When it comes to cooking gadgets and gifts, it's difficult to know where to begin your search. However, it helps to know the recipients' particular specialty in the kitchen. If you know a baker, chances are you've gotten to taste some of their delicious creations, so what can you gift in return? From cookbooks to inspire and tools to help them elevate their pastries, we've rounded up of some of the sweetest ways to gift the bakers in your life.
From editor's picks to tried-and-tested options, here are the best gifts for bakers.
KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
Easily handles tough doughs
Heavy-duty bowl with handle
Splatter shield included
Coated attachments could chip
Wire whip not dishwasher safe
No baker’s kitchen is complete without a high-quality stand mixer, and one of the best ones out there is the KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer. The 10-speed mixer comes in a wide variety of colors and includes a flat beater, dough hook, wire whip, and pour shield. Plus, the 5-quart stainless steel mixing bowl is large enough to accommodate even the biggest batches of cookies.
Price at time of publish: $460
Capacity: 5 quarts | Power: 325 Watts | Size: 8.7 x 13.9 x 14.1 inches | What's Included: Stainless steel bowl, coated flat beater, coated dough hook, six-wire whip, pouring shield
"Even with lightweight tasks like whipping cream or mixing cake batter that could be done by hand or with a hand mixer, this machine proved its worth." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Pie Pan
Emile Henry French Ceramic Ruffled Pie Dish
Incredibly attractive shape
Bold color options
Not only is this pie pan gorgeous, but it's also perfect for baking and serving almost any pie you might want. It stood up to our extensive at-home testing and emerged the best overall pick. Both a pecan pie and a a double crust wild blueberry pie baked evenly and cut cleanly. Its uses go beyond pies, too. It would work well for quiches and casseroles. This is a baking dish that your recipient will be excited to use—and perhaps even bake you a little something in return.
Price at time of publish: $55
Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 2 inches | Weight: 2.4 pounds | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
"Aside from looking absolutely fantastic, you can easily make almost any size of pie in this pan from a shallower custard to a deep-dish fruit pie." — Jenny Kellerhals, Product Tester
Best Vanilla Extract
Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, 8oz
A staple in every baker's pantry
High-quality vanilla flavor from cold extraction
Pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla
Vanilla extract is essential to the majority of the recipes in a baker's repertoire, so it's sure to be a useful gift to anyone who loves baking, whether seriously or just for fun. Not only is this a useful gift, but it's a little bit of a treat for bakers who don't always get to stock their pantry with a top-shelf pure vanilla extract. Nielsen-Massey creates consistently high-quality vanilla extracts and is trusted by baking professionals in bakeries and restaurants everywhere.
The pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract is the gold standard for vanilla extracts and provides a beautiful warm and floral flavor in both hot and cold pastry applications. The bottle comes in a variety of sizes, from the stocking-stuffer 2-ounce size all the way up to a generous 1-gallon size fit for someone opening their first bakery. But a 4, 8, or 32-ounce bottle of the good stuff is a generous gift that all bakers will appreciate.
Price at time of publish: $35/8-ounce bottle
Bean Type: Madagascar Bourbon | Extract Type: Pure extract | Sizes Available: 2, 4, 8, 32, 128-ounce
Best Decorating Kit
Wilton 46-Piece Deluxe Cake Decorating Set
Storage case included
Wide variety of tips
Offset spatula included
Instructions in very small font
To create beautiful cupcakes, cookies, and cakes, bakers need a decorating kit, such as the Wilton 46-Piece Deluxe Cake Decorating Set. This kit includes an assortment of round, star, petal, leaf, and specialty tips, as well as couplers, piping bags, a spatula, and carrying case. It’s an unbeatable comprehensive decorating set for up-and-coming bakers.
Price at time of publish: $42
Number of Pieces: 46 | Material: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Everything except disposable piping bags
When it comes to cake decorating, pull together some pictures of different cakes you like, says Domenica Lazo, the assistant application chef at Barry Callebaut. If you want to do some piping, practice on a piece of parchment instead of directly on the cake. When you think your piping looks good, you can scrape off your practice and reuse the frosting on your cake.
Best Mini Bread Machine
Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker
Easy to use
Small loaf capacity
For bakers who want to try their hand at bread making but live in a small space, look no further than the Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker. This machine is compact—it can fit in most standard cabinets—but it still produces high-quality bread that can compete with that of its full-sized counterparts.
This has all the features you would need from a top-notch bread machine, including a viewing window, an LCD control panel, and a 13-hour programmable delay timer. Its settings include soft bread, French bread, bread dough, cookie dough, cake, jam, quick baking (which produces a loaf in 2 hours), and more. You can also set the crust to be regular or light.
Price at time of publish: $243
Dimensions: 8.5 x 12.25 x 11.25 inches | Power: 120 volts | Warranty: 1 year
"The bread rose beautifully and was perfectly soft and fluffy, but the crust was a little crispier than we would have liked." — Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester
Best Proofing Basket
WexfordTreasures Bread Proofing Basket
Versatile beyond proofing
Easy dough scoring capability
If you’re shopping for a bread-baking enthusiast, you can’t go wrong getting them a beautiful handmade bread proofing basket. This 9-inch basket is made from cotton rope with a simple wooden bead as an accent, and it’s ideal for proofing round loaves of bread, as it will create a beautiful swirled pattern on the crust. Plus, you can feel good about supporting a local artist with your purchase.
