42 books like Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts

By Maida Heatter,

Here are 42 books that Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts fans have personally recommended if you like Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Fruit: The Art of Pastry

Nick Malgieri Author Of How to Bake

From my list on getting you baking like a pro.

Why am I passionate about this?

Whenever I’m asked about when I knew I wanted to be a pastry chef/baker, I always answer, “birth!” My maternal grandmother lived with us and she loved to bake; I was playing with dough as soon as I was old enough to stand on a chair next to the kitchen table. After college I faced a crisis: graduate school or culinary school – I chose the latter and I’ve never looked back. Adding teaching and writing to my love of baking led me to travel, taste, research, and learn new techniques and recipes to share. It’s a passion from which I’ll never retire.

Nick's book list on getting you baking like a pro

Nick Malgieri Why did Nick love this book?

Cedric Grolet, the enfant terrible of Parisian pastry circles, astounded the world of desserts when he started preparing his fabulous life-like molded fruit desserts at the Hotel Meurice. 

Soon after, a tiny retail pastry shop opened in the hotel, and now he has a full scale shop, Opera, a few blocks down from the actual Paris opera house. Fruit was his first book and though it details some of his most elaborate creations in the form of natural fruits, the book also concentrates on his personal twist on basic preparations such as pastry doughs, fillings, and presentations.

Some classic pastry books are happy to accurately chronicle how specialties were prepared in the past, but here is a book that shows the contemporary up-to-the-minute version of so many recipes recreated by a true pastry genius. 

Innovative recipes for all types of croissant variations, astounding presentations of fruit tarts, and elaborate eclairs…

By Cedric Grolet,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Cédric Grolet is simply the most talented pastry chef of his generation—he was named World’s Best Pastry Chef in 2018. Food & Wine called his work “the apotheosis of confectionary creation.” He fashions trompe l’oeil pieces that appear to be the most perfect, sparkling fruit but are, once cut, revealed to be exquisite pastries with surprising fillings. They are absolutely unforgettable, both to look at and, of course, to eat.
 
This lush cookbook presents Grolet’s fruit-based haute-couture pastries like works of art. The chef explains his techniques and his search for authentic tastes and offers a peek into his boundless…


Book cover of Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home

Nick Malgieri Author Of How to Bake

From my list on getting you baking like a pro.

Why am I passionate about this?

Whenever I’m asked about when I knew I wanted to be a pastry chef/baker, I always answer, “birth!” My maternal grandmother lived with us and she loved to bake; I was playing with dough as soon as I was old enough to stand on a chair next to the kitchen table. After college I faced a crisis: graduate school or culinary school – I chose the latter and I’ve never looked back. Adding teaching and writing to my love of baking led me to travel, taste, research, and learn new techniques and recipes to share. It’s a passion from which I’ll never retire.

Nick's book list on getting you baking like a pro

Nick Malgieri Why did Nick love this book?

I first met Ciril Hitz at a pastry chefs’ conference in Las Vegas where he was conducting a demonstration workshop on laminated doughs like croissants. Swiss-born and American-educated, his articulate explanations of this complex branch of pastry-making, helped me to understand them more fully than ever before. 

I rejoiced when I received a copy of his first book about bread with a unique approach: Ten master formulas, each elucidating a different type of bread dough, cover the main techniques for producing delicious – and beautiful – breads accurately every time. 

Baguettes, focacce, brioches, croissants, whole grain breads, pizzas, bagels, sandwich bread, and challah, are all here with further variations on shapes and flavors. Having started my career with an exclusively pastry background, I had to learn about bread on my own. 

This book gave me a firm foundation of knowledge that enabled me to create my own individual approach to…

By Ciril Hitz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bread enthusiasts are more aware of the diverse array of high-quality breads than ever before and are seeking out handmade artisan products at local farmers' markets, organic grocery stores, specialty shops...even the Internet. "Baking Artisan Bread" will show that finding these specialty breads is as easy as looking in your own kitchen! "Baking Artisan Bread" provides a simplified, formula-based approach to baking bread at home, making the mixing, the rising, and the baking itself more approachable and less intimidating. With step-by-step full-colour process shots and clear directions, chef Ciril Hitz will show you how with just 10 formulas you can…


Book cover of Good & Sweet: A New Way to Bake with Naturally Sweet Ingredients

Nick Malgieri Author Of How to Bake

From my list on getting you baking like a pro.

