Tis the season for holiday baking! It’s time to fill our kitchens and inundate our friends and family with all the Christmas cookies, cakes, pies, loaves, rolls, peppermint bark, gingerbread, I could go on and on and on. I love baking all year round, but baking at the holidays just feels more special, especially if you’re doing it with someone you love. It’s a great way to warm up on a snowy winter day, celebrate your family traditions, or surprise someone you love with a handmade gift.
But before you grab the flour and start cracking eggs, make sure you’re set with all the holiday baking essentials you need to make festive sweets treats all season. I’ve got the ultimate checklist below, from holiday hand towels and oven mitts, to the basic tools you’ll need for all your winter baking recipes.
SALE ALERT! Lots of my finds below come from Sur La Table, which is currently having its Friends and Family Event – So you can save 20% with the code Friends20.
*This post contains affiliate links. That means I may get a small commission if you purchase something. I only recommend products I love and trust! For more on ETL’s policies, see HERE.
Sheet Pans & Cooling Racks
You can’t make Christmas cookies without sheet pans. Rimmed baking pans are a must in any kitchen, and probably more than one. You want them to be really big and extra sturdy to withstand all those trips to the oven. I love the durability of the Nordic Ware Naturals set. And once your cookies and breads come out of the oven, they’ll need somewhere to cool. Stainless steel cooling racks will be your best friend. You can also use them in the oven for making things like candied bacon without the sticky burnt mess.
A Sturdy Rolling Pin
Another baking staple, a sturdy rolling pin will last you practically forever. And they aren’t hard to find in a variety of materials. I am particularly fond of marble rolling pins, because they are nice and sold, and the smooth surface is super easy to clean (plus they just look so chic). This one from Crate & Barrel also comes with its own little stand, so you never have to worry about it rolling off the counter.
*Shop this Rolling Pin at Crate & Barrel.
Holiday Cookie Cutters
Are you even holiday baking if you don’t have Christmas shaped cookie cutters? You’ve gotta have the classics: gingerbread men, Christmas trees, Santa hats, snowmen and mittens. These sets featured above are both under $15, and come in all the festive shapes you need.
A Festive Apron
No matter what you’re making, it doesn’t feel like holiday baking without a festive apron. Plus, decorating cookies and gingerbread houses can be quite a messy affair. You can go girly and cute with a ruffled apron, stay cozy with classic prints, or opt for something cheeky that pairs perfectly with the glass of sparkling wine that will be glued to your hand during the holidays.
An Electric Hand Mixer
You’ve probably already got this in your kitchen, but if not, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on an electric hand mixer to help you tackle your holiday baking projects. From creaming butter and sugar together for cookies, to whipping up homemade whipped cream, this gadget will save you tons of energy in your baking endeavors. This one from Cuisinart comes in a crisp white color, and has five speed settings. Plus, it’s marked down to just $50 bucks….before adding the Sur La Table sale discount.
Shop the Cuisinart Electric Hand Mixer at Etsy.
A Holiday Pie Dish
It’s hard to imagine a holiday season without pies. Serve them up with spirit with a bright, bold, festive pie dish. You can find ones with Holiday designs on them all over… but encourages shopping for substance and not just style when it comes to a pie dish. This one by friend brand Emile Henry is a favorite. It’s super heat resistant, as well as scratch-resistant. And that red color reminds me of Rudolph’s nose.
Shop this Holiday Pie Dish At Sur La Table.
Christmas Cookie Gift Bags
The only thing to do with batches upon batches of holiday baked goods is to give them away to friends and family! Make it easy and cute with inexpensive, disposable treat bags. Etsy is stocked full of them, and I’ve featured a few of my favorites here.
A Muffin Pan
Everyone needs a solid muffin pan. From muffins to cupcakes to mini-quiches, there are endless possibilities with what you can do with this kitchen basic. This muffin pan from Nordic Ware Naturals is made from super sturdy aluminum, so it won’t bend and warp after multiple rounds of baking.
