Photo credit: Jordane Mathieu

How often does the name of an ingredient or a piece of baking equipment leave us totally bewildered? What does the term mean? Some people call cookies biscuits, the American version is cookies and the British version, biscuits. There are so many words like these and depending on which book you’re referring to, a British publication or an American one, or more confounding still, an Australian one, baking ingredients and equipment can confuse. And then of course there is the Indian version too, and it gets even more confusing. But mostly, Indians used British English because of our historical past. Now however, with the internet and so much of American influence, many people use the American equivalents here in India too.

I took these ingredient and equipment terms from a wonderful book called The Best of Baking.

So here are some British baking terms with their American equivalents. I’d love it if you’d add to these in the comment section of this post.


apple, cooking (British) / apple, baking (American)

apple purée (British) / apple sauce (American)

bicarbonate or soda (British) / baking soda (American)

biscuits (British) / crackers or cookies (American)

biscuit mixture (British) / cookie dough (American)

black treacle (British) / molasses (American)

cake mixture (British) / cake batter (American)

chocolate caraque (British) chocolate curls (American)

chocolate, plain (British) / chocolate, semisweet (American)

chocolate vermicelli (British) / chocolate sprinkles (American)

cocoa powder (British) / unsweetened cocoa (American)

coconut, dessicated (British) / coconut, shredded (American)

cornflour (British) / cornstarch (American)

cream, single (British) / cream, light (American)

cream, double (British) / cream, heavy (American)

digestive biscuits (British) / graham crackers (American)

flour, plain (British) / flour, all purpose (American)

gelatine (British) / gelatin (American)

glacé cherries (British) / candied cherries (American)

icing (British) / frosting (American)

raisins, seedless (British) / raisins, seeded (American)

scones (British) / biscuits (American)

semolina (British) / semolina flour (American)

shortcrust pastry (British) / basic pie dough (American)

soured cream (British) / sour cream (American)

sugar, icing (British) / sugar, confectioners’ (American)

sultanas (British) / seedless white raisins (American)

vanilla pod (British) / vanilla bean (American)

yeast, fresh [25 gms, 1 oz] (British) / yeast, compressed [1cake] (American)


baking tray (British) / baking sheet (American)

base ( British) / bottom (American)

cake board (British) / cake plate (American)

cling film (British) / plastic wrap (American)

cocktail stick (British) / toothpick (American)

deep cake tin (British) / spring form pan (American)

double saucepan (British) / double boiler (American)

dough or mixture (British) / batter (American)

flan tin (British) / pie pan (American)

grease proof paper (British) / wax paper (American)

knock back dough (British) / punch down dough (American)

liquidiser (British) / blender (American)

loaf tin (British) / loaf pan (American)

muslin (British) / cheesecloth (American)

palette knife (British) / spatula (American)

pastry or biscuit cutter (British) / cookie cutter (American)

pastry case (British) / pie shell (American)

piping pag (British) / pastry bag (American)

polythene (British) / plastic (American)

prove dough (British) / rise dough (American)

pudding basin (British) / oven proof bowl or pudding mold (American)

sandwich tin (British) / layer cake pan (American)

stoned (British) / pitted (American)

sugar thermometer (British) / candy thermometer (American)

Swiss roll tin (British) / jelly roll pan (American)

whisk eggs (British) / beat eggs (American)

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