GBBO Is Back! Here’s Everything You Need To Bake Along

Get that baking tin out… you’ve got a technical to do!

Two tea/coffee cups decorated with a red heart on one and a blue heart on the other. In front stands a cupcake in a Union Jack case with white icing swirled on top and decorated with a mini-Union Jack flag.

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

If you’re looking to unleash your inner baker, look no further. The Great British Bake Off is back – and what better time to dust off your apron and give it a go yourself? Throughout the TV show, the contestants battle it out in the kitchen, where they can perfect their skills and face tricky technical challenges – with a dash of drama. So, we’ve got some baking tray-friendly essentials to help you bake along.

If you’ve got a special occasion coming up – or just want an afternoon treat – there’s nothing better than something you’ve baked, with love, in your oven. To achieve a truly successful bake, you need to have the right equipment. Not only that, baking is a science - not like cooking, where you can eyeball ingredients to your taste. No, a baking recipe is a formula that you have to stick to. Following a recipe with great tools in tow is very important...

From cakes to biscuits, A Modern Kitchen has rounded up lots of baking essentials to inspire your teatime during the Bake-Off season. We've taken inspiration from the show and have separated it by which baking product a piece of kit is needed for. Put the kettle on - and prepare yourself for some sweet treats. Ready, steady, bake!

Baking Essentials for a GBBO Bake-Off

Cake Week

Firstly, we have the essentials for cakes! From serrated serving knives to cake dishes, we've got everything you need to impress your loved ones. Get baking! And - you'll have fluffy, light and tasty treats in no time.

Best for baking a sponge

This Pyrex Magic Spring Form Cake Tin is the perfect pick if you’re looking to get baking. For its money, it’s fabulous. The tin has a quick-release clasp and loose bottom, allowing you to easily remove your bake. Why not try a trusty Victoria sponge? Made with carbon steel and non-stick, this cake tin is oven safe up to 250 degrees and dishwasher-safe. Your cakes are sure to be a hit.

Customer Review: “I needed a large cake tin to make the base of a 2-tier cake. This is perfect and the price was exceptional.”

Pros

  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Non-stick coating

Cons

  • Some customers have trouble cleaning

Best baking tin for traybakes

Wilton Rectangle Cake Tin
Price: $12.83
Alternative retailers
Blain Farm & Fleet$5.99View offer

This Wilton Rectangle Cake Tin will surely help you to win over your loved ones. After all, traybakes are great for any occasion - from birthdays to tea parties. If you want to experiment with baking, this tin is great for layering and decorating your cakes. Non-stick for easy release, this tray is easy to clean and boasts even cooking.

Customer Review: “I bought this after reading good reviews and they were spot on. This is a heavy, solid pan. I made an apple sponge without even greasing the pan and was able to tip it out clean. The spots left washed away easily with a non-scratch scourer, although I'm sure even a cloth would have done the job. The coating isn't like standard so-called non-stick. It has an almost greasy feel. I would have been happy paying double for it.”

Pros

  • Non-stick coating
  • Easy to clean and store

Cons

  • It no longer comes with a lid

Best piping set for decorating cakes

Feeling creative? This pack of Piping Bags and Nozzles (Set of 9) will literally help you put the icing on the cake. (Get it?) If you're thinking of topping your cakes with frosting or buttercream, having a piping bag and nozzles in your kitchen is essential. We love this set! It comes with six stainless steel icing tips, two reusable piping bags as well and one plastic coupler.

Customer Review: “Excellent!! I love everything about this piping bag. So easy to set up, so if you're a beginner at piping then the easy steps in the post will have you set up and ready to use in no time. The bag itself is thick and durable, not cheap and thin material like I've had before. So easy to clean also and comes with a good, few nozzles. Would definitely recommend it.”

Pros

  • Good value set
  • Bags are reusable
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • Piping takes a while to master – be patient, bakers

Best cordless hand mixer

If you want to avoid whipping up cake batter and buttercream by hand, a good mixer is a good choice. Even better, this KitchenAid Cordless Hand Mixer 5KHMB732 - Almond is cordless – so no pesky wires are getting in the way of your whisking. Impressive, this hand mixer has seven different speeds for folding, whisking, mixing and beyond! Powerful and rechargeable, this handy kitchen appliance is a favourite of ours.

Customer Review: “This is a really good piece of equipment. I bake regularly and find this has been an added bonus. It’s great not having a cord to deal with. The beaters are gentle but effective. The charge lasts two large cakes plus filling and a Yorkshire pudding. There is a warning light giving you time to sort out charging. I’m delighted with the results of this.”

