The last thing you want is to start on a baking project, only to discover part of the way in that you're missing a key ingredient or two! Developing excellent organizational skills will help you immensely in the kitchen, and part of this is ensuring that you have all of the required ingredients available, in the necessary quantity.
Here's a list of ingredients that I generally always have on hand, which allows me to bake on a whim without having to make a trip to the grocery store - at least most of the time!
What else do you like to have in your pantry?
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Bread flour
- Brown sugar, light
- Brown sugar, dark
- Cake flour
- Canola or vegetable oil
- Chocolate chips, semisweet
- Chocolate, dark - bar form, best quality you can afford
- Chocolate, milk - bar form, best quality you can afford
- Chocolate, unsweetened baking
- Chocolate white - bar form, best quality you can afford
- Cocoa powder, unsweetened
- Cocoa powder, dutch-process
- Coconut, shredded - I generally have both unsweetened and sweetened on hand
- Condensed milk, sweetened
- Corn syrup, light
- Dried fruit - apricots, cherries, cranberries, figs, raisins
- Espresso powder / instant coffee
- Evaporated milk
- Extracts - vanilla, almond, peppermint - 100% pure, please!
- Fleur de sel
- Gel food coloring
- Granulated sugar
- Powdered (confectioners') sugar
- Kosher salt
- Maple syrup - 100% pure, please!
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Non-stick cooking spray with flour
- Nuts & seeds - walnuts, almonds (blanched as well as raw or roasted), peanuts, pecans, cashews, sesame seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds
- Olive oil
- Peanut butter - natural & regular
- Powdered milk
- Rolled oats - old fashioned (you can always make "instant" oats by pulsing old fashioned oats in a food processor)
- Spices - cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg
- Sprinkles & sanding/coarse sugar
- Vanilla beans - when stored properly, vanilla beans will last for quite a while in your pantry. I recommend buying in bulk, especially if you bake often. No need to pay $7 for 1 bean at Whole Foods!
- Vegetable shortening
- Whole-wheat flour
- Cream cheese
- Heavy cream
- Unsalted butter
- Whole milk
- Yeast - active dry
- Yeast - instant
- Buttercream - Swiss mergingue buttercream freezes exceptionally well, and I usually have a few containers full in my freezer at any given time. Makes whipping up a batch of cupcakes on a whim very easy! Learn how to make your own here.
- Frozen fruit - bananas (don't throw away overripe bananas - freeze until you're ready to make banana bread/muffins/etc!), blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
- Unsalted butter - butter freezes well, and it's great to stock up on when it goes on sale