Holiday Gift Ideas for the Baking Enthusiast in Your Life
Buying gifts can be challenging, but supporting your friends in their passions is always a safe bet. We’ve looked a variety of baking implements in a wide price range to find something that’s perfect for the baker in everyone’s life.
A Food Scale
Some people prefer to measure by weight than volume, especially when it comes to baking. If your friend or loved one is thinking about trading their measuring cups in for a kitchen scale, it wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and give them the option. Unless your friend can calculate in their head how much a tablespoon of flour is going to weigh in grams. In that case, you should encourage your friend to go to engineering school or something.
A Heating Pad (We Promise!)
If you’ve ever seen Great British Bake-Off/Great British Baking Show, you’ve seen bakers use a proving drawer. But most people don’t actually need a proving drawer to get a good rise from their doughs. The contestants use them because they’re on insane time constraints. And about half the time, it backfires horribly. Far more cost-effective than a proving drawer is a good heating pad. Place it under your bowl or pan of dough, and cover the dough with plastic wrap or a good towel.
A Culinary Torch
You don’t need a culinary torch for a lot of things. But for things like crème brûlée and certain types of pastries, it’s a must-have. This might be a little over-the-top, but it’s a fun thing to have. Getting hold of this kind of niche tool sometimes lends a feeling of confidence if you’re striking out into more advanced work.
An Adjustable Rolling Pin
If your friends do a lot of baking, then they probably already have a rolling pin. But do they have a rolling pin with adjustable end rings that help to roll out dough to the desired thickness? Probably not. Uniform consistency is the key to perfect baking, and this specialized rolling pin will be a piemaker’s best friend.
A Good Mixer
On one hand, people were getting a perfect peak in their macaron batter for centuries before electric mixers existed. On the other hand, why do that to yourself? Whether you get a cost-effective hand mixer or a full-on stand mixer, having a mixer can take a lot of the frustrating elbow-grease work out of the picture, so you can focus your attention elsewhere.
A Springform Pan
This is another tool that’s a little limited in scope but incredibly helpful. If you’re trying to make a cheesecake, a springform pan is a necessity to have. And if you make a lot of cheesecakes, your springform pan is gonna see some pretty intense use. Plus, if your friend makes a lot of cheesecakes because your springform pan enabled them to—then, you get to eat a lot of cheesecake.
You can never have too much flour around, and there are so many kinds to try! For instance, macarons call for almond flour, which is a lot cheaper to buy than macarons but still a little more expensive than some folks might be willing to do for themselves. Rice flour is gluten-free like almond flour is, but it’s a little more suited to making cakes. And of course, bread flour gives your breads a better rise and texture than baking bread with all-purpose flour. Plus, you can say “I got you some flours!” and they’ll think you’re really clever. They probably won’t recognize that’s a joke from Stranger Than Fiction because that was a painfully underrated movie.
Airtight Containers (for those various flours)
If you’re going to go through the trouble of procuring specialty flours, you better make sure they last. Airtight canisters, like these from Oggi, will make sure your purchases last longer than their dated shelf life so you don’t waste any precious ingredients. They even come with stainless steel scooping spoons and built-in handles for ease.
A Cake Decorating Set
Help your cake-making friend decorating the fruits of their labor! This 46-piece set from Wilton includes a variety of tips, 24 disposable bags, a spatula, and more. If you’re feeling up to a little overkill, this 55-piece set from Wilton doesn’t count bags as pieces–it’s just a big container full of icing tips.
Perfect Cake Release
Speaking of cakes, you know how stressful baking can be if you’ve ever tried making an upside down cake or bundt cake. After all of that work, there’s one moment of truth: getting the cake out of the pan. It’s not that a baking enthusiast doesn’t know how to all successfully release a cake, but using this pan coating from Wilton alleviates any kind of worry. Plus, it makes for an incredibly consistent decorating surface. Icing can truly show off instead of mask any mistakes.
A Tiered Cooling Rack
Sometimes it helps to set things off to the side to cool for a little while. With space at a premium, getting some sort of multi-level cooling rack can be really useful for things like multi-layered cakes and large batches of cookies. There’s a good option from Wilton and several other options for stackable rack sets here and there.
Any craft comes with stuff you find yourself buying over and over again. Knitters need yarn–lots of it. Aside from things like flour and sugar, bakers are going to run out of things like parchment paper and icing bags. Is it glamorous? Well, no, probably not. But to the right person, it’s thoughtful. You’re empowering them to continue their art. That matters.
Aprons are nice! And there are aprons for everybody! Some aprons come with a nice cheat sheet on it for converting units of measurement, like changing tablespoons to teaspoons! Some aprons have pockets! This apron has Batman on it! This apron has some lovely florals! There’s something for everyone, and this is something everyone who bakes needs.