The best books on pastry baking from an award winning baker

Why am I passionate about this?

Lei Shishak is the author of numerous cookbooks including Beach House Dinners, Beach House Brunch, Beach House Baking, and Farm-to-Table Desserts. A graduate of Culinary Institute of America, Lei is the founder of Sugar Blossom Bake Shop in San Clemente, California. She is one of Southern California’s most respected bakers, having been honored as the Orange County Pastry Chef of the Year in 2011 by Riviera Magazine.


I wrote...

Farm-To-Table Desserts: 80 Seasonal, Organic Recipes Made from Your Local Farmers Market

By Lei Shishak,

Book cover of Farm-To-Table Desserts: 80 Seasonal, Organic Recipes Made from Your Local Farmers Market

What is my book about?

When we shop at farmers' markets, we support our local economy and consume food that's healthier, tastier, and packed with essential nutrients specific to our local environment. In Farm-to-Table Desserts, chef Lei demonstrates how baking with locally sourced, organic ingredients is so satisfying that it will quickly become an easy and delicious habit.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle

Lei Shishak Why did I love this book?

Pastry chef Kate Zuckerman shares her recipes from Chanterelle, the beloved, award-winning New York City restaurant. This book is a beautiful and complete look into a restaurant pastry chef’s world. The recipes cover a full spectrum of desserts from luscious tarts to cakes, cookies, custards, soufflés, and delightful confections. Readers will enjoy in-depth explanations of pastry techniques and the history of ingredients. Two of my favorite recipes in the book are the Roasted Apple Beignets and the Brandied Dried Fig Soufflé.

By Tina Rupp, Kate Zuckerman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sweet Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Say the word "Chanterelle" to a food-loving New Yorker and the first thing she thinks of is the beloved restaurant that put SoHo on the culinary map in 1979 and is now approaching its 25th anniversary in its new location in Tribeca. Kate Zuckerman, Chanterelle's pastry chef, has met and exceeded the high expectations of the restaurants' founders, David and Karen Waltuck, by creating exquisite desserts that draw upon her vast culinary experiences - both as a 4-star pastry chef in Boston, San Francisco and New York - and through her culinary travels to countries such as India. The Sweet…


Book cover of The Pie and Pastry Bible

Lei Shishak Why did I love this book?

Rose Levy Berenbaum is an incredible teacher, and this comes through in her cookbooks. The Pie and Pastry Bible includes over 300 recipes for pies, tarts, and any pastry you can imagine. There's even a chapter entirely devoted to crusts and another one solely on fillings and toppings! In every recipe, Ruth shares recipe variations, storage information, and pointers for success. As a bonus, recipes include both volume and weight measurements.

By Rose Levy Beranbaum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pie and Pastry Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Pie and Pastry Bible is your magic wand for baking the pies, tarts, and pastries of your dreams-the definitive work by the country's top baker.

The Pie and Pastry Bible is your magic wand for baking the pies, tarts, and pastries of your dreams-the definitive work by the country's top baker.

-More than 300 recipes, 200 drawings of techniques and equipment, and 70 color pictures of finished pies, tarts, and pastries

-Easy-to-follow recipes for fruit pies, chiffon pies, custard pies, ice-cream pies, meringue pies, chocolate pies, tarts and tartlets, turnovers, dumplings, biscuits, scones, crostadas, galettes, strudel, fillo, puff pastry,…


Book cover of Understanding Baking: The Art and Science of Baking

Lei Shishak Why did I love this book?

This small but informative book breaks down the ingredients used in baking and the science behind them. Readers will learn why ingredients like egg, flour, sugar, and milk are frequently used in pastry baking. The authors masterfully explain how ingredients transform during the baking process, like when an egg mixes with sugar or when baking soda combines with an acid. Each chapter ends with a helpful review written in a quiz format. You will become a better baker by reading this book. Note that there are no recipes in this book.

By Joseph Amendola, Nicole Rees,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Understanding Baking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The essential-and accessible-guide to the science of baking Baking is as much a science as an art. That's why, in addition to mastering basic techniques and recipes, every baker must also learn about the science that underlies the baking craft. Guided by contemporary baking and pastry research and practice, this new edition of Joseph Amendola's invaluable reference gives readers knowledge that they can apply to their own baking-whether it's selecting the right flour, understanding how different leavening agents work, or learning about using new baking ingredients and additives to enhance favorite recipes. Written in a clear, easy-to-understand style, Understanding Baking…


Book cover of Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft

Lei Shishak Why did I love this book?

This was my textbook when I was a baking and pastry major in culinary school. In its third edition, this is the most comprehensive pastry baking book from the country's premier culinary school. I still refer back to it time and again for its reliable recipes and classic techniques. The chapters cover every specialty in pastry baking, including bread, chocolates, confections, wedding cakes, pastries, decorating, mousses, and frozen desserts. This book is well worth its price.

By The Culinary Institute of America (CIA),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Baking and Pastry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The leading learning tool for all levels of baking and pastry ability, newly illustrated and updated Praised by top pastry chefs and bakers as "an indispensable guide" and "the ultimate baking and pastry reference," the latest edition of Baking and Pastry from The Culinary Institute of America improves upon the last with more than 300 new recipes, photographs, and illustrations, and completely revised and up-to-date information on creating spectacular breads and desserts. Covering the full range of the baking and pastry arts and widely used by professionals and readers who want to bake like professionals, this book offers detailed, accessible…


Book cover of The Perfect Scoop: 200 Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, Gelatos, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments

Lei Shishak Why did I love this book?

Frozen desserts are an integral part of pastry baking that is sometimes overlooked. A pastry chef must be competent in ice cream and sorbets to secure work in any restaurant or hotel. The Perfect Scoop is an excellent introduction to the world of frozen desserts with recipes for ice cream, gelato, sorbets, sherbets, and granitas. Readers will also enjoy recipes for sauces, toppings, and mix-ins like butterscotch toffee and spiced pecans. Ice cream recipes include popular flavors like chocolate to fancier ones like chartreuse and lemon speculoos. The best part? All of the recipes yield batch sizes perfect for the home pastry baker.

By David Lebovitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Perfect Scoop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A revised and updated edition of the best-selling ice cream book, featuring a dozen new recipes, a fresh design, and all-new photography. This comprehensive collection of homemade ice creams, sorbets, gelatos, granitas, and accompaniments from New York Times best-selling cookbook author and blogger David Lebovitz emphasizes classic and sophisticated flavors alongside a bountiful helping of personality and proven technique.

David's frozen favorites range from classic (Chocolate-Peanut Butter) to comforting (S'mores Ice Cream) and contemporary (Lavender-Honey) to cutting-edge (Labneh Ice Cream with Pistachio-Sesame Brittle). Also appearing is a brand new selection of frozen cocktails, including a Negroni Slush and Spritz Sorbet,…


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