Pros

  • Cordless for easy use
  • Warning light for charging
  • Seven different speeds

Cons

  • A little heavy
  • No safety button

Best stand mixer

Want to look professional like the GGBO contestants? A stand mixer will complete the look. Your kitchen will start to look like the infamous tent. It’s a great pick if you’re getting serious about your baking – or just want one less job to do. Mixing can be hard! There are three mixing heads to choose from: a whisk, beater and dough hook. Plus, the KitchenAid 5K45SSBOB Classic Stand Mixer is a multipurpose appliance as it can mince meat, too.

Customer Review: “Anyone that has ever owned a KitchenAid product, should know, that this is one of the best! Look out for sales, as the mixer is a bit on the expensive side, but you'll never look back after getting one of these! It will make everything so much easier and once you get the hang of it, you can start building your attachment collection. that can help you with various other tasks, such as making fresh pasta from scratch, or creating that perfect burger patty with just the right amount of fat and meats in the meat grinder! So versatile! I recommend every kitchen have one of these! You will never regret this purchase!”

Pros

  • Multipurpose appliance
  • A good value mixer

Cons

  • A few, minor issues with the bowl and blade with some customers.

Best spatulas for spreading icing

Spatulas are a great multi-purpose tool to have in your kitchen drawer. This Silicone Spatula (Set of 4) is great value – and perfect to stash in your kitchen drawers. They’re ideal for mixing, as well as putting buttercream and other smooth icings onto cakes for the ultimate decoration. We love them.

Customer Review: “This set of four brightly coloured spatulas is perfect for baking. The clear plastic handles are nice and strong and the colourful silicone heads are flexible enough to cream and stir ingredients perfectly. I purchased these for use at preschool. We encourage the children to learn skills such as baking, and these spatulas are small and light enough for their little hands. The bright colours are especially appealing to them.”

Pros

  • Good value spatula set
  • Versatile use

Cons

  • Better for baking, than cooking

Recommended for cake-making

Flexible Palette Knife
Price: £4.96 (was £8)

www.hartsofstur.com

If we’re honest: no cake is complete without decoration! So - a palette knife is essential if you are going for a nice, smooth finish. This stainless-steel Flexible Palette Knife from Sabatier is ideal for putting silky chocolate ganache onto cakes that will leave a perfectly mirrored finish. We bet you’re picturing it right now. The handle also has a firm grip making it super comfortable to use during decorating.

Customer Review: “A useful addition to any kitchen. Good for children and persons with dexterity issues to use. Substantial, comfortable, ergonomic handle with a wide-based scalloped blade on one side. Makes spreading margarine on toast or that mountain of sandwiches for lunch a breeze. The blade design avoids the risk of accidentally cutting yourself during use. Highly recommended.”

Pros

  • Comfy, ergonomic handle
  • Multiple uses in cake making
  • A sleek, stylish addition

Cons

  • Make sure your hands are dry when you use this utensil

Best cake server knives

If you want to cut your cakes with ease, then having a cake server knife in the kitchen is a must. This Stainless Steel Server Knife (Pack of 5) from RayPard is of great value. They have a serrated edge to cut through pastries and cakes with ease. Plus, they would make a perfect addition to afternoon teas with loved ones.

Customer Review: “Pretty amazing what you can get for several pounds these days. Cake knives are of very good quality, thick, stainless steel, look great and had no issues after multiple rounds in a dishwasher.”

Pros

  • Easy to clean in the dishwasher
  • Serrated edges for cutting

Cons

  • Handles are rather thin

Biscuit Week

Next, Biscuit Week. We've listed the top baking essentials to make tasty treats to dip in your tea.

Go on, put the kettle on!

Best rolling pin for baking

This rolling pin has a 28cm rolling surface and is made from silicone. Coming with a comfortable grip, this is a great buy for any baking enthusiast. Featuring a red colourway, this Dunelm Silicone Red Rolling Pin produces smooth and even pastry. Plus, a non-stick coating helps food to not stick while rolling. Handy as ever, it's dishwasher-safe.

Pros

  • Non-stick silicone
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • No customer reviews

Best flour dredger for baking

Kitchen-Craft, Icing Sugar Shaker
Price: $20.65

Ensure your biscuit dough doesn't stick to any surfaces with this Kitchen-Craft Flour Dredger. This evenly distributes flour onto worktops ready for any dough to be rolled and cut into shapes. Give your sides a dusting before you roll.

