It's a tricky task though, since most bakers likely have all the basics and don't need any gifts. Which is why we enlisted the help of professional bakers who showed us the way. Thanks to their expertise, this gift guide for bakers is fool-proof (that is, you can expect many desserts to come your way this holiday season).
Best overall gifts for bakers
Erin Kanagy-Loux, pastry chef and culinary educator, tells Well+Good that a French rolling pin is an essential—and although your giftee may already have one, a) it never hurts to have multiple, and b) you can always give ’em an upgrade, such as this gorgeous J.K. Adams rolling pin. What’s the difference between a French and American rolling pin? “Different from the classic American style pin, where the handles move freely from the rolling barrel, a French pin is just a single piece of wood that can be tapered or untapered,” Kanagy-Loux explains to us. She adds, “Using a French pin gives you so much more control. You are directly rolling the pin, which allows you to evenly distribute the weight and pressure along the length of the pins.”
For experienced bakers, Melanie Pabon, Executive Pastry Chef for Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, recommends a heat gun for those who frequently work with chocolate, and use high temps to melt, mold, and shape. This dual temp gun is lightweight and has an ergonomic design which makes it easier to handle for long periods of time.
She’s beauty and she’s grace, she’s…all the way Le Creuset. Rémy Fünfrock, Executive Pastry Chef at the Charleston-based Hotel Bennett, suggests a Le Creuset bakeware set—or really, anything Le Creuset. For durability, nearly unparalleled compatibility with high temps, the ability to offer extremely even baking, and, yes, aesthetics, it’s hard to beat Le Creuset when you’re going for luxury bakeware and cookware. The set of two is Le Creuset’s most popular sizes, since they’re so versatile—use them for desserts, casseroles, roasted veggies, and more. They’re also available in 11 colors.
Great baking comes down to skill, patience, passion, and high-quality ingredients. Most bakers will never cheap out on the latter, and since vanilla is something they likely use the most of, helping them restock their bottle is something they’ll appreciate. This rich paste “offers an indulgence rich vanilla flavor profile to anything it touches,” Tiffany Lewis, Chief Cookie Officer at Cookies With Tiffany, tells us.
“This is the ideal cake spinner—not just in general, but for making videos, too. A lot of commercial cake spinners suck, [as] they don’t spin smoothly or quickly, [and some of the popular brands] bump like a broken down car. This Ateco spinner spins really smoothly and quickly, making it perfect for frosting cakes but also for catching a rotating food shot (so if you want to start shooting more reels or make a beautiful Jake Cohen style avocado toast video, this is your best bet!),” Katie Melody, food video producer at The Feed Feed, shares. It’s also non-slip, so if you’re a fast-paced baker, this feature prevents cringe-y cake accidents.
Baking is a science, so it helps to have the right tools—this includes an infrared thermometer, recommended by Pabon. What makes this thermometer so special is its accuracy, and the fact that it can measure temps at larger distances than most (14.17 inches to be exact). It also has a neat auto-shutoff feature, so you don’t have to worry about its LCD screen being left on for hours and draining battery life.
The baker in your life likely has stockpiles of sheet pans—of this we’re sure. But Great Jones’ recent-ish release and their brand new color (a pretty green called “Broccoli”) is a fun new add. Good sheet pans are essential for all sorts of baking, but especially for pie-baking. “A sheet pan is great for roasting/ baking things but essential for putting a pie on (when baking). A well-made and assembled pie will 100% leak while baking,” Kanagy-Loux says.
Pabon says a high-quality plating or “quenelle” spoon (a smooth spoon that is specifically designed to scoop, splatter, drizzle, and more) can be your “best friend” in the kitchen, and you’re likely to see every baker carry this with them everywhere they go. Mercer Culinary is one of the best, offering dual micro-serrations for stability and bowls that are perfectly designed for very precise pouring.
Lewis says a fish spatula can, “quickly fluff, whisk, serve and transfer baked goods,” adding that it’s “one of my most favorite tools in the kitchen can be use on both the savory and sweet side. From the traditional use of cooking fish, to flipping roasted veggies, potatoes, steaks, and pancakes, to sifting your flour and transferring freshly baked cookies to cool, this tool does it all. They are so wonderful, you may just want a few.”
This is more so for the baker who documents their work of art online, but it’s been a game-changer for Melody, who tells us, “It’s a stand for your phone and you can shoot overhead, a great gift for anyone thinking about getting into shooting more Reels/TikToks and a ‘lotta, ‘lotta people in the food media world use this, myself included. Unlike other phone mounts, it’s really stable and can go on the tabletop. Love this.”
It may be simple, but having a few of these makes icing cakes a breeze. Kanagy-Loux says it’s the “perfect tool for just about everything,” adding, “Great for icing cakes, flipping crepes, removing cakes from pans, checking for doneness and a whole lot more.”
Best gifts for bread bakers
Recommended by Branlard, this digital scale is a must for any bread baker (any baker in general, but with bread, extremely accurate measurements are even more important, since any slightly wrong amount of ingredient can totally set a loaf up for disaster). Professional bakers rarely use measuring cups, since scales give such a granular measurement, and this one is top-of-the-line quality (plus, it’s also self-calibrating and full submersible in water).
Technically, olive oil isn’t just for bread—you can use it in just about anything. “Baking is science. Baking is heart. And it’s creativity. I love Corto Olive Oil because they have a product that allows me to do just that,” Holly Gale, owner of Hearth Patisserie, says. She adds, “I use olive oil in my breads, in my desserts, and in my own home. To me, it’s important to use a company and an ingredient that I know is quality!” Corto olive oil’s olives are grown by an Italian family in California, and ensure that their olives are harvested at peak season and sent to their “state-of-the-art” on site mill, which makes the freshest, tastiest olive oil.
You can use a KitchenAid stand mixer for just about anything in the kitchen, but it especially makes bread-making quicker (and gives hands a break from all that kneading). We know that a lot of bakers consider the KitchenAid stand mixer the holy grail of kitchen tools and have one already, but it still makes the list, since nearly ever baker we spoke with recommended it. And, hey, maybe your friend has had this beauty on their wishlist for ages, and you want to surprise them. “It’s the gift that keeps on giving,” Lewis says.
If you don’t have the kind of dough to drop on a KitchenAid stand mixer, Melody suggests a dough whisk as an alternative. “I have been asking anyone who will listen to get one of these. I don’t have a KitchenAid stand mixer, and honestly it sucks that like, that $300-400 purchase is such a separating factor in the baking community. This dough whisk makes bread and pastry making a lot easier on the fly and it’s a fraction of the cost,” she says. The way the wires are uniquely designed makes mixing even the thickest of dough a whole lot easier.
A good bread and pastry book is a must, and Pabon recommends this one by Michael Saus. Learn advanced techniques, presentation, and more. Even if you’re a great bread baker, it never hurts to keep studying to improve your craft—especially with bread, which can be tricky to get just right.
Recommended by Carrie Morey, author of Hot Little Suppers: Simple Recipes to Feed Family and Friends, a French loaf pan like this is ideal for various types of breads. Made of high-quality and durable Burgundian clay, this baker distributes heat evenly, and its lid traps steam to give your bread the moisture it needs. It’s also just gorgeous to boot.
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