Wednesday, October 1

Budget Baking Essentials

One of the questions I get asked a lot is...

"How on earth do you manage to bake at university & on a budget?!"

I'm not going to lie nor pretend, it's actually very simple. I invest, I plan and I know where to splurge.

Lots of my bakes are designed with 'affordable' purse strings in mind, I am a student after all.

So, if you fancy making delicious bakes such as these....

 ... Then you are going to love some posts targeted right in your direction in the near future!

Whilst I'm sharing my nuggets of knowledge of baking on a budget soon, first of all we need to start with the basics.

Essential Baking Equipment

First thing is first is knowing what to buy and what you can do without. Lots of guides might say that the idea of living without silicone trays and reinforced dough hooks is horrifying and unthinkable.

Put these views and addictions to the luxuries in the dustbin and leave them there.

Yes, you might want to marry and not live without your mother's Kitchen Aid mixer, (like me), but in a student house, it would be laughable to rock up with one of those beauties. You are a student/on a budget, learn the differences between a want and a need.

So, what are my recommended kitchen essentials that you will need:

 Mixing Bowl:

I use the basic Wilkos £1 mixing  bowls, they've lasted me well so far and for the price I'm not gutted if they get ruined when turned into a pre-drinks bowl or abused in any other student way!

Basic Plastic Mixing Bowl: Wilkos, £1             Red, Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl: John Lewis, £7


I'd recommend buying electronic scales as for breads and some bakes you need to be very accurate on weights. This is one of the most expensive but still pretty cheap investments as a decent set of scales will usually cost you about £10-15. It's high use will quickly pay for the cost though.

Stainless Steel Electronic Scales: Wilkos, £15          Black Salter Scales: Tesco, £ 7.20 (sale) 

Bright Pink Orb Mechanical Scales: John Lewis, £10


Always go plastic.

I Can Cook Blue Scraper, Lakeland £2.99       Purple Plastic Spatula,  Wilkos, £1.25

Rolling Pin

Essential if you fancy making any biscuits or pastry goods.

Wooden Rolling Pins: Wilkos, £1    &   Tesco, £6

Muffin Tin

For cupcakes, muffins and even Yorkshire Puddings, an absolute baking must have!

Non-stick, deep 12 cup muffin tin: Wilkos, £4            Professional Nonstick 12 Cup Deep Bun Tray: John Lewis, £11

Baking Tray

The holy grail for brownies, tray bakes and just for general cooking.

Lakeland Baking Tray, £7 (Tray B)        Everyday Value Roasting Tray, Wilkos: £0.98

Sandwich Tins

It is well worth investing in a loose bottomed tin, but it isn't essential. Both Wilkos & John Lewis have some brilliant tins that won't break your budgets. (Remember you will need two!)

Non Stick Deep 20cm Sandwich Tin: Wilkos, £2.50

Non Stick Loose Bottom Sandwich Tin 20cm, John Lewis, £6

Loaf Tin

Brilliant little buy to make banana bread or for a good white tin loaf.

Non Stick 900g loaf tin: Wilkos £3           Professional Nonstick Loaf Tins: John Lewis, £9


Wooden Spoon

Simple wooden spoon, always handy.

Measuring Spoons & A Whisk

Basic Metal Balloon Whisk: Wilkos, £0.75         £ Joie Little Egg Whisk: John Lewis, £4

Measuring Jug

It's a jug, need I say more?

 What really isn't necessary but I'm eyeing up online at the moment because I'm a baking magpie:

Loaf liners

Loaf liners, I know.... Baking is so exciting. Will save you the nightmare of fitting baking parchment into loaf tins though. (Perfect for my banana bread!) You can get them from John Lewis for £5 or from Lakeland for £4-5

Cake Tins

They look so pretty & of course keep your cake fresh for longer. If only buying one, buy a big one!

Simple clear ones will do the trick, but I can't help but love the Happy Jackson ones the most.

I also received this brilliant, personalised cake tin for Christmas from Not On The High Street.

Electric Hand Held Mixer:

Trust me, when making something like a meringue, these will save you some seriously aching wrists.

 Cookie Cutters

Why not add a personalised touch to your baking? I might have to invest in a few different phrases to stock in my baking cupboard...

Phrase Tea Towel

You can never have enough tea towels, especially in a student house. Licking bowls? It's like they know me so well!

Cupcake Cases

Spotty ones, stripey ones, tulip ones... They get unbelievably addictive to buy. Beware.


My mother & I swear by this stuff. You can put it on the hot plate of the aga to cook bacon, cut it perfectly to fit a cake tin or use it for hot sugar. A reusable, sturdy investment.

And finally... The holy grail.

One day.

Kitchen Aid mixer: John Lewis, £380-450

Now you've got my baking essentials, it's top tip time.... Stay tuned!


  1. Baking a cake was actually one of the first things my new flatmates and I did on our first week at Uni, because it was someone's birthday - we managed to scrap together enough bits and pieces to make it! It's amazing what you can get by with - and a lot of baking essentials will also help you out with everyday meals as well so we had most things apart from an actual cake tin!

    I keep meaning to expand my collection though now I'm no longer living the student life - I've been eyeing up a KitchenAid forever but I think it's still a little pricey!

  2. Birthday's are always a cracking excuse to bake a cake, I've got my housemates' this weekend and I'm making her a death by chocolate cake. Rude not to!
    You & I can oggle up Kitchen Aids together, they are definitely the dream one day! x

  3. As much as I love the convenience of baking at home- I also relish the challenge of baking in my uni flat and it hasn't limited me as much as you might think! The only thing is making sure to hide any good things I have or they will certainly have unidentifiable things burnt onto them!
    Jennifer x

  4. These are such great essential baking recommendations. Thanks for sharing Emily! I can't believe I've lived in my apartment for 6 months now and still haven't yet bought a muffin tin! Thats now on my to-buy list! Also, love your blog, you're so cute!

  5. i am obsessed with baking so this is such a great idea for a post!

  6. I literally can't live without my handheld electric mixer! Don't know what I'd do without it - saves so much time and effort when you're whipping cream/eggs!

    Love the essentials post. So useful to so many people - students or otherwise!!

    Katie <3

  7. Eek, got my first kitchenaid product rexently and definitely feel like i've arrived! Those cake tins are cute, I love the trio from Joules as they have a huge one, so perfect for big birthday cakes :)

  8. See we never had a rolling pin at uni so would always use a bottle of wine as they were always to hand!

    FoodNerd x


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