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I’ve never quite had a baking center like this but it was a priority when we rebuilt our house. I’ve had various versions of one for a long time and here’s the truth of the matter—-if your supplies are easily accessible and organized, you’ll bake more.  (You might also like a full tour of the kitchen and a  list of my 10 favorite kitchen tools!)

The flour and sugar that are sitting on my counter are practically begging me to bake something. AND, I never run out of stuff because I always know when I need it. So, besides chicken stock, apparently I hoard baking supplies too. But, let’s look on the bright side, there’s always flour.

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So, it’s worth the effort to think through your spaces and see where you could incorporate and organize your supplies. Here’s my advice.

1. Put your highly used items in pretty containers.

I love these large glass jars and I used the champignon font at 200 pt to print off the labels onto plain white paper and then I use packing tape (wide) to tape the labels onto the jars. It’s so simple and though I keep thinking I’ll order real labels someday, these work perfect and I’ll probably never get around to ordering anything official. I store flour, sugar, brown sugar, and powdered sugar like this.

2. Store them on the counter if you can.

I have open shelving for a reason. Life is too short to repeatedly get things out of the cabinet. Can I get an amen? Open and closing doors a hundred times a day makes me crazy. So I eliminate that step so that there are no barriers to cooking for me. I never think to myself, ”Should I drag all that stuff out to make homemade bread?” It’s all out ready to be used. It’s as if I’m making my kitchen stand at attention and be on the ready to work. I love spaces that are pretty but work hard. You’re not just another pretty face, Queen Kitchen. You’ve gotta earn your keep around here. And my family benefits because there’s lots of homemade food.

3. Keep all your baking utensils handy and organized.

The top drawer below my mixer holds all the measuring items, scoopers, disks for my cookie press, shakers filled with cinnamon and powdered sugar, a few frequently used flavorings and extra yeast. I cook and bake all the time so I frequently put the measuring cup right back in there if I’ve just scooped out some flour or sugar. This habit drives my sister crazy, who will come to my house and say, “Why are these measuring cups dirty but still in the drawer?” I just figure I’m probably gonna use it again in 30 seconds so why wash it every single time? It’s just flour. But every time I do it, I think of her and chuckle. I know. I’m a old granny. (It just occurs to me as I look at this photo that my corn skewers are in here. Are you scratching your head wondering how I incorporate those into my baking ritual? Don’t worry. I don’t.)

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The clear/acrylic organizers I use in here are from Target and Walmart. The pull out drawer beside that one has cake/cupcake decorating supplies along with cupcake liners and picks, twine and ribbon, clear plastic bags (for packing up treats to share) and toothpicks.

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In the second drawer down, I store all the rest of my supplies, including liquid measuring cups, salt, baking powder, cocoa, baking soda, corn starch, vanilla, cinnamon, corn syrup, etc.

 

4. Bake with others in mind

It’s so easy, while you’re baking, to put a few items in a bag for someone else or to bake an extra loaf of bread to give away. I keep different sizes of clear bags on hand, lots of plastic containers, along with aluminum loaf pans (see below for links)  so that I can easily give part of what I make away. I never really understood how much it blesses others to cook for them until our house fire. I got so emotional when people brought food to us. Just the thoughtfulness and soul nourishment of it, not to mention the fact that it fulfills such a basic need. I love that about my Southern heritage. We cook for each other. It’s just what we do. My sister is ALWAYS bringing food to people. She’s always making twice the amount of food so she can give some away and I want to teach my girls to be the same way. To cook with others in mind. You don’t realize how special it is until someone does it for you.

And finally, here’s my list of what I stock:

  •  All purpose flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Cake flour
  • Wheat bran and germ
  • Flaxseed meal
  • White sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cocoa
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Corn Starch
  • Corn syrup
  • Flavorings (real not imitation, if I can get them)
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger powder
  • Baking chips of all kinds (chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, dark chocolate, chocolate chunk, you get the idea)
  • Yeast
  • Shortening Evaporated milk, condensed milk Marshmallow cream Pumpkin puree
  • Local honey
  • Dried fruits
  • Molasses
  • Bark chocolate (I love Trader Joe’s brand)

Supplies

Have you ever set up a baking center? Don’t you think you use it much more when it’s accessible? Even if you can’t have a whole space dedicated to baking, rethink your system and see if you can make it easier to use.

Happy baking!

Now that you’re armed and dangerous, you might consider my flourless monster cookies or my best ever chocolate chip cookies!

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Head over to Instagram for a chance at a free copy of my ebook on Hospitality!  Hurry though, the link will expire at 2pm today, EST!

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26 comments on “How to Set Up a Baking Center”

  1. Totally loving this!! I too have a love hate with opening and closing cabinet doors a million times when I’m baking… funny how one 1/2″ thick piece of wood in your way can mean the difference between homemade blueberry muffins versus toaster waffles…! I am so easily deterred! Taking a couple of my doors permanently off has been on the list for some time… I may cross it off this weekend thanks to your inspiring post!! : ) And I’ve been drooling over glass jars like that for a while too… Thanks for the link! ♥

  2. Any tips for small kitchens? I live in Southern California so counter space and BIG kitchens are not easily found along the coast. 🙂

  3. I have a very strict “no dirty item gets put away” policy but I also don’t believe in excess dishwashing. To balance this, I keep measuring cups in my baking supply containers. Mostly 1/2c. That sometimes means 2 scoops of sugar but it’s still less work than washing and putting away.

    Love your blog!

  4. I am a new follower of this blog & I just love it! I enjoy going through previous blog posts and find so much inspiration in what I read. I also live in SoCal where kitchen cabinet and countertop “real estate” is scarce and would love to see some small kitchen tips 🙂

  5. So helpful! Thanks for sharing your tips. I just recently changed up my kitchen to try and make it more functional but the “baking center” needs some tweaking now that I’ve seen yours. 🙂

  6. I love your ideas!! I love to bake, but haven’t got the time or energy. Having a baking center is a great idea to help kick start baking more. I hate dragging all the stuff out of so many cabinets just to make a simple recipe. Love the jar idea too!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  7. After reading your Baking Center post it inspired me to gather all my measuring cups & spoons and biscuit cutters etc. into one drawer. I was just going to do one drawer! Hours later many drawers and the pantry are now organized. Funny how one little thing snowballs. So thank you!!

  8. I have been in love with your baking center since I first saw it on your blog! Thank you for the stocking up list and letting me peek in the drawers!

  9. WONDERFUL thoughts, here! Really, such a helpful post. Practical tips, but I love your spin at the end how we can even use THIS to bless others. Helps remind me to always have an others-focused mindset.

  10. Thanks so much for opening your home and heart and inspiring me to bless my family with acts of love straight from the oven (and my hands :-). Love getting to see what you use and how prepared you are…and, wow, are you prepared! I’m curious about your glass jars…are they 1 or 2 gallon? I’ve been waffling back and forth…any advice on size would be appreciated! Thanks

  11. Hi Edie, Love looking at everything on your site! I love all of the bust, some in bright colors, in your home. Where do you find them? I keep looking and havent been able to find any and I love how you decorate with them. Carolyn

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