Pantry staples
Food,  Pantry

Pantry Staples-9 Essential Ingredients to be Prepared

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Have you found yourself rushing to the grocery store to stock your pantry at the slightest indication of trouble? Here you will find a list of essential baking ingredients to be prepared for anything!

Let’s face it, 2020 taught many households that waiting till the last minute to shop can end badly.

You never know when someone is gonna take the last package of an essential, like toilet paper, and leave you reaching for alternatives. (like that glovebox of napkins you’ve been hoarding)

Well, I am here to present a list of essential baking ingredients I have found are the heart of my pantry go-to’s when it comes to many recipes.

Learn what ingredients I keep on hand to ensure success in the kitchen, and less of those stressful last minute trips to the store. Storing these baking ingredient will ensure you are never short on recipe essentials because you are programmed to never let them get low.

Keep these essential baking ingredients on hand so you can have peace of mind!

A simple, yet AH-mazing reason to keep a stockpile is how easy volunteering to bring a dish to the next gathering just got. Dessert is a great crowd pleaser and I get to use what I have on hand. Boom! Winning for this momma at it’s finest! 

Another benefit to a stocked pantry is that you will be much more at ease when life throw’s you a curve ball like winter storms, power outages, hurricanes, 2020, sickness or just lack of time!

I am a preparer, not the crazy kind like on TV, the ones who have a basement full of food, but I do like to think of myself as someone planning for every situation.

Take some anxiety off your list, and keep reading for some ideas on how you can better prepare with baking essentials. Even hard times deserve some special treats to keep the motivation high.

If you need some ideas to keep on budget while stocking your essential baking ingredients, here is an article you may enjoy! How to save on your grocery bill

Preparedness makes room for baking opportunities- big or small

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Say goodbye to those expensive, impulse buy trips for one recipe worth of ingredients. Stocking these baking cupboard must-have’s will ensure you always have a go-to meal or dessert for those sweet tooth cravings!

Let me tell ya, there is nothing like waking up to a cup of coffee (iced or hot depending on the season) to kick start my favorite time of day. Can I get a head nod?

But if you add in a muffin or slice of cake, I am all about THAT scene. I know, it’s probably not the best brain fuel. It has eggs and fruit usually, so how bad can it really be?

Now, I certainly do try to look for ways to make a recipe healthier without altering the recipe or outcome that much. A little fruit here, or applesauce in place of vegetable oil there.

However, keeping these baking ingredients on hand will ensure a balance of healthy recipes to fuel, and satisfy the sweet tooth. 

So when the next craving comes, you are prepared with these baking ingredient essentials.

Be prepared because there is always a reason to celebrate

Pretty much every month in the year there is some kind of holiday. January has New Years, February has Valentines Day, March has St. Patrick’s and so on. Each month increasing the celebration size and need to keep running to the baking isle. 

There is always a reason to be baking! 

At least, I tell myself there is always an excuse for cake. Heck, I celebrate half-birthdays with cake only just for the excuse to bake.

So if there is one thing I have gotten in the habit of, it would be keeping essentials on hand. No more running to the Dollar General up the road and spending extra getting snacks I didn’t need, but looked so tasty to leave behind.

Instead, I keep these 9 items in my stockpile at all times so I can throw together a sweet tooth remedy in a flash. 

The biggest reason to create a stockpile of baking essential ingredients is so you can shop sales. Start by getting ingredients during those holiday baking sales or utilizing digital coupons to create a pantry of staples overtime.

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The list of essential baking ingredients at a glance:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Banana
  • Milk
  • Oatmeal 
  • Chocolate chips
  • Boxed cake mix – usually vanilla
  • Cocoa powder

Next let’s discuss why these made the list of pantry staples

Flour- is the kitchen essential for any baking level. For obvious reasons flour is the work horse because it can be a thickener, structure or bulk ingredient just to name the basics. Flour can be used for a quick mug cake, pie crust or cake. 

Depending on your baking level, there are different types of flour but is a whole different post topic for another day. For now, all-purpose flour is my #1 must have for my baking ingredients essentials. Here is a great storage system for large dry ingredients!

Sugar- because pouring sugar yourself tends to result in less sugar than pre-packed quick options. For example, making your own pancake mix is a great way to see how much (or little) sugar is being put in your breakfast. Not to mention you can make sweet tea, simple sugar syrup for your coffee or pancakes.

Butter- now don’t skimp on me here. I mean real butter. Not margarine, not I can’t believe it’s not butter. I mean the good stuff. Butter is my gauge for whether I have food in the house. No butter…we are poor and I need to resolve this injustice right now! It’s that important because it is my secret weapon to good pies, cakes and muffins. 

Bananas- the unlikely, often overlooked sweetener and last minute fruit. I keep these on hand so make banana pancakes, use in place of eggs in a pinch, or to make a peanut butter, chocolate sandwich for healthy snacking options. Sweet tooth is happy and with a burst of protein to keep my full longer. 

Milk- yes, I had to include milk because recipes like icing, frosting depend on it. But also fixing a thick batter is better met with milk. And I always add milk to my scrambled eggs to fluff them up. 

Oatmeal- my daughter eats oatmeal Every. Single. Day. Not because I make her, but because she wants it! She is such a healthy kid I could take lessons from her. Hot oatmeal isn’t the only way to prepare this ingredient though. Toss in the blender and make oatmeal flour to make protein balls, use in pancakes for a healthy-but-not-gritty flour alternative.

Oatmeal is also great for cobbler topping, no-bake cookies or overnight oats. There are tons of recipes to get this heart healthy ingredient on your go-to list. 

Chocolate chips- here is where I bring the magic. So I have listed a few key ingredients so far to lead up to this one. Chocolate chip cookies need butter, flour, sugar and sometimes oatmeal (depending on your recipe). So you literally always have the basics to make chocolate chip cookies without having to think about it.

A few more reasons in case you need more could include: protein balls (remember the oatmeal?), chocolate chip pancakes (already have flour and sugar) or melted on the banana peanut butter sandwiches. 

Boxed cake mix-  confession time. I struggled for a long time to “allow” boxed cake mix in my house. I was one of the lucky to be raised on from-scratch everything, so this artificial “fake stuff” was not the taste I craved. But when I had to transition to the working single mom, I had to pick my battles. 

So much as changed but I do still use boxed and find ways to improve. For example 3 ingredient desserts are popular on Pinterest because boxed cake mix, can or frozen fruit and some butter makes a perfect mid-week cobbler. Who doesn’t love an easy crowd pleaser to set yourself up for success on those busy days? 

Cocoa powder- another overlooked ingredient that needs some attention. Cocoa powder can be used in homemade hot cocoa, dusting your cake pans with cinnamon for an extra flavor pop, no-bake cookies, and chocolate overnight oats. Just don’t try the powder along, its bitter and will be quite the pucker lips maker (best mom prank for the kiddo ever). 

Wrapping it all up pretty

I hope you feel supercharged to look at what ingredients you always seem to run out of first, so you can make an essential baking ingredients list tailored to your needs. Hopefully you got some ideas and will stick around to see how else you can keep your kitchen essentials stocked, and reduce those impulse trips to the store! 


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