12 Must-Have Baking Tools And Essentials

Whether you’re new to baking or are an experienced baker, this list will make sure your kitchen is stocked with must-have baking tools and essentials to help you create delicious baked treats!

12 Must-Have Baking Tools And Essentials

Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

These 12 Must-Have Baking Tools And Essentials are among the most-coveted for any baker. Whether you’re stocking your kitchen for the first time, registering for new baking items, or are upgrading your baking tools, this list is for you.

KitchenAid 7-Speed Digital Hand Mixer with Accessories – Invest in a good hand mixer and it will last you for years. This one come with accessories, which is handy when you don’t want to use a large stand mixer to achieve the same effect.

Circulon Nonstick Bakeware 9-Inch Round Cake Pan – a true non-stick pan that just works. It’s also a breeze to clean. Essential when you want gorgeous cakes to just fall out of the pan for that “naked” frosted look and perfect for smooth application of frosting.

Le Creuset Heritage Caribbean Stoneware Loaf Pan – I love my stoneware loaf pan! It’s perfect for bread, cakes, meatloaf, even casseroles. It bakes evenly and it cleans like a dream!

Hudson Essentials Stainless Steel Measuring Cups Set – 6 Piece Stackable Set with Spout – I love that these have a spout! These are durable and will last a lifetime.

Silicone Baking Mat – Non Stick Cookie Sheets – These are lovely to bake with. Easy clean up and your cookies will thank you! PS: They’re not just for cookies! Think roasted potatoes, veggies, fries, etc.

KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield – a true investment tool that I can’t live without! I hemmed and hawed over the expense of this, but man, it’s a time saver in the kitchen. Blends, beats, and whips, hands-free, letting me do other prep work while it does its thing. Plus, it creams mashed potatoes like nobody’s business. Bonus: it comes in range of colors that’ll make you consider investing in more than one…colors so gorgeous that you’ll contemplate holding a bake sale to raise funds for your next acquisition. Oh, wait…

Bellemain Cooling Rack
– perfect for cookies, muffins, truffles, and doughnuts. Makes easy work of icing and drizzling your yummy creations. Dishwasher safe.

Cotton Women’s Apron Dress
– Let’s face it: it can get messy in the kitchen when we’re baking. I mean, that flour seems to have a mind of its own and it just gets everywhere, right?! And most of the time, it gets on me. I don’t feel so bad about it if I’m wearing a cute apron that I can throw in the wash to remove the evidence of my messiness. Plus, I feel all June Cleaver in it (minus the high heels. ::ahem:: ).

Bellemain Stainless Steel 3 Cup Flour Sifter
– and speaking of flour, feel free to sift away with this handy sifter. Makes your flour perform like it’s supposed to. Tip: use it for confectioner’s sugar, too, to get those pesky lumps out. A definite must-have!

Green Hours Premium Silicone Spatula Set – This eco-friendly spatula set is made of 100% BPA free food grade silicone and is heat resistant. Comes in 3 yummy colors. Non-stick. Perfect for scraping and mixing.

12 Cup, Non Stick, Premium Silicone Muffin Mold & Cupcake Pan – BPA-free, dishwasher and microwave-safe. Oh, and freezer-safe, too. How did we live without it?

Sally’s Baking Addiction: Irresistible Cupcakes, Cookies, and Desserts for Your Sweet Tooth Fix – I love this cookbook! Now that you have your kitchen all decked out with the baking essentials, you’re ready to make a yummy treat from Sally’s cookbook. Her easy to follow instructions will have you creating the perfect treat in no time!

Italian Almond Pear Cake
Cherry Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars
Flourless Chocolate Brownies
Pumpkin Cheesecake With Gingersnap Crust

If you like these recipes, consider joining the Zesty Recipes Facebook Group. We’d love to have you!

Facebook Group Zesty Recipes


12 Must-Have Baking Tools and Essentials


Gluten Free Almond Butter and Chocolate Chip Blondies

These Gluten Free Almond Butter and Chocolate Chip Blondies can be made in one bowl, no mixer required! They bake in under 30 minutes and can be ready to eat as soon as they have cooled.

Gluten Free Almond Butter BlondiesNote: This post contains links to Amazon affiliate products.