Price at time of publish: $30
Size: 9 inches | Material: Cotton | Cleaning: Hand wash only
Best Kitchen Scale
Escali Primo Digital Food Scale
Available in multiple colors
Buttons and display sealed against spills
Easy to clean
Easy to read display
Plastic construction flimsy
“A scale is an important kitchen tool. Converting your recipes to weight measurements yields the most accurate baking results,” says Domenica Lazo, the assistant application chef at Barry Callebaut—and that's right. Some baking recipes use weight-based measurements instead of volume, which is why a kitchen food scale is a must-have for every baker’s kitchen. This option from Escali Primo is highly rated and can measure ingredient weight in ounces, pounds, and grams.
Our tester loved the lightweight, compact size of this scale; it didn’t take up much counter space during testing and was easily stored upright beside her cutting boards when finished. She also said it was very easy to use and the provided instruction guide was clearly written. While making a pecan pie, she tested multiple ingredients using the special tare function for varied items, such as sugar and flour, in the same bowl. All tests were precise and accurate.
The only minor issues are absence of milliliter measurement and the automatic shutoff does not kick in until the scale has been inactive for over four minutes.
Price at time of publish: $27
Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 1.2 inches | Weight Limit: 11 pounds | Material: Plastic
"There are clear included instructions, and it comes with batteries. The visual tare bar shows on the display, so you know it is measuring properly. It is super lightweight with a very slim profile, too, which made it easy to store in the gadget drawer." — Carrie Honaker, Product Tester
Best Rolling Pin
Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin with Removable Rings
Etched measurement guide
Includes four size discs
Wood must be oiled periodically
Instead of guessing how thin pie crusts and cookie dough should be rolled, bakers can use this adjustable rolling pin, which comes with four removable discs that serve as thickness guides. With these rings, you can easily roll dough out to 1/16, 1/6, 1/4, and 3/8 inches. In testing, those measurements came in handy when making cookies, but it was puzzling that 1/6-inch was included, but 1/8-inch was not. Still, it was easy to use a thicker measure and roll more with the rings removed.
Price at time of publish: $15
Material: Beech Wood | Dimensions: 17.13 inches x 2.72 inches x 2.72 inches | Cleaning: Hand wash only
Roll out pie dough after it’s been refrigerated, says Lazo. Work fast, get it pliable and to the thickness you need, and then carefully either roll it up into your rolling pin or fold it in half twice. Put it over your pan, and then carefully unfold or unroll it.
Hedley & Bennett H&B x Rifle Paper Co. - Herb Garden Apron
Even if your baker has a few aprons already, they can always use another one — especially if it’s one as nice as this one from Hedley & Bennet. The thicker cotton and linen blend helps protect you from hot pots and liquids, and provides a better layer of protection for your clothes. The straps are also made from a thicker material, ensuring they’ll stay in place while you’re working. The neck strap can be adjusted to perfectly fit your frame, there are several front pockets and a fabric hook for either a side towel or tongs.
Hedley & Bennet is one of our favorite female-owned kitchen wear brands, and we’re especially excited about the collaboration with Rifle Paper Company. But they’ve also worked with NASA, Sesame Street, and the National Parks to create some other exciting designs that may fit your aesthetic. Aprons are available in the “Essential” style, a smaller cut for kids, and a crossback design for those who don’t like aprons that tie around the waist.
Price at time of publish: $84
Material: 80% cotton, 20% linen | Overall Size: 20 x 30 inches | Features: Adjustable neck strap, front pockets, extra-long ties, towel/tongs hook | Machine Washable: Yes
"I purchased the Hedley & Bennet Essential Apron for myself (the Cookie Monster pattern from the Sesame Street Collection) and have been so pleased with it. The fabric is a little rigid until the first time you wash it, but it fits better than any apron I've ever worn and resists stains so well. Even after several washes, the bold colors are strong, and it makes baking cookies all the more enjoyable." — Jenny Kellerhals, Baking Expert for The Spruce Eats
Best Bundt Pan
Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Nonstick Heritage Bundt Pan
Hand wash only
Bundt pans are an essential tool for any baker, and this Heritage Bundt Pan from Nordic Ware stands out from the rest thanks to its unique swirled design, as well as its performance, which we tested. The pan is made from cast aluminum for superior baking performance, and its nonstick interior ensures cakes always come out in one piece. Our at-home tester gave it high marks for everything from its design and durability to its nonstick properties. Plus, Nordic Ware pans are made in the U.S., and they come with a lifetime warranty.
Price at time of publish: $38
Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 10.13 x 10.13 x 3.75 inches | Dishwasher Safe: No
"The pan was excellent. It made the prettiest bundt cake (in my opinion), it has excellent nonstick capabilities, and it distributed heat evenly." — Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester
Best Cookie Press
Oxo Good Grips Cookie Press Set
Storage case included
Recipe book included
Plastic can be flimsy
Bakers can quickly make a variety of fun holiday cookies with the Oxo Good Grips Cookie Press. The press comes with 12 stainless steel discs that allow you to push out cookies in the shape of daisies, snowflakes, shells, hearts, and more.
Price at time of publish: $34
Material: Plastic | Quantity: 12 cookie disk patterns | Dishwasher Safe: No | Shapes Included: Daisy, flower, sunflower, fleur-de-lis, butterfly, bear, shell, leaf, heart, snowflake, tree, wreath
Best Cooling Rack
Wilton Perfect Results 3-Tier Cooling Rack
Ceramic non-stick coating
Collapses for easy storage
Limited height between racks
Large gaps between wires
Anyone who bakes large batches of desserts knows it can be tricky to find space to cool dozens of cookies, cupcakes, or other creations at once. The Wilton Perfect Results 3-Tier Cooling Rack is an ideal solution for any baker who’s working with limited space, as the racks can either be used separately or stacked on top of each other. Each one measures 16 x 10 inches, and when they’re not in use, their legs fold flat for more compact storage.
