The 9x9 baking pan is one of the most versatile pans I own! I use it all the time for making fudges and caramels, and it's also great for making smaller batches of brownies and bars. I like this version because the corners are actually square--so many pans have the rounded edges that gnaw at my perfectionist soul! It's also just a solid pan that bakes evenly and handles regular abuse like a champ.
To quote My Big Fat Greek Wedding, "There's a hole in this cake!" Yep, to make the holey cakes with the funny name you'll need a special bundt pan. This Nordic Ware version is sturdy and solid, with a classic bundt design. If you're only going to have one bundt pan, make it this one!
Where would I be without my 9x13 baking pan? Truth be told, I actually have about 6 of them, in various conditions. Nothing is better for baking a family-sized batch of brownies or a sheet cake! These particular pans are amazing--they bake super evenly, have a great nonstick surface, and I looooove the square corners you can achieve with them.
Sure, we all like big bundts (and we cannot lie) but mini bundts are great too! A mini bundt cake is maybe the most adorable individual-sized dessert ever. This pan makes six at a time, which is the perfect amount for many dinner parties. I always spray and flour it VERY well, and find that my cakes remove cleanly from this nice nonstick pan.
If you're going to be cooking and baking regularly, you NEED a kitchen scale! Cooking by weight instead of volume is faster, much more consistent, and is a necessity if you're using a recipe from basically any country besides the US! This is the very mid-range scale I have in my own kitchen. I've had it for almost a decade, and it's still going strong! I love that it converts between grams, ounces, and pounds/ounces with the push of a button. Plus, it holds 11 pounds, which is plenty for most home recipes!
A 3 quart saucepan is the perfect size for many kitchen tasks, like making pastry cream and curds, boiling water to melt chocolate, and frying small batches of doughnuts. This model is a great value for the money: it has even heat distribution, a fairly heavy bottom, and is even dishwasher safe!
These are my favorite baking sheets. They're sturdy and won't easily warp or bend at high heat. They're a large size, so they can hold lots of cookies, and they have a high lip so they can be used for baking thin cakes as well. These sheets + parchment paper gives me great baking results every time!
I buy my parchment paper by the truckload, and I suggest you do too! Parchment protects your baking sheets and cake pans, greatly extending their life. It's also useful for making paper cones for decorating. These sheets are so much more economical than buying the small rolls of parchment from the store, and they're already sized for half-sheet baking pans, so you don't have to worry about tearing off the right amount.
A pastry brush has a million uses in the kitchen: you can use it to brush egg wash onto dough before baking, brush glazes onto tarts, paint color onto fondant, or even create chocolate brush strokes! Silicone pastry brushes are the best for high-heat applications, but for most things, I prefer a pastry brush with natural bristles.
Springform pans are a must if you want to make cheesecake, but they're good for so much more than that! The removable sides make them a great tool for molding delicate desserts, ice cream cakes, mousses, and many other desserts. This model is affordable but high-quality and sturdy.
This is my go-to cake pan! Ever since discovering the magic of removable bottom cake pans, I use them almost exclusively. I line the bottom with a parchment circle, spray with nonstick cooking spray, and cakes slide out with ease. If you've ever struggled with cakes breaking or tearing when you take them out of the pan, you need to try one with a removable bottom. It's also great for molding delicate desserts like mousse cakes.