Essential Baking Ingredients You Should Be Buying At Costco

From the first smell of warm spices to the delightful taste of your final result, baking brings a certain level of comfort that virtually no other cooking experience can provide.

Still, having the right items on hand to whip up a delicious treat can be tricky, especially if you bake often. It's easy to run out of one ingredient or another, and having a bunch of small packages lying around can become annoying. That's why we're turning to Costco to help you restock your pantry baking essentials. They've got loads of fundamental baking ingredients that offer high quality at an impeccable value. Don't believe us? Stay tuned. We've compiled a list of Costco's most noteworthy bulk-buy pantry staples that you can stash for the next time you're ready to bake up something awesome.

So go ahead. Grab your apron and get ready. Costco's giving up the goods and we're here for it!

Sugar in the Raw

Sugar is essential to baking, especially when you're whipping up sweet treats like cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. If you're looking for high-quality sugar that you can feel good about, you may consider picking up a bag of Sugar in the Raw the next time you're in Costco.

Sugar in the Raw is a brand of sugar that is naturally sourced from Colombia and East Africa. These sweet granules are unrefined, resulting in brown-hued crystals similar to brown sugar but much more coarse. Fans of Sugar in the Raw love its slightly richer flavor, though some claim to detect no noticeable differences in taste when comparing it to table sugar.

Either way, know that although Sugar in the Raw undergoes less refinement than white sugar, it isn't necessarily healthier for you. Eating too much sugar in any form presents problems, especially when the sugar isn't naturally occurring (i.e., from fruit). Nevertheless, when it comes to baking, Sugar in the Raw can come in handy, and thankfully, you can grab it in a six-pound bag or smaller packets at Costco.

Kirkland Signature Butter

Like sugar, butter is a must when you're whipping up something decadent and delicious. It is essential for providing rich flavor, moist texture, and the right consistency, especially for cookie dough and cake batter. When "creamed" or beaten with sugar, butter produces light and fluffy cookies, rich frostings, and much more.

So, why buy Kirkland Signature Butter? You've got every reason in the world! Not only is it sold in four-pound packs, but this delicious sweet cream option has the perfect taste and pairs exquisitely atop biscuits, muffins, and anything else your heart desires.

Those that use Kirkland's Signature Butter rave about its flavor, claiming it to be light and creamy. Many who try the butter don't go back, which establishes this particular brand as a staple in pantries for both value and quality. Moreover, Kirkland Signature Butter, though not organic, is labeled as kosher and is produced without controversial rbTS artificial growth hormones. This adds to its appeal, especially considering the inexpensive price tag.

Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend

If you live a gluten-free lifestyle, you likely already know the ills associated with gluten-free baking. Finding the right gluten-free flour can be a headache, as all gluten-free flour blends contain different ingredients and thus produce different results. Depending on the flour blend you choose, you may end up with a grainy, dry, ill-flavored, and oddly textured baked good. Sigh!

Thankfully, Costco's got options for those of us with gluten sensitivities. If you're looking for an awesome gluten-free flour that bakes up perfectly every time, consider trying Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend. This blend contains a hodgepodge of rice and sorghum flours blended with tapioca starch, xanthan gum, and arrowroot powder. Reviewers claim this gluten-free find is indeed perfect as it provides the right texture and consistency for gluten-free baked goods without giving off any unappealing strong flavors that can distract from the dish's overall taste.

The downside is that because this flour is composed primarily of rice flour, it might not be a great option for gluten-freers dealing with high blood sugar or looking for keto-friendly options. Still, it is a solid alternative for most wheat-less diets where brown rice and starch don't pose an issue.

Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla

Ah, vanilla extract. This fragrant, flavorful baking addition can take any dish over the edge. When using vanilla extract, the quality of the brand you choose is essential, as it can make or break the flavor of baked goods. That's why we totally recommend you pick up Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla the next time you're in Costco.

Apart from the fact that this vanilla extract is crafted from premium Madagascar vanilla beans, we also love its depth of flavor. According to Nielsen-Massey, this caramel-colored pure vanilla comes is manufactured through cold extraction techniques that produce unmatched flavor compared to some of its competitors. This means you can expect a major upgrade in terms of taste when adding it to your baked goods, especially in recipes like white cake or sugar cookies, where the vanilla flavors truly shine.

Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract is currently sold in a two-pack at Costco, with each bottle containing 8 ounces of vanilla goodness.

Kirkland Signature Almond Milk

Shelf-stable milk? Yep, it's possible. And as any baker knows, it's a total game changer when it comes to having everything you need on hand. Kirkland Signature Almond Milk found at Costco stores comes in 12 one-quart milk cartons. The almond milk is non-dairy, plant-based, and kosher, making it perfect for baking for those with dietary restrictions or health concerns related to the consumption of traditional milk.

Reviewers describe the milk as refreshing but admit that its shelf-stable qualities throw them off a bit. Still, the consensus seems to be that the milk is awesome for everyday use, especially given its price point and overall value.

Not too keen on using an almond beverage to replace your traditional dairy milk? We get it. It's true that baking with almond milk may render results other than what you're used to, especially with regard to taste and texture. Nevertheless, unsweetened almond milk is an excellent alternative for those looking to give dairy the boot or who simply want to try something lower in fat and including fewer calories when baking.

Kirkland Signature Walnuts

Walnuts work to add the perfect amount of crunch to muffins and baked loaves (hello, banana bread) and are a healthful addition to sugary baked treats. Because the use of walnuts in baking recipes is so common, it can help to have a large stash of them in your pantry for when the opportunity strikes.

Pick up three pounds of Kirkland Signature Walnuts the next time you're at Costco, and you'll be thankful you did. These crunchy walnut halves, often touted for their freshness, offer top quality at an incredible price. Expect to score this large bag of walnuts at a price cheaper per pound than you can expect to find at your average grocery store ... you're welcome!

Do three pounds of walnuts sound like more than you'll actually need for baking? Use the leftovers to throw in your morning cereal or trail mix. Walnuts are incredibly versatile, so buy a bag and get creative.

Clabber Girl Baking Powder

As its name would imply, baking powder is essential to many baking recipes. It's responsible for creating light and fluffy aerated baked goods, but quality matters when it comes to the brand you choose, especially when it comes to its ingredients.

That's why we recommend picking up a 4-pound tub of Clabber Girl Baking Powder at Costco. Clabber-Girl Baking Powder features an aluminum-free formula that keeps your baked goods from having that annoying metallic taste often associated with other baking powder brands that include aluminum phosphate.

So, what do reviewers think? Seasoned home cooks claim that this product yields impressive results, providing just the right amount of lift and amazing texture to sweet treats. Use it to make fluffy cobbler crusts, light-textured cookies, and delectable old-fashioned biscuits. You can even substitute baking powder for baking soda by tripling the amount you'd normally use in a recipe. It's a win!

Stevia in the Raw

If you love baking up sweet treats but would rather ditch the sugar, you may want to give stevia a try. Much like Sugar in the Raw, Stevia in the Raw is also available for those who need to avoid this sugar for one reason or another.

Stevia is known for its zero-calorie health benefits associated with weight loss and proper maintenance of blood sugar. Still, you should know that stevia has been linked to a few negative effects in those consuming it, so be sure to consult with your health provider about whether stevia is the right sugar alternative for you.

So, what's the difference between stevia and Stevia in the Raw, you may ask? According to the company, Stevia in the Raw contains no added flavors or ingredients, unlike similar stevia products on the market. Instead, Stevia in the Raw is sourced directly from the Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni plant before it is steeped in hot water and purified for use. Costco sells this awesome low-cal and low-carb sweetener at 800 packs per box. 

Kirkland Signature Organic Ground Cinnamon

Who doesn't love a little cinnamon sprinkled over freshly baked goods? We certainly do. From cinnamon rolls to apple pie, this warming spice plays a central role in making baked goods taste amazing. That's why we were elated to discover Costco selling not one, but two 10.7-ounce canisters of Kirkland Signature Ground Cinnamon to members. This delicious Saigon cinnamon is organic, kosher, and naturally gluten-free, making it the perfect addition to your baking arsenal.

Not convinced this cinnamon is any different from the others you find at grocery retailers? We feel you. But know that most that have tried this cinnamon argue that it's the best out there. According to reviews, Kirkland Signature Organic Cinnamon packs a punch in terms of taste, providing a "sharper" cinnamon flavor than other brands. In fact, some enthusiasts claim the taste of this cinnamon to be so rich that you have to be careful just how much you use.

