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When you know a person’s hobbies and avocations, it’s typically easier to shop for them on special occasions. If you know someone who loves coffee, for instance, they’ll likely appreciate a quality grinder or some specialty beans. And if your friend or family member is a fan of books, they might love to receive a new hardcover or a reading light for those long nights immersed in their favorite fiction read.
There are tons of great gifts to consider for the bakers in your life, too. If they’re newer to the hobby or are in need of some kitchen appliance upgrades, you can surprise them with a stand mixer, hand mixer or some bread baking accessories. And if their kitchen is already fully stocked with every small appliance under the sun, there are plenty of baking accessories to gift them, from cake stands and cupcake carriers to aprons and kitchen scales. To determine the best gifts for bakers, we consulted our previous expert guidance on small appliances and cookware and asked some bakers on the Select team — both amateur and semi-professional — for their gift recommendations. We also rounded up some items from notable brands like Hedley & Bennett and Williams Sonoma.
Best gifts for bakers in 2021
To help you find the right gift for the baker in your life, here are some baking appliances, tools and accessories we picked based on previous expert guidance and what we think you'll find interesting.
Best baking appliances and tools to gift
Any baker’s station can be instantly elevated with a stand mixer that takes the physical labor out of mixing, kneading and whipping. In our guide to stand mixers, several recipe developers recommended KitchenAid and called out the brand’s attentive customer service. The 5-Quart Mixer from the Artisan Series comes in several colorways and features 10 speeds to accommodate different recipes’ requirements.
If the person you’re shopping for has limited counter space, consider getting them a hand mixer instead. Though hand mixers aren’t as strong as their stand counterparts, professional chefs have told us they are perfectly sufficient when it comes to making smaller batches of recipes.
Cuisinart’s Power Advantage PLUS mixer has nine speeds to choose from, including three low-start speeds to avoid making a mess. It comes with a snap-on storage case that you can use to hold the included beaters, chef’s whisk, dough hook and spatula.
Food processors purée, chop and dice ingredients at the touch of a button, and they don’t require any liquid ingredients like blenders usually do. These small kitchen appliances can be useful for bakers breaking down graham crackers for a homemade pie crust or cutting butter into flour for shortbread cookies. Diamond Wynn, a recipe developer for HelloFresh, previously told us she’s a fan of the Cuisinart models since they’re easy to use and assemble. The 14-cup version comes with several attachments, including a standard slicing disc, medium shredding disc, chopping/mixing blade and spatula.
Bread makers aren’t a prerequisite for making bread at home, but they can simplify the mixing, kneading and rising process. This bread maker from Hamilton Beach is designed to be uncomplicated for beginners — it has 14 settings for everything from gluten-free mixes to French breads and can handle 1-pound, 1 ½-pound and 2-pound loaves.
Though most amateur bakers are more familiar with the American rolling pin with handles, many professional bakers prefer the tapered French style, which tends to be more lightweight and offer more control over the rolling process. This hardwood pin comes in two sizes and has a 6-inch flat rolling surface to tackle larger batches of dough.
I recently used this silicone pan to make gluten-free pumpkin donuts for the first time, and I was pleasantly surprised by how well everything turned out. The pan, which is part of Target’s Made By Design collection, can bake 12 donuts at a time, and the flexibility of the silicone makes it easy to remove the donuts from the tray once they’re done cooking. Just be careful not to overfill the cavities, as it can cause you to lose the donut’s hole in the baking process and end up with more of a mini bundt cake.
This bread essentials set from Emile Henry really is a bread baker’s dream. It comes with four useful tools for shaping and baking a round loaf: a Brotform proofing basket, a French-style lame, a covered clay pan and a small, flat whisk. I received this set as a wedding gift and it’s helped me perfect my sourdough (or at least, it’s put me on the right track).
Best baking apparel and accessories to gift
Baking can get pretty messy. If you want to keep that mess off of your clothes and avoid an unnecessary cycle through the washing machine, this unisex apron is popular among professional chefs and home cooks alike. Designed by former line cook Ellen Bennett, the machine-washable aprons are made of 100 percent cotton twill fabric and feature a chest pocket and two lap pockets.
Select writer Zoe Malin, owner of gluten-free bakery service To Be Gluten Free, recommended this Marble Pastry Board for anyone shopping for a serious baker (it’s on her own holiday wish list this year, too). “Marble slabs are great for rolling out pastry dough because it keeps the butter cold,” she explained. This board, which is on the heavier side at just under 30 pounds, is crafted from Spanish white Macael marble.
A silicone baking mat is a pragmatic and eco-friendly gift for any pastry artist, novice or otherwise: The mat is designed to be used in lieu of single-use wax paper and parchment paper, thereby reducing waste. This non-stick baking mat has templates for evenly spaced macaron cookies, but you can use it to bake everything from cookies to scones.
Malin said she’d be thrilled to receive anything from kitchenware brand GIR. She specifically pointed to this baking set, which comes with a silicone baking mat and two silicone spatulas adorned with a pleasing sprinkle pattern. All of the nonstick tools are dishwasher-safe and heat-proof up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
While eyeballing ingredients doesn’t hugely affect the outcome of a lasagna or casserole, precision is paramount when baking a bread, cake or cream puff. This scale is designed specifically with bakers in mind: The baker’s percentage weighing feature allows you to keep track of the percentage of flour in your recipe as you add in other wet and dry ingredients.
Frosted cupcakes are notoriously difficult to transport — one wrong move and they can tip over in your container, ruining all of your hard work. This carrier has 24 grooves designed to hold cupcakes in place during travel. The dishwasher-safe trays stack on top of each other so the frosting doesn’t get smudged, and the whole thing can be covered with a plastic lid to ensure everything stays fresh.
Baking ingredients like flour, sugar and chocolate chips need to be stored and sealed properly — if they aren’t, bugs can get in or it can lose all of its natural moisture and harden to the point of no return. These OXO Good Grips containers are designed specifically to store baking essentials: The set includes various sized airtight containers, as well as two half-cup scoops and a brown sugar keeper.
After years of regularly baking cookies, scones and other sweets that needed somewhere to cool, I recently decided to invest in a cooling rack to speed up the cooldown process and prevent my treats from overbaking. This one from Nordic Ware immediately caught my eye because it’s stackable, which means it takes up less counter space when I’m baking in big batches. The copper-plated racks are also non-stick and both fridge- and freezer-friendly if you really want to cool your treats down.
When Malin bakes pies, quiches and other round treats, her dish of choice is Great Jones’ Sweetie Pie. “This is my favorite pie dish ever,” she raved. The ceramic dish can be safely used in freezers, dishwashers and ovens alike, and it currently comes in four fun colors: Blueberry, Broccoli, Mustard and Marinara.
Making a cake from scratch is no simple feat, and the product of all that hard labor should be shown off with pride. This vintage-inspired cake stand — another item from Malin’s wish list — includes both a colorful flint glass stand and a glass dome to keep pastries fresh. It’s available in three sizes — 6 inches, 10 inches and 12 inches — and several colors, including Robin Egg Blue, Jadeite and Pink.
Your cookbook can sit on the counter while you bake, but when you do, you run the risk of getting it dirty. This cookbook stand remedies that issue by protecting your pages with a clear acrylic panel. When it’s not in use, the beachwood stand also folds up for simple storage. Malin bought this for herself as her “first adult apartment purchase” and loves using it with cookbooks and her tablet while she bakes.