Those gooey chocolate chips in a healthy base of almond butter and few other yummy and healthy ingredients are irresistible.

Gluten Free Almond Butter Blondies

These were so good I couldn’t stop sneaking a bite as I was trying to take photos! And these were so simple to put together. You’ll need a large mixing bowl and a large whisk and/or spoon to combine the ingredients. Line your pan with parchment paper for easy lifting out of the finished blondies and also for easy cleanup.

Gluten Free Almond Butter Blondies

I added a drizzle of melted chocolate on the top just for fun, but these are totally yummy without that extra step. There’s enough chocolate goodness in these blondies that you’ll never miss the drizzle if you choose not to add it. But it is pretty, right? 😉

Gluten Free Almond Butter Blondies

I hope you make these easy Gluten Free Almond Butter and Chocolate Chip Blondies and let me know how you like them. They’re a keeper around here!

Note: This post contains links to Amazon affiliate products.

Gluten Free Almond Butter and Chocolate Chip Blondies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Gluten Free Almond Butter and Chocolate Chip Blondies
Serves: 9 blondies
  • Blondies:
  • ⅓ cup of coconut oil, softened
  • ¾ cup of plain almond butter, smooth and unsalted
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • ¾ cup of maple syrup
  • 2 cups of fine ground almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ cup of bittersweet and/or semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like to mix them)

  • Chocolate Drizzle:
  • ⅛ cup of chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon of coconut oil
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened coconut oil and almond butter until smooth. Add in the maple syrup and eggs and stir to combine.

  2. Add the almond flour and baking powder to the wet mixture and mix carefully until combined.

  3. Fold in the chocolate chips. Reserve a few for the top.

  4. Spread the mixture into an 8 x 8 baking dish lined with parchment paper.

  5. Bake at 350° for approx. 25 minutes. The top should be golden brown. Do not over bake. Let cool for 30 minutes before attempting to remove and slice. The blondies will set a little more as they cool off.

  6. Chocolate Drizzle:
  7. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt/soften about ⅛ cup of chocolate chips with ½ teaspoon of coconut oil in the microwave for 30 seconds or so. Remove from the microwave and stir until completely melted.

  8. With a spoon, lightly drizzle chocolate over each blondie and let set.

  9. Blondies will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

If you like these recipes, consider joining the Zesty Recipes Facebook Group. We’d love to have you!

Don’t forget to pin and share!

Gluten Free Almond Butter Blondies



Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Lemon Glaze (Gluten-Free)

These Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Lemon Glaze are easy to make and will be a family favorite!

Note: This post contains affiliate links for products on Amazon.

No need to haul out your stand mixer or hand mixer – you can combine these muffin ingredients by hand! Well, I suggest one large mixing bowl and a large spoon, just to keep things nice and tidy. 😉

I used gluten-free flour, (here’s what I used) but you can swap it out for your favorite all-purpose flour if you don’t need the gluten-free option. My recipe also calls for a non-refined sugar alternative (here’s what I used) but no adjustment of the recipe is needed if you want to use your favorite refined sugar instead. I also used a non-refined confectioners sugar alternative for the glaze.

And finally, fresh blueberries are always preferable, but if you don’t have them on hand, or they’re not in season, frozen blueberries will work just fine. In fact, that’s what I used here.

This recipe will make 9-12 muffins, depending on how full you fill each muffin cup. I got 10 out of this batch because I filled the cups almost completely full. I like to use unbleached muffin liners (like these) so that clean up is easy.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Lemon Glaze (Gluten-Free)

So, no excuses – go forth and make these yummy blueberry lemon muffins now. Don’t forget the tangy lemon glaze, which is quite possibly, my favorite part.  These are truly scrumptious (name that movie!) when consumed warm. I mean, just look at those warm berries nestled in the lemony muffin below. Ah…

If you have leftovers the next day, just pop a muffin in the microwave to re-heat for 10-20 seconds or so. You can even split one open and warm it in your toaster oven with a pat of butter on each section. Enjoy!

Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Lemon Glaze (Gluten-Free)Note: This post contains affiliate links for products on Amazon.

