If you’re an avid baker, then chances are that you already have a well-stocked pantry that can produce a range of baked goods at at moment’s notice. But for those of you who are just getting into baking, you may be annoyed that you’re constantly running out for new ingredients. So, rather than having to be on the run to the store all the time, it’s time to stock your pantry for baking.
I mentally break down my pantry into different baking components: flours, sweeteners, fats, leaveners, chocolate, thickeners, spices and flavorings, mix-ins, and tools. I find it easier to assess what I’m out of if I think of things in categories – I get overwhelmed if I think of everything at once. I generally try to have all my basic, non-perishable ingredients on hand that I’ll need for any basic recipe, and then only have to run to the store for supplemental items such as fruits, special kinds of chocolate, or perishable items like heavy cream. The only perishable items I always have on hand are eggs and butter, both of which will keep for weeks. In fact, since I’m always running out of them, I don’t even think of them as perishable.
As I was writing this post, I kind of realized that the way I stock my baking pantry may seem excessive, but everything here is actually pretty standard as far as ingredients go. For instance, it may seem crazy to keep both bleached and unbleached flour on hand, but if you’re making things from The Cake Bible then believe me – you’ll need both of them. Same with red food coloring – it seems crazy to stock, but if you ever have to color frosting or make Red Velvet Cake, it’s extremely useful to have around.
Here’s my list of basic pantry items I always try to have on hand. Want a copy you can take to your grocery store or use to assess your pantry? Download my handy baking pantry checklist (PDF file).
Any things I left off that you always have on hand?
Basic Baking Ingredients to Stock
Almond flour (store in freezer)
Bleached all purpose flour
Unbleached all purpose flour
Whole wheat flour
Brown sugar (either light or dark)
Bittersweet chocolate (bar)
Dutch-processed cocoa powder
Natural cocoa powder
Semi sweet chocolate chips
Unsweetened chocolate (bar)
Active Dry Yeast
Rapid Rise Yeast
Thickeners and stabilizers:
Cream of Tarter
Spices and flavorings:
Apple cider vinegar
Nutmeg (whole nut)
Red food coloring
Vanilla beans (store in the fridge)
Vanilla extract (store in the fridge)
Almonds – whole, raw (store in the freezer)
Walnuts – whole, raw (store in the fridge)
Plastic freezer bags (for storage)