Basic Equipment65

Posted by chockylit in  (Tuesday April 24, 2007 at 10:16 pm)

I have had a number of readers ask about equipment required for making cupcakes. So, I am putting together this basic list – no culinary torches here – to get you started. I provided links to for convenience and as examples, but you can obviously get these items in many variations, at many price points, and at many places.

If I have something specific to recommend, I have. Otherwise, most of my equipment has been collected over the years and I don’t have any particular attachment unless otherwise noted. If anyone has any specific product suggestions or opinions, please leave a comment. Hopefully I am not missing something obvious! If so, let me know…


1. Measuring Cups
2. Measuring Spoons
3. Liquid Measuring Cup
4. Electric Mixer or Hand Mixer
5. Spatula
6. Ice Cream Scoop
7. 2 Sheet Pans or 2 Cupcake Pans
8. Oven Thermometer
9. Cake Tester
10. Cooling Rack
11. Piping Bag and Large Tips
12. Cupcake Papers

1. Measuring Cups

I actually have this 6 cup set that has quarter measurements as well. Its a bit more money for the 6 cup set, but I like the convenience.

2. Measuring Spoons

3. Liquid Measuring Cup

4. Electric Mixer

I actually have this mixer. Its a bit bigger and more powerful than the artisan mixer.

or Hand Mixer

5. Spatula

6. 2 Ounce Ice Cream Scoop

7. 2 Sheet Pans

or 2 Cupcake Pans

Use sheet pans if you use the cupcake papers I use on the blog. If you are using normal cupcake papers use the cupcake pans.

8. Oven Thermometer

9. Cake Tester

Or use a toothpick or something else that is pointy.

10. Cooling Rack

11. Piping Bag and Large Tips
This is the pastry bag I use most. Its a good, large size.

And large tips are the best for decorating cupcakes.

12. Cupcake Papers
Don’t get the “Nut & Party” cups. They have a waxy cover on the inside… I use GenPak brand only. I buy them here.

65 comments for Basic Equipment »

  1. I noticed in your photos that you use several different size dishers (scoops) and I was curious which sizes you use most often. I have several that I purchased years ago for cookie baking and I find them indispensible and I often use them to portion cupcake batter. I only have a #40 and a #70 but I would like to order every size available if it weren’t for the fact I’m running out of kitchen space for all my gadgets. Which sizes do you like to use to portion regular and minis? Do you have a particular size that works well for cupcake fillings?

    BTW, I love your website and I envy you because it looks like you have a large chef’s kitchen with room for all the latest cool tools.

    Comment by Cindy — April 26, 2007 @ 6:12 pm

  2. I am a huge fan of yours & love all your creative recipes. When you develop & publish new experimental recipes do you make them just once, or do you make several test batches until you perfect your recipes?

    You said you are having a difficult time coming up with new recipe ideas now that you are pregnant. I have several suggestions for recipes I’ve been searching for and haven’t been able to find anywhere. I would love to find the following recipes:

    Espresso/Cappuccino Cupcakes with a light (frothy) frosting (or meringue)(not a cream cheese or heavy buttercream frosting), with cinnamon dusted on top. Perhaps incorporating cappuccino baking chips, and espresso powder. So far all I’ve been able to find are recipes that use chocolate (dark, milk,etc.) and I don’t think of chocolate when I think of cappuccino or espresso drinks!

    Another recipe I’d love to find perfected is Nigella Lawson’s Chai Cupcake. I hear it’s awfully sweet and has a cream cheese frosting. I’d love to perfect this recipe and use more of a shiny glaze frosting (sans cream cheese). Again – a chai cupcake without chocolate.

    Have you ever tried mini cinnamon baking chips? I have only been able to find them at King Arthur Flour and Prepared Pantry online. They are awesome and packed with Vietnamese cinnamon. They melt into batter just like the swirls you find in cinnamon bread. Check out KA’s website for their Sinful Cinnamon Muffins recipe. It might give you some ideas for perhaps creating a wonderful cupcake version. The Sinful Cinnamon Muffins scored a 10 at a recent office breakfast meeting – I bake different muffins for each meeting and these are now the all-time favs!!!

    Keep up the great work. Someday I know you’ll publish your own book!!!

    Comment by June — May 6, 2007 @ 3:14 pm

  3. I saw on a website a cupcake holder for 1 cupcake.. IT is made of heavy plastic. the cupcake sits upwrigth Have you seen this and how can I find it to buy it..

