Top ten baking essentials

Autumn’s on its way, and although we’re a little sad to see summer starting to draw to a close, we’re also getting excited. Autumn may be the season of mists and log fires, but it’s also the start of the baking season – so bring on the apple pies, plum crumbles, tarts, cakes and compotes, we’re ready! It looks like there’s going to be a bumper crop of apples, plums and damsons this year, so we’re planning to invest in some of this gorgeous baking equipment and lock ourselves in the kitchen for a while. Depending on how the weather goes, we might even stay in there until Spring.

1. Ulster Weavers: Rooster Cotton Apron

Who could resist this beautiful apron? With its overtones of new laid eggs, fresh air and homemade food, you’ll be inspired to start baking your own scones again. Available from Ulster Weavers, priced at £15 – and just in case, like us, you end up covered in flour after a baking session, they also do a PVC version, again priced at £15.

2. Jules China: Pie Dish

These pretty crimped pie dishes are just the right size and depth for making fruit crumbles. You could even match the filling to the dish colour – pink for plum, green for gooseberry, cream for apple and blue for blackberry. Available from Jules China, £10 each.

3. Pretty Rubber Stamps: Personalised Baking Label Stamp

If you’ve made some homemade biscuits or cakes for gifts, don’t waste your hard work. Make sure your recipient knows exactly who they’ve got to thank! Wrap your gifts in clear cellophane bags, tie with a ribbon and add a luggage label, stamped with your personalised stamp. By Pretty Rubber Stamps, available from Not on the High Street for £12.50.

4. Magpie: Cake Storage Tins

Once your kitchen’s groaning under the weight of freshly-baked cakes and biscuits, you’ll need somewhere to store them. (We understand that people do sometimes store biscuits, instead of, like us, eating the whole batch at one go.) We like these quirky tins, decorated with an ‘appliqué’ fox, badger and stag. Available from Magpie at £26 for the set.

5. Gisela Graham: Cookie Cutters

The dedicated baker needs cookie cutters for a variety of reasons – making petit fours, mince pies, jam tarts, biscuits, scones and mini quiches to name but a few. We like this set from Gisela Graham – five cutters of different sizes, all stored in a sturdy vintage inspired tin. Available from The Contemporary Home, priced at £15.

6. Sisters’ Guild: Mixing Bowls

At £46.50, this isn’t the cheapest set of mixing bowls on the market, but we do prefer ceramic bowls, as they’re heavier and less prone to slipping while we’re mixing. This set of four in different sizes will cover all eventualities, and could also double up as serving bowls. From Sisters’ Guild.

7. Molly Cup Cakes: Painted Rolling Pins

Even if you never make your own pastry, every baker still needs a rolling pin for flattening biscuit and scone dough and even crushing spices. These rolling pins, hand painted in cute pastel sweetshop colours, have a 1950s retro feel about them. For best results, download some Elvis Presley or Doris Day songs to listen to while baking. Available from Mollycupcakes, priced at £6.95.

8. Tattybogle: Children’s Baking Set

It’s never too early to get your children involved in baking, then when you’ve got them hooked, you can sit back and look forward a lifetime of homemade cake. We love this personalised set from Tattybogle, as it’s full of good quality, usable utensils rather than toys. Available from Not on the High Street, £17.99.

9. Velvet Brown: Spaniel Oven Glove

Dogs aren’t always a huge help in the kitchen, being particularly prone to getting underfoot when you’re baking something delicious-smelling. This cheeky spaniel, though, is clearly a more capable canine, and is guaranteed to cheer you up whenever you reach for the baking tray. Priced at £14.95 from Velvet Brown.

10. The Orchard: Retro Kitchen Scales

Although some baking recipes, such as scones, are forgiving if you happen to be a bit ‘flexible’ with the quantities, most involve an exact proportion of ingredients to turn out well. Get your figures right with these neat, stylish, vintage-style scales, which will fit into any décor. Available from The Orchard, £26.

By Sara Walker


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