Help for bakers

Help for bakers

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Ideal Baking Recipes for New Bakers

Ideal Baking Recipes for New Bakers

So, you want to start enjoying the delights of home baking? But where do you start? Well, for any new baker it is ideal to start with the basics. You don’t want to rush ahead and decide to make a soufflĂ© when you have little to no baking experience. 

So to get you started, here are some baking recipes for beginners for you to try:

Sponge Cake

A sponge cake was the first thing I learned to bake. With four basic ingredients – eggs, flour, sugar, and butter – you can bake a cake that will impress your family and friends. 

And with any basic sponge, you can jazz them up a bit by sandwiching two cakes together with tasty fillings, such as cream, jam, and fruit.

If you want to try to bake a basic sponge, this Sponge Cake recipe is an ideal starting point. 


Cupcakes are like miniature cakes, which are great for child bakers. You can be creative when it comes to the choice of cake cases, fillings, and toppings. 

Cupcakes use the same basic ingredients as a sponge cake; however, they also include ingredients, such as vanilla, and milk. They are ideal quick bakes, due to their short baking times. You can be creative with the toppings by using different types of icing, which can be coloured and flavoured. This makes cupcakes ideal for kid parties.  

So why not try them for yourself and see what you can do. This Vanilla Cupcakes recipe is a great recipe to start with. And if you don’t like vanilla, you can always substitute it for almond, chocolate, orange, or lemon. 

Vanilla biscuits 

Biscuits are something else that you can bake with children. With a basic biscuit dough and biscuit cutters, you can make a range of biscuit shapes. You can also decorate them, and add new flavours. Biscuits are also great for parties or after-school snacks. 

So, if you fancy baking some biscuits, then try this Basic Biscuit Dough recipe.


There’s nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread filling up your home. And not only does bread smell great, and tastes good, it also won’t cost you too much to make. With three (or four) ingredients, you can bake a loaf that will last you at least a couple of days, if not more (especially if you freeze some of it).

And once you know how to make a basic loaf, you will be amazed by what else you can do with bread. You can add ingredients, such as herbs, and cheese. And you can bake other things such as buns, and pizza.

So, if you want to try baking some bread, then try this Classic White Loaf recipe

So, there you have it – baking recipes for new bakers. And once you start, you will not be able to stop. So do try these baking recipes for beginners and let me know how you get on. 

Happy baking! 

The Basic Baking Ingredients for Bakers

Does baking need a lot of expensive ingredients? The simple answer is no, it doesn’t. With four simple types of baking ingredients, you can bake a variety of things, such as cakes, biscuits, and bread. And this is what I will be sharing with you today. 

So, what are these ingredients? 


The basic baking ingredients for bakers - flour

Flour is one ingredient that needs to be in all bakers’ cupboards. There are many different types of flour: plain, self-raising, wholemeal, and strong. Plain and self-raising are the ones that you will possibly use the most – I know I do. Plain is great for biscuits and pies, and self-raising is perfect for cakes. From my experience flour is the cheapest of all the ingredients to buy; however, you should look for the best quality. 

Butter / Margarine

The basic baking ingredients for bakers - butter / margarine

Many baking recipes will need the use of fats like butter and margarine. I have used both over the years, but I have to admit I’m now a butter convert. However, I do find that margarine works well in cakes. 

There are two types of butter that you can buy, salted and unsalted. Most recipes I have used want unsalted butter rather than salted. I have found that the taste of the butter depends on the brands and can greatly affect the taste of the final bake. So it's a good idea to try the butter out on smaller bakes first to make sure you like the taste. 

There are also other fats that can be used instead of butter and margarine. You can use subtle-flavoured oils like sunflower, vegetable, corn, and rapeseed. 


The basic baking ingredients for bakers - eggs

Eggs are something that all kitchens are likely to have. Baking recipes do suggest using free-range eggs; however, this is something that might not necessarily be in the home. Eggs come in a range of sizes, so when you buy them, make sure you get the right size for the recipe. 


The basic baking ingredients for bakers - sugar

Many bakes will need sugar to be included. There are several different types of sugar: you have caster, granulated, brown, golden caster, demerara, muscovado, and icing sugar. For basic baking, you are more likely to use caster sugar. This sugar works well in cakes, biscuits, meringues, and custards, plus much more.  

So there you have it, the basic baking ingredients for bakers. And with these basic baking ingredients, you’ll be on a baking roll. 

Happy Baking! 

Top 10 Essential Baking Tools for Bakers

So bakers, what baking equipment do you need? Before we start the list, I need to warn you about the importance of using the right type of baking tools. 

