In my last post I talked about some of the ways I keep my cake pops simple and easy to make. For me, one of the best ways to keep my treats simple and easy to make (while still being relatively cute) is to keep my kitchen stocked with a few “essential” items. Let me share with you a few of the things I try to always have on hand…
I’m not the most organized person, and for any ounce of creativity I might have, I have about twice as much ADHD fighting it every step of the way. My desk is usually a disaster, I lose my keys at least three times a day, I can’t keep track of appointments and consider chaos a permanent state of being. In spite of all that, I have learned that keeping some basic items on hand and keeping them at least somewhat organized, makes baking, packaging and presenting my sweets and treats more enjoyable.
Let’s start with what I consider to be one of the most important tools in my baking arsenal. Sprinkles!
This cupboard makes me happy. It has not always looked like this. For YEARS my sprinkles were spread out between four or five different cupboards, with no organization what so ever. I would hit the baking supply store and come home to find not only did I not buy what I needed, but I bought sprinkles I didn’t need (my collection of red sprinkles is ridiculous – apparently I always mistakenly think I need them).
At some point I realized that they (or should I say, I) had to get organized. This cupboard used to be home to things like margarita glasses, spare dishes, a variety of things I really never use. Given that I use sprinkles weekly, it made sense to donate some glassware and find a home in a garage cabinet for those extra plates that get used once every year or two. I have a fairly small kitchen and storage is always an issue, so devoting a cabinet to sprinkles seemed a bit crazy, but it was a great move.
My sprinkles are stored in the cabinet above what I call my “corner”. It’s the space I stand to do all of my baking and food prep. I have the sink to my right, my sprinkles up above me and my drawer of utensils right in front of me. Before trips to the baking supply store I can quickly inventory what I need, which is made much easier by storing my sprinkles by color. I realize not everyone is going to have a rainbow worth of sprinkles at home, but having some basics on hand can be helpful. I also like to have mini chocolate chips, and try to stock up whenever I find seasonal colors, especially if I can find them with expiration dates well into the future.
Speaking of my “corner” I recently bought some inexpensive large glass jars to keep my flours in, and they sit out on the counter top in my corner, along with my KitchenAid mixer. Not having to open and close a messy flour bag every time I bake is bliss. I love it and should have done it years ago. I keep a measuring cup in each jar – if I’m going to scoop the flour out, I might as well measure it! I also moved items like sugar, powdered sugar, oatmeal, oat bran, chocolate chip and the like to storage containers. They are so much easier to use, there is less mess and it is very easy to quickly see what I’m running low on.
So back to what I like to keep on hand. In addition to sprinkles, I keep a variety of cupcake liners…
I keep my liners (loosely organized by color), along with my frosting bags and tips in these nifty storage boxes I found at Target a month or two ago. I love these boxes, they stack nicely and fit perfectly in my cupboards. They let me utilize the high shelves in my kitchen (without having to stand on a char!).
I also keep my cookie cutters in them as well as misc decorating supplies, candles, decorative picks…
I love that these boxes are clear, so I easily know which to grab. In case you wanted to find some of these boxes, here’s the label that is on them…
I believe these are the same boxes, but in store I paid less than $3 a piece on sale for them.
I also keep a few different sizes of lollipop sticks and cellophane bags on hand. While baking supply stores have the best variety, you can find a decent selection at craft stores and even Walmart. The cute Halloween bags on top are ones I picked up in the Halloween section at Walmart this week.
If you are going to have bags on hand, it’s a good idea to have ribbon on hand as well. I purchase my ribbon mainly at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s. I try to only buy it when it’s on sale, and I keep them in a Ziploc bag that I keep in one of my kitchen cupboards. I used to keep them with my craft supplies, but find it so much handier to keep them in the kitchen. I love large Ziploc bags. From piping frosting to protecting my iPad in the kitchen, Ziploc bags rock my world.
When you combine some sprinkles, some clear bags and some ribbon, you can quickly pull together treats to give out…
The super cute printable tags are from Five By Design.
So to recap, my baking supply essentials include sprinkles, cellophane bags, lollipop sticks, cupcake liners and ribbon, as well as a few inexpensive pails, buckets or baskets.
By having these items on hand, I can come up with treats like these quickly and easily without a trip to a store, which is important when you have an 18 month old who does not enjoy shopping.
The majority of the containers I use come from the dollar section at Target. One thing I’ve learned, at least about my Target, is that the dollar section changes almost daily. One day they have apple green tubs, the next day they have brick red. I make sure to check the dollar section on each visit. And while Styrofoam is great for sticking cake pops in to, it’s not always cheap and it’s really messy to cut to fit containers. My solution? Great big bags of dried beans from Costco. All those cake pops are standing up in pinto beans. Probably a bit odd, but it works for me!
And my final kitchen essential? My sparkly skulls. I’m going to cry when Halloween is over. Or maybe I’ll just keep them up year round.
I’d love to know what your tips are for keeping your baking supplies organized!