From a sprig of rosemary here to a squeeze of lemon juice there, cooking is one area where you can deviate from the recipe and still get delicious results most of the time. Baking on the other hand is not as forgiving. Whether you're tempering chocolate or measuring flour, baking is all about precision and science, and it's important to have the right tools on hand to help you achieve baked good success.
And lucky for us, professional baker Claire Saffitz recently shared a YouTube video where she revealed the 13 essential kitchen tools that she can't bake without. And since Saffitz literally wrote a cookbook entitled Dessert Person (buy it: Amazon, $27), it's safe to say she knows her way around a cake or two. Check out Saffitz's top tools below—plus, where you can buy them for yourself.
Saffitz’s number one tool is an offset spatula, which she says is “the best tool for spreading things.” Whether it’s butter on toast, frosting on a cake or even using it to remove cookies from a baking sheet, Saffitz loves this affordable and versatile tool.
Buy it: Bed Bath & Beyond, $4
When Saffitz was in culinary school in Paris, she bought a plastic bowl scraper from E. Dehillerin, a famous cookware store that’s seen the likes of many chefs—including Julia Child. It’s perfect for making bread and getting the batter out of a bowl, and Saffitz calls the tool an extension of her hand.
Buy it: Amazon, $8 for a set of two
For Saffitz, a rolling pin is not just a helpful kitchen tool, but one that she has “an attachment” to since it was given to her by a friend. She prefers a dowel-style rolling pin, i.e., without handles and one that is not tapered.
Buy it: Amazon, $12
“This tiny spatula does not look like much, but I cannot tell you how much I love having this in the kitchen,” says Saffitz. She uses it for leveling off measuring cups, getting the last bit of peanut butter out of a jar and more.
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $13
Baking is all about precision and Saffitz relies on a kitchen scale to measure flour, sugar and more. She also uses the scale to portion ingredients, whether that’s distributing cake batter into tins or weighing dough for rolls. Her pick is a model from Escali (and check out our favorite kitchen scales).
Buy it: Amazon, $25
Whether it’s applying an egg wash, a glaze or soaking a cake, Saffitz is always cleaning a pastry brush. Her brush has natural bristles, which Saffitz says, “tend to hold on to liquid much better.”
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $15
When it comes to baking, pastry bags are an essential tool for piping. While Saffitz uses disposable plastic bags, these reusable nylon bags would also get the job done.
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $20
A dusting wand helps Saffitz when she needs to finish a cake or flour a surface when working with dough. Using a dusting wand helps break up any clumps of powdered sugar or flour so you’re left with an even look.
Buy it: Amazon, $21
A tourné knife is a curved paring knife, which Saffitz uses for small details on a dessert. Whether that’s hulling strawberries or pitting stone fruit, a tourné knife allows for more precise control when cutting.
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $70
As a recipe developer, Saffitz often reaches for OXO’s quarter-cup measuring cup because she needs to know the exact quantities of an ingredient. Unlike other measuring cups, this one lets you read the numbers from above, so there’s no awkward bending down to read.
Buy it: Amazon, $5
Whether you’re looking to make fudge, lemon curd or candy, Saffitz says it’s important to know the temperature of an item when you’re making various desserts. (Instant-read thermometers are also handy when cooking proteins like chicken or lamb.) While she has a Thermapen, she also suggests a more budget-friendly option, ThermoPop, both of which take the guesswork out of baking.
Buy it: ThermoWorks, $34