There are only a few tools that are essential for baking. While it may be tempting to purchase every kitchen gadget out on the market, it really isn't necessary. Instead of filling the drawers and cabinets with needless equipment, focus on basic essentials.
Below is a list of the most useful baking equipment to get you started on your baking journey.
Mixers come with different attachments and each one serves a purpose.
The paddle attachment is meant for general mixing and creaming. You will use it for basic cake batters, cookies, frosting, etc.
The whisk attachment adds air to ingredients. It is used for whipping egg whites or heavy cream.
The dough hook is used to knead dough with your mixer. I much prefer using my stand mixer with the dough hook when making bread.
There are a variety of baking pans needed in every baker's kitchen.
Baking sheets (cookie sheet): Half sheet pans are multiuse pans. You can use them to bake cookies, biscuits, scones, free-form bread loaves, etc. I highly recommend having at least two of these on hand.
Muffin pan: These pans can be used to make muffins, cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, and sweet rolls.
Loaf pan: A 9x5 loaf pan is standard for most quick bread recipes. You can also use this pan for small pound cakes, loaf cakes, and loaves of yeast bread.
Cake pans: Most of my cake recipes make a 9-inch two-layer cake. These pans are what I recommend. Avoid using nonstick pans as they tend to prevent the cakes from rising to their full potential.
Other baking pans: The pans below are great for baking brownies, cookie bars, coffee cakes, sheet cakes, etc.
Now that you have all the essential baking tools, which one do you find most helpful? For me, it's my stand mixer. I honestly don't know how I ever got along without one. I use it for literally EVERYTHING.