Why am I passionate about this?

Whenever I’m asked about when I knew I wanted to be a pastry chef/baker, I always answer, “birth!” My maternal grandmother lived with us and she loved to bake; I was playing with dough as soon as I was old enough to stand on a chair next to the kitchen table. After college I faced a crisis: graduate school or culinary school – I chose the latter and I’ve never looked back. Adding teaching and writing to my love of baking led me to travel, taste, research, and learn new techniques and recipes to share. It’s a passion from which I’ll never retire.

Nick's book list on getting you baking like a pro

Nick Malgieri Why did Nick love this book?

In Good and Sweet, Brian Levy takes a radical approach to preparing delicious desserts – he uses no refined sugar but finds the necessary sweetness of his desserts from fruits (dried, juiced, or fresh), grains, dairy products, and nuts.

Before I tried any of the recipes, I have to admit that I was somewhat skeptical, but one taste of any of the recipes I tried made me realize that there are other ways to sweeten besides refined sugar. My favorites include Blueberry Biscuit Cobbler, Cherry Coconut Clafoutis, Figgy Cheesecake, Rosemary Lemon Shortbread, and Spiced Pumpkin Pie.

Levy also incorporates whole grain flour when appropriate as high-quality flour provides a sweetness of its own.

By Brian Levy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: Los Angeles Times, Serious Eats

Groundbreaking recipes for real desserts—sweetened entirely by fruit and other natural, unexpectedly sweet ingredients—from a pastry cook who’s worked at acclaimed restaurants in New York and France.

Brian Levy spent years making pastries the traditional way, with loads of refined sugar and white flour, at distinguished restaurants, inns, and private homes in the United States and Europe. But he discovered another world of desserts—one that few bakers have explored—where there’s no need for cane sugar or coconut sugar, for maple syrup or honey, or for anything like…


Book cover of Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts

Nick Malgieri Author Of How to Bake

From my list on getting you baking like a pro.

Why am I passionate about this?

Whenever I’m asked about when I knew I wanted to be a pastry chef/baker, I always answer, “birth!” My maternal grandmother lived with us and she loved to bake; I was playing with dough as soon as I was old enough to stand on a chair next to the kitchen table. After college I faced a crisis: graduate school or culinary school – I chose the latter and I’ve never looked back. Adding teaching and writing to my love of baking led me to travel, taste, research, and learn new techniques and recipes to share. It’s a passion from which I’ll never retire.

Nick's book list on getting you baking like a pro

Nick Malgieri Why did Nick love this book?

Before it was a book, Cocolat was a small chain of wildly popular chocolate dessert shops in and around San Francisco. 

Its founder and author, Alice Medrich, had spent some time in France, and had learned some enticingly delicious chocolate recipes there. Back in San Francisco, she started experimenting with quantity baking and the first Cocolat shop was born.  

Chocolate cakes, large and small (and fabulous cupcakes), soft-centered truffles, and individual chocolate pastries, are only part of the picture as there are also detailed instructions for chocolate fans and ruffles, and for sculpting delicate chocolate flowers. 

I’ve long admired Alice’s expertise with chocolate and her example helped me to up my game with that most popular ingredient.

By Alice Medrich,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

James Beard Foundation 1991 Cookbook of the Year!
"Cocolat is to chocolate what Tiffany is to diamonds." — Gourmet magazine.
One of America's leading chocolatiers and the founder of the famous Cocolat shops shares the secrets behind her decadent, European-style desserts in this beautifully illustrated, easy-to-follow guide. Alice Medrich founded the first in a chain of chocolate shops in 1976, introducing legions of Americans to the joys of chocolate truffles. With the guidance of this lavish book, home cooks and budding pastry chefs can make their own renditions of the shop's sophisticated confections. Each fabulous recipe features detailed instructions that…


Book cover of The Art of Fine Baking

Rick Rodgers

From my list on baking for at home bakers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Rick Rodgers is an award-winning culinary teacher and cookbook writer who has made a specialty of books on baked goods. His book Kaffehaus explores the delicious sweets of the Austro-Hungarian coffee culture. With two of America’s most iconic bakeries, he is the co-author of The Model Bakery Cookbook and Sarabeth's Bakery, as well as Coffee And Cake, Tea And Cookies, and Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food.

Rick's book list on baking for at home bakers

Rick Rodgers Why did Rick love this book?

