My Top 5 Rolling Pin Substitutes

It can be a real pain-in-the-neck when you find yourself having to make pastry or roll out dough but then have no clue where your rolling pin is. Literally! I mean, who even has space for such awkwardly shaped heavy instruments in the kitchen anymore.

Annoyingly enough, however, rolling pins are just one of those things that you’ll need occasionally. I know, after having dealt with this for way over 10 years. As someone who specializes in making cakes, I rarely need to use a rolling pin and most days I don’t even know where I have buried mine. 

And that is why I am sharing with you, my top five super handy rolling pin substitutes that you can easily find in your kitchen and how I make them work.

Let’s roll!

1. Wine bottle

Best to use for: Rolling out larger surfaces

This, my fellow bakers, is the classic substitute. Wine bottles are made of glass, which makes them sturdy with an incredibly smooth surface. 

To prepare your wine bottle for rolling, you’d want to start by drinking all of the wine in it …

Do you have to? No. Will it enhance your baking experience? I think so.

Do start by disinfecting it with alcohol or simply give it a good rinse. Wipe off any water on the surface as you don’t want any water droplets to add moisture and thereby affect the texture of your dough.

Also, make sure that you’ve peeled off any label that your bottle came with and got rid of all the residual glue as they can create ridges and wrinkles on your dough. Plus surely, glue is not going to taste very good in your bread or cookie either. 

An alternative to doing all this is to wrap cling foil all around the bottle, but I don’t personally like to do so because I could never get a tight enough wrap which then creates the same problem I just mentioned having to deal with. 

Dusting flour on your bottle prevents sticking. You can use a wine bottle to roll out large and even thick surfaces, crush biscuits, and pretty much anything else you would do with a rolling pin.

2. Thermos

Best to use for: Heavy-duty rolling and crushing

A wine bottle is cool and all but what if you’re just a super responsible individual who has a no wine (fun) policy? Well, this one is for you. 

Thermos comes in all different shapes and forms. Here I am talking exclusively about them long cylindrical thermos. Just like some of the popular rolling pins on the market, you can find thermos made of stainless steel which makes them naturally cool, smooth, and nearly nonstick. 

If your thermos bottle doesn’t have a stainless steel exterior, don’t worry. What you’re really looking for is just a long cylinder that you can roll with. One thing to look out for is that you’re not rolling with the edge as that can make your dough uneven.

Prep your thermos the same way you would prep the wine bottle, and you can get rolling. This is definitely my personal favorite substitute because a thermos should be just as sturdy if not even more than a wine bottle, so go wild with it!  

3. Tall glass

Best to use for: Small surfaces and crushing small amounts

If you don’t have a thermos, a tall glass can still do the work. Just make sure that your glass is straight and isn’t rounded on the side. 

It might be a little tricky at first, but the good thing about this method is at least you can count on your glass being sturdy enough not to bend. 

A tall glass should be sufficient for rolling out small surfaces and any softer dough. You might even get away with using it to crush a few biscuits but any more than that would tire your wrist out. 

4. Snack container

Best to use for: Light-duty rolling

I bet you don’t see this being mentioned a lot as a substitute but I’d managed to make it work for me. I’m talking about the cylindrical containers with chips, cheeseballs, nuts, or whatever snack they put in them. On the top of my head, I’m thinking Pringles. 

Now obviously the same cleaning instructions still apply. But the fun, not necessarily the most practical part of this, is that it can give your bakes an interesting embossed effect. 

It still depends on what you’re baking though, cookies tend to hold their shape a bit better. It is subtle! So don’t expect some super intricate design. 

Generally speaking, snack containers are not going to be very durable. So this really only works for softer dough. 

5. Beverage can

Best to use for: Very light-duty soft dough rolling and small surfaces

If all else fails and you don’t have any of the listed items in your kitchen, you’re clearly quite isolated from society. Go to the nearest convenience store and get yourself a can of soda or beer. You’re going to need it, for the baking and god knows what else. 

Look for a large beverage can that holds about 355ml. This should be long and heavy enough to get some light-duty rolling done. Of course, cleaning is a must as always. You can wipe it or rinse it but make sure not to shake it too much.

Before rolling, I also recommend dusting some flour on your can surface so that your dough doesn’t stick to it. Keep in mind that this is a soda can and it may easily explode if you’re using too much pressure, so remember to roll with caution.

Conclusion

What I’ve listed are just five of many tools you can use to perform the functions of a rolling pin. At the end of the day, you just want to look for something that is cylindrically shaped with a smooth surface, sturdy enough to hold its shape and you should be good to go!

Get creative with it and let me know what are your top rolling pin substitutes. 😉

About Angie
I am a self-taught baker. I’ve been baking for over 10 years and started my own home baking business as a side hustle. I was born in Hong Kong and spent a pretty big chunk of my life in Canada. If you’re ever looking for me, I am probably there whisking vigorously away in the kitchen.

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