The best books on seasonal baking

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an award-winning cookbook author, photographer, and culinary instructor with a passion for local food and dessert. As a trained chef, I’ve worked behind the scenes of Cook’s Illustrated magazine and the TV show America’s Test Kitchen. I’ve also been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and CBS Evening News. For cookbooks, I love beautifully styled photography that pulls me in and delicious, well-written recipes that work in a real home kitchen. I also like a cookbook that you can curl up with and read like a novel. I live outside Boston with my family, two high-maintenance cats, and a pair of well-worn roller skates.


I wrote...

New England Desserts: Classic and Creative Recipes for All Seasons

By Tammy Donroe Inman,

Book cover of New England Desserts: Classic and Creative Recipes for All Seasons

What is my book about?

New England Desserts celebrates the unique character of the spring, summer, fall, and winter with the best ingredients each season has to offer, like fresh strawberries, wild blueberries and raspberries, crisp apples, tart cranberries, and earthy pumpkins. This award-winning cookbook covers all the New England classics, like Maine Blueberry Pie and Black Raspberry Ice Cream, but it also takes a playful approach to seasonal favorites, featuring clever twists like Rhubarb Ripple Ice Cream, Plum Cardamom Crisp, Caramel Apple Tarts, Cranberry Crumb Bars, and Rosemary Juniper Shortbread. With more than 100 recipes for homemade cakes, cookies, candies, pies, crisps, cobblers, crumbles, and ice cream, New England Desserts will fulfill your seasonal cravings all year long.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More

Tammy Donroe Inman Why did I love this book?

This charmingly compact cookbook is a favorite of mine and never far from my kitchen.

It’s chock full of recipes for old-fashioned, seasonal fruit desserts by the owner of Portland, Oregon’s Baker & Spice. I particularly love the rustic berry crisps, wholesome cakes, and boozy bread puddings inspired by the ingredients of the Pacific Northwest.The Sour Cherry Cobbler is a delightful recipe I come back to again and again.

Organized by season for easy reference, the luscious, up-close photographs are half the appeal. But the recipes for this irresistible assortment of desserts are reliable, unfussy, and delicious, making it my favorite seasonal cookbook of the bunch.

By Cory Schreiber, Julie Richardson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rustic Fruit Desserts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

James Beard Award-winning chef Cory Schreiber teams up with Julie Richardson, owner of Portland’s Baker & Spice, to showcase the freshest fruit available amidst a repertoire of nearly 75 satisfying old-timey fruit desserts, including crumbles, crisps, buckles, pies, and more.

An early fall cobbler with blackberries bubbling in their juice beneath a golden cream biscuit. A crunchy oatmeal crisp made with mid-summer’s nectarines and raspberries. Or a comforting pear bread pudding to soften a harsh winter’s day. Simple, scrumptious, cherished–these heritage desserts featuring local fruit are thankfully experiencing a long-due revival.

Whether you’re searching for the perfect ending to a…


Book cover of Sweeter off the Vine: Fruit Desserts for Every Season

Tammy Donroe Inman Why did I love this book?

In this lushly photographed book, Brooklyn baker Arefi showcases 76 creative dessert recipes that draw on seasonal fruit and her Iranian heritage.

I love her subtle flavor twists like Raspberry Pink Peppercorn Sorbet, Rhubarb and Rose Galettes, and Cherry and Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake.

While Arefi’s recipes lean slightly exotic, they’re not overly complicated or fussy. They feel fresh and creative, which makes this book a perfect choice for the adventurous baker looking for inspiration.

By Yossy Arefi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sweeter off the Vine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A cozy collection of heirloom-quality recipes for pies, cakes, tarts, ice cream, preserves, and other sweet treats that cherishes the fruit of every season.

