Part of being a frugal homemaker is having a well-stocked pantry. I like that I have these pantry essentials for baking on hand so I can whip up a batch of cookies, muffins, or cupcakes at a moment’s notice. A sweet treat doesn’t need a special day. If you have the things that you need on hand, then you don’t have to spend more money buying the items when you run out and risk not getting the best deal.
Pantry Essentials for Baking
Baking Powder– Lots of recipes call for baking powder. The easiest way to test baking powder to see if it still works is to put some in a small bowl and add some water to it. If it foams up, it’s still good.
Baking Soda– Make sure to replace your baking soda when needed. The easiest way to test baking soda to see if it is still good for leavening is to put some in a small bowl and add a little vinegar to it. (Make your own baking soda volcano!) If it bubbles up, it’s still good.
Vanilla– I make sure to keep imitation and the real stuff on hand. You can also make it homemade.
Corn Starch– Corn starch is a thickener.
Flours– Bread and All-Purpose, you don’t really need cake flour if you sift your all-purpose. Make sure you store flour and sugars in plastic storage containers. Sometimes around the holidays I will find a flour coupon, check coupons.com for any available coupons.
Sugars– granulated, brown, and powdered. I also try to keep honey and agave nectar on hand as well because I am cooking and baking with those more now.
Fats– Vegetable Oil, Shortening, Coconut Oil, and unsalted butter
Bisquick (boxed or homemade)
Yeast- To see if your yeast is still good, add 1 teaspoon sugar to 1/4 cup warm water (100°–110°F). Stir in 1 packet of yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons); let stand 10 minutes. If the yeast foams to the ½-cup mark, it is active and you may use it in your recipe. Store yeast in the fridge.
Other Baking Items to Have on Hand
- Cocoa Powder
- Peanut Butter
- Chocolate Chips