    Comment by Rhonda — May 9, 2007 @ 3:37 pm


    Comment by chockylit — May 9, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

  5. I found the nut cups you use but I am curious if you do anything to prepare the cups for easy release? They don’t tear easily from the top rim and I keep mangling cupcakes while trying to get them out of the cup. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    Comment by scotchgrrl — May 14, 2007 @ 12:35 pm

  6. Cindy, I promise to get back to you. I have only 2 sizes, the one mentioned above and a small one perfect for minis. I need to find out what size it is my measuring its capacity.

    June, Thank you for the compliment on the blog. I do try to keep in professional, on subject, and uncluttered. I get a lot of requests to link to or mention a product or service. Its true I only link to things that I use personally and will stand behind.

    As for your question, it depends on the recipe. When I put together a recipe it often includes some tried and true recipe base with adjustments and some experimental aspects. So, maybe the cake itself is a basic recipe, but the filling is new. Often with the new recipe, I might have to try it a couple of times. There are also occasions where the recipe simply fails and I need to adjust and do something new.

    I will keep you recipe suggestions in mind. Unfortunately they involve coffee which I am trying to avoid :)

    Scotchgrrl, my friends and coworkers are used to eating from the nut cups, so its a non-issue. When I bring to places where folks are not used to them, I cut a small notch in the rim of the cup to make it easier to tear (before I use them to bake, of course). If you try tugging the folds apart, you can usually get the paper to open up nicely.

    Comment by chockylit — May 14, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

  7. I need to buy an oven for a new small wholesale bakery of cupcakes and cakes. Suggestions on commerical vs double oven, gas vs electric?

    Comment by flourpower — May 15, 2007 @ 8:15 am

  8. It’s my first time baking cupcakes, I’m confused. Can I pour the cupcake batter into the cupcake papers and then just set those on a sheet pan to bake them? Or do I need to buy a cupcake pan?

    Comment by Sabrina — May 15, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

  9. You can do that, but they will spread some, so you will end up with funny shaped cupcakes. If you use normal cupcake papers, I recommend a cupcake or muffin pan to maintain shape. The special papers I use are very stiff and as such the cupcake pan is not required.

    Comment by chockylit — May 15, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

  10. HI, I love love your blog, I will be trying one of your recipes today!

    I too have a suggestion for something you could try out.How about adding Maple syrup crystals to any of your basic recipes,They melt as they bake and become syrupy.
    Not sure how they will work out,but i had heard of these, i think they are used in the McDonalds McGriddles (seen it on foodnetwork).
    You get the syrup when you bite into it.Just sounds so interesting.
    Hope you can try it out and end up with an interesting result.
    I would feel so honored if you could try out my suggestion.
    Happy Cupcaking!
    and happy Pregnancy! hope everything turns out great for you!!!

    Comment by Sam — May 23, 2007 @ 3:23 am

  11. I’m also a baker in the process of opening my own shop. However, I love your recipies to make at home for my enjoyment!

    Comment by Alicia — June 2, 2007 @ 5:53 pm

  12. Great info for bakers – thank you! From the comment above, I’ve used pure maple sugar (found at an organic supermarket) to roll chocolate truffles in, and they were a hit with my friends and family. I wasn’t sure if maple sugar and chocolate would go together, but they did. It might make for a good cupcake combination…

    Comment by Alexis — June 10, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

  13. I love your site!! I have baked several of your recipes and they all have turned out fabulous. So, thank you!

    This isn’t a baking related question, but what camera do you use to take your beautiful photos?

    Thank you!

    Comment by Jacqueline — June 17, 2007 @ 7:59 am

  14. Hi, congratulations on your baby, she’s beautiful you are very blessed.
    I would like to know were do you buy the paper cups you use for baking those awesome cupcakes? Thanks for your wonderful recipes!!!

    Comment by Dolores Melo — June 22, 2007 @ 10:11 pm

  15. Hi! I’m new to this site and love the idea of using a nut cup as your cupcake liner. Is your nut cup equivalent more to a mini cupcake size or a standard cupcake size? Or can you just tell me the exact size in ounces or number size to get at Smart and Final?

    Thanks for your help!

    Comment by Della — August 1, 2007 @ 10:25 am

  16. Hi, I couldn’t find a comment link on the specific entry but I’m looking at the banana cupcake recipe.

    Where I’m living at (Singapore), we don’t have or use buttermilk for our baking. Can you suggest a substitute instead? I would appreciate it very much.

    Also, congratulation on your baby. She’s beautiful.

    Comment by Miza — August 16, 2007 @ 2:00 am

  17. I’m basically new to the idea of food blogs, let alone this specific one, but surely this has to be one of the best ones out there! I absolutely love what you do, especially your pictures. You have a great eye. I’m a tech writer for a software company in San Bruno, so when I read you’re a QC engineer in SF, all I could think of was, “what in the world am I doing with my life?!” =) Maybe this will inspire me to bake more. Congratulations on the baby!

