baking essentials

Top 12 Essentials for Home Bakers | The JavaCupcake Blog

Top 12 Essentials for Home Bakers

Some of my favorite things in the kitchen are tools that make baking simple and easy!  These are my Top 12 Essentials for Home Bakers!

Top 12 Essentials for Home Bakers | The JavaCupcake Blog

  1. Mixing bowls

    I have 7 mixing bowls in various sizes that I use every time I bake.  Whether it’s to mix the wet and dry ingredients in before adding to the mixer or to make the batter in… I must have a set of mixing bowls.  My favorites are these KitchenAid Mixing Bowls Set of 3, Assorted Colors.  Cute colors and the perfect sizes.

  2. Mini spatulas

    I never knew I needed these mini spatulas until I had them… and now I use them ALL. THE. TIME!  They’re perfect for getting in the bottom of the peanut butter or jam jar or mixing food coloring into a bowl of buttercream.  The possibilities are endless.  My favorite is this Core Kitchen 5 Piece Crete Mini Utensil Set.

  3. Cake stands

    Obsessed may be an understatement for me.  I love cake stands.  In fact, I don’t hide them away in a closet, yet they are prominently displayed on my sideboard in my living room.  Not only do I use them to display cakes, cupcakes, and desserts… but they are also home decor!  I am especially in love with cake stands like this one… Now Designs Tin Cake Stand, Aqua.

  4. Aprons

    Not only should you wear an apron to keep your clothes free of sugar and flour when you bake, but you should wean an apron because it makes you feel good!  I own about a dozen aprons and this one from Kate Spade is my absolute favorite! Kate Spade Diner Stripe Apron, 33 x 33″, Vivid Snap Dragon.

  5. Spoon rest

    With the amount of scraping the bowl and mixing wet ingredients I do, if I don’t have a spoon rest to set my utensils on, the counter gets dirty… quick!  I currently have a Polish Pottery spoon rest, but I’d love this mason jar one too! 1 X Mason Jar Ceramic Spoon Rest

  6. Pot holders

    My favorite pot holders are these small square washable holders.  I like them because they fit in my small kitchen drawers easily and don’t take up a lot of room. These DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable, Everyday Kitchen Basic Terry Potholder Set of 3, Aqua are especially cute!

  7. Measuring cups & spoons

    My favorite measuring cups and spoons are the orange Tupperware set that came from my Grandmothers kitchen.  I love them because they’re simple, sturdy and can be tossed in the dishwasher.  They don’t make them like my Grandma’s anymore, but I’m certain the quality is still the same from Tupperware! Tupperware Measuring Cup and Spoon Set in Rain Drop/Salt Water Taffy

  8. Dish towels

    I keep a dish towel over my shoulder when I bake because I am constantly needing to wipe my hands off.  Keeping a clean, dry kitchen is important to me while baking… makes for easier clean up in the end and makes life so much easier! DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable, Everyday Kitchen Basic Windowpane Combo Dish Cloth Set of 6, Aqua

  9. Cookie dough scoop

    Making cookies an even, uniform size can only be done with a cookie dough scoop.  It’s been a game changer for me when making cookies.  My favorite is the OXO Good Grips Medium Cooke Scoop.

  10. Parchment paper

    Whether I’m lining a baking sheet for cookies or lining, greasing and flouring a pan for cake… parchment paper is a must have for almost everything I bake.  My favorite is Reynolds Parchment Paper, 75 Sq Ft

  11. Stackable cooling racks

    Everything you bake must be cooled.  In my kitchen, counter space is limited so my favorite cooling racks are the ones that are stackable.  I don’t lose space and I can still use have access to the counter space under the rack! I am currently using Baker’s Secret 3 Tier Cooling Rack.

  12. Baking canisters

    I never really gave much thought into what I stored my flour and sugars in… until I bought these baking canisters from Sistema.  I love them because they are square, which means they take up less space in my cabinet… the tops lock on them which means no spilling if I drop it… and they stack easily!  The set even comes with a leveling knife for the flour.  Love this set so much! Sistema 1214 Bake It Storage Multi Piece Container Collection (Set of 15), White

Top 12 Essentials for Home Bakers | The JavaCupcake Blog

FREE PRINTABLE Baking Conversion Chart - Basic Ingredients |

Baking Conversion Charts

Converting recipes can be time-consuming and frustrating so I’ve decided to make for you these easy to follow, super cute Baking Conversion Charts!

