The most recommended baking books

Who picked these books? Meet our 11 experts.

11 authors created a book list connected to baking, and here are their favorite baking books.
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Book cover of Close to Famous

Cori Cooper Author Of Bake Believe

From my list on baking magic.

Who am I?

I’m a writer that absolutely loves baking! There’s just something about taking commonplace ingredients and creating something extraordinary.  I’m amazed at the way food brings people together and lifts them up. That’s why I am so captivated by stories that include cooking or baking. All the better if there’s a strong family theme and an element or two of magic. I included books on my list that do these things really well, and relate to my own Bake Believe trilogy. Try not to get too hungry while you read!

Cori's book list on baking magic

Cori Cooper Why did Cori love this book?

Foster dreams of having her own cooking show one day but is hampered by a secret she’s never told anyone. When she and her mama have to skip town quickly to escape her mama’s crazy, Elvis-impersonating boyfriend, they end up in Culpepper. A tiny, little podunk place too small to be called a town. Foster wows the local, severely grumpy, cafe owner with her delectable baking skills and works out a deal to supply him with cupcakes and more. She also strikes up an unlikely friendship with a reclusive woman who gives Foster the courage to face her secret. This book was lovely from start to finish.

By Joan Bauer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Close to Famous as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Foster McFee dreams of having her own cooking show like her idol, celebrity chef Sonny Kroll. Macon Dillard's goal is to be a documentary filmmaker. Foster's mother Rayka longs to be a headliner instead of a back-up singer. And Miss Charleena plans a triumphant return to Hollywood. Everyone has a dream, but nobody is even close to famous in the little town of Culpepper. Until some unexpected events shake the town and its inhabitants-and put their big ambitions to the test. Full of humor, unforgettable characters, surprises, and lots and lots of heart, this is Joan Bauer at her most…


Book cover of The Art of Fine Baking

Rick Rodgers

From my list on baking for at home bakers.

Who am I?

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 Baking Yesteryear: The Best Recipes from the 1900s to the 1980s

Lisa Steele Author Of The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook: Over 100 Fabulous Recipes to Use Eggs in Unexpected Ways

From Lisa's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Chicken keeper Baker Egg aficionado TV host New Englander

Lisa's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Lisa Steele Why did Lisa love this book?

This is the kind of cookbook that you read front to back cover to cover - most likely in one sitting.

The author's infectious personality which catapulted him to Tiktok fame during the pandemic translates better than expected to the printed page. His unique videos during which he bakes all kinds of wackiest recipes from decades past - some with less than stellar results - have been transformed into actual recipes that the home cook can follow along with, without losing his trademark humor. Eggies, anyone?

By B. Dylan Hollis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

A decade-by-decade cookbook that highlights the best (and a few of the worst) baking recipes from the 20th century

Friends of baking, are you sick and tired of making the same recipes again and again? Then look no further than this baking blast from the past, as B. Dylan Hollis highlights the most unique tasty treats of yesteryear.

Travel back in time on a delicious decade-by-decade jaunt as Dylan shows you how to bake vintage forgotten greats. With a big pinch of fun and a full cup of humor, you’ll be baking everything from…


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.

Who am I?

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 Bread Baking for Beginners: The Essential Guide to Baking Kneaded Breads, No-Knead Breads, and Enriched Breads

Mord McGhee Author Of The Stroke of Oars

From Mord's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Grumpy Straightforward Unrelenting Lover of literature Student of the human condition

Mord's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Mord McGhee Why did Mord love this book?

I’ve always wanted to learn the art of baking bread. For years I’ve used bread machines and have never been satisfied with the results. They’re fine, but never perfect.

After reading Bonnie’s book, on my very first try following along step-by-step, my regular oven turned out the most delicious loaf of rustic bread. The looks on the faces of my family said it all, as they devoured it to crumb. For anyone wishing to pick up basic kitchen skills that touch on all the things that make us human, this book is something I wholeheartedly recommend.

By Bonnie Ohara,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The guidance you need to go from absolute beginner to artisanal bread baker

Discover how anyone can combine flour, yeast, water, and salt to create hot and delicious bread in the comfort of your own kitchen. Filled with straightforward guidance, Bread Baking for Beginners is the ideal bread cookbook for new bakers. Complete with step-by-step photographs and instructions, this beautiful bread baking guide offers a tasty collection of recipes for kneaded, no-knead, and enriched breads that you'll love. In addition to important info on everything from prep and proof times to key terminology and kitchen essentials, you'll also get must-have…


Book cover of Martha Stewart's Cookie Perfection: 100+ Recipes to Take Your Sweet Treats to the Next Level

Monica Wellington Author Of Mr. Cookie Baker

From my list on for people who love baking cookies.