Shop this Muffin Pan at Sur La Table.
A Silicon Baking Mat
If you really want to step up your baking game like the pros, then you need a silicon baking mat. It’s ideal for making sticky doughs, gooey batters, and all kinds of homemade candy, from pralines to chocolate bark, without creating a huge mess. This one from Silpat is made from durable food-grade silicone, helps promote airflow and even heating, and it’s dishwasher safe.
Shop this Silicon Baking Mat at Sur La Table.
A Pastry Cutter
This little gadget will change your life. Making perfect biscuits and pastry dough is dependent on cutting cold butter into your dry ingredients, and nothing makes it easier than a tried and true pastry cutter. This one from Crate & Barrel is dishwasher safe and under $10 bucks.
Shop this Pastry Cutter at Crate & Barrel.
Mixing bowls are a must for any baker, but why not make them festive. I’m loving Crate & Barrels line of holiday kitchen tools this season, featuring fun red stripes with a bright green accent. These bowls are offered in a large and small size, and I recommend stocking up on both (maybe even two of each).
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Baking calls for precise measurements, so measuring spoons and cups are another necessity of the holiday baking season. These festive sets, which match the mixing bowls above, remind me of cute little candy canes. These sets come with your basic measuring sizes, and are ceramic and dishwasher safe.
Pastry Decorating Essentials
Take your gingerbread house game to the next level with a full on pastry decorating kit. This one from Sur La Table comes with a pastry bag, plus 12 different icing tubes, and includes instructions and recipes, and it’s only $20 bucks!! This kit can also help you create beautifully frosted cakes and cookies all season long.
Shop this Pastry Bag & Decorating Kit at Sur La Table.
A Pie Crust Shield
This has got to be the most ingenious baking invention. Pie crust can be finicky, and while the center is baking up to a flaky golden brown, the edges can become quickly burnt. My solution usually involves fighting with some sheets of foil to create makeshift crust guards. But no more. This silicone pie shield is adjustable and easy to fit around any pie crust. Plus it’s dishwasher safe. No more struggle and no more wasted foil.
Shop this Adjustable Pie Shield at Sur La Table.
Festive Oven Mitts & Pot Holders
It’s just not as fun pulling your holiday treats out of the oven with a regular old oven mitt. Upgrade with a festive set of potholders for the holiday baking season. I’m loving these cozy flannel patterned pieces from Crate & Barrel.
Holiday Dish Towels
All that flour dusting, dough kneading, and cookie decorating will make for some messy hands (and everything else too!). Make sure you’ve got some festive dish towels on hand to help with the messes. These simple red and green striped towels from Williams-Sonoma are cute and made of 100% Turkish cotton.
Shop these Dish Towels at Williams-Sonoma.
A Christmas Cookie Jar
It’s not the holidays without a Christmas cookie jar. Maybe you’ve got a family cookie jar that comes out every year, or maybe you need to shop for this holiday kitchen staple. But either way, a prominent cookie jar is a must for this time of year. Both Santa and myself insist on it. I love this one from Crate & Barrel, also part of their holiday stripe collection. It’s ceramic with an easy-to-grab lid, and a festive little snowflake on top.
Shop this Christmas Cookie Jar at Crate & Barrel.
A Joyful Spatula
Rubber spatulas are essential for baking, and not just at the holidays, to help scrape every last bit of cookie dough, cake batter or frosting. This one from Crate & Barrel is clearing sparking joy, and it’s the perfect addition to your holiday baking supplies.
Shop this Joy Spatula at Crate & Barrel.
The Perfect Serving Platter
Your holiday baking session is not complete until you’ve displayed your beautiful and tasty treats for everyone to marvel at before digging in. That calls for the perfect holiday serving dish. This platter from Anthropologie is my new favorite this season. It’s festive and intricate and has so many beautiful colors, plus a classy gold rim.
Shop this Holiday Serving Platter at Anthropologie.