Did you get everything you want for Christmas? Did you even know what you wanted?
I was thinking of putting this list up before Christmas, but I figured, if your family is anything like mine, adults tend to get a lot more cash than physical gifts because no-one really knows what they want!
I thought I’d create this list though for the aspiring bakers who have decided that baking is one of the challenges that they’re going to tackle in 2020!
I thought that this list would be a great starting point to ensure that you’ve got the right equipment in place!
One of the must have items for the aspiring baker is a mixer. Now you may have a hand-held mixer or a stand-alone mixer but I would encourage you to invest in a stand-alone because it will give you lots more freedom and is definitely more powerful than handheld mixer.
I’m not against mixing cakes by hand, it is a convenient way to get an upper body workout if, like me, you’re gym-phobic, but I think the gym analogy lends itself further still, because hand mixed cakes tend to be much heavier too! The fluffy and light cakes that my clients enjoy is definitely down to having a good solid cake mixer.
I’m going to be writing an article very shortly on which standalone mixer gives you more bang for your
buck, so watch this space!
Another thing that every baker needs to have in their arsenal is a sieve!
I know some people think they can do without this by just getting rid of the big lumps in flour or icing sugar, however the need for a sieve goes far beyond just removing lumps.
Using a sieve is actually a very important step in adding air into your cake, which is an essential stage in the baking process if you want a nice fluffy cake, so don’t avoid buying/using a sieve.
The next item on my list is a spatula! The spatula is very important, especially if you do not like waste!
When you are mixing cake batter a lot of it ends up around the sides of your bowl and if you don’t have a spatula it is very difficult to successfully and efficiently get all of the cake batter from around the sides. It might not sound like a big deal, but this can actually impact on the ratios in your recipe because if, for example, half of the butter is left around the side then it certainly will have an impact on the final recipe outcome!
I know this means that you can’t lick your bowls any more, but you’ll get over it eventually!!
Sounds like an obvious one but it is so important to just be able to give your cake batter a good stir, but one of the main reasons is that often, you may need to combine dry ingredients before adding to a recipe and I find that wooden spoons are great for this.
You will of course need to have baking tins if you want to bake, but each recipe will vary on what size you will need. Most recipes are geared towards cakes that are 8-inch round and I would suggest having two of those so that you are able to bake your cake in halves. This is definitely one of the hacks that lead to a fluffier and more moist cake than when you bake cakes in one singular tin, if they are cakes that will be sandwiched together.
Another thing that I could not do without is my oven thermometer! This is essential because despite the manufacturers using temperature dials on their ovens, I have found that there are discrepancies with some ovens showing the right temperature according to the dial.
There have been many occasions that I have found, when the oven is hotter than the dial indicator and this can lead to cakes baking too quickly and burning on the outside when they are possibly not fully baked on the inside.
As part of the preparation before adding fondant or a final layer of buttercream, the sides will need to be scraped and this is best done with a metal scraper. You can use a plastic one but they sometimes get bent out of shape and the last thing you want is a wonky edge! It goes without saying that wonky edges/sides are not cool to be featured on your cake.
This is also a very handy pre-finishing tool, that is used to help you flatten the top of the cake. The angled head means that it easier for you when you are applying buttercream and other fillings to your cakes. Without this tool, you end up almost doing acrobatics to try and get the job done, so this is definitely a must!
Ok so these are not for beginners, but I would keep them on the list of “in the near future” if you are moving towards perfecting your cake game.
I will keep it short and sweet here and talk you through more specifically in my blog article for professional tips and tools! But essentially these discs enable you to get an even distribution of the buttercream/ganache around the cake and then also help to ensure that the sides are straight and not leaning to one side as can often be the case!
Another non-negotiable is your rolling pin. You definitely need a rolling pin and not rolling pins that you are probably used to because the wooden type is not really that great for rolling fondant pastry.
But even with pastry I now would suggest that you move over towards a polyethylene non-stick rolling pin which are great for helping you to master the art of rolling out very smooth fondant so that you don’t end up with rips and messy finishes on your cake.
This is essential if you want to have smooth, flawless sides and tops. It works best when you have two and one having a rounded edge and the other a straight edge. I use the PME scrapers but I know that more recently there have been quite a few flexible scrapers on the market.
This is another item that is a little bit more on the professional side, but I think all bakers want to know if their cake looks straight or not. You can easily find small ones of these in any hardware store and they are definitely most worth it.
So there you go! 12 Items Every Baker Needs! I hope you find this list is a great start for getting you set up to start baking. We have so many more baker tips, advice and recipes for you to try out. Why not head over to the Academy and check it out!
Natasha Orumbie isn’t your ordinary baker! Yes she is well known in her industry for creating awesome works of edible art, but she has recently gained notoriety in the online world. She has catapulted her business from near obscurity with an Instagram following of just 400 to over 7000 in just 8 months and growing every day! Originally a teacher of teenagers by trade, she is naturally able to share knowledge in an engaging and humorous fashion, making her Instagram, blog posts and e-books a pleasure to read! She now takes great pleasure in teaching others how to bake, decorate and sell cakes of their own.