Swerve Granular Sugar Replacement Sweetener

Swerve Confectioners Sugar Replacement Sweetener

Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour

Unbleached Muffin Liners

Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Lemon Glaze (Gluten-Free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Lemon Glaze (Gluten-Free)
Serves: 9-12 muffins
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ cup Swerve sugar replacement (or regular refined sugar)
  • Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup plain unsweetened yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups gluten-free Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1-flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1¼ cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup almond milk (or regular milk)
  • For the Glaze
  • ½ cup Swerve powdered sugar replacement (or regular powdered sugar)
  • Fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Line muffin tins with paper liners. I like these unbleached liners.

  3. Melt butter in microwave or on stove. Pour in large mixing bowl; set aside and let cool before proceeding with next step.

  4. Add sugar, ½ of the lemon zest (reserve the rest for garnish), yogurt, and egg to the melted butter. Whisk until smooth.

  5. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir until combined.

  6. Lightly fold in flour and blueberries.

  7. Add almond milk and lightly combine. Batter will be very thick.

  8. Spoon/scoop batter into muffins tins.

  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until tops are lightly browned and/or knife inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.

  10. Remove muffins from oven and from muffin tin and let cool on rack for 10 minutes.

  11. Make the glaze:

  12. In a small bowl, incrementally add lemon juice to the powdered sugar and whisk until it reaches your desired consistency. I like my glaze thick, so I use less lemon juice. If you like yours thin and pourable, use more lemon juice.

  13. When desired consistency is achieved, lightly drizzle glaze over the top of each muffin.

  14. Top each muffin with a sprinkle of reserved lemon zest.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins (Gluten-Free)



Grand Marnier Chocolate Truffles

Grand Marnier Chocolate Truffles are smooth, rich, and elegant. They are a simple, no-bake treat flavored with a subtle orange liqueur.

Grand Marnier Chocolate Truffles

These truffles are amazing! If you’re looking for a rich chocolate ganache center with a hint of orange, you need to try these. They are truly simple to put together, with just a bit of lag time for them to firm up so that you can roll them into these delicious cocoa-covered bits of heaven.

Grand Marnier Chocolate Truffles

If you can heat heavy cream to a simmer, throw in some chocolate, whisk until melted, refrigerate until chilled, and be willing to get your hands just a tiny bit messy with the chocolate as you form them into balls (ahem…chocolate…what mess?!) then you can make these, no problem! They are that simple. Oh, and of course, the finishing touch – roll them in powdered cocoa. Ah…

Grand Marnier Chocolate Truffles

I like to use Ghirardelli semi-sweet or bittersweet baking chocolate bars, and Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa. The Grand Marnier adds a subtle flavor of orange, so try not to skip it! If you don’t want to purchase an entire bottle of Grand Marnier, check your liquor store to see if they offer a mini bottle ~ that’s what I used. 😉 Alternatively, you can use the fine zest of an orange instead of Grand Marnier for a non-alcoholic option.

This post contains affiliate links for products on Amazon.

Grand Marnier Chocolate Truffles
Prep time
Total time
Grand Marnier Chocolate Truffles
Serves: 2 dozen
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (can also use bittersweet chocolate chips)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur*
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, for rolling
  • *For non-alcoholic version, substitute 1 Tablespoon of the zest of an orange for the Grand Marnier.
  1. In a small saucepan, heat cream and Grand Marnier liqueur (or zest of an orange) to a simmer. May also do this in a microwave using a microwave-safe bowl.

  2. Put chocolate in a mixing bowl and slowly pour cream mixture over it. Let it sit for a few minutes to begin melting the chocolate.

  3. Using a whisk, begin stirring to melt the chocolate. Keep stirring until all chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and glossy.

  4. Refrigerate the mixture for 2-3 hours until well-chilled.

  5. Prepare your surface for scooping and rolling. I like to spread out parchment or wax paper on my counter-top for ease of cleanup.

  6. Once mixture is fully chilled, scoop out one-inch portions and gently and quickly roll into balls using the palms of your hands. (Your hands will probably heat the chocolate, so work quickly.)

  7. Roll each truffle ball in the cocoa powder to fully coat.

  8. Keep truffles chilled in the refrigerator until serving.

  9. Truffles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

No Bake Grand Marnier Chocolate Truffles