10 foods you need in your kitchen… for baking

baking in progressHaving received some good advice about the 10 staple foods you need in your kitchen from a health/convenience perspective, we can now turn with fairly well-stocked pantries to more important topics, like baking. Did you notice that those ingredients, with the possible exception of oatmeal, were not geared towards stocking a kitchen for someone who likes to bake? Here are 10 of the top staple foods you need in your kitchen for baking:

  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Cocoa powder
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Chocolate chips

This list will give you everything you need to make a basic cake in chocolate or vanilla and a good batch of chocolate chip cookies, which should be a staple in everyone’s repertoire. If I were making the list longer, I would include active dry yeast and milk. Milk didn’t make the cut because many recipes call for water and/or other liquids, so you can work around it. Yeast made it into slot 11 on my list simply because I find that more people are going to make cakes and cookies from scratch than yeast breads and that, once you decide to make the plunge into (easy and fun!) yeast doughs, you probably already have everything else on hand.

Any absolute staples that you’d like to add?


  1. buttermilk (not quite a staple, but good to have around), frozen berries (better than nothing, makes a great sauce in a pinch), good quality baking chocolate

  2. I’d say you have it right!

    But I do always keep fresh, frozen pecans around. (Luckily my Paw Paw will shell them for me each year. ;)

  3. I would second the brown sugar suggestion, and perhaps add cinnamon.

  4. In addition to your list, my baking staples are: cornmeal, oatmeal, wheatgerm, whole wheat flour, canola oil, brown sugar, cinnamon. Non food item I must have for baking is wax paper.

  5. My family loves anything with pudding, so I always have several boxes of pudding on hand. I am not a fan of the instant kind, so it must be the cook and serve type. Makes a great filling for a cream puff.

  6. In all honesty, I’d have yeast over chocolate chips. I do yeast breads a lot more than chocolate chip cookies.

  7. Peanut butter

  8. I used all your ingredients in a chocolate cake I baked this afternoon.
    I would add:
    Light brown sugar
    Nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts)
    Whole wheat flour
    Instant coffee (to enhance chocolate flavors)

  9. Jiffy makes a chocolate frosting mix- just add water or milk. Perhaps not an essential, but at $0.33, and the fact that it won’t go bad for years, I always have a package on hand just in case. I also must have powdered buttermilk- it can be useful for in so many recipes, and, once again, the dry aspect means it won’t go bad on me.

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