GBBO contestants on what what home cooks should splurge on

Watching the GBBO has become a favorite pastime for millions of people around the globe, who tune in to cheer on their favorite contestants as they make their way through impressive baking challenges. We love seeing their triumphs and are saddened by their failures, and by the end of each season, we feel like we know them (please tell me it’s not just me). All of them have things they can teach us about baking, and they have recommendations on which items are essential to elevate your baking. Food & Wine Magazine brings us a curated list of the tools and ingredients that contestants think everyone should consider splurging on in their own kitchens


Antony Amourdoux believes flavor is the ultimate splurge. He spends his money on items like saffron, cardamom, and other spices. Ian Cumming also recommends flavoring agents, specifically citrus oils from Boyajian. “I credit lemon oil as saving me in the semi-final of GBBS,” he says.

Other contestants think that equipment is where you should put your hard-earned dollars. Kim-Joy Hewlett believes a stand mixer is worth splurging on as it “speeds up a lot of processes, and there are certain baking techniques that require it (e.g. Italian meringue).” Sandy Docherty is also on the equipment bandwagon, but with a less spendy item. “I’ve had so many gadgets over the years and not enough cupboards to put them when I’m bored, but I have to say I would recommend everyone to have a slow cooker, as large as you can manage,” she recommends. 

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  • hillsboroks  on  May 4, 2019

    I have come to the conclusion that certain kitchen essentials are not a splurge but a necessity such as a good stand mixer. I also totally agree with Ian Cumming about the Boyajian citrus oils. I discovered them about 25 years ago and couldn't do without them when baking. These oils are so much better than extracts and whenever I think the citrus taste of something needs a boost a few drops of citrus oil always does it.

  • annmartina  on  May 5, 2019

    I agree with the stand mixer, and I won't give up my Instant Pots. But the best equipment in the world won't compensate for skimping on quality ingredients.

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