    Comment by Jennie — August 19, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

  18. Hello,

    This is an awsome site! I am pondering going to Culinary school for Pastry Arts. Please give me your feedback/advice. My passion is cupcakes and community. I hope to open a shop one day and feel so excited and overwhelmed that I don’t know where to begin. Thank you for haveing this site…


    Comment by Gerard Brule — August 26, 2007 @ 10:00 am

  19. Salivating all over my keyboard on this website is going to cause me to get electrocuted.

    I don’t know if this sounds good to you, but, autumn is quickly approaching. How about pumpkin pie, or pumpkin cheesecake cupcake with a pinch of grated orange zest, topped with a light cream cheese/whipped cream frosting, and some candied pecans sprinkled on it?
    This sounds like a great experiment.

    Comment by MermaidMama — August 28, 2007 @ 7:13 pm

  20. What is your opinion on using using the 24 count muffin pans versus 2 of the 12 count pans?

    Comment by Kathy — September 4, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

  21. hi. just want to say that you are now my inspiration. i look upon you as my mentor. was wondering if you have had any training in the field of pastry arts or have you had a mentor guiding you along in the early stages?

    would love it if you have a min of free time to write to me with some advice. i would love it very much. my future possibly depends on it (no pressure..heh) :)

    really love your creativity. hoping to mould my hands to be as flexible as yours.

    thousand congratulations on your new role. baby’s blessed and beautiful :)

    Comment by shonnie — September 21, 2007 @ 2:20 pm

  22. Hi…I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration your site has been for me. I have been baking cupcakes for a long time now but finding your blog has awakened my creative side! Now I am thinking about flavor combinations most of the day!

    And congratulations on becoming a mom…ain’t it grand!!!

    Comment by Selah — September 24, 2007 @ 1:31 pm

  23. the most wonderful site – everything you post is creative and delicious! I’m very curious as to how you come up with the chemical make up of your recipes. I know you modify some old reliables; but what determines your decision of ratio of ingrediants? ex: butter vs. oil, etc. I am searching for a book to guide me and I am still looking…hoping you can help…thank you!

    Comment by Anna — September 26, 2007 @ 11:51 am

  24. I am from Australia. I am after some baking cups that are higher than the standard cup (30mm or 1 1/4 inches), but not wider across the base (2 1/8″) if possible. I have seen them in books, but don’t know where to buy them. I would like to get all colours. Does anyone know where I can get them? I hope someone can help me. thanks

    Comment by Tara — October 2, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

  25. Just wanted to share the the nut and party papers are also available at most Michael’s craft stores. They’re on the aisle with all the Wilton baking stuff. They have both the regular and the mini sized ones.

    Comment by Britni — October 6, 2007 @ 11:18 am

  26. Hi,
    I have admired you work for quite sometime, though I have never tried to recreate any of your recipes.
    I was wondering, what food scale do you recommend? Do you use one yourself?
    Thanks for your help!

    Comment by Michelle Summers — October 8, 2007 @ 10:48 pm

  27. Hi:
    I love to bake but I am a novice at making cupcakes. By chance, I came across your website and I must tell you are great. Your recipes seem to be very simple and look delicious. Now, I have a question regarding frosting. I am looking for a light whipped cream frosting. My local supermarket uses a delicious whipped cream frosting but of course they will not tell me their recipe. Thanks and congratulations with the new baby…:)

    Comment by Rocio — October 20, 2007 @ 3:39 pm

  28. HI i would like to know where i could purchase the baking cups you use online??
    i love the way it looks and also i like the idea you can put them into an oven without placing them in a cupcake baking tray

    Comment by lala — October 29, 2007 @ 4:09 am

  29. Hi, I was wondering where do you purchase the cupcake transporter that you show on your post Cashew, Carrot, Cardamom Cupcakes with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting.

    love the website,

    Comment by tammy — October 30, 2007 @ 11:16 pm

  30. I bought them here – – the carriers are great, but mind you they only sell in bulk. But I bake a lot so 100 boxes works fine for me…

    Comment by chockylit — October 31, 2007 @ 8:57 am

  31. Hi,

    I come from Canada and I’m looking for those brown paper baking cup… where can I find it?
    I only saw some on line in UK.

