Taste Tests  >  Baking Ingredients

Baking Ingredients

29 Kitchen-Tested Ingredients

Whole-Wheat Flour
Whole-Wheat Flour
If you thought all whole-wheat flours are created equal, you were wrong.
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Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate
It’s easy to find a great snacking chocolate. But cooking is different: Choosing the right dark chocolate can make the difference between a dessert that’s flawl…
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Processed Egg Whites
Processed Egg Whites
How do these packaged products compare to fresh egg whites—both in taste and performance?
Ready-Made Pie Crusts
Ready-Made Pie Crusts
Many store-bought pie crust options are grim: dense and doughy or greasy and cracker-crisp. Could we find a crust that’s closer to homemade?
Supermarket Cocoa Powder
Supermarket Cocoa Powder
These days cocoa powder fetches anywhere from $7 to nearly $24 per pound. But is price any indication of rich chocolate flavor?
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Almond Extract
Almond Extract
Just ¼ teaspoon of almond extract can perfume entire cakes with the unmistakable scent of almond. Given its potency, will any brand do?
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Molasses
Molasses
Terms like "mild," "full," and "robust" are meaningless when it comes to molasses. The only surefire way to know what we were getting was to taste them.
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Vanilla Beans
Vanilla Beans
For custard-based recipes in which vanilla is the star, we’ve found that vanilla beans impart deeper flavor than vanilla in its more familiar form, extract.
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Cornmeal
Cornmeal
We were surprised to discover how much the flavor and grind can vary among different brands.
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Creamy Peanut Butter
Creamy Peanut Butter
“Natural” peanut butter used to mean an oil slick on top and a texture so stiff you could stand a stick in it. Is the new breed of butters any better? And what …
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Milk Chocolate
Milk Chocolate
Has trendy dark chocolate changed our taste for good old milk chocolate?
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Unsweetened Chocolate
Unsweetened Chocolate
With no added sugar or dairy, 100 percent pure chocolate can be a clear route to rich chocolate flavor—or bitter proof that not all bars are created equal.
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Instant Espresso Powder
Instant Espresso Powder
Is the right espresso powder the secret to intense chocolate flavor in brownies and other baked goods?
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All-Purpose Vegetable Oils
All-Purpose Vegetable Oils
Vegetable oil should stay behind the scenes, whether you’re baking, sautéing, or making salad dressing. But pick the wrong oil, and your food could taste like o…
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White Chocolate
White Chocolate
We tasted real white chocolate alongside "fake" supermarket brands to determine if the real deal was worth tracking down.
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Quick Oats
Quick Oats
For emergencies only?
Stone-Ground Oats
Stone-Ground Oats
We tested one brand of stone-ground oats. Could they please our tasters' palates?
Steel-Cut Oats
Steel-Cut Oats
Judging from the brands and styles cramming supermarket shelves, there's an oat for almost every taste. Are any better for breakfast or for baking?
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Milk Chocolate Chips
Milk Chocolate Chips
We were looking for a chip with intense chocolate flavor, moderate sugar, and a goodly amount of cocoa butter.
Dark Chocolate Chips
Dark Chocolate Chips
Do Nestlé Toll House morsels still deserve to be the nation’s top-selling chips?
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Vanilla Extract
Vanilla Extract
In the battle of pure versus imitation extracts, could we declare a winner?
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Lemon Curd
Lemon Curd
We tasted jarred varieties to see if we could find an acceptable substitute for home-made.
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Quick Shine—Aerosol Spray For Bread
This product supposedly helps seeds stick to dough. Is it worth buying?
Yellow Cake Mixes
Yellow Cake Mixes
Can any come close to homemade?
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Treacle
Treacle
There are two types of treacle: light and black. We had an overwhelming preference.
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Splenda
We tested Splenda’s claim that it can be used cup for cup to replace sugar.
Baking Powder
Baking Powder
We always assumed all baking powders were created equal. Boy, were we wrong.
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Zero Trans Fat Vegetable Shortening
Zero Trans Fat Vegetable Shortening
The producer promises exactly the same results as the original—does it deliver?
All-Purpose Flour
All-Purpose Flour
We set out to learn if there was a single all-purpose flour that could best handle most any recipe. Six months later, we had the answer.
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