Our winning spoons had a simple design that allowed for a continuous, bump-free sweep, with a ball-chain connector (similar to what military dog tags hang on) that was easy to open and close. This set's metal construction felt remarkably sturdy, and ingredients didn't cling to the stainless steel. And while the 1-tablespoon measure did not fit into all spice jars, it was a minor inconvenience for an otherwise easy-to-use set.
Accurate and extremely durable, this set snaps together for compact storage. The handles are seamless with the cups themselves, making them easy to level off.
The redesigned version of the OXO scale is accurate and had all the features that made the old model our favorite: sturdy construction, responsive buttons, and a removable platform for easy cleaning. The screen can still be pulled out nearly 4 inches when weighing oversize items. Instead of a backlight setting, the screen now has brightly lit digits on a dark background, which we found even easier to read than the old model’s screen. OXO also added two display options for weight. Users can choose to view ounces only (24 oz), pounds and ounces (1 lb 8 oz), grams only (2500 g), or kilograms and grams (2 kg 500 g), which comes in handy when doubling a recipe. The scale now uses decimals rather than fractions, so it’s more precise and easier to read.
This pan, from the manufacturer of the original Bundt pan in 1950 (as well as our favorite full-size Bundt pan), exceeded expectations with its superior design and results. Its mini cakes had tall, defined ridges and an elegant stature. The cakes’ gently filigreed edges browned nicely, and the pan’s handles made for easy (and safe) transfer in and out of the oven.
The biggest model in our testing, our winner also had large handles, making it easy to grip, maneuver, and flip. And it had the deepest, most well-defined ridges, producing the most eye-catching cakes in our tests.
This felt like the sports car of the group: light, maneuverable, and efficient. Its five speeds were powerful and well calibrated, nicely covering the range called for in recipes.
Our previous favorite aced every test, whipping, creaming, and kneading quickly and thoroughly to give us fluffy whipped cream and meringue; light, tender cakes; and chewy, rustic breads. We did have a few design quibbles: We'd prefer a handled bowl (KitchenAid sells stainless-steel or glass bowls with handles separately). The tilt-head latch works fine, but it's slightly less convenient than buttons on other models, and we disliked that you could operate it with the head unlocked. A major plus: It fits all KitchenAid attachments, from meat grinder to ice cream maker (sold separately), so it could stand in for several other appliances.
This pan was the priciest of the lot but produced perfectly even golden-brown tarts with crisp, professional-looking edges. Its nonstick coating made the transfer from pan to plate a cinch.
This 8-inch version of our winning cake pan produced tall, level, evenly baked, and delicate yellow cakes. Due to the pan’s lighter color, cinnamon buns and pan pizza needed a bit more time in the oven to become fully browned. Since we use these pans primarily for baking cakes, we’ll continue to reach for this durable nonstick pan for its superior cake-baking abilities. More on this test
Solidly built, with light gold nonstick coating, this pan produced tall, fluffy, level cakes. Layers shaped up perfectly, no matter how the pan was greased. Upside-down cake and pizza released and browned well, but cinnamon buns were too pale.
This pan was the only one in our lineup that ultimately had every feature we loved: a nonstick surface, a removable bottom, and feet. Baking with this pan was easy from start to finish, and it turned out flawless angel food and pound cakes. Though it has a removable bottom, it didn't leak, even when we baked a heavier batter, our Tunnel of Fudge Cake. Though we'd be happy if it churned out only perfect angel food cakes, it's a versatile pan that can also be used to make pound cakes and Bundt cakes. Like many of these pans, it looked a bit scratched at the end of testing.
Offers great control when spreading batter or icing. Sleek, sturdy, and comfortable, this blade (4½ inches in length) was just about flawless.
From handle to tip, this spatula was sized right. The 6.5-inch blade was sturdy but nimble, and testers made quick work of icing cakes with all types of frosting. It also felt exceptionally comfortable in hand, thanks to an easy-to-grip rubber-coated handle.
Producing the most evenly cooked, professional-looking baked goods of all the pans we tested, this model made brownies that were level and moist from center to edge and cornbread that was deeply golden and uniformly browned. Not even sticky bun glaze stuck to the pan. Despite becoming slightly scratched in abuse tests, its surface released perfectly and was easy to clean.
Our winner had it all: Straight sides that produced attractive cakes with well-defined edges and a 1⁄2-inch lip that made it easy to hold. It was the only metal model in the lineup that was molded, a construction technique that renders it seamless and therefore easy to clean (even though it is not dishwasher-safe). It lacked a nonstick coating, but baked goods released with ease when we greased and floured the pan. We did notice very faint scratches in the bottom of the pan after repeated passes with a paring knife.
This golden-hued metal plate baked crusts beautifully without overbrowning; even bottom crusts emerged crisp and flaky. Additionally, we liked this plate’s nonfluted lip, which allowed for maximum crust-crimping flexibility. One minor drawback: The metal surface is susceptible to cuts and nicks, but we found that this didn’t affect its performance.
This set of pans aced all of our tests, producing loaves with beautifully even browning and tall, pronounced doming. Its squared-off corners also ensured precise, attractive edges.
This stand was tall, providing excellent visibility and comfort. It was solid but light, and its surface and base were attached. This made it easy to carry but also meant it couldn’t be submerged in water (although we did just to see what would happen; it still spun perfectly). It rotated quickly and smoothly yet stopped precisely where we asked it to, and it had three shallow circles etched onto its surface for easy centering.
This pin capably handled dough for pie, cookies, pizza, and yeasted rolls, with gentle weight and a slightly textured surface that holds a dusting of flour for less sticking. Its long, straight shape made achieving even dough thickness and rolling out larger disks easy.