Price at time of publish: $28
Materials: Steel with ceramic nonstick coating | Dimensions: 15.9 inches x 9.9 inches per tier | Oven Safe: No
Best Measuring Cups
U-Taste 12-Piece Measuring Cups and Spoons Set
Variety of sizes
Sometimes functional gifts end up being the most highly appreciated, and while this 12-piece measuring cup and spoon set might not be glamorous, it’s sure to be a welcome addition to any baker’s kitchen. The rust-resistant stainless steel measuring utensils feature color-coded silicone handles that allow you to quickly grab the one you need, and the set includes seven measuring cups—1/8, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, and 1 cup—as well as five measuring spoons—1/4, 1/2, and 1 teaspoon; and 1/2 and 1 tablespoon.
Price at time of publish: $28
Material: Stainless steel | Number of Pieces: 12 | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Baking Cups
AmazonBasics Reusable Silicone Baking Cups, Pack of 12
Freezer-, microwave-, oven-safe
Not 100 percent silicone
These fun, colorful reusable baking cups are perfect for any cupcake enthusiast. They’re made from food-grade silicone, and they can be used in place of regular cupcake liners, as they’ll effortlessly release cupcakes and muffins—no grease or spray needed.
Price at time of publish: $5
Material: Silicone | Number of pieces: 12
BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts
James Beard Award winner
Informative history of nostalgic desserts
Measurements done in weights
"BraveTart" is an amazing baking-focused cookbook that belongs in every baker’s library. This bestselling cookbook is written by Stella Parks, and it took home the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award thanks to its wonderful recipes for classic American desserts. It includes carefully tested recipes for treats such as blueberry muffins, vanilla wafers, and one-bowl devil’s food cake. It gets glowing reviews from bakers with all experience levels.
Price at time of publish: $35
Recipes: More than 200 | Pages: 400 | Published: August 2017
Best for Kids
Baketivity Cake Pops Baking Kit
Available as subscription or individual box
Have to buy wet ingredients separately
Looking for something fun and educational to get kids off the screen and working with their hands? Baketivity's Cake Pop Baking Kit is the solution. Sold by the individual box or as part of a subscription, each kit comes with pre-measured, individually packed, vacuum-sealed dry ingredients. All you need to add is a few wet ingredients and some imagination. The kits also come with easy-to-follow illustrated instructions and optional instructional videos.
Beyond the baking of their own cake pops, Baketivity also provides an educational mini science project with each kit. This kit includes a lesson about what a water molecule looks like and then provides instructions about labeling the cake pops with hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) to connect and make their own H2O model. Baking their own treats and engaging in some science makes for a mostly mess-free, action-packed afternoon that may inspire more adventures in the kitchen.
Price at time of publish: $29.99
Makes: 10-12 cake pops | Includes: Step-by-step recipe book, child-friendly activity book, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, vanilla sugar, chocolate frosting, cake pop sticks, dark melting chocolate, sprinkles
Best Baking Spices Set
Burlap and Barrel Baking Collection - Baker's Half Dozen
Incredible flavors and aromas
Convenient set for gifting
Full-sized ingredients, not a sampler
More expensive than typical grocery store spices
This set of spices from Burlap and Barrel is tailored specifically to baking, and includes six essential baker's spices. Royal Cinnamon, Wild Mesquite, Morogoro Cacao, Cloud Forest Cardamom, Stone Nutmeg, and Buffalo Ginger can be used for nearly every kind of baking project, from cakes and cookies to custards, pies, ice cream, and doughs. What sets these spices apart is how fragrant and powerful they are in comparison to just about any other spice you may have experienced. Sustainably and ethically produced spices are the foundation of Burlap and Barrel's business model, so you know you're not only getting an extraordinary product, but the producers of the spices are getting fairly compensated in exchange.
If you're feeling especially generous, a larger "Baker's Dozen" set of spices is also available, which contains (you guessed it) 13 spices in total. In the larger set, you'll find gems like Desert Hibiscus, Pemba Cloves, and Sweet Allspice to help build out a complete baker's collection. It also includes a Nyanza Vanilla Extract Kit, which contains 10 grams of chopped Tanzanian vanilla bean pods. You add 100 mL of your favorite spirit to create a custom artisan-quality pure vanilla extract.
This set of spices is ideal for serious bakers and professionals who love to explore new flavors and are interested in creating the highest quality baked goods. Burlap and Barrel also offers several other spice sets tailored to a wide variety of cooking interests.
Price at time of publish: $56/half dozen spice set
Includes: 6 full-sized glass jars of baking spices: Royal Cinnamon, Wild Mesquite, Morogoro Cacao, Cloud Forest Cardamom, Stone Nutmeg, and Buffalo Ginger | Additional benefits: Free shipping over $45, replacement satisfaction guarantee | Shelf life: 1 to 2 years from manufacturing date printed on the label
"The spices from Burlap and Barrel are much stronger and fresher than just about anything you'll find at the grocery store. Tasting the Royal Cinnamon for the first time, I felt like I had never really tasted cinnamon before, and I was hooked. These spices are so special that I often don't buy them for myself for everyday baking projects, so I'd be delighted to receive them as a gift." — Jenny Kellerhals, Baking Expert for The Spruce Eats
Best Sourdough Bread Baker
Emile Henry French Ceramic No Knead Bread Pot
Cooks bread loaves evenly in any oven
Glaze is naturally nonstick
Microwave and dishwasher safe
Not as versatile as a Dutch oven
Sourdough breadmaking at home has rapidly gained popularity over the last several years, even though most home ovens aren't equipped to bake naturally-leavened loaves quite as well as commercial deck ovens. Professional deck ovens designed with steam injection systems create that impressive signature sourdough rise, which is more difficult to achieve in a home oven. But the use of bread pots and Dutch ovens help give bakers professional sourdough results at home, one loaf at a time.
