Almost 2 years ago now I wrote a blog post about how I'd fallen in love with vanilla bean paste and that it had become a permanent addition to my baking cupboard. I included a photo of my baking cupboard at the bottom of the post. I never realised it would generate so much interest and it continues to randomly be one of the posts that generates the most traffic on my blog for people who are searching for 'baking cupboard'.
I thought it would be a good idea to share with you what I think every serious baker needs to have in their baking cupboard because there comes a time when it's no longer an option to pop out to the shops and get the ingredients you need to bake something. When you have as serious a sweet tooth as I do, and you get the cravings to bake something you want to be able to do it straight away! with no hesitation...and with that in mind my baking cupboard was born:
I tried to organise it so that my top shelf was for decorating and aesthetics and the bottom shelf was for core ingredients that I would bake with.
So every cupcake baker obviously needs a vast supply of cupcake cases in varying sizes and colours, I have my mini cases behind the regular ones. It is also essential to have as many sprinkles, sanding sugars and edible decorations as you possibly can! I also have all my gel colours, luster dusts on this shelf as well with some white fondant ready to be coloured as and when I need it (which is very rare because I don't like to use fondant if I can help it).
The bottom shelf is really dependent on your tastebuds and the sorts of flavours you like to bake with. Every baker needs a stash of chocolate slabs - I had a variety of milk, white and dark chocolate and some Mint Aero and Dairy Milk. Vanilla extract is a must, I also had some vanilla pods and vanilla bean paste. Cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and things like ground ginger and cinnamon are also pretty essential. I always have tins of coconut milk and a bag of shredded coconut on hand. Candy melts (seen here in pink and blue) should be in any bakers possession if you like cake pops, they can also be piped in to numbers or letters as cupcake toppers.
I also have large glass jars (from Ikea, where else!) on my countertop that have plain flour, self raising flour, caster sugar and icing sugar inside. They have stickers on top of the lids to distinguish which is which!
My most recent baking cupboard, since I tend to move yearly! has expanded to carry lots more international products from South Africa/America because they are some of my favourite things to bake with like Peppermint Crisps and Graham Crackers and Root Beer extract!
I have also added a few more things to my countertop like a large jar a of Valrhona chocolate discs and smaller jars of shredded coconut, cocoa powder, and andes mint chips.
I have added a sprinkles rack to display some of my sprinkles. It is not as big as I want though and in the future I hope to find a rack that will be large enough to hold all of my sprinkles and edible decorations!
I also now stock at least 3/4 packs of unsalted butter in my baking cupboard. I used to keep them in the fridge and take them out in advance as and when I was going to bake but like I said sometimes the urge just takes over and I must bake right away so it's much more practical to keep it at room temperature at all times, but they never last for more than a week at a time anyway! Same goes for eggs.
So that's my baking cupboard lowdown. I'll sum it up in a nice easy list for you:
Baking Cupboard Essentials:
Self - Raising Flour
Dark Brown Sugar
Light Brown Sugar
Bicarbonate of Soda
Cream of Tartar
Vanilla Bean Paste
Slabs of Dark Chocolate
Slabs of Milk Chocolate
Slabs of White Chocolate
Baking Cupboard Luxuries:
Graham Crackers/Hobnobs (Biscuits for cheesecake bases)
Oreos (in as many flavours as you have access to!)
Gel colours (for colouring frosting)
Sprinkles/Jimmies/Sanding Sugar/Nonpareils - decorations galore!
A pack of white fondant
Marshmallows (mini and regular size)
Remember this is just my opinion and taking into consideration my tastebuds, it's best if you alter it according to your likes and dislikes but hopefully this will get you on the right track!
Feel free to add any suggestions below if you think I've missed some out! and Happy Baking!
Maybe one day the dream of having a whole sprinkles wall will come true for me!