Are y’all ready for fall baking? Buckle up buttercups, because baking season is here! The MOST wonderful time of the year is that stretch right after Labor Day and closes out the year. There are so many wonderful things to bake and so little time! Muffins, Scones and Apple Cider Donuts to welcome Fall. Pies and Buttermilk Sweet Potato Rolls for Thanksgiving. All of the Sweet Potato Bakes! [Cinnamon Rolls, Pie, Rolls, you name it!] All of the wonderful cookie creations to celebrate the winter holidays. And the sweet rolls. Y’all. We love a good homemade cinnamon roll.
Baker’s Pantry Stock Up
Now is the time to get your game plan together so that you’re ready to bake when inspiration strikes and the first thing to do is take a quick trip to your pantry and inventory what you already have.
When we got back from our vacation I spent that weekend going through my pantry, rotating items (this is FIFO pantry), and throwing away things that already expired. Then I made a list and headed to Costco. Did I follow the list when I got to Costco? Absolutely not. No one needs 3 lbs of M&Ms or these Biscoff Sandwich Cookies, but I got them anyway.
Here’s my comprehensive list of baking essentials to have on hand. Items that have an asterisk are baking basics, so make sure you have them – and if you are a power baker, go ahead and get a back up. 😉
When it comes to specific brands there are a handful of essentials that have me in their clutches.
- I will drive to several stores to buy White Lily All Purpose Flour. If I can't find it and I've tried multiple stores, then I will buy Gold Medal Flour.
- Costco Vanilla Extract has my unwavering commitment because it's such a great deal and it makes me feel better to measure my vanilla extract with my heart.
- On the butter front-- I tend to choose whatever is on sale. I like Challenge Butter a lot, but I really focus on price per pound to get the best deal.
- Spices from Burlap and Barrel are a present to myself and everyone that eats my baked goods.
- Dutch Process Cocoa Powder. I order Cacao Barry Cocoa Power, Extra Brute because Stella Parks recommended it in her baking book, BraveTart.
Flours and Starches:
- All-purpose flour*
- Bread flour
- Cake flour
- Gluten-free flour (if needed)
- Rolled Oats
- Yellow Cornmeal
The Raising Agents:
- Baking powder*
- Baking soda*
- Active Dry Yeast (for bread baking)
- Sourdough Starter
- Fine Sea Salt*
- Kosher Salt
- Maldon Salt (Flaky salt to top brownies or cookies!)
Sugars and Sweeteners:
- Granulated sugar*
- Brown sugar* (light and dark)
- Powdered sugar* (confectioner's sugar)
- Maple syrup
- Light Corn Syrup
Fats and Oils:
- Unsalted butter*
- Vegetable oil* (e.g., canola, corn, or sunflower oil)
- Olive oil (for certain recipes)
- Vegetable Shortening (like Crisco)
- Coconut Oil
Dairy and Dairy Alternatives:
- Milk* (or milk alternative)
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Heavy Cream
Flavorings and Extracts:
- Vanilla extract*
- Almond extract
- Lemon extract
- Cocoa powder* (unsweetened)
- Chocolate chips* or chunks (semi-sweet, dark, white)
Spices and Flavorings:
- Food coloring (gel or liquid)
- Sprinkles and decorating sugars
- Parchment paper*
- Aluminum foil
- Non-stick cooking spray (preferably Baker’s Joy)
I’ve created a printable that you can download to 1) take a quick inventory of your ingredients and a corresponding shopping list so you don’t get off track when you get to the store.
Remember, the specific items you stock may depend on the types of baked goods you most frequently make and your personal preferences. Check your pantry regularly to ensure you're well-stocked and replace items that are running low. This list provides a solid foundation for a well-equipped baking pantry, and you can always add more specialized ingredients as needed for specific recipes.
Happy Baking, Y’all!