essential pantry itemsI had 4 people email me the same question on the same day.  How weird is that?  The question was, what do I keep in my pantry?  Such a good question.  I am going to start out by saying that I cook and bake more than the average person so my pantry might be a bit of overkill for most.  However, I will show you what I consider to be essential items and I will highlight some products that I really love and use often.  Since I am in the throws of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, I thought that I would start with my baking pantry.  And, because my other cabinets are a mess.  Let’s do this in parts shall we?  It gives me some time to clean those babies out.

essential pantry items for baking

I do not have a ton of cabinet space in my kitchen.  My cabinets look deceiving, but actually they are quite shallow and do not hold a lot.  I have to make good use of my space.  I have dedicated the two cabinets at the top on the right for baking ingredients, but I keep flour and sugar on the counter.  I also keep extras in the bottom of the long cabinets underneath.

This time of year, baking supplies go on sale.  I stock up.  I go through a ton of flour and sugar, so I always buy a few when they are on sale.  I also will change out my baking powder and baking soda every other month or so.  I am pretty proud of myself that I have baked so much lately that I went through a container of baking powder in less than two weeks.

Unless I run out of something, I can bake whatever I feel like at 2 a.m. because I have a very well stocked pantry.  I usually make as much from scratch as humanly possible, but sometimes, I will use a cake mix or a pudding mix if I am in a hurry.  It is nice to at least have the option if I do not feel like making it homemade.

I also buy organic dairy products and citrus whenever I can.  I don’t always spend the money on butter and cream, but everything else is organic.  I skip the organic flours as well.

essential pantry items for bakingall purpose flour
whole wheat pastry flour
baking powder
baking soda
brown sugar
white sugar
turbinado sugar
powdered sugar

essential pantry items for bakingpeanut butter
marshmallow fluff
instant pudding (chocolate and vanilla)
sweetened condensed milk
milk chocolate chips
semi-sweet chocolate chips
mini chips
white chocolate chips
sliced almonds

essential pantry items for bakingpowdered milk
buttermilk powder (one of my favorite things, I never have buttermilk and this is a perfect solution)
vegetable or canola oil
candy bars (Heath or Snickers can really up the anty in a boxed brownie mix)
cooking spray (Bakers Joy is my favorite.  I am too lazy to butter and flour and this has never let me down.)
cake mixes (yellow and chocolate)
brownie mix
plain gelatin
crystallized ginger
graham crackers

essential pantry items for bakinginstant coffee and espresso powder
dried fruits
light corn syrup
dark corn syrup
real maple syrup
jams and jellies

essential pantry items for bakingparchment paper (the 365 brand from Whole Foods is my favorite brand.  The paper is brown and it fits my cookie sheets perfectly)
vinegar (white and apple cider)
kosher salt
sea salt
vanilla extract
vanilla bean paste
almond extract
lemon extract
butter-vanilla emulsion
vanilla beans
whole nutmeg

essential pantry items for bakingricotta cheese
sour cream
unsalted butter
heavy cream

essential pantry items for bakingI also have some plastic drawers to keep some of my other baking obsessions supplies.  I love cookie cutters and was so sad because during our last move, the movers lost my baking boxes.  My grandmother’s cheesecake pan, my favorite springform pan, and my cookie cutter collection.  I am still not over it, but I am building my collection up again.  As you can see.

essential pantry items for bakingHave I mentioned that I have a sprinkle problem?  I need to go to Jimmie Anonymous.  I just may have bought some more since I took this picture.  All colors, holidays, shapes.  My personal favorite and the one that I use the most is plain white sanding sugar.  I sprinkle it on muffins, scones, pies, whatever I want a little bit of sparkly crunch.  Also in there is some meringue powder.  I like to use meringue powder when I am making royal icing for cookies.

essential pantry items for bakingWhich brings me to my cupcake liner problem.  And paper baking pans.  Is there a support group?

essential pantry items for bakingAnd lastly, my food coloring.  Gel food coloring in many colors.  They are being organized with silicone ice cube trays.  I also have some fun sparkle gels and decorating gels in there as well.  I use the plastic bottles for decorating cookies.

Did I miss something?  What are your baking pantry essentials?