Baking is a lot of fun, and it’s also a fantastic way to foster your creativity and sharpen your skills. Whether it’s as a hobby, or you’re planning to start a home-based business, a proper baking station offers a whole lot of convenience.

From essential equipment to storage space, here’s how to design and build the ultimate baking station at home.

Materials

As with any do-it-yourself (DIY) project, you’ll want start by planning the materials required for your baking station. Quartz and marble are popular choices for the countertop as they keep your butter cold while you’re prepping dough or working it into a recipe. 

Once you’ve chosen your countertop surface material, consider how to spruce up the wall behind it. Beadboard or shiplap painted in a charming color is a fabulous choice. Alternatively, you can install a tile backsplash to add some flair and keep the walls easy-to-clean and protected from damage.

Placement

Once you’ve decided on the materials, it’s time to think about where your baking station will be. Here are a few ideas to inspire you.

Under a window: If your sink isn’t already taking up this space, consider placing your baking station under a sunny window so you can enjoy the view while you bake.

Kitchen island: Your kitchen island can easily double as a baking station. But make sure you have space to store everything when they are not in use. A stepped-down section with a lower countertop installed on one side of your island is a great option too.

End of the kitchen island: An alternative is to create an extension of your island with wheels so you can roll it out, then tuck it away when you’re finished. Just be sure that the extension is lower than the island so that you have room to roll it under.

Add on to your kitchen: If you have the budget and the time, a complete extension of your kitchen is an excellent way to designate a particular area just for baking. Always consider the pros and cons of additions or extensions to your home before committing to this type of projects.

Pullout shelf: For those short on extra space, a large pullout shelf can double as a counter for your baking endeavours. You can also designate specific cabinets in your kitchen for ingredients, tools, and accessories.

Height

Your baking station’s height is important since you need to be able to comfortably mix ingredients, knead dough and perform other baking-related tasks.

When designing the station, keep in mind that the counters should be lower than the rest of your kitchen countertops. Table, or waist-height is ideal, which is approximately 30 to 32 inches. If you plan to use an existing table, you can cut the legs to height for better functionality.

Ensure that anything with wheels has a locking mechanism, so it stays securely in place.

Equipment

If you plan to experiment with different recipes, you’ll need a variety of tools.

Electric stand mixer: Perfect for all kinds of dough and batters.

Hand mixer: When baking in smaller batches, a hand mixer may be more convenient.

Whisk: While a motorised mixer may seem like the superior choice, a hand whisk is still necessary to gain a better control when you’re mixing delicate spreads.

Cream chargers: Cream chargers ease the process of whipping cream and increases the chances of

Measuring cups and spoons: Stock measuring cups for both wet and dry ingredients as well as measuring spoons for accuracy when you bake.

Wooden spoon and rubber spatula: These tools make it easy to fold ingredients together and scrape your bowls without damaging them.

Baking pans: From cookie sheets to pie plates, you’ll need a variety of baking pans in different sizes and materials, depending on what you love to bake.

Rolling pin: A rolling pin is perfect for rolling your dough to the desired thickness.

Wire rack: A wire rack helps your baked goods cool faster and prevents condensation from forming underneath them, which will turn them soggy.

Pastry brush: A pastry brush makes it easy to add a light layer of butter or egg wash on biscuits, puff pastry dough, and pie crusts. This handy baking tool is also great if you want to apply a glaze, syrup, or another sugary coating on top of cookies or cakes.

Different knives: Stock your baking station with various knives for cutting fresh ingredients, trimming pie crusts, and general use. Look for a knife set that includes a storage block so you have all of your knives neatly together in one central location.

Blender: Perfect for handling tasks like crushing nuts or whipping up a pie filling (depending on your recipe). If you don’t have space for a countertop blender, try a smaller hand blender instead.

Food processor: This helpful tool makes chopping and mixing ingredients easier, especially if your recipe involves a lot of prep work that consists of getting natural ingredients ready, such as fresh fruits or nuts.

Cake, pie, cupcake stands, and covers: Show off your baking skills with some beautiful cake, pie, and cupcake stands. Make sure your stands include protective covers that will keep your delicious goodies fresh while you set them out on display.