Customer Review: “Very sturdy and neat looking. Will be perfect for sifting my flour and icing sugar over surfaces/items. My only complaint is that I thought I could get away with a quick wipe inside with anti-bac before use, but the cloth was black! They definitely need washing prior to use.”

Pros

  • Good quality dredger
  • Choose from medium or fine mesh

Cons

  • Stuff to open for some
  • Clean before use

Best cooling racks for baking

After your cookies or biscuits have been in the oven, they need a place to cool off. What better way to cool them off than a cooling rack? This Tala Non-Stick Cake Cooling Tray is great value, boasting a non-stick coating for easy removal. This durable tray from Tala is specially designed to allow steam to evaporate from all surfaces.

Customer Review: "Great Cooling Rack. Non-stick and good size for two 8-inch round cakes or 12 cupcakes. Easy to clean. Good value for money."

Pros

  • Non-stick coating
  • Good value cooling rack

Cons

  • Unspecified cleaning

Best mixing bowl for baking

Mason Cash In The Forest S30 Red Mixing Bowl

Rrp: $35.62

Price: $30.00
Alternative retailers
Target$40.00View offer
Wayfair$48.88View offer
Macy's$70.99View offer

We love this traditional mixing bowl from Mason Cash. Not only does this ceramic bowl look aesthetically pleasing to display in any kitchen, but it's also a great size for whipping up batter. The Mason Cash In The Forest Red Mixing Bowl is durable and very pretty. Plus, the beautiful, embossed design provides a perfect grip.

Customer Review: “Nice traditional mixing bowl - solid and heavy and a good size. I just need to not drop it as it’s breakable!"

Pros

  • Pretty, forest-like design
  • Great size for batter

Cons

  • Handwash only

Bread Week

Get bread-y to make delightful loaves this autumn. There is quite nothing like dipping a slice of homemade bread into your favourite bowl of soup... How does that sound? Perfect, we know!

We've listed the essential kit for baking your own bread below...

Best loaf tin for baking bread

If you feel the urge to bake some traditional loaves, this Lakeland 2lb Loaf Tin will make the process a breeze. Non-stick, this tin is perfect for achieving great, well-cooked bread at home. Plus, it comes with sure-grip handles for a firm hold with handy fill lines for a perfect, tin-filling rise. We love this addition from Lakeland.

Customer Review: “This is a high-quality loaf tin, with even heat distribution that ensures a loaf is uniformly cooked through. Very big quality non-stick means bread does not stick and is very easy to clean. I am very happy with this.”

Pros

  • Non-stick coating
  • Easy to clean
  • Sure-grip handles

Cons

  • Smaller loaves

Best bread-proofing basket

Bake Off fans will know just how vital the proving process is as bakers eagerly wait to see if their bread has risen. This Round Bread Proofing Basket will help to absorb moisture and create an impressive, crusty artisan bread. The set also includes a liner cloth, a flexible dough scraper, and a bread lame.

Customer Review: “This is a great starter to get you baking bread. If you haven't made a simple bread or Sourdough Bread before, then I suggest you watch some YouTube videos and then try with this great starter kit. I am a beginner in bread making and the first time wasn't so successful, but I got better by the third time. My family and I make bread at least once a week and it's great fun.”

Pros

  • Kitted out for artisan bread
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Don’t be disheartened – it takes a few tries before you get it right

Best baking tin for Focaccia

Masterclass, Baking/Roasting Tray - 35 x 24 cm
Price: $33.15

If GBBO’s bread week has inspired you to create your own focaccia loaded with the flavours of your choice, then these tins are a great pick. Focaccia is great and so versatile. This Masterclass Baking/Roasting Tray is non-stick and a decent size to spread out your bread. Go on, add anything: from olives to cheeses.

Customer Review: “Just wanted to chime in with all the other reviews, indeed this tin is excellent. It's heavy, solid, non-stick and in a size that is suitable for multiple uses. I've used it for big cakes, Swiss roll sponge but also roasts with potatoes. A week ago, I was invited to a friend’s party, made a cake, and took it in this tin. The cake was OK and once it was complemented enough, everyone focused on the tin and how great it looked. Well, it's the kind of tin that impresses people - if you ever thought there is such a thing.”

