Must Have Baking Ingredients

Whether you bake often or just once in a blue moon, there are some Must Have Baking Ingredients you should always have on hand to make sure that you?re able to bake everything from bread, to muffins, to cookies, whenever the mood strikes! These are the Must Have Baking Ingredients every kitchen should be stocked with! 

Baking pantry essentials featuring must-have baking ingredients.

I distinctly remember the first time I realized that baking was kind of second nature to me. 

I had decided to bake a cake for my mom?s birthday, instead of buying one at the store. Her reaction was quite entertaining. She kept saying ?Oh, you just whipped up a cake, no big deal.? And the truth was, it wasn?t a big deal. It?s not because I?m some pastry chef (trust me!), but rather, baking and cooking are really all about having the right tools. Half of the battle of being able to whip together a recipe for baked goods is having what you need on hand. 

Over the years, as I?ve gotten more and more interested in baking, I?ve started to keep a lot of things on hand, for those days where I just need to bake.all.the.things (that's how this recipe came to be!). After moving into our new house, I had to stock our pantry full of everything again, so I focused on figuring out what an extremely well-stocked baking pantry would look like! 

If you just make the occasional batch of chocolate chip cookies, don?t worry too much about having ALL of these items, though most have a long shelf-life. Almost all of the refrigerated items below are common so even if you don?t use them for baking, you?ll be able to use them for other things. The advanced section is for those who truly love to bake and try a variety of recipes out that sometimes call for more advanced techniques. 

Jars of oats, milk, and spoons - must-have baking ingredients - on a table.

Baking Foundations

  • White All Purpose Flour
  • Granulated White Sugar
  • Granulated Brown Sugar
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Vanilla
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Cooking Spray
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Salt
  • Cornmeal
  • Confectioner?s (Powdered) Sugar
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Evaporated Milk


  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Cloves
  • Allspice
Three glass jars filled with oats, a must-have baking ingredient.

Toppings & Extras

  • Rolled Oats
  • Milk Chocolate Chips
  • Dark Chocolate Chips
  • White Chocolate Chips
  • Butterscotch Chips
  • Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
  • M&M?s
  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned Pumpkin Pur?e
  • Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
  • Cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds

Advanced Baking Supplies

  • Bread Flour
  • Cake Flour
  • Pastry Flour
  • Self-Rising Flour
  • Chia Seeds
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Coconut Oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Agave
  • Vanilla Beans
  • Almond Extract
  • Peppermint Extract
  • Unflavored Gelatin

Fridge Basics

  • Eggs
  • Whole Milk
  • Whipping/Heavy Cream
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Active Dry Yeast
  • Jams or Preserves
  • Lemons
  • Sour Cream
  • Cream Cheese

There you have it! Now you can feel confident that you can tackle recipes for baked goods with a well-stocked baking pantry! 

Are there any baking essentials I missed? What baking recipes do you keep these ingredients on hand to make?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Pingback: Slow Cooker Refined Sugar Free Pulled Pork | A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
  2. I recently bought steel cut oats instead of rolled oats......BIG mistake. They're sharp and pointy and take forever to cook! Haha. These are such good essentials!

  3. I'm making a mental note of all the things I need to pick up at the grocery store now. 😉 This is a great list! Though, it does tell me that I am most certainly not a baker since I had no idea that cake flour was a thing. I have a feeling my cakes would taste MUCH better if I used it (not that they taste horrible as-is!). hahaha

    1. Hahaha, well honestly I don't have all of these either 😉 I've only used cake flour once, it's a lighter flour, which I think helps make the cakes more fluffy! But I'm not an expert in it either.

  4. Great list of all the basic necessities, any roundup post that includes M&Ms as a pantry essential is a great one! 😉