Cake-Making Cupboard Essentials

When it comes to home baking, there are some items that you’ll want to always have in your cupboard to make life easier. That way you can get baking whenever the urge arrives and won’t have to make constant trips to the shop. Many baking ingredients have a long shelf-life so it’s ok to keep them in the cupboard for some time.

Baking powder

This is used as a raising agent made up of a mixture of cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda. The cream of tartar acts as an acid activating the bicarbonate of soda which makes baking powder give off carbon dioxide. This aerates the cake and provides it with extra moisture. It is used in all cake baking, in particular cream cakes.


Although you will need to keep this in the fridge, it’s an essential ingredient in many cake recipes so best to always have your fridge stocked up. Butter has a rich, distinctive flavour which makes it perfect for cake baking and for creamed cakes especially where it is whipped together with sugar to produce a light, moist base.

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Some packets of plain chocolate are useful to have in your cupboard. They are handy for everything from chocolate cakes to making chocolate chips for toppings or cookies. Most recipes require a plain chocolate of approximately 40% cocoa solid. For different flavours, stock up on milk and white chocolate bars too.


This is another requirement for chocolate flavoured sponges and buttercream icing and filling. It can be used in place of some of the flour and added with melted chocolate to provide a more intense chocolately flavour.


A couple of drops of food flavouring can be the added zing that a recipe requires. Think about having a few different flavours to increase the options of what you can bake and how you can change up the flavours. For a delicious Raspberry Natural Food Flavouring, visit


You’ll need both plain and self-raising flour for home baking. Self-raising consists of plain flour and a little baking powder. When using plain flour in a recipe, you will most likely need a raising agent such as bicarbonate of soda or baking powder as well. Flour is essential to cake-baking.

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You’ll definitely need a supply of caster sugar, the most popular in cake-making due to its fine texture. Icing sugar is essential for both glace (mixed with water) and for buttercream fillings (mixed with butter). Light and dark brown sugars and muscovado sugar have a distinctive flavour that’s found in many fruit cakes.

Black treacle and Golden syrup

For making rich, flavoursome fruit cakes or a sticky, sweet pudding – treacle and golden syrup are essential ingredients for moist, delicious cakes. They both keep for a long time in the cupboard too.


A variety of jams are used in cake baking, from an apricot jam to stick marzipan to fruit cake to a raspberry or strawberry jam for the centre of a classic Victoria Sponge.

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