Emile Henry has an impressive line of lidded bread baking pans for different kinds of loaves, but the round no knead bread pot is our favorite for making sourdough at home. This French ceramic pot is slightly lighter than a clunky cast iron Dutch oven, and is shaped for easier dough handling. Instead of turning your dough into a deeper Dutch oven pot, the Emile Henry bread pot is designed with a slightly shallower bowl and a larger domed lid to trap steam. It's available in several traditional colors that coordinate nicely with most kitchen aesthetics, including white, navy, burgundy, linen, charcoal, and fig.
Price at time of publish: $100
Material: French ceramic | Dimensions: 9 inches diameter x 6-1/4 inches high; 10-1/2 inches wide including handles | Capacity: 2 pound loaf
Best Cookbook Stand
Williams Sonoma Stainless Steel Cookbook Stand
Sturdy stand supports heavy cookbooks
Glass keeps pages open and clean
Handy conversion chart printed on glass
Not the most attractive option
You don't fully appreciate how useful a cookbook stand can be until you find one that works as hard as this one. The Williams-Sonoma Stainless Steel Cookbook Stand has several features that set it apart from some of the flimsier models that you may have tried in the past. The first thing we like about this stand is that the frame is constructed from stainless steel, with a 5-inch deep base designed to hold even your thickest cookbooks open. Instead of arms that pop out to hold pages open or a simple lip that the book pages rest open on, this stand is fitted with a tempered glass front panel that securely holds the cookbook pages open and flat while also protecting your book from splatters and unexpected puffs of cocoa powder.
The left side of the glass panel extends slightly further than the right side to accommodate a set of helpful conversion charts. It includes dry, liquid, and weight measurement conversions, so you won't have to stop and do an internet search while working on a sensitive project. And when you're ready to clean up, a quick wipe-down and this stand is ready for more. Although it's made of stainless steel and glass, it shouldn't be washed in the dishwasher to avoid damaging the conversion chart printed onto the glass.
Price at time of publish: $40
Overall Dimensions: 14 x 5 x 9.5 inches | Base Material: Stainless steel | Splatter Shield: Yes, glass
Best Sheet Pans
Great Jones Holy Sheet Pan
Trendy and attractive color options
Easy to clean nonstick ceramic coating
Surface scratches if using metal utensils
Most bakers will tell you that you can never have too many half-sheet trays, especially when gearing up for the holiday baking season. But instead of gifting your favorite baker an old-school cookie sheet or an industrial aluminized steel sheet pan, consider splurging on an attractive and colorful half-sheet pan from Great Jones. Affectionately named the "Holy Sheet," this pan is also made with aluminized steel, so it's just as sturdy as a professional pan. But it's also coated with a colorful nonstick ceramic finish that's useful to bakers and savory cooks alike.
One of our independent testers tried the Holy Sheet pan at home and found that the size of the pan was plenty large enough for baking a sheet pan dinner or a full-sized batch of focaccia without overflowing. She also noted that the sheet pan is only oven-safe up to 450°, which is considerably lower than the 700°+ that non-coated sheet pans can withstand — but still completely reasonable for home oven use.
Great Jones has created a line of cookware and bakeware that taps into the aesthetic of Americana home cooking, with a color palette that's somehow both delightfully retro and incredibly trendy. The Holy Sheet pan is available in four cooking-themed colorways that match the other products Great Jones offers, including raspberry (a deep jammy pink), broccoli (dark leafy green), blueberry (a royal-ish blue), and mustard (the yellow kind, not Dijon).
Price at time of publish: $30
Material: Aluminized steel, ceramic nonstick coating | Dimensions: 18.5 x 13.5 x 2 inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but handwashing recommended
“I would buy this for myself—it has a stunning design/color, performs beautifully, and is a great size for an array of foods.”
Best Cutting Board
John Boos Chop-N-Slice Maple Wood Reversible Cutting Board
Large space to work
Reversible for different projects
Attractive enough to leave on countertop
Must be washed by hand
A cutting board might not be the flashiest gift on this list, but it’s probably one of the most useful gifts on this list. And this particular one is attractive enough to be left on the counter and solid enough to last for years with proper care. John Boos is one of the leading names in professional cutting boards, making surfaces that are suitable for restaurant and home kitchens alike. Bakers need a sturdy cutting board for everything from chopping chocolate to slicing doughs and cutting cakes.
This cutting board is made from solid maple wood, which gives it enough weight to anchor it to the counter while you’re working. It’s 15 x 20 inches, giving you a substantial amount of space to work so you can tackle more without having to move everything off the board while you’re prepping. It’s also reversible, so you can use one side for pastry ingredients and the other side for savory ingredients that you might not want to overlap flavors, like garlic and onions.
