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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're rounded up of some of the sweetest ways to gift the bakers in your life.
Here are the best gifts for bakers.
Best Overall: 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.
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
Best Apron: Food52 Five Two Ultimate Apron
Variety of colors
Conversion chart included
Adjustable neck strap
The Five Two Ultimate Apron is packed with features that make it perfect for anyone who loves baking. It comes in five pretty colors and has an adjustable neck strap, extra-long waist ties, and three convenient pockets. There’s also an easily accessible conversion chart inside one of the pockets, as well as built-in pot holders on the bottom corners, allowing you to take hot pans out of the oven. Every inch of this apron is carefully designed, making it a wonderful gift for the baker in your life.
Material: Cotton twill | Measurements: 36 x 32.5 inches | Machine Wash Safe: Yes
Best Cookie Press: Oxo Good Grips Cookie Press
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.
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 Decorating Kit: Wilton 46-Piece Deluxe Cake Decorating Set
Storage case included
Wide variety of tips
Offset spatula included
Instructions come 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.
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 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.
Dimensions: 8.5 x 12.25 x 11.25 inches | Power: 120 volts | Warranty: 1 year
“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
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.
Size: 9 inches | Material: Cotton | Cleaning: Hand wash only
Best Kitchen Scale: Escali Primo P115C Precision Kitchen Food Scale for Baking and Cooking
Available in multiple colors
Buttons and display sealed against spills
Easy to clean
Plastic construction flimsy
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.
Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 1.2 inches | Weight Limit: 11 pounds | Material: Plastic
“A scale is an important kitchen tool. Converting your recipes to weight measurements yields the most accurate baking results.” — Domenica Lazo, Assistant Application Chef at Barry Callebaut
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.
Material: Beech Wood | Dimensions: 17.13 inches x 2.72 inches x 2.72 inches | Cleaning: Hand wash only
Best Pie Plate: Oxo Good Grips Glass Pie Plate with Lid
Freezer- and microwave-safe
Can spontaneously shatter from thermal stress
It can be tricky to transport pies, but you don’t have to worry about denting your precious crust with the Oxo Good Grips Glass Pie Plate. This 9-inch pie plate is made from borosilicate glass, and it comes with a lid that lets you store and transport your favorite pie recipes more easily.
Material: Borosilicate glass | Size: 9 inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
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.
Best Bundt Pan: Nordic Ware Platinum Collection 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. The pan is made from cast aluminum for superior baking performance, and its nonstick interior ensures cakes always come out in one piece. Plus, Nordic Ware pans are made in the US, and they come with a lifetime warranty.
Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 10.13 x 10.13 x 3.75 inches | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best Cooling Rack: Wilton Perfect Results 3-Tier Cooling Rack
Ceramic nonstick 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.
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.
Material: Stainless steel | Number of Pieces: 12 | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Baking Cups: AmazonBasics Reusable Silicone Non-Stick Baking Cups Liners
Freezer-, microwave-, and 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.
Material: Silicone | Number of pieces: 12
Best Cookbook: BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts
James Beard Award winner
Informative history of retro desserts
Measurements done in weights
"BraveTart" is an amazing baking-focused cookbook that belongs in every baker’s library. This best-selling 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.
Recipes: More than 200 | Pages: 400 | Published: August 2017
Best Cake Stand: Crate and Barrel Footed Cake Stand with Dome
Every baker needs a cake stand where they can show off their most beautiful creations, and this Crate and Barrel Footed Cake Stand is a top-rated option that’s incredibly sleek and modern. The stand is 10.5 inches across and the dome stands 7 inches tall, allowing it to accommodate large layer cakes. It’s made from lovely clear glass that allows you to see the dessert inside, and the fitted design helps to preserve the food’s freshness, as well.
Material: Glass | Dimensions: 10.5 x 11 inches | Dishwasher Safe: No
Know your frosting. If it's whipped cream-based, it needs to stay cold and can't be over-agitated or it will turn to butter. If it's butter-based, it needs to stay at room temp to frost smoothly, says Erin Kanagy-Loux, classically trained pastry chef, caterer, and consultant. Fudge-style frostings work best when slightly warmed and can begin to crack or dry out if too cool, she adds.
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 our 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 to find a gift your recipient does not already own.
What is a stand mixer used for, and what can you make with it?
Stand mixers usually come with three attachments—a dough hook, a whisk, and a 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.
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.