18 essential bakeware items to have in your kit

Baking should be fun and is an activity we can all enjoy (so long as you have an oven!). But the difference between an easy baking experience and a difficult one lies in the right bakeware kit.

For all you baking-mad folk, we’ve brought together a bakeware guide, so that whether you’re a novice or a keen cook, you can find the right kit for your kitchen. These tins, bowls, gadgets and utensils are reliable, quality bakeware and will set you on the path to success – whether you’re already a fabulous baker or you’ve only just been bitten by the baking bug.

18 essential bakeware items to have in your kit

Don’t look past our favourite, essential baking items, all of which are available from online stockists. Or, support your local cook shop who will likely stock these high-quality items, or a similar version.

A standmixer

The ultimate in baking equipment, a freestanding mixer allows you to do other things while the eggs are getting whipped or the dough is being kneaded. KitchenAids are a lifelong investment – but we also love the Breville HeatSoft Stand Mixer, available from Curry’s (£249), which makes light work of softening fridge-cold butter and melting chocolate. It’s particularly useful for baking in the depths of winter!

Breville standmixer

Round cake carrier

If you’ve ever tried to carry a cake to a restaurant or someone’s house WITHOUT a proper carrier (just try to tell a child they can’t poke your cake on the bus…) then you’ll understand the benefit of this purchase. Why work for hours on a cake masterpiece only to have it get rained on at the final hurdle? Suitable for cakes, cheesecakes and tarts,  we like a round cake carrier such as this one, available from Lakeland (£12.99).

Loose-bottomed deep tin

To make cakes that aren’t to be layered – such as fruit cakes – you’ll need a deep tin. We recommend choosing one with a loose bottom, to make the cake easy to release. A 20cm cake tin is a useful size, such as these from ProCook (£10).

Baking sheet

Baking biscuits and cookies requires a flat metal baking sheet and one with a lip makes it easier to remove from the oven. Investing in a good quality one that won’t buckle is important, and we like these, which are a doddle to clean too. Available from Amazon (£23.99 for 3).

Silicone mat

A silicone mat keeps your biscuits cookies in place while they bake and ensures they don’t burn too much on the bottom or sides before they’re cooked to your liking. It also makes it easy to get the cookies off the tray. We like the Bake o Mat silicone version. Available from Borough Kitchen (£19).

Springform tin

A springform tin has a spring-loaded clip that opens the sides – making it great for chilled cheesecakes which are hard to turn out. We’ve tried and tested the 23cm option from Sainsbury’s (£9) which is a winner as it has a lip making it easier to remove from the oven. The Circulon 23cm Springform Round Cake Tin, available from John Lewis (£19) will also not let you down.

Loaf tins

While these come in a range of sizes, there is no ideal shape – it’s up to you. For a compact loaf, try the Samuel Groves alimunium loaf tin (£24) and for a longer, thinner loaf, go for the Mermaid Hard Anodised Loaf Tin (£37).

Bundt tin

Ever struggled with a bundt that sticks and doesn’t come out in the beautiful circular pattern your heart desires? Then invest in one of these from KitchenAid, which are non-stick and beautiful. Available from Elys of Wimbledon, Non-Stick Tulband Cake Form Tin – 24cm, (£30).

Bundt tin

Loose-bottomed tart tins

Used for sweet and savoury tarts, flans and quiches, these tins come in a range of sizes, with thin or wide fluted edges. If you’re only buying one, a fluted tin is a good all-rounder. We like this John Lewis Fluted Flan with Loose Base (£15).

Rolling pin

A wine bottle is all well and good, but a serious baker deserves a serious rolling pin. We favour those without handles because handles can get in the way and cause your knuckles to imprint the pastry/dough. Try Fletcher’s Mill French rolling pin, available from Borough Kitchen (£29).

Muffin tin

A muffin tin can be used for muffins or cupcakes. They are available in non-stick and silicone options, but we prefer the traditional metal variety because they stay rigid and wash up well. This is a good, sturdy 12 Hole Muffin Tin (£18.50). We also like the Mermaid Shallow Bun 6 Hole Tin from Samuel Groves (£25) which has an extra-large ‘lip’ for easy lifting.

Cooling rack

Cooling racks allow heat to escape from all sides of the cake at once, helping the bake to get to room temperature more quickly. If a cake is left in the tin or on a plate, the steam will condense onto the surfaces and make the cake soggy. We like this Extra Large Cooling Rack from Amazon (£5).

Digital scales

Every bake starts with a reliable pair of scales. After all, one must not ‘wing it’ when it comes to cake measurements. The Salter brand make reliable and easy-to-clean models that are also inexpensive. Available from Currys (£14.99) or Argos.

Measuring spoons

Not all tea spoons are created equal. And so, a set of measuring spoons, preferably one that comes on a ring, is invaluable in the kitchen. We like the Oxo Good Grips 4-piece measuring spoon set, available from Lakeland (£11.99).

Solid mixing bowls

The iconic bowls from Mason Cash (from £15.50) are a classic for a reason, but they are not cheap. Stainless steel bowls such as these from ProCook(£34 for 3) are another great option and they are easy to clean. Whichever you opt for, start out with a set of three varying sizes – as ones that fit inside each other take up less space in the cupboard.

Fine-meshed sieve

A fine-meshed sieve is important for sieving dry ingredients, ensuring your bakes are free of lumps of flour or (heaven forfend) baking powder! They are also great for sieving icing sugar for decorating cakes. We like this soft grip option from Lakeland (£9.99).

A pastry brush

Silicone pastry brushes are popular, but we prefer natural bristles as they allow for even egg-washing pastry of pies, quiches, and tarts. Available from Lakeland (£2.29).

Silicone spatulas

Where we DO favour silicone is when it comes to spatulas. Ideal for scraping out bowls, a silicone spatula is the no-waste cook’s best friend. We like Le Creuset spatulas (£19), for their heat resistance and durability.

Kitted up? Then it’s time to turn your head to our best weekend bakes!

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