Price at time of publish: $87
Dimensions: 20 x 15 x 1.25 Inches | Material: Wood, Maple | Weight: 9 Pounds
“Because this board is so thick, it can be used for chopping. By that we don’t mean chopping an onion—we mean whacking a chicken into pieces.” — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Zester Set
Microplane Artisan Gift Set
If it seems like your favorite baker has it all already, there’s still a good chance that they don’t have this set of graters. Ideal for zesting citrus, shaving chocolate, filing nutmeg, and grating hard cheeses, this set can help take your baking and cooking to the next level. The set includes four graters with fine, ribbon, coarse, and extra coarse rasps. Each grating plate is made of stainless steel and fitted into a colorful plastic frame with an ergonomic rubber handle. The sets are available in several colors to coordinate with the rest of your cooking equipment, including red, green, yellow, and blue, as well as multi-color sets for more variety. The surgical-grade stainless steel graters are razor-sharp and will last for years to come.
Price at time of publish: $45
Includes: 1 fine grater, 1 coarse grater, 1 extra coarse grater, 1 ribbon grater | Available colors: blue, red, green, yellow, mixed | Dishwasher safe: Yes
Best Spatula Set
OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set
Perfect balance of rigidity and flexibility
Useful shapes for different projects
Unibody design is easy to clean
Colors may fade or change over time
A set of silicone spatulas is essential for every baker. They make the work of scraping cake batter and frosting exponentially easier and are more sanitary than wooden spoons when working with liquid and fat-based ingredients. This set includes three spatulas, a red all-purpose spatula, a smaller light blue spatula that can squeeze into jars and small bowls, and a white spoonula, which mimics a wooden spoon and is helpful when scooping ingredients.
During testing, we found that this set was one of our absolute favorites, with the large red all-purpose spatula quickly becoming our favorite spatula for every cooking and baking project. The spatulas are uniformly covered in silicone, making it safe to rest them on the side of a pot and heat resistant from top to bottom. The heads of the spatulas are rigid enough to support scooping up heavy buttercream and stirring ingredients together, but flexible enough to scrape the inside of a bowl or pot clean.
Price at time of publish: $21 for a 3-piece set
Material: Silicone | Max Heat: 450 degrees | Sizes Included: 10 inches, 12 inches, 12.5 inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Tree Ornament
Sur La Table Strawberry Shortcake Ornament
Playful and personal gift idea
Wide variety of designs to choose from
Blown glass and hand painted
Expensive for a single ornament
Choosing a piece of kitchen equipment for someone when you don’t know what they’ve already got can be challenging, but you can still get them a baking-inspired gift. Sur La Table offers food, cooking, and baking-themed Christmas tree ornaments that are delightful ways to celebrate with a personal touch. Our favorite is the strawberry shortcake ornament, but there are nearly 100 food-themed ornaments to choose from, all made with the same meticulous craftsmanship as the shortcake. For bakers, we’d also recommend the stand mixer, pop tart, chocolate-dipped strawberry, ice cream cone, apple pie slice, layer cake, gingerbread cookies, lemon bar, and chocolate sandwich cookie ornaments. Note that some of the ornaments are available in stores, but others are only available online.
Price at time of publish: $35
Material: Blown glass | Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 3 inches | Price Range: $10-50
Exciting and creative colors and designs
Kits are great for trying new things
Seasonal and holiday mixes available
Confusing ingredient list
The custom sprinkle collections created by Fancy Sprinkles have so much more going on than your typical grocery store tub of rainbow sprinkles. Each canister has a combination of sprinkle sizes and shapes, and the color palettes are specially designed around dozens of different themes.
And if you want to gift more than a single bottle of sprinkles, Fancy Sprinkles also offers curated kits designed for specific projects, like hot chocolate bombs, cakesicles, and chocolate bark. The sprinkles are also appropriate for cocktails, doughnuts, chocolate work, milkshakes, marshmallows, and more.
Price at time of publish: $10-12 per bottle
Bottle size: 1/2 cup (4 ounces) | Ingredients: Sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, dextrose, maltodextrin, reduced protein whey (milk), corn syrup, tapioca dextrin, calcium stearate, glucose, potato starch, rice flour, soy lecithin, cocoa, carob, natural & artificial flavors, corn starch, carnauba wax, HPMC, beeswax, salt, gum arabic, FD&C artificial colors, mica-based pearlescent pigments, shellac | Allergens: dairy, soy
Best Honey Set
Brightland The Couplet, honey duo
From female-operated apiaries
Raw and unfiltered
In keeping with the theme of edible gifts for bakers, there’s just something so special about gifting a nice honey that feels especially precious. This set of two jars of honey is from Brightland, which is already making waves with its high-quality olive oils and vinegars. Named “The Couplet,” the two flavors include California Orange Blossom Honey and Kauai Wildflower Honey. According to Brightland, the honey is “made from bees that forage on wildflowers and exotic botanical sources,” which sounds fantastic for adding some beautiful sweetness to baked goods.
Each of the honeys is raw and unfiltered and comes in 9-ounce recyclable glass jars. The honey itself comes from female-operated apiaries, and Brightland is one of our favorite Asian-American-owned businesses. The honeys can be purchased individually as well as in the set and are also featured in several other Brightland gift sets that include a different variety of products.
Price at time of publish: $42
Includes: two 9-ounce jars | Origin: United States, California & Hawaii | Flavor notes: floral, citrus, tropical
Best Essential Knife Set
Material Kitchen The Trio of Knives
The serrated knife isn't ridiculously long
Japanese high carbon and stainless steel
Clean and contemporary design
Sharpener sold separately
There comes a time in every baker’s life when it’s worth it to invest in a good set of working knives. If your baker isn’t quite comfortable enough with choosing custom knives individually, it’s totally reasonable to opt for a set of essentials. The “Trio of Knives” from Material Kitchen has exactly what a baker needs, no more and no less. The set includes an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 4-inch pairing/utility knife, and a manageable 6-inch serrated knife. Each knife is made of Japanese high carbon and stainless steel, with a composite handle that’s available in four different colors.
