Baking Basics: My Must-Have, On-Hand Ingredients

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Welcome back to another Baking Basics installment! Today, let’s talk about how I stalk my pantry for Baking with a little Cooking mixed in.

Most people keep the basics on hand… flour, sugar, eggs, butter. You can make a lot of things with those four ingredients. But, I keep a large array of ingredients on hand. I have some favorites too. I live fairly close to town, but especially this day in age, I try to avoid Walmart at all costs, and where I live, that IS our grocery store. I wish more grocery stores would move into the area… please read this and follow suit!! Once I start to get low on something, I put it on my grocery list so I can re-stock it before I’m completely out.

Below is everything I keep in my pantry on a regular basis, along with brand recommendations and links, where applicable. Is there anything you would add to the list?!


  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Bread Flour
  • Cake Flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour


I buy my sugars in bulk at Sam’s Club. 

  • Granulated (white) Sugar
  • Light Brown Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar


  • Unsweetened Chocolate (Baker’s Choice)
  • Dark Chocolate (Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • Semisweet Chocolate (Nestlé, and I prefer mini chips)
  • Milk Chocolate (Usually Hershey’s)
  • White Chocolate (Usually Ghiradelli)


  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Hershey’s)
  • Unsweetened Dark Cocoa Powder (Hershey’s or from our local Amish store)
  • Dutch-process Cocoa Powder (This is harder for me to find in stores so I use from our local Amish Store)


I use a variety of brands for my chips, all of which I buy at the grocery store.

  • Dark Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli or Hershey’s)
  • Semisweet Chocolate Chips (Nestlé)
  • Miniature Chocolate Chips (Nestlé or from the Amish store)
  • Milk Chocolate Chips (Hershey’s)
  • White Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli)
  • Peanut Butter Chips (Reese’s)
  • Butterscotch Chips (Nestlé)


These are all purchased at the grocery store, except where noted below. 

  • Whole Vanilla Beans (Amazon)
  • Pure Vanilla Extract (Homemade or Amish Store)
  • Vanilla Bean Paste (King Arthur Flour)
  • Almond Extract
  • Coconut Extract
  • Lemon Extract
  • Mint Extract
  • Food Coloring (definitely go for the Gels)


While not all of these are baking spices, this is more of a comprehensive list.

  • Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
  • Accent Seasoning
  • Allspice (ground)
  • Ancho Chile Powder
  • Bay Leaves
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Basil Leaves
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Cardamom (ground)
  • Cayenne Powder
  • Celery Seed
  • Chili Lime Seasoning
  • Chili Powder
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Cinnamon (ground + sticks)
  • Cloves (ground and whole)
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Dill (seed & weed)
  • Espresso Powder
  • Fennel Seed
  • File
  • Flaxseed
  • Garlic & Pepper Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder
  • Garlic Salt
  • Garlic Salt with Parsley
  • Ginger (ground)
  • Greek Seasoning
  • Habanero Pepper Powder
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Marjoram
  • Mustard (ground & seed)
  • Nutmeg (ground and whole)
  • Onion (chopped, powder, & salt)
  • Oregano
  • Paprika (regular & smoked)
  • Parsley
  • Pepper (white)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Rosemary
  • Sage (dried)
  • Salts – Table Salt, Kosher Salt, Sea Salt, Seasoning, and Pink Himalayan
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Tarragon (leaves)
  • Thyme
  • Tumeric
  • Wasabi
  • Xantham Gum


If not purchased at the grocery store, a link is included. 

  • Breadcrumbs (plain, Italian, and panko)
  • Candies, such as Mini M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, Hershey’s Kisses, Nestlé Crunch, etc.
  • Cornmeal
  • Cornstarch
  • Corn Syrup (light and dark)
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Graham Crackers
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup (always use pure maple syrup for baking, not imitation such as Log Cabin, Aunt Jemima, etc.)
  • Marshmallows
  • Molasses
  • Non-Stick Cooking Spray (i.e. Pam or Baker’s Joy for Baking)
  • Oats (old-fashioned and quick-cooking)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pumpkin (canned)
  • Shredded Coconut (sweetened and unsweetened)
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk


I purchase all of these at the grocery store.

  • Butter (salted and unsalted)
  • Cream Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Sour Cream
  • Whole Milk
  • Yeast (I usually have Active Dry Yeast on hand and just by rapid when needed)


These are all purchased at the grocery store.

  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Canola Oil


Again, these are all purchased at the grocery store.

  • Apple Cider vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • White Vinegar

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