Who am I?

Monica Wellington was born in London and lived in Switzerland and Germany as a child. She has written and illustrated many books for young children, including Apple Farmer Annie, Zinnia’s Flower Garden, My Leaf Book, and Mr. Cookie Baker. She now lives in New York City. Some of her favorites things are: baking desserts, eating chocolate, traveling to France, going to the ballet, and reading at home with her cat on her lap. She teaches at the School of Visual Arts.

Monica's book list on for people who love baking cookies

Monica Wellington Why did Monica love this book?

Martha Stewart's recipes always work. I always have success with them! I recommend getting your kitchen decorated as you try recipes from each of these chapters: All Dressed Up, Classics with a Twist, Some Assembly Required, Giant Cookies, Tools of the Trade, Cookies by Any Other Name, Celebration Cookies.

By Martha Stewart Living Magazine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Martha Stewart's Cookie Perfection as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Showstopper cookies for a new generation: from Martha Stewart, an authoritative and creative collection to take your cookies to the next level in flavor, technique, and decorative appeal

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FOOD NETWORK

The editors of Martha Stewart Living present a new, fun source for anyone looking to make their go-to cookies even better and bolder. These recipes make ordinary cookies absolutely extraordinary—all the familiar favorites you love, but taken up a notch in variety, flavor, and creativity. Classic recipes discover new life with unexpected twists such as Brown-Butter Crinkle Cookies and Carrot…


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.

Who am I?

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 Betty Crocker Cookies: Irresistibly Easy Recipes for Any Occasion

Monica Wellington Author Of Mr. Cookie Baker

From my list on for people who love baking cookies.

Who am I?

Monica Wellington was born in London and lived in Switzerland and Germany as a child. She has written and illustrated many books for young children, including Apple Farmer Annie, Zinnia’s Flower Garden, My Leaf Book, and Mr. Cookie Baker. She now lives in New York City. Some of her favorites things are: baking desserts, eating chocolate, traveling to France, going to the ballet, and reading at home with her cat on her lap. She teaches at the School of Visual Arts.

Monica's book list on for people who love baking cookies

Monica Wellington Why did Monica love this book?

My first cookbook was Betty Crocker’s New Boys and Girls Cook Book. It was given to me by my mother when I was eight years old. I still have it and Cookies, Cakes, and Other Desserts was always my favorite chapter. I remember working my way through the recipes, starting with Oatmeal Cookies and advancing to creative Paintbrush Cookies. My love of baking started there! This book has many recipes with kid appeal, such as Frankenstein Cookies and Tie-Dye Swirl Cookies. A personal favorite of mine: Turtle Chocolate Chip Cookies with caramel and pecans and lots of chocolate!

By Betty Crocker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This foundational book of cookies covers tips and tricks for making, storing, and gifting cookies of all kinds. With chapters organised by baking circumstances, bakers can quickly find a cookie recipe right for them - whether it's No-Bake Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies when it's too hot to turn on the oven, the Caramel-Filled Snickerdoodle Blondies that are easy to take on the go, or the Festive White Velvet Star Stacks that will light up any celebration.

Features expand the cookie repertoire: baking with kids, hosting a cookie exchange, cookie dips, cookie garnishes, and clever ways of using cookie cutters. Icons…


Book cover of The Simple Art of Perfect Baking

Rick Rodgers

From my list on baking for at home bakers.

Who am I?

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?

When I worked in a food magazine test kitchen, it was a joy when a recipe by Flo came across my desk. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was legendary for her skills and nurturing of young talent, her books deserve to be better known to the general public. The late, great Flo taught me so much about baking with her clear and concise recipes for top-notch baked goods. You will feel like your favorite aunt is standing next to you in the kitchen directing your every move. You can trust Flo.

By Flo Braker, Dana Gallagher (photographer),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The award-winning author of Sweet Miniatures offers an organized, methodical approach to baking that features some two hundred tested dessert recipes--for cakes, tortes, tarts, pies, pastries, and more, along with step-by-step instructions for a variety of useful cooking and decorating techniques. 1


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.

Who am I?

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 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…