Comfortable and accurate with long handles, this set nests nicely. The rim of each spoon is flush with the handle so it is easy to sweep accurately. Our only gripe: The oval bowls made measuring liquids slightly tricky.
Essential Bakeware for Making the Best Cake
Some people might think that baking a layer cake is too daunting, but we promise anyone can do it if they have the right tools. And we have spent years testing bakeware to determine which is best.
The unbeatable traditional version of the Pyrex Liquid Measuring Cup is back on the market.
Accurate and extremely durable, this set snaps together for compact storage. The handles are seamless with the cups themselves, making them easy to level off.
This stand was tall, providing excellent visibility and comfort. It was solid but light, and its surface and base were attached. This made it easy to carry but also meant it couldn’t be submerged in water (although we did just to see what would happen; it still spun perfectly). It rotated quickly and smoothly yet stopped precisely where we asked it to, and it had three shallow circles etched onto its surface for easy centering.
Solidly built, with light gold nonstick coating, this pan produced tall, fluffy, level cakes that were just a hair less evenly browned than our winner. Layers shaped up perfectly, no matter how the pan was greased. Upside-down cake and pizza released and browned well, but cinnamon buns were too pale. At half the price of our winner, this pan is a great option.
Dark, heavy, and nonstick, this pan, which is made of aluminized steel, yielded tall, evenly browned cakes. The removable bottom does not leak, and feet on its rim elevate the cake while it cools (so we don't need to turn it upside down over a bottle). For all those reasons, this pan is our favorite.
Heavyweight cast-aluminum construction and a silver nonstick finish combine to create a nicely risen, golden-brown Bundt cake that released perfectly. We appreciated the handles, which helped us flip the pan.
This set was almost perfect: It came with five of our essential tips, including a large open star tip for cupcake swirls and rosettes. The plastic bags were easy to handle, effortless to clean up afterward, and durable (we only once broke a bag, while piping duchess potatoes). Unfortunately, this set lacked a large closed star tip and a coupler. Some pros also thought the 12-inch bags were too small. Most agreed that this is a great starter set if you buy a few extras to round it out.
From handle to tip, this spatula was sized right. The 6.5-inch blade was sturdy but nimble, and testers made quick work of icing cakes with all types of frosting. It also felt exceptionally comfortable in hand, thanks to an easy-to-grip rubber-coated handle.
Offers great control when spreading batter or icing. Sleek, sturdy, and comfortable, this blade (4½ inches in length) was just about flawless.
The deeply beveled edge of this scraper cut through pizza and bread dough quickly and scraped the work surface effectively. The textured polypropylene handle was easy to hold on to, even with greasy or floury hands, and was thinner than other scrapers’ handles, helping us hold it flat to the work surface for easier, more effective scooping and scraping.
These precut parchment sheets, which come in a large plastic zipper-lock bag, are the only ones in our lineup that are stored completely flat. They're also sized just right to slide easily into a standard rimmed baking sheet, although we did have to use two overlapping sheets when rolling jelly roll cakes into coils. Their superior convenience made them the runaway favorite. Don't let the purchase price distract you: The per-sheet cost falls squarely in the middle of our lineup.
The broad, shallow shape of these inexpensive bowls put food within easy reach and allowed for wide turns of a spatula. These were also the lightest bowls in the lineup—the combined weight of all three that we tested was less than 1 1/2 pounds— allowing us to comfortably lift, scrape, and pour.
Our previous favorite aced every test, whipping, creaming, and kneading quickly and thoroughly to give us fluffy whipped cream and meringue; light, tender cakes; and chewy, rustic breads. We did have a few design quibbles: We'd prefer a handled bowl (KitchenAid sells stainless-steel or glass bowls with handles separately). The tilt-head latch works fine, but it's slightly less convenient than buttons on other models, and we disliked that you could operate it with the head unlocked. A major plus: It fits all KitchenAid attachments, from meat grinder to ice cream maker (sold separately), so it could stand in for several other appliances.
This mixer performed exceptionally well. It was speedy, creaming butter and sugar and whipping meringue faster than any other model, and it muscled through dense cookie dough with ease. Its beater heads are the widest in the lineup, making for efficient mixing and zero clogging, and they’re rubber-tipped, so they didn’t clang around in the bowl. This mixer is thoughtfully designed with several features that make mixing more efficient and convenient, including a timer, a light that shines into the mixing bowl, a pause button, a well-positioned display screen, and a plastic storage case that locks onto its base.
This model is firm enough for scraping and scooping but also fit neatly into tight corners. Its straight sides and wide, flat blade ensured that no food was left unmixed. The all-silicone design eliminates any crannies that could trap food. It felt exceptionally comfortable. Its smaller blade fell short in our folding test.