20 Gifts for the Baker in Your Life
For people who truly love to bake, a new tool for their kitchen arsenal is a great gift idea. You know the type of person we’re talking about—the friend who makes cakes and pies to relieve stress and finds store-bought baked goods depressing. If you have someone like this in your life, you might want to give a gift to encourage their hobby—but a trip to a baking supply store can be pretty overwhelming. She probably already has a nice baking sheet, a set of measuring cups, a set of measuring spoons, a bundt pan, and maybe even some cool baking gadgets. And, what’s more, she probably wants to stick with what she knows already works. That’s why we’ve curated this collection of thoughtful baking upgrades, beyond the basics—think: a beautiful cake stand to display her latest creation, lovely dessert plates to eat them on, or a fun emoji cookie cutter to take her cutout sugar cookies to the next level. Or maybe she would love the beautiful hand-painted brownie pan, or a personalized rolling pin? You can also go the practical route with a digital food scale, a nonstick Silpat for cookie baking or a splurge-worthy mixer. No matter what you settle on, you’ll want to check out these ideas—there’s something for everyone, from the novice baker to the lifelong baking enthusiast. One last piece of advice: we suggest you ask to sample whatever delicious treats are cooked up using your gift. How’s that for a (tasty) win-win?
A Year in Cupcakes
Cupcake mania shows no signs of slowing down, so grab this comprehensive collection for the cupcake lover on your list. With this gift, they can transform their already-delicious cupcakes into bakery-ready masterpieces at home with an entire year’s worth of celebratory adornments—you’ll find sprinkles, picks, liners, and decorations for Valentine’s Day, Easter, the Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and birthdays. (The decorations work on cakes, too.) All you need to do now? Invite yourself over for any of the aforementioned festivities. Tuck Real Simple’s foolproof chocolate or vanilla cupcake recipes in with the card as an added bonus.
To buy: $89, food52.com.
Marble & Wood Cake Stand
So she’s mastered the art of the beautiful cake—now all she needs is somewhere equally as stunning to display her creations. That’s where this marble and wood cake stand comes in. Whether she’s whipped up a cheesecake, a chocolate cake, or a creation of her own invention, this simple, classic stand will make the perfect backdrop without stealing any attention from the main event. The piece can do double duty, too—it works equally well as a serving piece for appetizers, elevating a few simple cheeses and crackers, for instance, into a lovely presentation. Or, when you make our easy 20-minute appetizers, place them on this stand for sophisticated serving.
To buy: $46, nordstrom.com.
Take the Cake Two-Piece Dessert Set
As if slicing into her signature cakes wasn’t enough of an event, make it feel even more special with this Kate Spade dessert set. The knife is the perfect size for cutting into a cake, and the server (which also features a serrated edge for convenience) features the dessert-appropriate message: “How sweet it is.” This gift makes a great wedding present for those cake-cutting photo opps, but it also works just as well for the more everyday Insta-worthy treats, too. The set is enough on its own, but you can kick it up a notch by packaging it with a new cake pan.
To buy: $65, katespade.com.
Hidden Quote Pie Plate
If he’s famous for his delicious pies (or simply trying to learn more about the art and science of pie-making), then why not give him a vessel worthy of his experiments? These nine-inch, aluminum pans make a beautiful frame for any kind of crust and filling (Apple! Key lime! Pumpkin! The options are endless). The best part? Each one is hand stamped with a hidden quote at the bottom—a special surprise to be discovered after you, sadly, finish the pie. Choose between: “nom, nom, nom,” “that last piece is mine,” or “eat more pie.”
To buy: $30, food52.com.
My Weigh Digital Stainless-Steel Food Scale
Measuring cups are a baking no-brainer, and pretty much everyone already has a set in the kitchen. But a food scale is what separates the novice bakers from the experts. Using a scale allows you to be more precise in your measurements—no more slight variations in your recipe if your measuring cup isn’t lined up just so. And baking is chemistry, after all. If your recipient hasn’t sprung for a scale yet, treat them to one—it will make all the difference in recipes where exact quantities are key, such as croissants. It’s particularly helpful for recipes where only a weight is given (no more eyeballing 10 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips).
To buy: $48, amazon.com.