Pros

  • Made from robust steel
  • Fridge and freezer-safe
  • Easy to clean and use

Cons

  • A little heavy

Best tool for dividing up dough

From Lakeland, this handy dough scraper will help you separate your dough if you're making anything from rolls to mini baguettes. It's sharp, firm and flat, making it easy to divide dough. Give it a go if you need extra help diving up your dough. With a non-slip, soft plastic handle and sharp steel blade, you're in for a treat.

Customer Review: “I've watched TV chefs using this and thought how useful it looked. So, I finally bought this one and my goodness, there are so many things you can use it for as well: for pastry and dough. I find it particularly useful for scraping up vegetables after I've chopped them. Yet another great buy from Lakeland.”

Pros

  • Versatile tool
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Not dishwasher safe

Best Pyrex bowl for mixing

Pyrex Glass Bowl, 3L
Price: $32.89

This Pyrex Glass Bowl is perfect for mixing all the ingredients needed to make your bread. With a three-litre depth, you won't have to worry about any spillages or mess. Plus, you can pop smaller bowls inside to make extra space in your cupboards. You can’t get any more robust than Pyrex.

Customer Review: “It is a big bowl, it holds lots of liquids, semi-liquids and hard stuff all very well. The bowl is see-through. I used it in the microwave quite often to make frozen mashed potatoes (yes, I know, I know, I am lazy and I should mash the potatoes myself) but for the purpose of this review, I can assure you it does a good job in the microwave with the mashed potatoes.”

Pros

  • Dishwasher and freezer-safe
  • Reliable, trustworthy brand
  • Stackable with other glass bowls

Cons

  • Not shatterproof

Dessert Week

Got a sweet tooth? Indulge in a homemade pudding instead...

A Modern Kitchen has all the best equipment for your dessert needs.

Best kitchen scales for baking

Having a great scale to hand is essential, particularly if you want to achieve precision in your bakes. This Salter Digital Kitchen Scale is the perfect pick to make weighing any ingredients easy and simple. It features an 'Add & Weigh' function allowing you to weigh multiple ingredients in the same bowl.

Customer Review: “I had no hesitation in buying these for my daughter given as already have a set of them. An excellent all-around set of digital scales that have given me no problem and are used 4 times a day every day. I have had them for around 6 or 7 years and can't say a thing against them. Good value for money.”

Pros

  • Good value kitchen tool
  • Easy-to-read LCD display
  • Sleek, easy to store

Cons

  • None we can think of!

Best pudding basins for dessert

Next on the list, are desserts. If you’re a big fan of something sweet after your dinner, you could do no wrong getting some mini pudding moulds. Often making an appearance during the technical challenge, pudding bowls provide easy ways to shape (and look after) your Big Finish. We suggest making a delicious (and rather naughty) chocolate pot – or a delectable sticky toffee pudding. These Mini Pudding Basins (Set of 4) from Lakeland are oven-safe and easy to use.

Customer Review: “I bought these to make individual nut roasts for the veggies among us at Christmas. They are lightweight but sturdy and were ideal for the purpose; they are now sitting in the freezer! I can see them being useful for individual portions of many things.”

Pros

  • Oven-safe basins
  • Boast even heat

Cons

  • Sometimes, four isn’t enough - grab two sets

Best cake stand for your desserts

Made from white fine bone china, this stand is a treat. Though expensive, this Wedgwood Cuckoo 3-Tier Cake Stand is sturdy, exquisitely painted and will look fabulous, adorned with cakes and desserts. It has a stunningly detailed design that will perfectly look after your treats. No matter what you want to display, this stand is up for the job.

Pros

  • Exquisitely designed
  • Durable, part of a set

Cons

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Not shatterproof

Best measuring spoons for baking

Magnetic Measuring Spoons
Price: $15.97

One thing about baking: measurements have to be accurate. So, with these Magnetic Measuring Spoons, you can measure teaspoons, tablespoons and more to make sure you have everything suitable for your teatime sweet treats. A Modern Kitchen loves this set because they’re magnetic (pop on your fridge or extractor fan) and have two ends – one for dry ingredients, and the other for liquids.

Customer Review: “If you’ve read any of my reviews, you’ll learn that I break a lot of kitchen implements by smashing them whilst in a cooking frenzy. These ones are lovely and stack really nicely. They’re magnetic and I’m planning on attaching them to a magnetic board to save even more storage space. I like how they’re 2 sided for liquids and powders, or 2 liquids or 2 powders so you don’t double dip?! 10/10 wouldn’t get oil in my turmeric again.”

