Back in high school I would spend entire weekends making desserts. It must have been a bit bewildering for my parents to wake up to three frosted cakes in the kitchen, but they supported my passions nevertheless.
When I went off to college, I had to significantly downsize my pantry and learn how to bake in smaller batches. My pantry is constantly morphing, but over the years I’ve settled on some baking staples that I want to share. Also be on the lookout for new recipes! I restocked my pantry this morning. 🙂
Without further ado, here are some tips I’ve picked up about pseudo-minimalist cooking, as well as a list of my baking essentials.
My top tips:
- Find a store that sells flours in bulk and stock up there. Since I tend to make desserts in small batches, this is incredibly useful and prevents waste.
- Likewise, buy small amounts of spices in bulk. This way you’re not stuck with 5 year old spice jars.
- Cook as plant based as possible. Vegan desserts generally require nonperishable ingredients, which is super helpful if you only bake occasionally.
- Use a kitchen scale whenever possible. There’s less clean up and you’re much more likely to get consistent results when you stick to grams and measuring spoons.
(I’ll post my kitchen essentials, a list I constructed this past summer, soon!)
- All purpose flour
- Spelt flour
- Oat bran
- Coconut flour
- Ground flax seeds
- Quick oats
- (Optional: almond flour)
- (Optional: oat flour; you can just make your own)
- Cane sugar
- Maple syrup
- Coconut palm sugar
- Molasses- not pictured, but I like having molasses on hand
- Stevia drops
- Saflower oil
- Coconut oil shortening- lasts a long time and doesn’t need to be refrigerated
- Almond or peanut butter- right now I have soynut butter because my roommate is allergic to nuts
Spices and extracts:
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Macha powder
- (Optional: Tumeric- I’m such a fad follower, ha.)
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
- Butter extract- Seems random, but very useful
- Baking powder and baking soda
- Chocolate chips
- Dutch processed cocoa powder
- Maca power- I bought it on a whim. It’s tasty in an earthy way, but I probably won’t buy it again.
- Chia seeds- for the rare times I want chia pudding
And that’s really all you need for most desserts! I also like keeping applesauce cups and canned pumpkin on hand, but this list covers the essentials. I’m interested to see how it evolves once I graduate, so this will be fun to look at in a few years.