Macaron Kitchen Towel
It’s a basic rule of baking math: You can never have too many kitchen towels (somehow the dishes just keep on coming). Make the chore a little more festive by melding it with a sweet treat. You can’t go wrong with this whimsical macaron-printed (not to be confused with its cousin, the macaroon) towel. It features illustrations of scrumptious-looking varieties, including Earl Gray, Cafe Noisette, Pistachio, and Chocolat (there’s also a cupcake print available). Plus, it’s machine washable, so you don’t have to worry about putting it to work. Warning: recipients might come down with a serious case of Parisian wanderlust.
To buy: $10, surlatable.com.
Silpat Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat
If he turns out cookies by the dozen (and dozen and dozen), consider giving him this time-saving tool. The reusable Silpat promises to create a nonstick surface—use it instead of parchment paper and you can even skip the butter. Silpats are available in various sizes depending on your pan and oven, and they can work for cooking main courses, as well as baking. You could pick up a couple, or package one with a few other cookie supplies—maybe some fun cutters, a new rolling pin, colorful sprinkles for decorating. Reference our cookie calendar for loads of recipe inspiration.
To buy: $25, amazon.com.
KitchenAid Artisan Mini Series Tilt Head Stand Mixer
If you’re buying for the baker who seems to have every gadget out there, you might want to consider KitchenAid’s newest: a mini stand mixer. It’s definitely a splurge, but a worthy one—especially for bakers with limited counter space or just someone who likes to keep their counters as clutter-free as possible. With 10 cool colors to choose from (think “hot sauce,” “matte gray,” and “orange sorbet”), you can definitely find something to suit the taste of the recipient. The mixer has a capacity of 3.5 quarts, compared to 5 quarts for the standard model. But it promises to still have the power to stand up to just about any recipe—and it’s cute, to boot.
To buy: $330, amazon.com.
Handpainted Lucerne Brownie Pan
Give those world-famous brownies the presentation they deserve, with this beautiful (but still practical), hand-painted pan. The bottom of the pan included the message: “Stay sweet” in raised letters. After they cool, she can take her brownies (or a small cake would work too) right from the oven to the table—no need to find another plate to serve them on. And don’t worry, you’re not creating any extra work, after the fact: the pan is dishwasher safe. There’s also a matching cake server or a whisk, too, if you’re looking for a little something extra to complete the gift.
To buy: $42, anthropologie.com.
Personalized Rolling Pin
If she loves to bake, chances are she already has a favorite, workhorse rolling pin. So rather than duplicate, why not add a personalized one to her collection, instead? This pick is laser engraved with the words of your choice: “Made by Dad,” “From Michelle’s kitchen,” etc. Each rolling pin is made from beechwood and measures just 15.8 inches by 2.4 inches. Because the item is handmade—and ships from Poland—allow five days for processing, and an additional two to three weeks for shipping. Not sure what to write? The seller also offers rolling pins embossed with various graphics, including Christmas trees, hearts, stars, and more.
To buy: $34, agnesworld.etsy.com.
Mason Jar Ceramic Cookie Jar
Confession: We never met a Mason jar we didn’t like. It’s a versatile little vessel, perfect for storage, crafting, dÃ©cor, and more. Here, the Mason jar meets one of our other favorites—cookies. This whimsical cookie jar is styled to look like an old-fashioned Mason jar. Available in blue or red, it can sit out on a kitchen countertop whether it’s filled with treats or not. Matching Mason jar measuring cups are also available if you want to go all-in on the theme. Or you can stuff it with a batch of your own homemade cookies to get your recipient started. Fair warning, though: this jar won’t stay full for long.
To buy: $15, worldmarket.com.
MacKenzie Childs Whisk
Sometimes it’s nice to give someone an upgrade on one of her most-used kitchen utensils. The stainless steel handle on this whisk features a cheerful check pattern, while the silicone bottom has a pop of red. No, we can’t promise that it will make hand-mixing fun, but at least it will be a little bit more beautiful (and that counts for something, right?). And it’s still dishwasher safe. MacKenzie Childs also offers a coordinating spatula and spoon—you could put all three together for a set, or add to the gift as the years go on. Her other utensils might just develop an inferiority complex.
To buy: $28, horchow.com.
Striped Dessert Plates
If his kitchen is constantly turning out Pinterest-worthy desserts, why serve them on boring old everyday plates? Give them the presentation they deserve with these whimsical dessert plates from designer Nate Berkus’s Target collection. Their 6-inch diameter makes them the perfect size for after-dinner confections, but also any pre-meal appetizers. And the fun, wavy striped design is the perfect backdrop for whatever delicious recipes he dreams up (individual cakes, cream puffs, a cookie assortment, and beyond). Don’t worry about cleanup: they can go in the dishwasher—so feel free to volunteer for dish duty.
