my opinion.
Note: Many of the products here are linked to Amazon, and I do receive a small commission if you purchase an item there through one of my links. But you should know that I only link to products I truly believe in and endorse. No trickery here, promise ;)