7 Essential Ingredients Every Baker Needs

Source: Pixabay

To achieve a high-quality and professional bake, a well-stocked commercial kitchen and a knowledge of essential baking building blocks (the ingredients) are an absolute necessity!

All bakers require large quantities of the same ingredients to successfully create an array of sweet and delectable treats from muffins to biscuits.

And whether you operate your bakery, or simply enjoy baking as a pastime, knowing which ingredients to have on hand at all times is crucial.

Here are 7 of the necessary ingredients that every baker needs.

1 . Sugar

Sugar is a vital ingredient that you must have readily available. Bakers use a variety of different sugar types to add flavor and sweeten baked goods. Sugar can also have an impact on the texture, color, and longevity of a baked product.

White sugars such as granulated sugar and castor sugar are widely used in many bakes to add an extra layer of sweetness to the mix.

Brown sugar is refined sugar but with added molasses. The amount of molasses determines the color and flavor range present in all types of brown sugars.

Powdered Sugar, or confectioners sugar, is mostly used in icing and frosting – or as a light dusting for sweet pastries. Because of its superfine texture, it can sometimes be a little difficult to work out exactly how many cups of powdered sugar in a pound.

2 . Flour

Flour is a crucial ingredient used in many bakes. Flour is made from milled, ground grain and can help to turn out light and fluffy biscuits, and also dense pound cakes.

All-purpose flour is the standard jack-of-all-trades flour that can turn out everything from cookies to pancakes to muffins.

Self-rising flour has salt and baking powder already mixed in. It’s commonly used to make biscuits and cornbread.

Plain flour is a medium protein flour that is perfect for all types of tender pie crusts.

3 . Leavening Agent

Leavening agents (also known as rising agents) are essential baking ingredients for your kitchen. The most widely used leavening agents are yeast, baking soda, and baking powder. According to any recipe, adding one of these leavening agents to your dough will activate the release of gas throughout the baking process. This will contribute to creating a light and fluffy texture for cakes, cookies, bread, and muffins, and will also help them to rise.

4 . Salt

As a baker, you’ll generally use granulated table salt in your everyday bakes to balance out the sweetness. However, if the situation calls for it, you can also use sea salt that has been harvested from evaporated seawater. This can have a flaky or grainy texture and should be used as a finishing salt rather than a measuring salt.

5 . Dairy

Basic dairy is another ingredient that every baker needs. Here are the must-have items:

Unless your recipe specifies otherwise, then unsalted butter is the default butter you should use for baking. You’ll use it in pastry dough, cookie dough, batters, frostings, and even in icing to add a rich texture and flavor that makes your bakes taste irresistible.

Large eggs will bind together the ingredients of any recipe. Store eggs in the fridge to keep them fresh.

Milk adds moisture to all types of batters. You will want to ensure that you have a quart of milk in your fridge for your favorite sweet treat, including waffles and pancakes. Whole milk will give you a far richer flavor than low-fat milk, but it’s all up to your taste. You could also look at using alternative milk made from nuts, soy, rice, or coconut as a substitute for milk.

6 . Extracts and Flavorings

Extracts are a great way to infuse flavor into baked goods. Pure vanilla extract is widely used to provide a warm flavor and aroma. There are many other flavors available for you to explore including almond extract, mint extract, lemon extract, and even alcohol flavoring.

Remember not to buy them all at once. Add them to your collection of essential ingredients as you continue to expand your baking skills.

7. Additional Extras

The add-ons are arguably the best part of baking! Here are some of the most common add-ons that you’ll use as a baker:

  • Chocolate in its many forms – chocolate chips, chocolate bars, and unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Sprinkles for decorating all your sweet things.
  • Dried fruits such as raisins and cranberries.
  • Nuts can be stored in the fridge or freezer to extend shelf life.
  • Food coloring to make colorful food.


While some bakes may require the use of more unique ingredients to create distinctive flavor profiles, these are the essential ingredients that you’ll need.


About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

Daily Newsletter