    Comment by Isabelle Quinn — November 29, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

  32. Hi Cheryl,
    this blog is the best one online, I think. I was searching for any good cupcake recipes only as a 17-year-old wannabe-baker and this was by far the best.
    My boyfriend and I are baking cupcakes as we speak, using the basic cupcake and chocolate ganache recipe you used in your truffle recipe.
    However, they seem to have gone horribly wrong.
    My oven, as bizzare as it may sound, has no temperature control. It’s old and we can’t afford a new one. We even have to lean a chair against the oven door in order for it to close!
    As a result, I think, so far the cupcakes we have baked have turned out delicious at the bottom but blackened and sinky on top.
    Any suggestions as to what we might do?
    Thank you.

    Comment by Seonaid — December 14, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

  33. I am trying to decide if I want to purchase a double electric convection oven or just stick with a double electric oven. I do alot of baking such as cookies, protein cookies, brownies, and cakes. Have you used the newer convection ovens that they have now? I would appreciate any of your suggestions or help. Sincerely, Kay

    Comment by Kay — December 30, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

  34. Your pictures look so great! I love food photography myself and was wondering about the equipment that you use for your pictures, they look very professional. Can you please tell me what camera you use, lighting, and any other advise on taking great food pictures?? Thank you!!

    Comment by January — January 20, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

  35. hello there! i was wondering what the size of a regular cupcake liner is. the ones i have are 3 oz. and i usually fill them 2/3 of the way or sometimes i put 1/4 cup of batter inside.

    i get overflows sometimes but i haven’t tried the trick you do with your oven where you pre heat it at 375 then lower it down to 350 when you start baking.

    other times, my cupcakes don’t dome the way i want them to. they kinda deflate after i take them out of the oven.

    any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. i love your blog and i visit it almost everyday just to read up on your recipes.

    Comment by Neesha — February 9, 2008 @ 1:35 am

  36. I’m so happy to have found this blog!
    I have three questions, if I may.

    I usually frost with cream cheese instead of butter cream. Is there a trick for refrigerating the finished product so the cream cheese doesn’t crack?

    Sometimes I frost with carob or yogurt topping (with parafin). How do I get a really smooth finish to the top of the cupcake? I dip it but there are lumps. Maybe double dip? Or spread instead? (I’d have to work fast)

    Last,how can I keep carob or yogurt topping flowing in order to decorate with it? By the time I fill a plastic bottle or pastry bag, the topping cools and clogs the pastry tip before I can decorate the cupcakes.

    Comment by Claire — February 14, 2008 @ 9:47 am

  37. hi,
    this is a great blog.
    i would like to know where you purchase your cupcake papers. all i can ever find are the traditional ones and i am ready to switch over to something a little more adult.

    thank you!

    Comment by ashley — March 6, 2008 @ 10:12 pm

  38. hi,
    i finally saw #12 on your list. thanks!

    Comment by ashley — March 8, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

  39. I just finished making your chocolate with chocolate mint ganache cupcakes and mint frosting and they are absolutely fabulous! This has become one of my favorite blogs- thank you so much!

    Comment by Lauren — March 15, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

  40. Hi, i’m brazilian and i tell, I love you recipes and i had test some of them.My friend loved.(sorry my english)
    This has become one of my favorite blogs,
    thank you so much!

    Comment by Aglacy Viana — May 17, 2008 @ 4:04 pm

  41. Hi,
    I am looking at the recipe for the strawberry -ganache filled cupcakes which seem perfect for my strawberry fiend of daughter’s birthday. Question: you mention covering the cakes with a glaze before frosting with the vanilla buttercream–there is no recipe for a glaze so what did you use? I am thinking the glaze is basically just a crumbcoat before frosting? Also, when replacing the tops, do you cut off the bottom of the cone? And finally, would a italian meringue buttercream work just as well? I’m pretty attached to its texture. Thanks!

    Comment by sofia — May 25, 2008 @ 9:02 am

  42. Hi- Just recently found your site- Love It!
    Thank you for all your info!

    Comment by Pam — November 20, 2009 @ 9:13 am

  43. Hey I love your blog, I’m a complete cupcake fiend… with a lil’ help from some of your recipes as well. lol


    I was curious of your standing on silicone cupcake molds..
    Yea? nay? Could you do a lil’ posting on them.. if you have I must of missed it. Thanks!

    Comment by Pixel — February 22, 2010 @ 3:50 am

  44. Hi there,
    i came across your blog an loved it.
    I want to open a cupcake shop in my hometown and i really need alot of information about cupcake. But most importantly i’m looking for a cupcake chefs. Do you have any ideas where can i look for them? and could you plse refer me someone that is interested in working for me or teaching me making cupcakes. Really appreciate! and wait for your early reply….
    Thanks and best regards

    Comment by han lee — March 13, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

  45. i love your website and I’m always impressed by your creativity. I was wondering where you get your stuff cupcake cups so I can start baking too! thanks!

