1. Size of Bakeware
Think about how many people you're baking for and check what size bakeware your recipes require so you don't buy bakeware that's too big or too small for what you want to make. Using the correct bakeware also saves having to make tricky adjustments to temperatures or cooking times.
2. Types of Bakeware
Think about how many people you’re baking for and check what size bakeware your recipes require so you don’t buy bakeware that’s too big or too small for what you want to make. Using the correct bakeware also saves having to make tricky adjustments to temperatures or cooking times.
You’ll need the right kinds of cake tins for the cakes you want to make – for birthdays, weddings or any other reason you can justify cake! You’ll need a shallow, round cake tin for baking layer cakes, a deep square tin for Christmas cakes, a springform tin with sides that unclip and delicately release cakes so you don’t have to tip them upside down. A PushPan is the easiest way to bake a cheesecake in a waterbath without the hassle of lining the pan.
Muffins & Cupcakes
You’ll need a muffin tray or cupcake tin to make muffins and cupcakes, as well as a mini muffin tray or mini cupcake tray for mini muffins and cupcakes. Don’t forget the colourful paper cups so you can take cupcakes out of the tray easily!
Brownies & Slices
For gooey chocolate brownies and your favourite slices go for rectangular or square bakeware.
Want to make impressive dinner party desserts? You’ll need ramekins for individual soufflés and sticky date puddings, a springform tin for cheesecakes, a torte dish or tart pan, or little individual tart pans for chocolate or custard tarts. For puddings you’ll need a basin, which can be baked and steamed.
For homemade biscuits and thin sponges you’ll need a large baking tray, and cookie cutters to make fun cookie shapes or biscuits that are perfectly round.
These days there are a range of cake tins and kits available that create stunning effects with minimal effort. Why not try baking a clever checkerboard cake, a multi-layered ombre cake or a gravity defying anti-gravity pouring cake – all guaranteed to wow your guests!
Quiches, Flans & Frittatas
For perfect flans, quiches and frittatas, you’ll need a good quality dish with a durable non-stick coating for easy pastry release. Perforated quiche and flan tins allow for increased air circulation around the pastry – no more soggy bottoms!
Pies, Pizzas & Lasagnes
For winter comfort food you’ll need a pie dish for homemade pies, a baking tin for homemade hot chips, a pizza pan for crispy crusts, and a big rectangular roasting dish for roasts and lasagnes.
In addition to a roasting dish you’ll also need a roasting rack so your meat’s cooked evenly underneath. You can also cook big batches of roast veggies in a large roasting tin for healthy, satisfying weekday lunches.
If you want to make a little loaf of banana bread or a big loaf of freshly baked homemade bread, you’ll need a loaf tin that’s the right size.
3. Must-have baking tools
The baking basics
- Measuring cups and spoons – to measure out ingredients for perfect results
- Scales – to follow the recipe precisely and avoid making estimation errors
- Mixing bowls – that are easy to clean and stack inside each other in the cupboard
- Utensils – a wooden spoon for mixing, whisk for whipping and whisking, spatula for scraping the bowl, rolling pin for flattening pastry, pastry brush for pies, and a skewer for creating sweets with a swirly white and brown marbled chocolate pattern
- Roasting tray – for roasting vegetables and meat
- Round, square and rectangular cake tins – for cakes, slices and other desserts
- Cookie baking tray for biscuits, meringues and homemade hot chips
- Muffin tin or cupcake tray – for making muffins and cupcakes
- Pie dish – for hearty, homemade pies
- Timer – to bake all your sweet and savoury dishes and desserts to perfection
- Kids baking set – for little ones who love helping in the kitchen!
- A palette knife to evenly spread the icing onto your cakes
- A decorating turntable that spins and makes icing cakes much easier
- Different icing colours to bring your creative cake vision to life
- Piping bags and nozzles for decorative icing details
- White fondant to cover wedding cakes
- A checkerboard set for impressive cakes with a two-colour pattern inside
- A layer cake set to make amazing five-layer cakes for special occasions
4. Bakeware Materials
Bakeware can be made from different materials each with different benefits, so think about which of the factors below are most important to you.
- Heats quickly, bakes evenly and can handle hot oven temperatures
- Mostly made of aluminium which is good value and easy to clean
- Light aluminium is best for baking cookies and cakes that don’t need browning
- Dark aluminium cooks and browns food faster because it absorbs more heat
- Aluminium can react with acidic ingredients like tomatoes so doesn’t suit all recipes
- For long-lasting, minimal greasing bakeware, invest in anodised aluminium
- Cast iron bakeware is tough and heats evenly but more slowly so baking takes longer
- Silicone bakeware is really easy to clean, light and long-lasting
- Silicone bakeware can be used in the hottest oven, the microwave and freezer
- Silicone bakeware distributes heat evenly and quickly
- Is smooth on the inside so releases cakes, cupcakes and muffins really easily
- Silicone bakeware comes in fun shapes for amazing cakes with wow-factor
- Won’t scratch, shatter, rust, react with food, create odours or alter flavours
- You don’t need to use paper cupcake cups in a silicone muffin tray
- Silicone liners on a baking tray creates crisp cookies that don’t stick
- Silicone mats make it easy to knead dough and roll out pastry without flour
- Can’t create a golden crust on cakes like metal bakeware can
- Has a floppy structure so you need to be careful when taking it out of the oven
Enamel, Stoneware & Ceramic Bakeware
- Stylish designs and some come with lids to keep food warm once ready
- Dishes can be taken straight from the oven or microwave to the table
- The same bakeware can be used for cooking and storing food in the fridge or freezer
- Non-stick baking tins are great for baking cakes and bread
- There’s no need to grease some types of non-stick bakeware
- Extra care is needed to protect the non-stick baking tray finish (see care section)
- Concerns have been raised about the potential health implications of cooking with the chemicals (PTFE and PFOA) used in some non-stick coatings in the past, with many manufacturers moving away from using these
- Glass bakeware doesn’t release any chemicals so is a healthy bakeware option
- May break if dropped or if the manufacturer’s instructions aren’t followed
Carbon Steel Bakeware
- Loved by bakers because it’s light, strong, durable and dough won’t stick
- Gives you great baking results and the surface releases food easily
5. Taking care of your bakeware
Your bakeware will last for years if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions; remember:
Cast iron bakeware
- lasts a lifetime if you regularly season the surface with oil
- Don’t put it in an oven with a higher temperature than glass can handle
- Don’t move it from the freezer to the oven or from the oven to cold water as quick temperature changes can cause cracking
- Place on a cooling rack after taking it out of the oven
- Never use sharp utensils to scrape or clean glass bakeware
- You’ll need to be careful to ensure the non-stick surface is protected
- Never use scouring pads or metal utensils as they’ll scratch the non-stick surface
- Follow all the manufacturer’s care instructions so your non-stick bakeware lasts