This list is not a complete list – it will be added to but will always lack items mainly because I’m human.
This is aimed at beginner cooks though more experienced cooks may want to read it too.
First of all you do not need to buy expensive equipment in order to cook. My favourite bread bowl in which I begin the dough making process cost me 50p. If a piece of equipment does the job and you’re happy with it then it doesn’t have to be expensive.
For making cakes you need a bowl (I use my bread bowl), a wooden spoon, a whisk and a metal spoon (such as a tablespoon) to mix with. To bake you need a couple of baking tins and some grease proof paper. That’s it. If you like making cakes and want to make a lot of them you may want to invest in an electric mixer but remember – it’s your choice.
Knives – buy the best possible ones that you can. I have some Sabatier knives but I bought them in a local supermarket and got them at a discount. Where you buy is almost as important as what you buy. Buy a good sharpener. I use a steel and I’m not expert at it but I can use it enough to make sure that my knives are incredibly sharp. Accidents in the kitchen with knives happen when they’re not sharp enough. I sharpen before and after I use them.
Baking tins – as a beginner all you need is a sponge tin and a loaf tin. If you decide to keep on baking then you can expand your range. The sponge tin can be used for cakes or giant Yorkshire puddings and the loaf tin can be used for cakes or bread.
Scales – As long as scales are accurate they don’t have to be all dancing, all singing. I have scales that measure pounds and ounces as well as grams because I often use both in recipes. My scales have the ability to measure in fluid ounces and millilitres. I use these settings quite often as it can be more accurate than using a measuring jug.
Having said that I do use jugs because they’re great to mix liquids in, e.g. warm and cold liquid in accurate combinations for bread to which oil or bicarbonate of soda needs to be added.