I love a good baking session, especially at the holidays, but it’s been a little lackluster this year since I don’t have my family to bake 5 million dozen cookies and bars with. Even though I’ve scaled back the baking, I’ve stayed to my yearly routine of stocking up on baking staples when they are on sale and figured this is the perfect time to share the baking staples I believe every frugal kitchen needs.
The holiday season often offers the best deals on baking supplies so I like to stock up on what I can. Since we have a chest freezer, I can stock up on rolled oats, flour, butter, and cream cheese, and stash them in the freezer until I need them.
If you love to bake but don’t want so many sweets in the house, here are some suggestions for you: take some cookies to a friend or send desserts to work, bake for church functions, include a few treats in teacher gifts, or make a homemade holiday basket for a neighbor.
Baking Staples List for the Frugal Kitchen
Dry Baking Staples
- Flour – I do not buy the cheapest flour. When I am not grinding my own flour, I buy King Arthur unbleached or finely ground whole wheat. They are “local” just 2 hours away in Vermont and I like that they are an employee owned company. For gluten-free baking I love Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour.
- Rolled Oats – If you are looking for a certified gluten-free rolled oat, I gave Happy Oats a try earlier this fall. The quality is great and I love their resealable bags. They also have a variety of oats from steel cut to quick oats.
- White Sugar or Raw Sugar – I prefer raw sugar as it adds a depth of flavor to baked goods that granulated white just doesn’t.
- Powdered Sugar – I’m not thrilled with the results of making my own so I buy it
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Cornstarch – if gluten is a concern make sure you get one that is certified gluten-free.
Refrigerated Baking Staples
- Butter – whatever is on sale and STOCK UP when you can. Throw that butter in containers or plastic bags then freeze. Packaging them helps keep the butter from “collecting” freezer flavors.
- Cream Cheese – stock up when it’s on sale!
- Milk – I prefer baking with whole milk but you can use whatever fat content you prefer
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Eggs – I usually buy large as most recipes call for large eggs
- Molasses – My favorite molasses ginger cookies REQUIRE I buy molasses but I also don’t buy brown sugar so mix 1 tablespoon molasses per cup white/raw sugar to make brown.
- Chocolate Chips
- Peanut Butter/Sun Butter
- Sprinkles (my middle child would be insulted if we didn’t include these!!)
- Vinegar – cheater tip here – I usually add 1 teaspoon vinegar to 1 cup milk and let it sour 5 minutes in place of using buttermilk
- Pure Vanilla Extract – don’t cheap out. Get the good stuff. It makes a world of difference in flavor.
- Salt – I like to buy fine kosher salt*
- Ground Cinnamon*
- Ground Ginger*
- Ground Cloves*
- Nutmeg, whole or ground* ( I like to grate it myself)
- Crystallized Ginger
*If you follow my buying guide for 20 must-have spices for every frugal kitchen you already scored by having these on hand.
Did I miss anything YOUR baking cabinet must have?