Since living in Germany, I’ve been exploring European recipes and baking… most of which are in Metric measurements.  This can be tricky since most recipes in the United States use the Imperial measurement system.

Baking is not very forgiving. It is a science.  Estimating the measurements of an ingredient in a recipe spells disaster. While you can easily get away with a handful of this or that when you’re cooking dinner, even the slightest miscalculation could turn your soft-baked chocolate chip cookies into rocks.


Understanding the correct measuring technique for a particular ingredient will guarantee better baking results. Soft cookies, fluffy cakes, flaky crust!

Use these Baking Conversion Charts to help you ensure that your baking will be pure perfection!

Basic Ingredients Conversion Chart

The Basic Ingredients Conversion Chart below will help you convert basic baking ingredients such as flour, sugar and butter.  We’ve also included powdered sugar and heavy cream since those are both used in many frosting recipes.

FREE PRINTABLE Baking Conversion Charts - Basic Ingredients |


Download & Print the Baking Conversion Chart – Basic Ingredients

Measurements & Temperatures Conversion Chart

The Measurements & Temperatures Conversion Chart below is designed to help you with the rest of the ingredients in your recipe.  This easy to understand chart should make converting things like liquids and nuts or baking chips from Imperial to Metric.

We’ve also included a Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion to help with baking temperatures.

FREE Baking Conversion Charts - Measurements & Temperature | The JavaCupcake Blog

Download & Print the Baking Conversion Chart – Measurements & Temperatures

Mini Printable Conversion Chart

Finally, we’ve got a Mini Printable Temperature Conversion Chart below for you to keep close to your oven!  You could easily attach this to a magnet at stick it to your stove top!

FREE PRINTABLE Mini Baking Conversion Charts - Temperature |


Download & Print the Free Mini Temperature Conversion Chart

I really hope you get some great use out of these baking conversion charts!  A huge thank you goes out to the team who designers who made these charts possible!

Graphics by KCPrintables, Grace Harvey Graphics, Citrus&Mint, HoneyClipArt

11 Baker & Blogger Cookbooks I Love |

11 Baker & Blogger Cookbooks I Love

11 Baker & Blogger Cookbooks I Love |

I have a bit of an obsession when it comes to baking books… I love to collect them! I have a big stack of my favorites displayed on the sideboard in my dining room so I can see and enjoy them every day!

I am so incredibly grateful to know so many bakers and bloggers who have written or are writing a cookbook so I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you!  Enjoy this collection of 11 Baker & Blogger Cookbooks I Love!


Currently on Bookshelves

The Secret Lives of Baked Goods: Sweet Stories & Recipes for America’s Favorite Desserts
by Jessie Oleson Moore (CakeSpy)


Trophy Cupcakes and Parties!: Deliciously Fun Party Ideas and Recipes from Seattle’s Prize-Winning Cupcake Bakery
by Jennifer Shea (Trophy Cupcakes)

trophy cupcakes and parties book

Bake It in a Cupcake: 50 Treats with a Surprise Inside
by Megan Seling (Bake it in a Cake)


Gourmet French Macarons: Over 75 Unique Flavors and Festive Shapes (CD Included)
by Mindy Cone (Creative Juice)

Gourmet French Macarons by Mindy Cone

Party Food for Girls: Lovely and Luscious Recipes, Party Ideas, and Styling Tips for Your Next Event
by Mindy Cone (Creative Juice)


Eat More Dessert
by Jenny Keller (jenny cookies)

Jenny Keller - Eat More Dessert

Surprise-Inside Cakes
by Amanda Rettke (i am baker)


Sally’s Baking Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cupcakes, and Desserts for Your Sweet-Tooth Fix
by Sally McKenney (Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Sally's Baking Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cupcakes, and Desserts for Your Sweet-Tooth Fix

For Pre-Order

Smart Cookie: Transform Store-Bought Cookies Into Amazing Treats
by Christi Johnstone (Love from the Oven)

Smart Cookie by Christi Johnstone

Dessert Mashups: Tasty Two-in-One Treats Including Sconuts, S’morescake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie and Many More
by Dorothy Kern (Crazy for Crust)

Crazy for Crust

The Biscoff Cookie and Spread Cookbook: Irresistible Cupcakes, Cookies, Confections, and More
by Katrina Bahl (In Katrina’s Kitchen)


Cupcake Baking Essentials |

Cupcake Baking Essentials & Two Giveaways!

Across the web today, 19 of my food blogger friends and I have put together collections of our favorite baking, cookie, cupcake, and kitchen essentials and TWO giveaways to go with them!

