15 of the Best Baking Gifts, According to Bakers

Shopping for a baker? We've got expert picks for the best gifts.
Shopping for a baker? We've got expert picks for the best gifts. / Harvest Books; Lodge; MS WGO; NutriMill ; Amazon / Justin Dodd, Mental Floss (background)
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For many, baking is one of the best stress relievers going. Psychologists believe the act of creating something to be consumed (and enjoyed) by others contributes to an overall sense of well-being. Following a recipe may help bakers feel like their world is in order, while adding their own flourishes and details allows them to express themselves.

If you have a baker in your life, you can help them out in the kitchen with a tool or accessory that can make their downtime easier. If they already have some of the basics, take a look at some of the best baking gifts out there, curated by a panel of baking experts.

1. Savory Baking: Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, and Everything in Between; $35

Cover of "Savory Baking: Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, and Everything in Between" by Erin Jeanne McDowell
"Savory Baking: Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, and Everything in Between" by Erin Jeanne McDowell / Harvest Books / Amazon

Joy Wilson, a New Orleans-based baking guru who shares recipes and tips in her Joy the Baker magazine (and offers a line of delicious cake mixes in collaboration with Williams Sonoma), tells Mental Floss that she loves this recipe book from author Erin Jeanne McDowell. “Erin is one of the best bakers I’ve ever encountered and what I love about her book is that each recipe has so many creative variations that it feels like three cookbooks in one,” Wilson says. “Her recipes are reliable and so creative!”

Buy it: Hardcover on Amazon or a spiral-bound version on Amazon for $46

2. Sondiko Butane Torch S400; $20

The Sondiko butane torch is pictured
Sondiko Butane Torch S400 / Sondiko / Amazon

Turn up the heat on desserts and add professional-quality flourishes by busting out this butane torch. “This will give you the power to brulée or toast every dessert that comes out of the oven,” Wilson says, “which is honestly like a super power! I like to make an Earl Grey crème brulée, which is actually super simple but feels fancy when you have a blow torch. This is also perfect for my pumpkin pie bars with toasted meringue.”

Buy it: Amazon

3. Williams Sonoma French Tapered Olivewood Rolling Pin; $45

The Williams Sonoma French Tapered rolling pin is pictured
Williams Sonoma French Tapered Olivewood Rolling Pin / Williams Sonoma

If you’ve ever struggled with a clunky rolling pin, you’ll find this Williams Sonoma exclusive rolls like a dream. “This French tapered rolling pin is lightweight and really easy to maneuver,” Wilson says. “It doesn’t have the pin and dowels on the edges, so you can get lots of different angles to roll out your dough. It’s not too heavy—all of the pressure is made by you! You can adjust pressure according to what your dough calls for.” 

Buy it: Williams Sonoma

4. Pro Dough Pastry Scraper; $8

Pro Dough Pastry Scraper
Pro Dough Pastry Scraper / MS WGO / Amazon

Knives will always be handy in a kitchen, but a scraper is more like a Swiss Army knife. “A bench scraper is my favorite multi-use [tool] when I’m baking,” Wilson says. “It can be a knife, a countertop cleaner, or it can be a ruler! It’s all the things when I pull it out of the drawer.”

Buy it: Amazon

5. NutriMill High-Speed Grain Mill; $345

The NutriMill grain mill is pictured
NutriMill High-Speed Grain Mill / NutriMill / Amazon

If you want to take baking from scratch to another level, you can try milling your own flour. The NutriMill allows you to grind wheat, oats, rice, lentils, and much more. It’s a favorite of Gregory Mucci, who operates the Lone Wolf Bread Company out of Providence, Rhode Island. “It sounds corny, but it’s a really beautiful thing to bake bread from flour you milled,” Mucci says.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Teafy Twisting Tea Infuser; $10 to $12

Teafy Twisting Tea Infuser
Teafy Twisting Tea Infuser / Teafy / Amazon

What does this stainless-steel tea infuser have to do with baking? As much as you want. “I know what you’re thinking, but this little tool is super helpful in flour dusting dough in an even fashion,” Mucci says. “And after you toss your dough in the oven, you can sit back with some loose leaf tea while it bakes.”

Buy it: Amazon

7. Lodge 6-Quart Dutch Oven; $80

Lodge 6-Quart Dutch Oven
Lodge 6-Quart Dutch Oven / Lodge / Amazon

This enamel cast-iron Dutch oven is for the bread maker in your life. “Like Dominic Toretto, it’s all about family,” Mucci says. “Or in this case, steam. While not a requirement for baking a gorgeous loaf of bread, their ability to trap steam and retain heat is what takes your crust from friend to family.”