Pros

  • Double-sided for liquid or dry
  • Magnetism is storage-saving

Cons

  • A gentle wash is preferred for cleaning

Pastry Week

Lastly, we have Pastry Week. Here, the bakers are met with some tough challenges. What will they face? Fiddly filo pastry? Leaky pies? A soggy bottom? We've listed some baking essentials to avoid any pastry problems.

Best piping bags for baking

When it comes to getting your bakes looking as neat as possible, having strong and durable piping bags to hand is essential. These large Bakery Direct Recyclable Piping Bags (100) are perfect for piping batter as well as fillings. They’re professional-quality, food-grade piping bags, great for cake decorating – and much more.

Customer Review: “These piping bags are huge! Much bigger than a regular piping bag, which is great when you've got a big batch of meringue or buttercream to pipe. Super durable and it's great that they are recyclable. My last roll of bags lasted me 4 years so really great value for money.”

Pros

  • Each bag holds about 2 litres
  • 100% recyclable
  • Great pack size

Cons

  • Tricky to master – make sure to practice beforehand

Best piping tips for cake decorating

Large Cake Decorating Piping Tips (Pack of 4)
Price: $43.76

Having a good selection of piping tips is always super handy – no matter what you’re doing. They’re good for finishing touches – or for making some interesting treats. These Large Cake Decorating Piping Tips (Pack of 4) have large open and closed star nozzles that are perfect for piping anything from chouxnuts to other pastries or give churros a go.

Customer Review: “I'm a beginner, but I love these I made churros and they came out amazing. I can't wait to make cupcakes, when cleaning them it's easy but I sometimes stab myself with it but you get that with them all, would recommend.”

Pros

  • Versatile – has many uses
  • Durable baking essential

Cons

  • Be careful of the sharp edges

Best digital thermometer for baking pastries

A thermometer is a kitchen must if you’re making jams and fillings for your pastries. With one of these ThermoPro, TP02S Digital Thermometers, you will ensure that your treats aren’t overcooked. A Modern Kitchen recommends this versatile ThermoPro as it is easy to use and clean and with an instant read, you’ll be super happy with it.

Customer Review: “I love this product. The screen is easy to read and once it finds the temperature it stays fixed. It's easy to switch between Fahrenheit or centigrade, whichever you prefer, with the button on the back. It’s easy to clean - wash the probe and obviously keep digital housing dry. The battery is included, and the metal probe comes with a holder. My only criticism is, unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a temperature chart. I luckily kept the chart from my previous temperature gauge. This is a replacement and a different model, and much better to be honest.”

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Use for a BBQ

Cons

  • No temperature chart – you can find one online

Who is on GBBO this year?

The new series of The Great British Bake Off will likely start in mid-September, on Channel 4.

Baking FAQs

Baking is so much fun. Shows like Bake Off have inspired us to become Star Bakers at home. But, you're bound to have some questions, especially if you're a newbie. Luckily, we spoke with Baking Expert and Founder of Candy's Cupcakes, Candice Bannister, who has answered some of your burning questions about baking...

What’s the difference between baking soda and baking powder?

Perhaps, the most common baking mistake of all... Believe it or not, they are different from one another. So, what are these two products? Candice has some answers for us: "They are similar, however, baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, whereas baking powder includes powdered acid, as well as sodium bicarbonate. You’ll find that recipes that don’t already have an acidic component, will say to use baking soda."

What’s a good egg substitute for baking?

Vegan and dairy-free baking seems to be on the rise, with more of us seeing dairy-free alternatives on the shelves. But, how can we replace eggs? Banas and chickpea water (known as aquafaba) are the answers, says Candice. However, "most supermarkets now sell egg replacer in a powder form and the brand Oggs offer an egg alternative."

We can vouch for Oggs, it's a great replacement.

Is an electric mixer better than a wooden spoon?

Perhaps, you reasking: Is it worth getting a hand or stand mixer?

This depends on what you're baking, says Candice. Better suited to cake recipes, electric mixtures have the "ability to ‘fluff up’ the mixture and create a smooth finish, as well as being more time efficient". Pretty cool, huh?

On the other hand, thicker mixtures will prefer a wooden spoon. For example, scones - their mixture needs to be folded and "using a wooden spoon will allow you to have better control and greater precision."

Piper Huxley is a Homes, Gardens and Wellness Product Writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in cookware. When she’s not cooking up a storm in the kitchen, Piper is re-watching a TV show or listening to a podcast.

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