Holiday Blog Scavenger Hunt - WIN a KitchenAid Pro Stand Mixer from!

First, on each blog… you’ll have a chance to win some of that bloggers favorite items.  Once you’ve entered their giveaway… you’ll look for a CLUE that will allow you entry to win a Kitchen Aid Pro Stand Mixer!!   Once you collect all 20 clues, you’ll use the phrase you collected to enter to win the KitchenAid Pro Stand Mixer!

So, grab your coffee and dig in… cause this is going to be FUN!  

Let’s begin with my Cupcake Baking Essentials…

These are just a handful of the tools I use every time I’m in the kitchen to bake a batch of cupcakes.  They range from what I wear to keep me clean to what I bake my cupcakes in!  They are all essentials to my success!

Cupcake Baking Essentials |
  1. 1.  Boojiboo Apron – I own three of these apron and I absolutely LOVE them.  Not only are they cute, but they keep  me clean while baking and cooking.  I use my apron every time I am in the kitchen.
  2. 2.  Wilton Cupcake Pan – I know there are a lot of cupcake pans out there to choose from, but I really like the 12-cup pan from Wilton.  It’s sturdy, inexpensive and does the job well.  No need to spend an arm and a leg on a fancy cupcake pan… this one from Wilton is a winner!
  3. 3.  Martha Stewart Silicone Spatula –  I have half a dozen spatulas in my kitchen, but this red silicone spatula from Martha Stewart is one I go to time and time again.  I love that the handle and the are connected and that it’s super sturdy.  It scrapes well and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a good spatula.
  4. 4. German Wire Whisks – I’ve tried many whisks over the years from metal to silicone… but none of them compare to the wire whisks I found at the Tedi € Store here in Germany.   Not only are they very inexpensive, but they work incredibly well.  I bought several of them and won’t use anything else from now on!
  5. 5. German Cupcake Corer – This was another find at the Tedi € Store.  At only €0.50, this cupcake corer was a real deal!  It works perfectly to get out the centers of cupcakes for filling… and at this price, I can afford to have several!
  6. 6.  German Mixing Bowls – When I bake there’s usually a need for more than just the bowl of the mixer.  These mixing and prep bowls come in handy when I need to sift flour or mix other ingredients before adding them to my mixing bowl.  They’re also great for one-bowl batters and doughs.  I also found these at the Tedi € Store!
  7. 7.  Wilton Disposable Piping Bags – I always pipe the frosting onto my cupcakes and every time, I use a disposable bag.   There’s just something about being able to toss it out when I’m finished with that make these bags so convenient.  They’re a must-have for cupcake making.
  8. 8.  Sweets & Treats Boutique Paper Straws – One of the most easy ways to make your cupcakes adorable is to put a topper on it.  I use these straws to make signs, banners, toppers for my cupcakes.    They come in all kinds of patterns and colors.
  9. 9.  Sweets & Treats Boutique Grease Proof Cupcake Liners – Hands down, these are my most favorite cupcake liners.  Not only do they look incredibly cute on my cupcakes, but they hold their color and pattern… no matter what kind of cake I bake in them.  My good friend, Shannon Harvey of Sweets & Treats Boutique keeps me fully stocked with her liners… which is a good thing, cause I’ll never go back to grocery store liners!

Enter to WIN all my cupcake baking essentials!

Cupcake Baking Essentials Giveaway from So, you want to WIN all of these great cupcake baking essentials?  All you have to do is fill out this form below! Giveaway open to US addresses only.  APO/FPO accepted.  Winner chosen 12/15/13. a Rafflecopter giveaway

KitchenAid Pro Scavenger Hunt!

Holiday Blog Scavenger Hunt - WIN a KitchenAid Pro Stand Mixer from!

Oh my goodness! I’m so excited to be giving away my first Kitchen Aid Pro Stand Mixer to my fabulous readers! Entering to win is easy!  Simply visit all the blogs participating, collect all the clues (in order) and enter the winning phrase below! Remember…. you need to collect all the clues before you can enter to win the KitchenAid Pro Mixer!  If you don’t have the correct phrase from the Scavenger Hunt, your entry will be invalid. Good luck!

Scavenger Hunt Clue: WATCH OUT  
For the clue before this, visit Hungry Happenings  
For the next clue, visit Bella Cupcake Couture
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click on all the blog logos below to enter to win their giveaways and get another Scavenger Hunt code!