Being a great baker is a year-long commitment. In the spring, there’s simnel cake to be made, summertime’s ripe for some pineapple upside down cake and autumn’s all about pumpkin pie and banana bread. What about winter? Bring on the boozy fruit cake.
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You also have to factor in year-round staples: freshly baked bread, Victoria sponge cake, shortbread and sweet treats that come from further afield, like baklava and Turkish delight.
But if being a great baker’s a lot of work, harder still is being a great baker’s colleague, friend or family member. The arduous task of constantly tasting all the glorious creations you’re given? Gruelling work, but you soldier on, encourage and eat.
If your charity doesn’t end there, there’s more you can do than taste test to level up your loved one’s baking. You could get them a non-stick gift for no more ‘biscuits stuck to baking tray’ nightmares. If they love baking bread, a cloche is a hunk of earthenware that emulates a bread oven, or you could opt for the fanciest measurement converter around.
We’ve picked nine of the best gifts for bakers around.
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Best gifts for bakers
1. Silicon non-stick baking mats
Any baker knows greaseproof paper isn’t non-stick, and when you try and use it because you’re out of baking paper, horror ensues. Biscuits get stuck and cakes look like carnage, ripping in half as you try and prise them out of their baking tin.
Now, you never have to run into that problem again, thanks to silicon non-stick baking mats. These easy to clean floppy life-savers are ideal liners for a baking tray of biscuits, and you can even get them in round shapes for pizzas and cakes too.
2. Bread making kit
If bread is more your gift recipient’s thing, this bread making kit is the ideal way to take their loaves from middle of the road to upper crust. The kit contains a banneton proofing basket with a linen liner, so crusts will have that gloriously artisanal spiral finish on the top.
There’s also a bread lame scoring tool, so they can score pre-baked bread and create beautiful patterns that bloom in the oven. More of a baguette fan? Luckily there’s a baguette pan in the box, as well as a professional dough cutter and bowl scraper too, for easy slicing, segmenting and scooping.
3. Lékué 300 ml Bread Maker
If your friend’s a messy baker who needs to just consolidate a bit, then the Lékué 300 ml Bread Maker could be the perfect gift. In this single silicone bowl, bread can be mixed, proved (the raising process), kneaded, proved again, shaped and finally, baked.
Yep - it can be baked in the bowl, so a freshly baked loaf of bread could result in as little as one big item to wash up! If that’s not worth the £19.99 asking price, we don’t know what is.
Bread bakers who don’t have bread ovens need cloches in their lives, it’s that simple. This earthenware bell-shaped baking tool consists of a rimmed base and a lid.
Heat it up, put your proved bread on it, cover it and say goodbye to bready dough and hello to a beautiful, crusty artisanal loaf. The base acts like a pizza stone, making the bottom of the loaf spring up at the sides. Meanwhile, the lid locks in steam, so you get the best crust possible this side of a professional bakery.
5. Bogey man egg seperator
We’ve had enough serious gifts for this round-up, it’s time for a bit of novelty. This mug may look like someone under the weather, but it’s so much more. Fill it up with eggs, tip it to the side a little, and the whites stream from the ailing gent’s nose like… well, bogey.
Horrible and handy in equal measure, it’s a perfect gift for kids or grandkids who want to get into baking, but haven’t quite mastered the art of egg separating yet.
6. Cake decorating kit
This won’t be one for the expert cake master, but the Kalane cake decorating kit packs almost everything you need to hit the ground running and create decorated cake sensations.
It has everything from piping bags to palette knives for fine-tuned frosting, a horizontal cake cutter for perfect sandwich cakes and even a flower nail for anyone who wants to try out some pro techniques. With plenty more in this kit and a £15.99 asking price, it’s excellent value and an ideal springboard into becoming a cake boss.
7. Matroska measuring cups
Measuring is arguably the least enjoyable part of baking, but it needn't be with these fun measuring cups. The 6-cup set goes from a quarter of a cup, through to 1-cup measures.
As the name suggests, they look like Matroska Russian dolls, with one cup fitting inside the other for space-saving storage. The bottoms and tops of each doll are also flattened, so not only do the Matroska dolls stand on her heads - but all the measures are self-standing too.
8. Unicorn scales
If you’ve been searching for a gift for a prince, princess or anyone in between who wants their bakes to be the prettiest, sparkliest things that ever existed, you can stop here. Household name Salter has put the magic into measuring, launching a set of unicorn scales.
Don’t be disarmed by the rainbows, this thing means business, with a premium finish, big, easy to read numbers and a battery included in the box.
9. Amazon Echo Show
Without a doubt, the handiest thing in our kitchen when our hands are loaded up with dough is the Echo Show - a voice-activated dream.
“Alexa, what’s 280 degrees Fahrenheit in centigrade?”
“Alexa, show me a recipe for vegan chocolate cake”
“Alexa, play the Great British Bake Off soundtrack”
If you’re looking for a useful techy gift for your star baker who struggles with conversions and loves to bake to tunes, then fun meets function in this range of voice assistants.