You can get kids involved in the kitchen without any fancy kit. You can still make lots of fun things with a bowl and a wooden spoon. If however, your kids enjoy cooking and baking in the kitchen and you want to try some more exciting recipes, here are my baking must haves – the top ten bits of equipment you’ll need for baking success.
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You can spend from around £50 up to £500 or more for a mixer. We used to have a cheaper one like this Cooks professional mixer but when that broke upgraded to a wonderful KitchenAid. Mixers will make baking and mixing stuff together much easier and quicker and they’re really simple for children to use. Most come with 3 attachments – a flat beater, a whisk and a dough hook so you can use them for making bread, whisking cream or egg whites for a meringue or just for mixing a cake batter. From not really knowing whether I would use one or not, it’s now my couldn’t live without piece of kitchen equipment.
Upgrade to: KitchenAid
Kitchenaid 5KSM7591XBER Planetary Food Mixer, 6.9 L, Red
In baking, accuracy is everything which is why we use digital scales for weighing our ingredients – even liquids. Digital scales also make it easy for older children, providing they know their numbers, to independently weigh their ingredients.
AMIR UK-KA5 Digital Kitchen Scale
If your budget doesn’t stretch to digital scales, these kitchen scales will still do the job. Most even come with a handy measuring bowl.
Lots of recipes ask for a tea spoon or table spoon of something. Be it herbs and spices or baking powder, salt or yeast. The spoons you have in your cutlery drawer won’t give an accurate measure so you really need to get a set of these, particularly if you want to bake successully. Not adding the right amount of baking powder can make the difference between a cake that sinks in the middle to one that rises beautifully. These handy sets come with all the measures you’ll need – tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ tsp and ¼ tsp.
Although we try and use digital scales for measuring everything because it’s more accurate and gives a better result, if you’ve ever tried to make an American recipe you’ll notice they tend to use cups. Again, like measuring spoons, you need to use a specific cup measure rather than just any old tea mug from your cupboard.
We’ve got these fun nesting doll measuring cups which are handy as the smaller ones hide inside the larger ones, taking up less space in our kitchen.
A bowl is a must when you’re baking. Big plastic ones are great when you’re baking with your kids for obvious reasons. We’ve got these colourful ones that stack inside each other – the small blue bowl is great for using on our scales while the largest one is great for mixing. It also comes with a sieve and some measuring cups so you’ve got everything covered in one product.
Alternatively, if you’ve got older children you can trust with a ceramic bowl, I love these Mason Cash bowls. I don’t think you can beat the look of these top quality, old school baking bowls, straight from your Granny’s kitchen.
Mason Cash S12 colour Mix Powder Pink Chip Resistant Earthenware Mixing Bowl 29cm Diameter
Whatever you’re baking you’ll likely need some baking tins. From muffin tins to make muffins and cupcakes, to trays for baking biscuits, loaf tins or brownie tins. You don’t have to spend a lot, but more expensive ones are likely to be better quality and last longer. These are the ones I use most often, but you’ll also find plenty more – bundt tins, cake tins, doughnut tins etc.
If your kids love making biscuits/cookies you can either find recipes for hand rolled ones or make some fun fork biscuits or invest in some cookie cutters. I find plastic ones last longer and are a bit kinder on little hands. Invest in a set with different sizes and shapes or keep your eye out for various seasonal shapes and you can make a simple biscuit recipe fun for anytime of year.
Rolling pins are useful if you are rolling out biscuit dough to cut or pastry for a tart. If you don’t have one you could use a tin covered in cling film but you’ll find it much easier if you use a proper rolling pin. I love the look of this one which has an adjustable thickness guide. I find it hard enough when I’m baking on my own to get everything an even thickness but when you’re doing it with kids it’s virtually impossible so these would solve that problem.
These silicon cupcake cases are useful whether you’re baking muffins or cupcakes. I find paper ones can stick to muffins making them hard to eat so they solve that proplem – they’re also reusable which is a bonus.
Cupcake Molds, 24 Pack Reusable Silicone Baking Cases Muffin Molds
Wire racks are useful for allowing your bakes to cool. Without them the base won’t cool down properly.