The benefits of baking are multifaceted, including a delicious baked good that can be enjoyed by many once the timer sounds. But the end goal of baking (ie. yummy treats) is not the only positive. Baking has also been shown to have therapeutic benefits, something that many people have found to be true amidst the ongoing pandemic. Remember the surge in searches for sourdough bread recipes this year? That’s because baking can help relieve stress and give people a tangible item that they can feel a sense of accomplishment in creating. If you have a baker in your life, now is a great time to celebrate them with a baking gift. The more they bake, the more goodies for you. It’s a win-win.
Culinary art therapy is the act of using baking or cooking to help deal with anxiety and lower stress. In some cases, it has even been used to help with eating disorders and autism. Culinary art therapy creator Julie Ohana says that she believes the benefits of baking are a result of the need to focus on a specific task, which can help bakers quiet stressful or anxiety-induced thoughts.
Baking is also a great way for friends and family to spend time together. The act of baking can be passed down through generations and enjoyed by people of all ages. Through baking and the sharing of food, people can learn about their family history, traditions, and pass down culturally significant recipes.
If you have a baker in your life, there’s a good chance they already own many of the kitchen essentials necessary for baking. We’ve put together a list of gifts for bakers that will surprise and delight even the most seasoned baker. These gifts . . . take the cake.
1. Large Silicone Pastry Mat by Greenrain
A pastry mat is great gifts for bakers to have on hand in the kitchen when it’s time to roll dough and cut cookies. Made with food-grade silicone, the mat is soft and durable and provides a non-stick surface that helps to contain the mess of baking. Why not go one step further and get a silicone mat that also acts as a helpful guide when rolling and cutting? The Large Silicone Pastry Mat from Greenrain features useful markings that guide bakers on measurements for pie shells, cookie sizes and includes a conversion guide for quick reference. The nonslip bottom keeps the mat firmly in place when rolling and cutting and the mat is 0.6 mm thick, which makes it wrinkle resistant.
2. Kootek 11-Inch Rotating Cake Turntable
BEST FOR DECORATING
One of the best parts about baking (other than getting to eat what you make) is having fun with the presentation. The Kootek 11-Inch Rotating Cake Turntable makes it easy for even amateur bakers to look like pros thanks to the easy glide turning radius of the table and cake decorating accessories. The turntable is made with hidden ball bearings for smooth turning and can be turned clockwise or counterclockwise. The table also comes with two stainless steel icing spatulas and three small plastic spatulas for smoothing, cutting, and creating a lined design.
3. KP Kitchen Pancake & Cupcake Batter Dispenser
BEST FOR BATTER
Spend less time cleaning and more time baking with the helpful KP Kitchen Pancake & Cupcake Batter Dispenser. The dispenser helps to eliminate the dreaded drippings that often accompany pancake and muffin making. The BPA-free plastic container has an impressive four-cup capacity and has an easy to use trigger handle that allows users to dispense the exact amount of batter they want without leaving drips all over their counter or muffin tin. Ideal for pancakes, waffles, muffins, brownies, and even pizza sauce, the KP Kitchen dispenser is a multi-use tool for baking and beyond.
4. Wilton 3-Tier Collapsible Cooling Rack
BEST FOR SMALL KITCHENS
Whether you are baking in a small kitchen or are making multiple batches at once, finding a spot for your baked goods to cool can be difficult. That’s why we like the Wilton 3-Tier Collapsible Cooling Rack. The space-saving design of the cooling rack makes it possible to cool multiple batches at once. We also like that users don’t have to fight with attaching the racks to one another since they already come as a single unit.
5. Mary Berry’s Baking Bible
BEST FOR BRITISH BAKING FANS
Baker’s love cookbooks about baking. They’re like comic books for comic fans, except they typically lead to a higher caloric intake. If you’re buying a gift for someone who loves to bake, there’s a good chance they are ready own several baking cookbooks. But, if they are new to baking, gift them a cookbook that covers the basics and more. We like The Great British Baking Shows’ Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, which includes color photographs and illustrations and step-by-step instructions on how to make baking basics as well as baked goods that will wow any guests. Hazelnut Meringue Cake? Yes, we would like a second piece.
6. Cooking Conversion Chart Apron
BEST BAKING APRON
Unlike cooking, which has the freedom to substitute ingredients and be less exact with measurements, baking is a science, and science has a lot of math. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a mathematician to make sure your banana bread rises. You just have to have a helpful conversion chart that takes the guesswork out of measurements and temperature conversions. That’s why we like the Cooking Conversion Chart Apron, which will keep bakers clean and make it easy to double-check their recipe.
7. Wooden Oven Rack Pull by Jonathan Simons
BEST SAFETY TOOL
When baking multiple batches at once, the oven can get pretty crowded. Using oven mitts to pull out the oven rack is an option, but this can be tricky when there are several baking sheets or muffin tins covering the racks, leaving only a small amount of space to grab. Thankfully, there is the Wooden Oven Rack Pull by Jonathan Simons, which requires only a tiny opening hook onto the rack. The handcrafted cherrywood tool provides a safe way for users to check on their baked goods without burning their hand (or their cookies).
8. Bread Warming Blanket
BEST BREAD ACCESSORY
Maybe there is something that smells better than warm, freshly baked bread, but honestly, we don’t know what that is. Whether you have just taken a fresh loaf out of the oven or want to warm up bread that you baked a few days ago, the Bread Warming Blanket from Uncommon Goods makes it easier than ever to get that warm bread smell throughout your home. The cotton blanket has removable flaxseed filled pack inside that can be microwaved and placed back in the blanket, warming up the bread and keeping it toasty until it’s time to eat. The reusable blanket can be machine washed, making it easy for bakers to serve warm bread whenever they want, which is probably every day. It’s always a good day for bread.
9. Milk & Cookies Shot Glass Making Kit
If you love cookies and you love milk, you need the Milk & Cookies Shot Glass Making Kit. Celebrity baker Dominique Ansel first revolutionized the baking world with the cronut and has now created a shot glass cookie to hold milk. Bakers can now make Ansel’s latest creation at home using the dishwasher-friendly silicone mold to bake shot glass-style cookies, which are perfect for filling with milk, ricotta, melted chocolate, fruit, or any other delicious accompaniment to cookies.
10. Silpat Reusable Silicone Baking Molds
BEST MESS REDUCER
Baking can be a great way to relieve stress, enjoy time in the kitchen with a loved one, and create something delicious for friends and family. The cleaning up? Not so great. That’s why we like the reusable silicone baking molds from Silpat. This set of five mats comes with molds for making madeleines, muffins, mini muffins, mini loaves and mini fluted cakes. The nonstick silicone means bakers won’t need to use butter, oil, or cooking spray to grease the pan. The mats are designed to ensure no crumbs are lost in the baking process and they can be used in the oven, microwave, fridge and even the freezer.