Buy it: Amazon

8. Fish Tubs 10-Pack; $100

Fish tubs are pictured
Fish Tubs, 10-Pack / Continental Plastics Store / Amazon

While these plastic tubs are ostensibly for keeping seafood on ice, they have another use. “There are things I never thought I’d get excited for in my life, and one of them is fish tubs,” Mucci says. “Yet here I am, vouching for a sturdy, versatile means of proofing and folding dough. Sure, a lightly greased bowl works just fine, but the length and height [of these tubs] allows room for dough to breathe, as well as easy storage.”

Buy it: Amazon

9. Microplane Zester Grater; $10

The Microplane Zester Grater is picturd
Microplane Zester Grater / Microplane / Amazon

For mixing fine ingredients or adding decorative touches, nothing beats a great grater. “I think these originated in the auto industry as a file—my best guess—but these are the best for adding flavor to your cookies,” Tracy Mattson, the chef and founder of Cookie…Take a Bite! in Santa Rosa, California, tells Mental Floss. “We use these every day to zest lemons and oranges into our cookies to give them a burst of flavor! I like the one without a handle as it gives me more surface area to work with.”  

Buy it: Amazon

10. Amazqi 3-Piece Scooper Set; $20

The Amazqi scooper set is pictured
Amazqi 3-Piece Scooper Set / Amazqi / Amazon

Take the guesswork out of uniform cookie dough dispensing with a quality scooper. “These are the best tools to get uniform cookies,” Mattson says. “They let you get right into scooping without delay. If your dough is sticky, drop the ice cream scoop in warm water and then scoop—it creates a clean-drop cookie. I like the trigger handled ones, as it helps release the dough from the scoop.”

Buy it: Amazon

11. Taylor Precision Products Oven Thermometer; $6

Taylor Precision Products Oven Thermometer
Taylor Precision Products Oven Thermometer / Taylor Precision Products / Amazon

Keep careful (and exact) track of your oven’s temperature with a thermometer that can be easily read through a steamy window. “It is best to know how hot or cold your oven is running before you pop that tray in the oven,” Mattson says. “Once you figure out the sweet spot regarding [the temperature] in your oven, you can keep this setting for all your baking needs.”

Buy it: Amazon

12. Ateco 6-Piece Bowl Scraper Set; $9

Ateco 6-Piece Bowl Scraper Set
Ateco 6-Piece Bowl Scraper Set / Ateco / Amazon

Don’t waste any dough (either kind). Instead, Mattson advises you use every bit you can from your mixing bowl. Try this 6-piece plastic scraper set, which comes in varying sizes and might be less likely to leave scratches behind on your bowl compared to stainless steel versions.

Buy it: Amazon

13. OXO Good Grips Food Scale; $56

OXO Good Grips Food Scale
OXO Good Grips Food Scale / OXO / Amazon

Don’t rely on measuring ingredients by sight alone. It pays to be exacting—especially when it comes to bigger portions. Lindsay Kinder, founder and creator of FOOD LA LA in San Francisco and maker of the French Macaron Kit, likes this OXO scale for one very useful feature. “Baking is chemistry and it's so important to have exact measurements,” Kinder tells Mental Floss. “The only way to do that is with a kitchen scale! I love this one because it has a pull out display so even if I’m using a big bowl, I can still see what the scale reads.”

Buy it: Amazon

14. Fish Spatula; $10

New Star Foodservice Fish Spatula
New Star Foodservice Fish Spatula / New Star Foodservice / Amazon

Get a better grip on food handling with this spatula that can tackle anything that crumbles. “This is the most versatile tool,” Kinder says. “Of course I use it for cooking, but it is so thin and slides underneath even the most delicate cookie just beautifully!”

Buy it: Amazon

15. KitchenAid Artisan Mini Plus Mixer; $380

The KitchenAid Artisan Mini Plus Mixer is pictured
KitchenAid Artisan Mini Plus Mixer / KitchenAid / Amazon

You can mix by hand or with a low-power electric hand mixer, but for serious baking, nothing beats a KitchenAid workhorse. This model has 10 speeds and takes up less real estate on your counter than some of the tank-sized models. “This is an investment piece but you’ll have it your whole life,” Kinder says. “My dad gave me one for my 10th birthday, and it’s the same mixer I have used to start my macaron business—it’s a powerhouse! Baking can involve some manual labor, so it’s nice to let the mixer whip those egg whites while you sift sugar!”

Buy it: Amazon