Piping tips, pastry gags, and accessories: Look for piping tips, pastry bags, and other unique accessories to add colourful icing and decorative designs to your delicious treats for a fun, personal touch.

Professional equipment: If you decide to take your baking station to the next level, consider some professional equipment like an oversized electric mixer that allows you to make larger batches of bread, dough, and more. Professional equipment tends to be more expensive, but it’s also more powerful and able to handle larger quantities of your recipes at once.

Ingredients and recipes

While every recipe is different, there are some standard ingredients to keep on hand in your baking station, including:

  • Flour: Perhaps the most common ingredient in baked goods, keep cake flour and all-purpose flour on hand.
  • Sugar: White, brown, and powdered sugar are used for different flavours and textures.
  • Salt: Even if it’s just a pinch, salt balances out the sweetness in your desserts.
  • Cocoa powder: Many recipes call for cocoa powder, so be sure to have at least a small amount on-hand.
  • Butter: We recommend storing unsalted butter for a better gauge of the final flavour.
  • Eggs: Keep a dozen fresh eggs in your refrigerator at all times if you’re planning to do lots of baking.
  • Nuts: From almonds to pecans, you should stock up on a variety of nuts for various recipes.
  • Oil: Vegetable or canola oils are commonly used for its mellow flavour, while coconut oils add a layer of fragrance.
  • Extras: From chocolate chips to dried cranberries, keep some extra goodies stored for different recipes such as toppings for a banana bread.

Storage

Once you’ve gathered everything together, it’s time to organise. It’s important to keep your baking station tidy and clean, and the right storage can keep this area mess-free. Here are a few helpful tips to inspire you.

Clear jars or canisters with a tight-sealing lid make it easy to find the ingredients you need. Label each jar using stickers or a small chalkboard label that you can write on.

If you have the room, consider installing open shelving over your baking station area, so it’s easy to grab what you need as you go.

Add organisers to your baking drawers to separate items by type or size. It also keeps the drawer from getting cluttered, and you won’t lose your favourite tools in the fray.

A spice rack is a great way to store and organise ingredients that you only need a pinch of, like cinnamon or powdered sugar. Meanwhile, a tackle box is great for food colouring and sprinkles.

To store your cookie sheets more easily, “file” them lengthwise and upright in a lower kitchen cabinet. Install small dividers so each cookie sheet is separated for easy access.

If you’re short on storage space, use a kitchen or bar cart, and stock it with all of your tools and ingredients. This is also a terrific way to access everything you need in one place while freeing up the rest of your kitchen.

Make it family-friendly

Baking together as a family is a wonderful way to bond and spend time with those you love. If you want the entire family to cook with you, there are a few important safety precautions to take into consideration:

  • Set a few safety ground rules in advance, like washing hands before handling ingredients or cooking.
  • Never leave children in the kitchen unattended, especially if the stove is on or there are knives within reach.
  • Use a small step stool to help your child reach the countertops so they can bake with you without straining or being tempted to climb onto the counters.
  • There are many activities young children can help you with that are safe, easy, and fun. For example, stirring up ingredients in a large bowl is something safe that kids love to do.
  • Ensure all pot and pan handles are facing inward to prevent them from accidentally getting caught on clothing or knocked off the stovetop.
  • Store all knives and sharp tools safely out of the reach of children.

Whether you enjoy baking in your free time or your dream is to start your own baking business, a beautifully organized baking station is a great way to get started. Remember to decide on your baking station’s materials and placement first, then stock up on ingredients, tools, and equipment. With the right organization and the perfect spot, you can enjoy using your home baking station for years to come.

Create a business out of it

If baking is truly your passion, there’s no reason why you can’t make it a successful business.

Now that your baking station is set up and you have a great space to create your delicious recipes, it’s time to think big. Before you dive into baking as a career, be sure to look into your country’s food laws. Each location has different laws that apply to cooking and selling food out of a residence.

Start by creating a comprehensive budget, and decide which items you plan to sell and to whom. Local schools and small businesses are both excellent places to start. You can advertise online through social media or design your website. Whatever you decide, becoming a professional baker can be an extremely fulfilling and a rewarding career that allows you to do what you love.

*This article first appeared on Porch

*Photo credits: Freepik

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