In Bake it Up a Notch, or Resident Baking BFF, Erin McDowell—and her trusty sidekick, Brimley, our Resident Pie Pup—shows us everything we'll ever need to know to make our baking faster, easier, and better than ever. From equipment recommendations to in-depth technique tutorials to fixes for every mishap imaginable, Erin's here to save the day (and save our cakes).
If you know someone who loves to bake, they are likely spending more time in the kitchen than ever before. This list is made up of tools I turn to time and time again, that have withstood the test of time and beyond frequent use in my home kitchen—plus a few sources of inspiration for year-round baking. Any baker would be thrilled to unwrap one of these goodies! Wishing everyone happy holidays and happy baking!
No baker should be without a set of mixing bowls, and this set looks so good, it can do double duty, moonlighting as serveware, too. My favorite part is the pour spout on each bowl, which is great for adding ingredients together, or perfectly pouring batter into a cake pan.
A baking steel makes a perfect holiday gift because SO many folks want one of their own. This incredible product will make for better pizza, bread, and—the reason I adore it—crisp-bottomed pies. Leave your soggy bottoms in 2020: The baking steel is the kitchen investment the baker in your life doesn’t know they need!
This was gift to me from one of my baking besties, and it changed my world so now I love to pass the gift along! I always list a good quality bench (or dough) knife as my absolute favorite, go-to kitchen tools - and this one takes the cake. Available in TWO sizes—both larger than typical dough knives—it does an amazing job of cutting cold ingredients like butter, dividing dough, scraping off a floury work surface, and even smoothing icing on a tall layer cake!
This is a rolling pin that is as beautiful as it is lightweight and easy to use. I like the hole on one end, which allows me to hang my pin up. It’s so pretty, I love to display it, and I love having it right at hand for whenever the urge to roll dough strikes!
Every year, one of the most common baking questions that pours into my inbox is: “How do I move a cake off a turntable and onto a cake stand to serve it?” My answer is very different now that this product exists—a beautiful turntable and cake stand all in one. I also use it at the dinner table—we sometimes put condiments on it in the center of the table, so it’s easy for everyone to grab what they need while they eat!
My mom always gives magazine subscriptions as gifts, and I love it—because it’s a gift that gives all year long! This year, I’m gifting friends subscriptions to one of my favorites—the always-inspiring Cherry Bombe!
I gift a lot of pies every year, so I am the proud owner of more than one PieBox, which allows me to easily carry pies from place to place without worry. For an extra special gift, gift the box with a pie inside: The recipient can bake a pie in the pie plate and might even be inspired to pass the pie love on!
As a Midwest girl myself, I love to gift this book to anyone who loves to bake. It will be a welcome companion during the holiday baking season, but is sure to be a well-loved copy on your cookbook shelf throughout the seasons. Everything from bar cookies to buns to pies and cakes—this book has all the homey comfort of the baked goods I grew up eating, and I couldn’t love it more.
My own little holiday tradition is to buy a new ornament each year. Not surprisingly, nearly all of my ornaments are food-related, and I’m always looking out for new additions to my nearly edible tree. This year, I’m adoring these carrots and mushrooms so much, I’m buying a few to gift to friends. Gifting ornaments is the sweetest fun because the recipient will think of you and your gift each holiday season when they hang it!