If you want to splurge, feel free to also pick up the attractive custom knife stand, designed specifically for the Material Kitchen knives, and the knife sharpener to keep your baker slicing through fresh produce, bread, and pastries with ease.
Price at time of publish: $155
Includes: 8-inch chef's knife, 4-inch paring knife, 6-inch serrated knife | Blade Material: Japanese high carbon stainless steel | Sharpening: not included
Best Oven Thermometer
Several alarms for different temperatures
No lost heat opening the oven
Precise heat for best baked goods
More expensive option
Every oven is different, and knowing if your oven runs hot or cold can make all the difference when baking. Rise, browning, and texture are all effects of your oven's temperature, so even if you're using a relatively new oven, you may still want to invest in an oven thermometer. The ChefAlarm thermometer from ThermoWorks is one of the most impressive thermometers available. The digital display of this thermometer is large and actually sits outside of your oven and a long probe is tethered to the display that reads temperatures inside the oven. The probe can either be positioned to read the ambient temperature of your oven or put in a dish that you're trying to specifically temp. You can also set the probe in a pot to gauge the temperature of custards, boiling caramel, and temperature-sensitive liquids.
Additionally, this thermometer comes with a timer and alarms that alert you when your project reaches a specific temperature. Multiple alerts can be set at a time for multi-stage projects. The thermometer is also water-resistant incase of slashes.
Price at time of publish: $65
Dimensions: 5.94 x 2.75 x .75 inches | Temperature Range: -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit | Battery Life: 5,000 hours
Best Dish Towels
Anthropologie Baker Stripe Dish Towels
Colorful stripes are classic but not boring
Not too thin or too thick
Towel holds shape after washing
Colors fade after washing several times
Many bakers tend to keep kitchen towels on hand that are more utilitarian than decorative. But these striped baker's towels from Anthropologie strike the perfect balance between functional and attractive. There's also a good chance that your baker has a pile of worn-out towels that could use replacing every now and then. But on the long list of kitchen tools that many bakers wish for, towels are typically very low. The simplicity of a gift of towels is really what makes them so special. The towels come in a set of four and are offered in several colors. They’re absorbent without being bulky, and look great hung on the front of nearly every oven.
Price at time of publish: $20
Material: Cotton | Dimensions: 28 x 21 inches | Machine Washable: Yes | Count: 4
Best Oven Stone
Unicook Heavy Duty Ceramic Pizza Grilling Stone
Can be used in oven or grill
Helps cook foods evenly
Smaller stone is easier to store
Cannot be washed with soap
Bakers that specialize in doughs, whether it be sourdough, pizza, or bagels, can see a dramatic difference in their baked goods when using a deck-style oven. To get a similar effect in a home oven, bakers turn to baking stones (sometimes called pizza or grilling stones) to provide even and instant heat across the surface of their baked goods. The big drawback of most baking stones is that they're often very large and heavy, and if you're only baking bread once or twice a week, it can be a pain moving the stone in and out of your oven. It's okay to leave the stone in your oven, but if you're also baking with sheet pans and pots regularly, you run the risk of getting it dirty with residue on the bottom of your pots and pans, and potentially scratching the stone.
This particular baking stone is on the smaller side and weighs just under 7 pounds, making it much easier to maneuver and store when not in use (just make sure that it's completely cool before trying to handle it). It's ideal for one or two loaves of bread at a time or smaller pizzas. Additionally, it can be used on top of a grill for more even cooking outside as well.
Price at time of publish: $32
Dimensions: 11.8 x 14.9 x 0.6 inches | Material: Cordierite | Weight: 6.6 pounds
Best Cake Turntable
Ateco 615 12-Inch Revolving Aluminum Cake Decorating Stand
Smooth turning on stainless steel ball bearings
Etched circles help center cake
Far more stable than plastic models
Cannot be submerged in water to clean
If cake decorating supplies are on the list of gifts this year, one of the most helpful cake decorating tools a baker can have is a cake turntable. From stacking a cake to frosting it with buttercream, smoothing out fondant, and decorating with intricate piping, a cake turntable is a necessity for making every quality cake.
This turntable from Ateco is heavier than its plastic counterparts, which helps anchor it to the table, along with the help of a rubber base cover. The plate revolves around the base with the help of stainless steel ball bearings for an ultra-smooth turning motion that makes frosting cakes infinitely easier than moving a cake board by hand. Unlike the heavier-duty cast iron model that Ateco makes, the base doesn't come apart from the plate, which can be a big benefit for many bakers. It costs a little more than some turntables on the market, but it's worth every penny.
"Ateco's aluminum cake turntable isn't quite as intense as the cast iron model, but I wouldn't settle for any less when decorating a cake. In fact, this is the one I told my mom to buy, just so there's a nice turntable I can use when decorating cakes at her house." — Jenny Kellerhals, Baking Expert for The Spruce Eats
Best Baked Gift
Blondery Anniversary Variety Box
Beautiful assortment of creative blondies
Sleek packaging ideal for gifting
Complimentary shipping on all orders
Longer lead time for delivery needed
Sometimes, the most gracious gift you can give a baker is to let someone else do the baking. Not only is it nice to sit and enjoy an indulgent treat that you didn’t have to make yourself, but it’s a great way to expand your palette and get new ideas for your own recipes. One of the treats that we’re most excited about right now is the Anniversary Variety Box of blondies by Blondery. The bakery exclusively makes blondies, which are described as the dessert where chocolate chip cookies and brownies meet. Founded in 2016 by Auzerais Bellamy, a Bouchon Alumni, the bakery has recently laid down roots and opened up its very first brick-and-mortar store in Peekskill, New York.
