Sian (she bakes after dinner mint brownies): Always have eggs and butter in the fridge. Buy them every time you go to the supermarket. I tend to go through fits and bursts with baking, one week I'll try five new recipes and then I'll lose my whisk for a month. I'm about 97% more likely to buy something if I've already go the basics in. The more you bake, the better you'll be at baking. But I still can't bake biscuits without burning them.
Laura B (she bakes churros muffins): Stock up on cake tins and assorted bakeware when you see them at bargainous prices. Much like Sian's butter and eggs advice, having various shapes and sizes of trays and tins already in your cupboard means you'll be much more likely to dive straight in and do a bit of baking when a recipe whets your appetite. Also, buy a set of proper measuring spoons - and remember that most recipes call for a LEVEL measurement, not heaped!
Caleigh (she bakes gluten-free delights like this custard tart): Invest in a decent kitchen scale. It doesn't have to be super expensive, but weighing your ingredients accurately will always give you better results. Baking is as much about science and measures as it is flavours and creativity so follow the recipe! If you like making up your own recipes, I highly recommend you read Ratio by Michael Ruhlman, which explains the relationships between ingredients and how much of each you need to make different baked goods.
Laura H (she bakes weekly cake confections like these apple pudding loaves): I'm with Laura B on the cookware, but I think it's always important to have a stock of decent quality baking parchment or greaseproof paper. There's nothing worse than baking an amazing cake and having half of it stick to the bottom of the tin. If you're not sure which one to use, check out this handy guide. Also, never be too down on yourself if a cake doesn't turn out exactly as planned. I'm a believer in baking karma: for every 5 brilliant cakes there's one dodgy one just waiting to happen!
Hazel (she bakes chai cake - mouthwateringly pictured above): I know that I would have much more regular baking success if I simply followed recipes and didn't veer off on my own wild tangents but I just can't help myself. I try to follow the rule of weighing everything and follow the recipe EXACTLY the first time then experiment the second. I really should follow my own advice but my baking successes are all the more sweeter when I've just followed my instincts and the disasters ever more expected. I also work on the principle that when it comes to cakes, if the mixture tastes good before it goes into the oven, then even if it doesn't bake as planned at least it will taste great.
What are your baking secrets? Do you follow recipes to the letter or have fun experimenting in the kitchen? And what's your can't-live-without-it piece of baking kit?