To buy: $25 for four, target.com.
“It’s Someone’s Birthday Somewhere” Pan
Forget, “It’s 5 o'clock somewhere.” This cake pan is inscribed at the bottom with an even better phrase: “It’s someone’s birthday somewhere.” And that means you always have an excuse to eat a piece of cake… right? Even if she has a cupboard full of various-shaped cake pans, we’re willing to bet she doesn’t have one like this. The nine-inch round, turquoise cake pan will be a fun addition to her collection. It’s the perfect marriage of humor and practicality. Also available? A loaf pan (inscribed with “short and sweet”) and a square pan (featuring “oh crumbs” on the bottom).
To buy: $15, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Ceramic Dachshund Butter Dish
Bread makers will want to serve their creations fresh out of the oven when they can pair their loaves with this fun and quirky ceramic butter dish. Crafted from high-fired stoneware, the piece is dishwasher safe (if kept on the top rack of the dishwaster) and can even go into a microwave oven. Another plus: its classic white color will match with just about any kitchen dÃ©cor. While this pooch is an especially perfect gift for dog lovers—and it might be a must for everyone you know with a Dashshund—Adler also offers another white, whimsical butter dish shaped like a whale.
To buy: $68, jonathanadler.com.
Staub Ceramic Mini Cocotte Set
The only thing better than a delicious dessert at the end of an equally satisfying meal? A delicious mini dessert. And when it’s served in an individual vessel—like these round ceramic mini cocottes—you have a real Instagram-worthy moment in the making. Great for baking treats like single-serve soufflés or fruit crisps, each stoneware baker is four inches in diameter. You could also use them for individual servings of pot pies, soups, or appetizers. They’re safe for use in the oven, broiler, freezer, fridge, and microwave and are available in red, blue, and white.
To buy: $80, williams-sonoma.com.
White Matryoshka Dry Measuring Cups
Of course, any baking enthusiast will already own some well-used measuring cups. But this set is just for fun. These cups are fashioned in the image of Matryoshka dolls, or Russian nesting dolls, where the top and bottom separate from each other to reveal another, smaller doll inside. But these “dolls” are actually functional measuring cups. The set of six, which includes 1 cup, ¾ cup, ⅔ cup, ½ cup, ⅓ cup, and ¼ cup, will look adorable on the kitchen counter when not in use. Available in white and red (matching measuring spoons are for sale, as well).
To buy: $11 for the set, amazon.com.
Cuisinart Stackable Cupcake Carrier
How many times has she made a dozen beautiful cupcakes to take to work—only to have them crushed on her commute? Save her dessert—and her sanity—with this genius solution: a two-tiered cupcake carrier that can hold up to 24 treats and comes with a red carrying handle. If she wants to experiment beyond cupcakes, she can just flip the trays over and use them to carry other baked goods. Looking to complete the gift? Fill it with some of your own (or store-bought if you can’t match her skills) cupcakes to start and put a bow on top.
To buy: $15, lordandtaylor.com.
How to Bake Everything
Destined to be a bible for bakers, food writer and former New York Times columnist Mark Bittman’s latest book has something for everyone—no matter your baking skill level. With recipes for pretty much anything you could think of (from angel food cake to zucchini bread), and refreshers on kitchen basics (from an explainer on basically every type of appliance to how to knead), this 700-plus page book is loaded with useful information. Simple illustrations and charts pepper the 2,000 (!) recipes and variations, making each instruction easy to follow. We have a hunch this book is going to top the holiday wish lists of Bittman’s many fans and anyone who loves to bake.
To buy: $15, amazon.com.
Heart Eyes Emoji Cookie Cutter
We’re all heart eyes over this one. Perfect for the friend you constantly text with, this cookie cutter takes the shape of everyone’s favorite emoji. We suggest using the mold to cut out sugar cookies, then brushing the dough with an egg wash for shine and filling the eyes with red sugar sprinkles. It would also work well with seasonal gingerbread. Order early for this gift: it takes five to 21 days to ship to the United States (plus one to five days for processing). And once it arrives, warn your recipient to only hand wash it—otherwise it will melt in the dishwasher.
To buy: $3, rochaixcookiecutters.etsy.com.