Peek into any pro baker’s kitchen and you’ll likely find a similar setup. A KitchenAid mixer or similar industrial model; no-frills baking sheets and mixing bowls from commercial suppliers like WebstaurantStore. But bakers are a creative bunch, and there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all kitchen. With that in mind, I asked our panel of baking experts: What’s your favorite baking gadget?
“A kitchen scale really is invaluable for both cooking and baking; it quickly became my favorite tool after making the jump from measuring by volume to measuring by weight. I use it for everything from weighing out ingredients to making sure my conchas are always uniform in size. This is the one I have and love.”—Teresa Finney, baker and recipe developer, At Heart Panaderia
“The kitchen scale is, in my humble opinion, the ONLY way to measure flour. Flour is notoriously hard to measure out. If you go on King Arthur’s website, they’ll tell you to dip a spoon in the flour and shake the flour over the measuring cup (Note: we’ve got a slightly tidier measuring hack here) so that you’re not packing the flour in there and adding too much of it. This whole process makes a big mess and gives me insane anxiety about using the right amount of flour. Those two problems are banished forever with the kitchen scale. You might as well weigh all the rest of your crap on there because then the recipe is exactly perfect. Bonus here: You can easily look at European recipes since they will all be written in grams.”—Kate O’Connor, independent baker
“Despite the many different things I have in my kitchen for baking, I have to say that my kitchen scale and fine mesh sieves are absolutely essential! You get precise measurements and no lumps! I don’t have any particular brand I love for either, but I think any baker will see their bakes improve with the addition of these two things.”—Alessandra Lopez, independent baker
“My favorite kitchen gadget has got to be my cookie scoop. It’s made by Solula, it’s 2.3 tablespoons, and it is the absolute perfect size for cookies in my opinion. Growing up baking, I used scoops where the cookies ended up either too big or too small, and I’m also frankly terrible at doing it by eye. I pulled the trigger on this scoop when I started my baking Instagram last year and I’ve never turned back. The cookies I end up with are just the right size where they can be enough of a treat on their own, or [you can have] two.”—Kyle Kizu, baker, Kizu’s Cookies
“You [always] run the risk of under baking or over baking. This is especially true with cakes, which seem to only be perfectly baked [within a span] of three minutes. That’s where I use my kitchen thermometer. If the internal temperature of the cake is 210 degrees, your cake is done and ready to come out of the oven. You can also make curd with this thing, as well as Italian and Swiss buttercream, which require sugar to be at a very precise temperature.”—Kate O’Connor, independent baker
“The other kitchen tool I use all the time is an offset spatula. It’s one of those kitchen tools that I thought I could do without, but once I got one found myself using quite often. It fits comfortably in the hand, which I prefer over spatulas with longer handles. It’s great for smoothing buttercream on a cake, but also for adding swirls and swoops in buttercream which is a really easy, no-stress way to decorate a cake. I also love it for transferring small cookies from baking sheet to cooling rack.”—Teresa Finney, baker and recipe developer, At Heart Panaderia
“My silicone flat spatula and silicone pastry brush have been my top two gadgets for at least four years now—easy clean-up, and they can be used with any pan and almost at any temperature! Honestly, silicone anything is sure to be a good addition to the kitchen.”—Gio Jackson, home baker, Long Beach, California; currently taking orders here.
“I’m very proud of the very personal apron collection I’ve amassed as gifts from friends. One of them from my friend Hannah has a Succession quote embroidered on it (“You Disgusting Little Pig”) and another one came from my dog’s former owner, a parting gift before she moved away. The apron features a picture of me and my little guy with the caption “WORLD’S BEST DAD.”—Kevin T. Porter, baker, Kevin Bakin’
“For a must-have kitchen gadget, I’d say a cute apron. Gotta be cute to make you feel like the real deal, and they’re also extremely practical to keep you clean and something to wipe your hands on in the moment.”—Olivia Bacon, independent baker
“The little gizmo that’s given me the best bang for the buck is a mini food processor. You don’t need a Vitamix or a full-size processor to do most of what you need to for most recipes, plus it doesn’t take up too much cabinet space!”—Kevin T. Porter, baker, Kevin Bakin’
“My banana slicer. It’s Lemetow; we got it from World Kitchen.”—Jonathan P. Higgins, independent baker and Nailed It! contestant
“Plastic wrap will literally ALWAYS be handy to have.”—Allant’e Mosley, baker, Tae’s Cheesecake Company