Though most of this sounds fantastic, remember that too much of a good thing can easily become a bad thing, especially when it comes to Saigon cinnamon. Eating too much of this lively spice may leave you with liver damage, especially when consumed in large amounts on a regular basis.

Kirkland Signature Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Melty, gooey, delicious chocolate chips, anyone? Yes, please! Chocolate chips are a must-have if you bake often. Of course, they're the ingredient responsible for outstanding chocolate chip cookies, but they are also great to have on hand for adding a hint of melted goodness to muffins, scones, and other baked foods.

So, how does Kirkland Signature Chocolate Chips compare to others out there? They're a head above the rest! Outside of affordability, you can expect these chocolate chips to deliver a lusciously rich and bold flavor that is sometimes missing from chocolate chips sold by local grocers. You can also count on Kirkland's chocolate chips to lean on the lesser sweet side, meaning they are truly semi-sweet, just as the packaging describes.

In addition to the aforementioned perks, expect these chocolate chips to be kosher, contain real vanilla, and offer up to 51% real cocoa in each bag. Delish!

Jif Creamy Peanut Butter

Peanut butter may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ingredients essential for baking. But if you've ever sunk your teeth into a rich and chewy peanut butter cookie, you likely know how important this ingredient really is.

Luscious nut butters like Jif Creamy Peanut Butter pack protein and creamy flavor, making it the perfect addition to your next decadent baked treat. Find peanut butter in various wonderful baking recipes, from rich and delicious cookies to healthy protein balls. Because of its versatility, having a large jar on hand is crucial for when you want something nutty, and as always, you can trust that Costco is on the scene to give you just what you need.

Try getting your hands on Jif Creamy Peanut Butter sold in two-count packs of 48 ounces for the next time hunger strikes. Chances are, you'll be happy you did.

Crisco Shortening

Crisco Shortening is available in a six-pound canister at Costco, and for all of us avid bakers out there, this is music to our ears! Crisco has been a staple for home chefs for over a century now, and this shortening still plays an active role in many modern-day baking recipes. While the debate as to whether or not butter or shortening is better for certain baked goods still rages on, know that it might benefit you to pick up a canister of this beloved kitchen staple just in case.

Shortening is best known for literally "shortening" the fibers of gluten in doughs and batters, which produces a more tender and flaky outcome. The results fare excellently in cookies and can work well for certain pie crusts, too. Just know that if you choose to use shortening instead of butter when baking, you'll miss out on that rich buttery taste, which may be a major bummer to some. Shortening is made with 100% animal or vegetable oil, so what you'll get in texture may be lost in flavor depending on the recipe.

Red Star Dry Active Yeast

Yeast is an age-old ingredient that enables bread dough to rise. It is easy to see how this quintessential ingredient is crucial for baking. Red Star Dry Active Yeast is a great item to add to your baking collection, especially from Costco. As expected, Costco delivers in terms of the amount of yeast it offers its members, as Red Star Active Yeast is currently sold in two packs of 32 ounces each.

So how is it used? Unlike instant yeast, dry active yeast will need to "proof" before you add it to your other dough ingredients. This usually involves mixing the yeast granules in barely warm water with a pinch of sugar and allowing it to sit a few minutes before use. Those who have tried Costco's Red Star Dry Active Yeast have been impressed by its lifting power when used for bread. Word on the street is that it also makes amazing cinnamon rolls. We're in!

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

Like baking powder, baking soda is vital for producing soft and aerated baked goods. This inexpensive ingredient is often used on its own but is also utilized in combination with baking powder to yield the ultimate texture and flavor experience in various foods. 

At Costco, you can find a 13.5-pound Arm & Hammer Baking Soda to satisfy your needs for producing fluffy baked deliciousness. Though you typically only need a smidge of baking soda to get the results you need, having more than enough of it stashed in your pantry is often a smart move, especially if you bake often.

When it comes to the Arm & Hammer brand, know that the name is virtually synonymous with high-quality baking soda. Arm & Hammer has been around for years, and long-time users never cease to sing its praises regarding its performance. The marvelous thing is that though baking soda is indeed a baking essential, it also serves a variety of other purposes. Devotees love the fact that they can bake, whiten their teeth, and even de-stink their room with it. There are so many great uses for baking soda that buying it in bulk at Costco is a no-brainer.