The Anniversary Variety Box includes six blondie flavors, Brooklyn blackout, cinnamon sugar, pecan and salted caramel, red velvet, sweet potato, and birthday cake. There are four pieces of each flavor, for a total of 24 bite-sized blondies. Gift messaging is also available if you're planning on having the blondies shipped to your recipient.
Price at time of publish: $125
Shipping Information: Shipped via FedEx 2-Day or Overnight delivery | Shelf Life: Consume immediately or freeze for longer-term storage | Size: 1 x 1-inch pieces
Best Cake Stand
Mosser Glass Cake Stand
Several size and color options
Cake board fits cleanly onto plate
Design coordinates with almost every cake style
Glass cake dome sold separately
If you only have space in your kitchen for one cake stand, make it this one. The Mosser glass cake stand is both iconic in design, and incredibly functional since the style of the stand works well with nearly any cake design. The jadeite green glass stand is a delightfully retro color that coordinates well with vintage kitchenware. The cool green color compliments whites and neutrals, pinks and warm tones, as well as baby blues and cool tones.
For bakers who want to play it safe, the stand is also available in white milk glass, which coordinates with absolutely everything. The stand is also available in an ocean-colored Chelsea Blue, Grey Swirl, pastel pink, and eggplant-colored purple, among others. It’s available in four sizes, starting at six inches, which is perfect for a tiny cake or cupcakes. The 9 and 10-inch cake stands are ideal sizes for home bakers who specialize in smaller cakes, and the 12-inch stand is fitting for bakers venturing into larger specialty cakes and wedding cakes.
There’s a small lip on the edge of the cake plate, which is just large enough to fit a cake board inside of so it’s securely seated. It’s also a plus when you’re using the stand for desserts that don’t have a cake board, so there’s less of a chance of anything rolling or dripping off the side of the plate. Mosser makes a clear glass dome specifically designed for this cake stand, but it’s usually sold separately, or bundled for an additional charge.
Price at time of publish: $44-$97, depending on size
Available Sizes: 6, 9, 10, 12-inch | Height: 5.5, 8, or 9.25 inches, respectively | Material: Color flint glass | Cleaning: Hand wash with warm soapy water
Best tool set for dough
Williams-Sonoma Olivewood Pastry Tools, Set of 4
Beautiful, smooth, olivewood handles
Stainless steel components
Pastry brush made with traditional boar bristles
Not every baker makes cakes, and there are plenty of gorgeous tools available for people who prefer to work with dough. If your favorite baker is enthusiastic about pies, cookies, and even laminated dough, this 4-piece set of olivewood pastry tools from Williams Sonoma will be a luxurious upgrade to their baking tools collection. The kit comes equipped with a bench scraper, pastry brush, small offset spatula, and fluted pastry cutting wheel. Each of the tools is outfitted with matching sustainably-sourced Mediterranean olivewood handles and stainless steel components.
The pastry brush is made with traditional boar bristles for efficient flour dusting when used dry, maximum absorption when saturated with syrups, and smooth application of egg washes. The bench scraper is six inches long with a tapered edge to help slice through doughs and scrape wooden tabletops. It also has convenient ½-inch increment markers for portioning and measuring dough without an additional ruler. To preserve the integrity of the wood, it’s best to wash these tools by hand, and occasionally oil the olivewood if it begins to dry out with use.
Price at time of publish: $70
Includes: 4-inch offset spatula, 1-inch pastry brush, fluted pastry cutting wheel, bench scraper | Materials: Sustainably-sourced Mediterranean olivewood, stainless steel | Dishwasher safe: No
Best Pastry Mat
Five Two Good Measure Pastry Mat
Great price for what it includes
Oven and dishwasher safe
Includes pie recipe and ingredient conversion charts
Thinner than Silpat brand silicone mats
Pastry mats are the secret weapon many bakers use to make perfectly round pie crusts, smooth and even rolled cookie dough, and no-fuss pastries that might otherwise stick to the countertop while you’re trying desperately to shape them. This silicone pastry mat from Food52 was carefully designed to help make all of your dough and fondant projects easier, and clean up a snap. At 18 x 26 inches, the mat covers a decent amount of workspace to keep your countertop clean.
Made with platinum-grade heat-resistant silicone, this mat goes from countertop to oven (oven safe up to 550°F), and microwave to the dishwasher, all without losing its cool. Printed on top is a round diameter chart that ranges from 4 to 14 inches for any size pie you might want to make. It also has standard and metric rulers around the edges, as well as a conversion chart that tackles temperatures, weight, and liquid/volumetric conversions. There’s also a handy butter conversion note and general baking tips.
While many pastry mats include some, if not most, of those features, this is the only one we’ve seen printed with a professional all-butter pie dough recipe directly on the mat. That’s about as convenient as it gets. If you prefer to wash this mat by hand, the manufacturer suggests giving it a little extra cleaning with baking soda after a few uses to get any lingering butter and flour residue off.
Price at time of publish: $20
Dimensions: 18 x 26 inches | Material: Platinum-grade silicone | Dishwasher safe: Yes | Heat rating: Max 550°F
If you want to splurge on your favorite baker, the KitchenAid Artisan Series Stand Mixer is an iconic and useful machine that will earn its keep, according to our tests. The Emile Henry French Ceramic Ruffled Pie Dish is also a gorgeous choice.