This prim tome may not have any photos, and the author’s voice is somewhat terse, but she comes across with excellent recipes. This is the cookbook that started me on the road to professional baking, as the desserts I made for my novice dinner parties were such hits that I got stars in my eyes. It is definitely Francocentric, but that is a very good place to start if you are a beginner, and if you are an experienced cook, you can’t go wrong with her basic formulas.

By Paula Peck,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A complete treatise on the art of baking.


Book cover of Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers

Tammy Donroe Inman Author Of New England Desserts: Classic and Creative Recipes for All Seasons

From my list 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.

Tammy's book list on seasonal baking

Tammy Donroe Inman Why did Tammy 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…


Book cover of The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle

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

From my list 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.

Lei's book list on pastry baking from an award winning baker

Lei Shishak Why did Lei 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 Kate Zuckerman, Tina Rupp,

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 Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft

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

From my list 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.

Lei's book list on pastry baking from an award winning baker

Lei Shishak Why did Lei 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 Eclairs: Easy, Elegant and Modern Recipes

Sylvie Gruber Author Of Bite-Sized French Pastries for the Beginner Baker

From my list on cookbooks to learn French pastry baking.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved French Pastry for as long as I can remember, all the way from my Mum’s kitchen as a kid in Belgium to my own kitchen here in Melbourne. I love it so much I quit my job as an architect 6 years ago to start a blog that focuses on baking and French pastry especially! This crazy experience took me all the way back to Paris to attend a French pastry program at Ecole Ducasse in 2019 and to publish my first cookbook on French pastry at the end of 2023.

Sylvie's book list on cookbooks to learn French pastry baking

Sylvie Gruber Why did Sylvie love this book?

I’m a sucker for a good éclair, and choux pastry is probably one of my favourite things to bake, so this book is a real goldmine!

I love that it breaks down the basic techniques of choux pastry and cream fillings but is also packed with creative recipes, original flavour associations, and gorgeous desserts.

It may not be the best book for beginners, but if you are looking for inspiration, it is an amazing book to browse through!

By Christophe Adam,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The newest darling in the world of baking - the classic French pastry has been embraced by a whole new generation of bakers. Making this classic at home is much easier than you think. And it is made easy by the fact that this book is written by one of Europe's top pastry chefs, Christophe Adam. With its straightforward approach, full colour pages and hundreds of step-by-step photographs, it is as though Christophe were by your side giving you a lesson in your home kitchen. Over the last dozen years, Christophe has perfected the eclair and has turned it into…


Book cover of Pure Dessert

Lara Ferroni Author Of Doughnuts: 90 Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home

From my list on feeling like a professional baker.

Why am I passionate about this?

I didn’t really mean to become a food photographer. But with the first photo that I took of a batch of homemade raspberry scones, I knew I found something special. And then, I didn't really mean to become a cookbook author. But photos led to recipes, which led to this crazy notion that the world needed a cookbook dedicated to doughnuts! I’ve since written five more cookbooks and have a bit of an obsession with beautifully designed and photographed baking books that can fuel my project baking and cooking fascination. The books on my list continue to inspire me, and hope they inspire you too.

Lara's book list on feeling like a professional baker

Lara Ferroni Why did Lara love this book?

One of my favorite things is being able to take a basic or classic recipe and tweak it here and there to create something entirely new. That’s the spirit behind Pure Dessert.

Olive oil and sherry pound cake? Yes please. Cocoa nib and buckwheat butter cookies? I am all over that. I love that this book focuses on a flavor theme, and then plays around with different ways to bring that to life. The recipes are deliciously crafted, but also just a great inspiration for creating my own.

By Alice Medrich,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Delicate handmade cheeses, wholesome grains, organic yogurts, and great chocolates create pure and simple desserts that provide soul satisfaction through the pleasure of real flavours. Taste how sesame seeds and sesame oil completely redefine cake and the lovely, nutty flavour buckwheat flour brings to indulgent buttery cookies and strawberry shortcake. Medrich transforms ice cream by using honey, pound cake with the addition of olive oil and sherry, and meringue by adding chestnut flour and walnuts. Recipes like Cardamom-Roasted Figs and Chilled Oranges in Rum-Caramel Syrup prove that authentic, fresh flavours taste best and make for desserts that are easy and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dessert, baking, and pastries?

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