Five Tools for Easy Baking

Baking is a relaxing pastime for many. The truth is, it can get messy and stressful if you don't have the right tools. Luckily, there are all kinds of gadgets to help make your baking projects go a little more smoothly - without messing up your kitchen.  Here are five great baking tools to get you started!

Collapsible Measuring Cups

Measuring cups are necessary for accurate baking, but they can be a pain to store and take up valuable cabinet and drawer space. Collapsible measuring cups, usually made from silicone, are a great solution. Since they collapse from a full cup to a flat shape, they take up almost no space. Most are also dishwasher-safe for easy clean up. Try them out when measuring out whole-wheat flour for this delicious strawberry cake recipe.

Batter Bowl with Lid

One of the messiest (and most fun) parts of baking can be doling out batter. Cue the batter bowl! You can find a variety of bowls, usually in glass, with a spout for easy batter pouring. Buying a bowl with a lid will allow you to make a batter overnight, store it in the fridge, and whip up almond muffins or another tasty treat fresh the next morning. You can also use a lidded bowl to multitask - it can become a transportation device for dips, fruit salad, and other party snacks.

Silicone Baking Cups

Metal baking pans are a time-tested staple for producing muffins, cupcakes, and loaves. But they take up lots of room in a storage cabinet, aren't always dishwasher-safe, and require greasing before baking. Silicone baking cups or pans, however, can withstand very high temperatures without deform, they never rust, and best of all, they don't require grease or oil. Plus, individual silicone baking cups can be stacked and stored without cluttering your cabinets. Pick some up and try them out with this delicious mint chocolate cupcake recipe.

Tiered Cooling Rack

Have you ever made a multilayer cake or a big batch of cookies and run out of space to cool them? A tiered cooling rack can help, especially if you don't have much counter space in your kitchen. Most cooling racks come in either two or three-tier models that easily disassemble for storage. Many are also non-stick and dishwasher safe for quick cleanup, so you don't need to stress the next time you want to make a bunch of baked goods for an event.

French-Style Rolling Pin

The French-style rolling pin was a favorite of Julia Child. Unlike a classic roller with handles on the side, a French rolling pin is a solid piece of wood, usually about 18 inches long, that is tapered on the ends. Many bakers find that it provides them with a better feel for their dough and more control. Plus it's thinner and lighter than your average rolling pin and can be cleaned with a quick rinse with soap and water in the sink. Try one out the next time you make a pie crust or pizza!