What to Look for in Gifts for Bakers
It may be difficult to take stock of another person’s kitchen, but if you can, it will make gift-giving infinitely easier. They may have a beautiful stand mixer, but need a cooling rack to make it to the finish line with crisp-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside cookies. Also, if this is a special occasion gift, be sure to check for a registry. Your recipient may have already taken the guesswork out of the process.
Different occasions call for different budgets, but always keep in mind what is comfortable for you and makes sense for the gift recipient. Be mindful of spending an appropriate amount based on what place in life the recipient is at, as well. In the end, a gift, no matter how large or small, will be appreciated.
Kitchen tools, like everything else, go through ups and downs based on trends. Who knew the air fryer would become such an iconic kitchen appliance? What is hot and fun in baking right now that might make your gift recipient’s baking life easier? It can pay dividends to check out baking Instagram or celebrity bakers' websites for what they are loving or what is trending.
What is a stand mixer used for, and what can you make with it?
Stand mixers usually come with three attachments—a dough hook, whisk, and paddle. The dough hook makes light work of breads, pie doughs, pizza dough, and anything you would knead by hand. The whisk attachment renders whipped cream in a matter of minutes and makes a stiff meringue without hand cramps. The paddle is the tool for cookie and cake batters, brownies, compound butters, frosting, and so much more.
If you purchase additional specialized attachments, you can grind your own sausage, spiralize zucchini noodles, churn ice cream, roll out fresh pasta, juice citrus, and more.
How do you clean a really dirty baking apron?
First, check the care instructions on the tag. Beyond that, it depends on the type of soiling and color of the apron. Most stubborn spots will come clean with a direct application of dish soap rubbed into the stain followed by an hour soak in warm water. Some stains, like meat juices, are harder to remove. If your apron is white, you can apply a little hydrogen peroxide to lift the stain. Colored aprons can be treated with baking soda and water. Dry, caked-on foods can be scraped off with a putty knife or another straight-edge tool and then laundered.
How do you use a cookie press?
Check out detailed instructions by Mariette Mifflin for The Spruce Eats with tips on buying and using cookie presses.
How do you use a proofing basket?
A proofing basket, also known as a banneton basket, requires a little prep before initial use:
- Dampen the basket, dust it with rice flour, and let it dry thoroughly.
- To ensure dough does not stick, dust the basket with rice flour prior to each use.
- Once your dough has proofed, turn it out onto your counter or board to prepare for baking. Never put the basket in the oven—it is only meant for proofing.
- You do not need to clean after each dough. Simply shake the excess flour out.
- Periodically, you will want to clean it more completely to remove any bits of dough that might build up in the spirals. When you do, rinse the basket with water and use a brush to get any dried debris off. Dry it off with a hand towel and recoat with rice flour. Allow it to completely dry before next use.
What is the best way to clean a wooden rolling pin?
To keep your wooden rolling pin in best shape, be sure to clean after each use. If you do have bits of dried dough on the surface, use a bench scraper to lightly scrape it off. After that, all you need is a damp towel. Do not use dish soap, as the wood will absorb it and dry the wood out. Be sure to periodically oil your wooden pin for maximum durability—mineral oil is a good choice for the task.
How do you get cake out of a bundt pan?
The best method is to put your serving plate on top of the pan and quickly flip so the bundt pan is upside down atop the serving platter or cake stand. Then, take a butter knife and tap along the pan ridges to encourage separation. Grab the edges of the pan and gently lift up (with fingers crossed) for a smooth release.
Can cooling racks go in the oven?
It depends on the model. Some are specifically designed to be oven safe. If it is, the wire rack can double as your roasting rack. Just set it right in your sheet pan. Be sure to check your manufacturer’s packaging, as some models are only oven safe up until a certain temperature.
How do you transfer a frosted cake to a cake stand?
For best results, chill your cake first to ensure frosting does not mar during transfer. There are specialized tools called cake lifters you can use to make the transfer, but a sturdy spatula will also do the trick. Warm your spatula under hot water and dry—this will enable you to get a clean edge when you separate the cake from the turntable. Move your spatula around the circumference of the cake, releasing it from the turntable. Once you completely separate the cake from the turntable, center the spatula and lift the cake. If you have a very slim spatula, you may want to use two for more stability. Once lifted, complete the transfer to the awaiting cake stand.
“If you want a polished cake, get a turntable, an offset spatula, and a bench scraper. You will also want a lot of frosting. Start off with a very thin coat to catch all those pesky crumbs and make sure to refrigerate it well so they aren’t moving around when you decorate. Using the offset, pile the frosting on the top and then the sides, smooth the sides out with the bench scraper, and make sure the excess frosting rises above the top of the cake. Then smooth the top edges towards the center.” — Domenica Lazo, Assistant Application Chef at Barry Callebaut
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer and product reviewer who lives in Rhode Island. She is an expert on all things home, including kitchen appliances, grills, and other cooking gadgets. In her spare time, she's an avid baker, whipping up cookies, cakes, and sourdough bread for her friends and family.
Carrie Honaker, who updated this article, is a food writer who believes in eating dessert first. As a restaurateur and avid home cook, she has baked thousands of pastries, pies, and cakes—she knows the importance of good tools when dealing with the chemistry of baking. Her work has appeared in many publications, including Bon Appetit, Allrecipes, and Wine Enthusiast.
Additional reporting by: Jenny Kellerhals
Domenica Lazo is the assistant application chef at Barry Callebaut.
Erin Kanagy-Loux is a classically trained pastry chef, caterer, and consultant.