    Comment by Vivian — April 6, 2010 @ 7:18 am

  46. Hi! I love your blog and noticed that your pics showcase the cupcakes in the nut & party cups! All this discussion over whether or not they are safe has me breaking down! Do you bake yours in the cups or do the bake and slip in?

    Comment by Heather L. — May 17, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  47. as it turns out the ones i get are different then nut & party cups and do not have a wax covering. they are just paper and i bake them in the cup. i will remove the links to the nut & party cups….

    Comment by chockylit — May 17, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

  48. THANK YOU SO MUCH for responding to my question! I appreciate your time and speedy response, I have been searching for some “non-waxy” ones and I just ordered some off of the link you put up! AGAIN: THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND GENEROUS KNOWLEDGE, YOU ROCK AND YOUR CUPCAKES ARE GORGEOUS!

    Comment by Heather L. — May 17, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

  49. Again! I can’t say it enough thank you so much for your cup link!

    Comment by Heather L. — May 17, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

  50. Your link to the source of GenPak papers is not working.
    Could you give me the web address?
    I am going to make wedding cupcakes and find you site very inspiring.

    Comment by Marjorie Cormier — May 24, 2010 @ 8:31 am

  51. Hi there!

    I have jist a quick question, to see if anybody can help me.

    Do you know how much time I can keep the ready-to bake mixture in the frigde? I would like to mix all ingredients once and then bake whenever I need them.


    Comment by Ana — May 26, 2010 @ 7:17 am

  52. I was wondering if you find that you must adjust your baking time/temp if using a cupcake pan instead of the cups on a baking sheet method? In a cupcake pan, since they are surrounded by metal as opposed to just a paper cup, do they get hotter faster? BTW, I am using a darker non-stick type tin. Thanks!

    Comment by Sue — July 8, 2010 @ 7:48 am

  53. I noticed you did not list a sifter or duster for decorative use. I struggle between the rotator and the other. I flound a great stainless steel “duster” that I use for cinnamon, cocoa or colored sugar for decor. Do you use anything like this?

    Comment by Missy — July 25, 2010 @ 11:04 pm

  54. You blog is awesome. I love it. I am a vegan baker and love to experiment on the flavors you have on your website with vegan ingredients. Can you suggest what would a cupcake sell for I know the market price runs from around 3 bucks or so. Also I love the idea of the little cups it really enhances the beauty of the cupcakes. Keep baking. Thanks for the good work.

    Comment by newbaker — September 3, 2010 @ 9:17 am

  55. Hi there, I chance upon your site. very informative and helpful..especially on “basic equipment” and “basic & troubleshooting” absolutely helpful. will try your recipes and post feedback.
    thanks for sharing…

    Comment by sathiarani — October 12, 2010 @ 4:32 am

  56. So the cupcake papers you use. Do they allow the same amount of batter as the regular paper liners? Or are yours mini’s?

    I looked at the website you ordered and they looked tiny. Confused, please help.

    Comment by Cristina — January 14, 2011 @ 10:29 am

  57. I love your blog, all your recipes look delightful! I live in Canada and I was wondering, where to get those stiff cupcake papers you use?

    Comment by Judy — January 27, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

  58. u forgot aluminum foil

    Comment by lauran — June 5, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

  59. Love your cupcakes and ideas. Just purchased the liners you use…so simple and inexpensive. Thanks!!

    Comment by Kathy M — August 4, 2011 @ 8:23 am

  60. Hi there,
    I have been searching all over for those cupcakes inserts for boxes, where do you get yours?? online?

    Please let me know!


    Comment by Crystal — August 30, 2011 @ 9:04 am

  61. I get them here

    Comment by chockylit — August 30, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

  62. Hi ,
    You take great pictures ! I was wondering what camera you were using ? I was thinking of getting one but I wasn’t sure what kind

    Comment by ali — October 28, 2011 @ 7:21 am

  63. I was reading this section and I was wondering how much focus there’s on the preparation stuff you need but cupcakes are all about presence so i do believe that cupcake stands are the post manifacturing most useful objects that support cupcakes presence and image !

    There’s a pretty good website I would link to in this case:

    cheers !!

    Comment by mao — May 3, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

  64. Hi, Just wondering, are the genpak cups for mini cupcakes? I am looking for an inexpensive way to make cupcakes.
    Thanks, Your help is much appreciated.

    Comment by Amanda — May 9, 2012 @ 6:14 am

  65. Such a great website !!

    PLEASE tell me where you get your baking cups from that you use for your cupcakes, i love them !!!

    Comment by Isabella — September 1, 2012 @ 1:47 am

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