Celebrate the luscious fruits of every season with this stunning collection of heirloom-quality recipes for pies, cakes, tarts, ice cream, preserves, and other sweet treats. Summer's wild raspberries become Raspberry Pink Peppercorn Sorbet, ruby red rhubarb is roasted to adorn a pavlova, juicy apricots and berries are baked into galettes with saffron sugar, and winter's bright citrus fruits shine in Blood Orange Donuts and Tangerine Cream Pie. Yossy Arefi’s recipes showcase what's fresh and vibrant any…


Book cover of Bake the Seasons: Sweet and Savoury Dishes to Enjoy Throughout the Year

Tammy Donroe Inman Why did I love this book?

The gorgeous Cherry Almond Dutch Baby on the cover was what initially attracted me to this book. And indeed, the food styling is captivating throughout.

I love that Canadian baker DiLonardo gives equal weight to savory recipes in this cookbook, not just sweet. Winter Pear and Smoked Gorgonzola Pizza, Garlic Scape Brie Biscuits, and Sweet Potato and Chorizo Empanadas are guaranteed to tempt you to skip dessert—that is until you see the dessert menu: Peach Basil Crumble, Rhubarb Oat Squares, and Salted Caramel Pear Hand Pies.

If you have a productive garden, belong to a CSA, or love the sweet and savory aspect of brunch, this book is for you!

By Marcella DiLonardo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bake the Seasons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rediscover the simple pleasures of baking with a collection of comforting sweet and savoury recipes that celebrates seasonal flavours.

Inspired by the abundance of the farms, orchards, and gardens of her childhood, Marcella DiLonardo has always loved baking throughout the year with the wide range of fruits and vegetables that accompany the changing seasons. With a few quality pantry essentials, Marcella focuses on simplicity in Bake the Seasons, sharing over 100 sweet and savoury recipes. These homey favourites are often modern twists on familiar classics and will quickly become tried and true dishes you return to again and again. Whether…


Book cover of Honey and Jam: Seasonal Baking from My Kitchen in the Mountains

Tammy Donroe Inman Why did I love this book?

Inspired by the natural rhythms of her land in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Queen presents more than 70 recipes for homespun desserts (mostly cakes) with a few savory items scattered in.

I learned of her cookbook through her gorgeously photographed food blog and Instagram feed, but her recipes are what convinced me to buy a copy. Her Southern influence comes through in the Green Tomato Cornmeal Cake, Sweet Potato Cupcakes, and Black Pepper Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Cake, but she’s equally comfortable tackling the apples, cranberries, and pears I love, too.

By Hannah Queen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the tradition of cooking with each season's bounty, Hannah Queen applies the same spirit to her baking, turning out an abundance of fresh cakes, trifles, biscuits and more.
From the citrus of winter to the bright squash of summer, more than 70 classic and modern dessert recipes celebrate locally sourced ingredients. Relish the sweet fruit of the spring with the delectable Rhubarb Custard Cake and savour the ripe flavours of autumn with the Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Bourbon Buttercream. The wide range of flavours and recipes for year-round baking ensure you will never tire of these fresh indulgences.
Featuring…


Book cover of Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers

Tammy Donroe Inman Why did I love this book?

Los Angeles-based pastry chef Rucker has compiled her favorite fruit-based brunch and dessert recipes into one tempting volume. Some of my favorites: Spiced Apple Wedding Cake, Huckleberry Blondies, and Kabocha Squash Pie. 

There is some advanced technique here, but most of the ingredients are easy to find. With photography that is bright and inviting, this book is a good, modern addition to your seasonal baking library.

By Nicole Rucker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fresh fruit-based desserts from beloved Los Angeles pastry chef and restaurateur Nicole Rucker.

Nicole Rucker is responsible for some of the most raved-about and Instagrammed pastries and baked goods in Los Angeles, first as the Pastry Chef at the hotspots Gjelina Take Away and Gjusta, then through her pie company Rucker's Pie and restaurant Fiona. In her debut cookbook, Rucker shares her obsession and her recipes with readers to help them achieve the same kind of magical alchemy she's perfected in fruit desserts.

To Rucker, fruit is every bit as decadent as chocolate cake and in this unique guide to…


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