10 Must-Have Holiday Baking Tools, According To A Serious Baker

Cheryl Day knows what she's doing in the kitchen, so these picks will be surefire successes.
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“I’m the original home baker, that’s how I started,” Cheryl Day told HuffPost. Day is the co-owner of Savannah’s Back in the Day Bakery and author of the “Treasury of Southern Baking” cookbook.

Day’s unfussy yet elegant approach to baking carries over to the baking tools she keeps on hand in the kitchen — at home and at work. A tool should be versatile and look nice too. “I do tend to like things that I like to look at in my kitchen, even at the bakery. I love buying things with maybe a special wood handle for some of my pastry tools. But as far as things that just don’t work and break easy, just things like that, I tend to stay away from,” Day said.

The holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to ramp up the holiday baking. Whether you’re a novice or expert baker, or looking to give the home baker in your life something practical yet fun, it always helps to know what a pro like Day uses in her kitchen. Here, she shares 10 products that are a must for any home baker.

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A Great Jones loaf pan
Did you know you can bake muffin batter in a loaf pan? Day likes to do this when gifting people treats during the holidays. “You can’t give somebody one muffin, but you could give them one loaf,” she laughed. Great Jones’ loaf pans are made of aluminized steel and a nontoxic ceramic coating. They also come in eye-catching colors like blueberry and broccoli.

Get it from Great Jones for $28.
A large cookie scoop
“I love cookie scoops for portioning out cookies and I just think it makes it so easy,” Day said. Cookie scoops help keep muffins and cupcakes consistent, too. She also keeps a small cookie scoop on hand.

Get the large Nordic Ware cookie scoop from Amazon for $15.51.
Joyce Chen kitchen shears
Kitchen shears are great for snipping herbs, but Day also likes them for cutting vents into her pie crust and to cut pastry bags. “I think that would be a great gift for somebody. I have a bright red, and they come in fun colors,” she said.

Get them from Amazon for $18.99.
Guittard chocolate wafers
When it comes to a pantry staple that Day likes to have on hand, Guittard’s chocolate wafers stand out. They’re fantastic for anything that you would usually use in chocolate shops, she said. Wafers melt more easily than chocolate chips so the result is a gooier treat.

Get a 12-ounce bag from Amazon for $14.51.
A bench scraper
A bench scraper is a must-have baking tool according to Day. In fact, it’s probably her No. 1 tool because you can use it to cut dough (the one from Williams Sonoma has measurement markings to make it easy) and you can use it to clean. Bonus points for a pretty olive-wood handle.

Get it from Williams Sonoma for $19.95.
A big sheet pan and oven-safe nesting grid
This is a two-for-one suggestion from Day. First, she loves to use a big baking sheet even when baking at home. The bigger the sheet, the bigger the batch of cookies. This set comes with a cooling rack, which is also a must, according to Day. To prevent overbaking your treats, especially cookies and muffins, you’ll want to take them out of the oven as quickly as possible and place them on a cooling rack which allows the air to circulate and cool the treats quicker.

Get the Nordic Ware set from Amazon for $33.91.
A large whisk
Think a whisk is just for beating eggs? Think again: A whisk can also replace a sieve or sifter, Day said. Sure, sometimes you need to use one of those specialized tools, but, “This is just real life for me. Generally, I’m taking a large whisk and aerating all of my ingredients and making sure they’re incorporated that way,” she said. A whisk might seem like an obvious tool, and you probably already have one, but it’s worth investing in a large whisk that will really get the job done. This is also a great gift for someone building their baking collection.

Get the 11-inch Nordic Ware whisk from Amazon for $12.50.
A pastry brush
You might not think you need a pastry brush — until you realize it’s hard to get those egg whites on those biscuits. This is a holiday baking must.

Get an OXO Good Grips pastry brush from Amazon for $7.99.
Mrs Anderson's rolling pin
Day has a collection of rolling pins and loves this old-fashioned one from Fante’s. It’s what she calls “grandma style” and has handles and ball bearings for easy rolling. It’s ideal for biscuits. If you want something fancier, perhaps as a gift for someone else, Day likes this oak fine pin from Herriot Grace.

Get it from Fante's for $26.99.
A Whitebark Workwear apron
Whitebark Workware is a sustainably minded company based in Los Angeles that designs aprons made with hemp. “They’re the most durable aprons and they feel really good,” said Day. “You feel like you’re ready when you tie it on.” They come in a variety of colors ranging from bright aquamarine to a neutral sand.

See Whitebark's selection of aprons for around $102 each.
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