“Magnolia Bakery Handbook”
by Bobbie Lloyd
Released in celebration of the iconic Magnolia Bakery’s 25th Anniversary, this beautifully photographed book features 150 yummy takes on cakes, cookies, pies, brownies, scones, and icebox desserts. The recipes are easy to follow with lots of tips and techniques explained. The photos are not only of the gorgeous final product but also of steps within the recipe. I also love that the ingredients are easy to find in any grocery store.
“Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottolenghi”
by Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh
These aren’t your Grandmother’s recipes! “Sweet” is filled with unique flavor combinations and exotic spices. Tahini & halva brownies, passionfruit cheesecake with spiced pineapple, blackberry, and star anise friands are just a few of the unique recipes found in Sweet. The book also features a whole section of Baker’s Tips and Notes - which are useful not only for the recipes within the book but any other baking you may do as well.
by Stella Parks
“Bravetart” features iconic American classics that remind me of my childhood. The best part of this book for me is the included history of some American favorites like Strawberry Shortcake (the southern version with buttermilk biscuits) and Chocolate Chip Cookies. All types of goodies are covered: cookies, cakes, doughnuts, puddings, candy bars, and ice cream. The book has a whole section on “taste alikes” - Thin Mints, Nilla Wafers, Oreos, and Twinkies, to name a few. In addition to the main recipe, there are added suggestions on how to mix it up a little - Bacon-Bacon Snickerdoodles, anyone?
“Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection”
by Martha Stewart
For those who want to channel their inner Martha Stewart, this recipe book has all of Martha’s favorites. From show-stopping cakes like Coffee Feather Cake (with multi-colored, chocolate feathers) to a no-bake Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake, there is something for every skill level in this classic cake book. The book ends with a whole chapter on baking basics, so you can learn to create your own, unique masterpieces.
“Super Good Baking for Kids”
by Duff Goldman
An excellent beginning book for baking. So many photos - I love it! There are photos of the various types of equipment along with how and why to use; the ingredients with details as to how to choose and use; photos of various techniques to help visualize the process and, of course, photos of the recipes and finished results. Duff gives clear instructions for yummy cakes, cookies, pastries, donuts, and other sweet treats. There is a ton of useful information and fun facts that help keep kids engaged - I say kids, but I really mean all ages. “Super Good Baking for Kids” is a solid book for anyone wanting to learn basic baking skills.
by Rachel Conners
Everyone deserves a treat, and Conners has created a cookbook for those who need gluten-free,dairy-free, and refined sugar-free desserts. There are also paleo and vegan options included. This book has over 100 recipes of new takes on classics like chocolate doughnuts, apple crumb pie, lemon blueberry scones, and fudge brownies. It’s full of eye-catching photos and easy to follow recipes which include information on ingredients and substitutions.
“Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread”
by Zachary Golper and Peter Kaminsky
From the famous Brooklyn Bakery of Chef Zachary Golper comes a simply beautiful book on bread baking. The book is filled with 50 types of bread recipes - biscuits, bagels, raisin water rolls, bourbon bread - and of course, Golper’s famous 24-day sourdough starter (if you haven’t already jumped on the sourdough bandwagon, the time is now!) I love that this book first covers the basics of bread baking - including sections on different grains and flours and useful equipment - before moving on to more creative flavor combinations.
“Momofuku Milk Bar: A Cookbook”
by Christina Tosi
This is not a baking book for beginners, many of the ingredients are very specific and, more than likely, not easily found in your pantry. But I included it because of the behind the scenes look at the famous Momofuku Milk Bar. Tosi has created a cookbook that also tells a story of the recipes, her childhood, her success, and of course - of the Milk Bar. As for the recipes, they are clear and logical to follow. The book does lack some of the beautiful photography of some of my other picks, but if you are a fan of Momofuku, Milk Bar or creative takes on childhood classics - this book is just perfect.