Over the years, I have learned that using the wrong tools may be a cheaper choice, but it doesn’t make baking easier. In fact, it makes it harder. I used to use actual teaspoons (you know the ones you use to add too much sugar to your cup of tea), to measure out my ingredients. Using teaspoons became problematic when I had to measure out half and quarter spoons. I never got accurate measurements until I switched to using measuring spoons. 

So, to help you newbie bakers, I have shared a list of the essential baking tools that you will need before you can begin your baking challenge. 

1. Mixing bowl 

Top 10 essential baking tools for bakers - mixing bowl

All bakers will need a deep bowl with a flat base to mix and prepare your ingredients. The flat base is to make sure the bowl is stable when mixing. It would be ideal to have more than one. However, as long as you have one mixing bowl, then you should be able to bake with ease. I also have a bowl with a lid which is ideal when you need to separate a mixture and keep half to the side – it stops any dust or bugs getting into it. 

Note: Be careful when you knead dough in a plastic bowl. I once cracked mine when I was mixing ingredients to make bread – I obviously don’t know my own strength. 

2. Silicone Spatula

Top 10 essential baking tools for bakers - silicone spatula

I used to use a wooden spoon to mix my cake mixes and batters, but once I switched to a silicone spatula, I never looked back. It may look flimsy, but it makes mixing ingredients together so much easier. And because it can bend and scoop the bottom of the bowl, it helps you to avoid the issue of having lumps of unmixed ingredients. However, if a wooden spoon is all you have, then you can still bake some nice cakes, you just have to check the mixture more closely.  

3. Measuring Scales 

Top 10 essential baking tools for bakers - measuring scales

A set of kitchen scales is one of the first things you need to buy when you decide to start baking. Even though you may think you can roughly guess measurements, it is vital that you weigh out all of your ingredients. Baking is like chemistry, and inaccurate measurements (no matter how slight) can change or ruin the final look of your cakes and bakes. 

4. Sieve

Top 10 essential baking tools for bakers - sieve

A plastic or metal fine sieve is ideal for those who want to make cakes. You can also use them to shift flour or icing sugar if the recipe calls for it. I also use a sieve to dust a cake with icing sugar for the days I don’t want to do any fancy decorating.   

5.    Measuring Spoons

Top 10 essential baking tools for bakers - measuring spoons

As mentioned above, using measuring spoons can help you to accurately measure out your ingredients. You can buy the spoons in sets. In my set, I have a tablespoon, half a tablespoon, teaspoon, half a teaspoon, a quarter of a teaspoon, and an eighth of a teaspoon. You can also see the sizes written in millilitres, which is great if you need to measure out a small amount of liquid. 

6.    Wire rack 

Top 10 essential baking tools for bakers - wire rack

With most bakes, you will need to allow them to cool before you decorate or wrap them up to be stored away. And an ideal way to do this is to use a wire rack. This wire rack allows your bakes to cool from the bottom as well as the top. 

7.    Cake tins and trays 

Top 10 essential baking tools for bakers - cake tins and trays

After all that mixing, you will need to cook your cakes, biscuits, and pies in something. So it’s a good idea to buy an average size cake tin, cupcake tray, and a flat tray. And if you wish to make pies, then you will need a pie tin. You could use a cake tin, but you get a better finish with the pie tin, especially if you buy a flute shaped tin. I always get metal tins and trays because it reduces the risk of getting that soggy bottom problem. 

8.    Handheld electric mixer 

Top 10 essential baking tools for bakers - handheld electric mixer

A handheld mixer isn’t essential for basic cake making – you can stick with a spatula – but it can make mixing easier, and some recipes, such as meringues need a whisk. So a handheld electric mixer is an ideal tool for bakers to have in the home. 

9.    Pastry brush 

Top 10 essential baking tools for bakers - pastry brush

A pastry brush makes applying an egg or milk glaze on your pastry easier. Or if you are decorating a cake, they can remove excess icing sugar off your icing (sugar paste). I used to use wooden pastry brushes with natural bristles. But after a while they started to smell funny – I’m not sure why because I used to wash them by hand and make sure they were fully dry before packing them away. So with this issue, I bought a silicone pastry brush to try. It doesn’t remove icing sugar as well as the wooden brush, but it works well with glazing pastries. And I’ve not had a problem with the brushes smelling unpleasant.

10.    Parchment paper 

Top 10 essential baking tools for bakers - parchment paper

There’s nothing more annoying than not being able to get your bakes out of the cake tins or off the trays. But with parchment paper, you won’t have to worry about it again. Parchment paper comes in a roll, and you can cut to size the amounts you need to line your tins. You can also use parchment paper to make piping bags for cake decorating. 

So there you have it – ten essential baking tools for bakers. This is only a brief list of baking equipment available to you.  You can find a longer list of baking tools in this BBC Goodfood article: 23 essential pieces of baking equipment.

Happy Baking!