Baking 101: Everything a Back-to-School Mom Needs in the Kitchen

Baking 101: Everything a Back-to-School Mom Needs in the Kitchen

Betty Crocker ain’t got nothin’ on you with these helpful baking tools.

By Katie Leahy

Summer causes my time in the kitchen to dramatically drop. The thought of my oven on during a humid 80-degree day makes me feel like I am baking along with my chocolate chip cookies. And while I enjoy an excuse to take a break from my inner Betty Crocker, the fall season urges me back into the kitchen to tie on the apron and start mixing up some batter. Well, there is that...and also bake sales, classroom parties and playdates galore I need to bake for throughout the school year.

So if you are a baker, someone who wants to start baking or you simply have no choice because you are signed up to make seven dozen cupcakes for soccer fundraiser, check out our list below. These are the bare necessities you'll need to through your yearly baking events...and they're pretty to look at, too.

The Mixer

KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

This mini, yet powerful mixer, is the muscle behind the dozens and dozens of cookies you'll be pumping out this year. With the power of the full-size mixer, the mini takes up less room, is lighter (by 25 percent to be exact) and can make up to five dozen cookies at a time in it’s 3.5-quart stainless steel bowl. With 10 optimized speeds to take on a variety of tasks, this mixer also comes 10 different attachments to use for multi uses in the kitchen. We love the color options ranging from bright cherry red to more of a sleek silver or black.

The Hand Mixer

Cuisinart Power Advantage 7 Speed Hand Mixer

As the name suggests this hand mixer is powerful enough to go up against the thickest of batter, but also super easy to use with a digital display and one-touch speed adjuster. Its SmoothStart feature prevents splattering by using three low-level mixing speeds, and I love the swivel cord that makes right-handed or left-handed use a breeze (being a lefty I appreciated this feature!).

The Countertop Baker

KitchenAid Compact Oven
Who doesn't love the convenience of a countertop oven? Whether you are using your larger oven for other recipes or simply don’t want to wait for it to preheat, your prayers have been answered with the KitchenAid beauty. Using convection cooking with bake, broil, warm and toast functions, you can bake brownies, roast a chicken or toast a bagel in this powerhouse. The two adjustable racks have six height options, which also makes for extremely east cleaning.

The Pans

Professional-Grade Nonstick 5-piece Bakeware Set
I give you the perfect set of pans to get you up and running like a true baker! Consisting of a loaf, muffin, jelly roll, square cake, and rectangle cake pan, you will be covered for most of the baking tasks thrown your way. All comprise a Swiss multi-layer non-stick coating that is dishwasher-safe and makes clean up a piece of cake (pun intended!).

The Mixing Bowls

Melamine Mixing Bowls with Lid, Set of 6
Mixing bowls are a key component to your baking success and this set of six, which all "nest" within one another, will not disappoint. Made of BPA-free melamine, they are durable yet light (and unbreakable) and have non slip bases to prevent spilling disasters. Each size comes with an airtight lid so you can make batter in advance and store or travel with food without a worry. Done and done.

The Measuring Tools

This just in: If you're baking, you're also measuring, and you need a sturdy set of cups and spoons to help you complete the task. I love these stainless steal sets of four from Cuisinart, which are held together by a steep ring for easy storage. All are dishwasher safe and won't fade or rust over time. (Read: You'll still be using them 20 years from now.)
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Measuring Cups, Set of 4

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons, Set of 4

The Cutting Board

Catskill Craftsmen 22-Inch Perfect Pastry Cutting Board 

Made in the good ol’ U.S of A., this double sided pastry board is a key element especially when baking pies this fall. Each side of the board has a lip which secures to the counter top for a stable working surface. With a smooth side for chopping and the reverse side branded with the diameters of a 6", 8", 9" and 10” pie, it ensures you will roll the dough to the perfect size. The board is practically making the pies for you!


The Mama Apron

Mom’s Moonbloom Apron

With cheery vibrant colors, this apron is as comfortable as it is flattering with it’s empire waist design.  It is machine washable and also a nice light weight to keep you cool around the oven.

The Kiddo Apron

ICUP Star Wars Darth Vader Kids 100% Cotton Black Apron

Calling all junior bakers (and Star Wars fans!!). If your child likes to help in the kitchen he/she deserves the gear to play the part. Made of cotton twill with a velcro neck strap this cute apron comes in a variety of characters and designs that will appeal to your mini helper.

The Baking Dishes

Emile Henry 3-Piece Ruffled Baker Set

Handcrafted from Burgundian clay and inspired by early 1900s French bakeware, these elegant yet durable pieces are a treat to bake in. Known for continuing to bake (and keep food warm), long after the oven goes off, this set of three includes a small, large and square ruffled baker. Available in burgundy, blue or white, the set is also also microwave-, oven-, freezer-, broiler-, and dishwasher-safe. You'll be the fanciest at the bake sale, but can also use them again and again when entertaining at home this holiday season.

The Oven Mitt

Homwe Extra Long Professional Silicone Oven Mitt

Made of heat resistant silicone, these heavy duty mitts are safe to use when working on the grill or in the oven. They have the all-important non-slip grip, will protect your fingers, hands and wrists (no burns!) up to 450°F, and come in a variety of colors.

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