The best pastry books

3 authors have picked their favorite books about pastries and why they recommend each book.

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French Pastry 101

By Betty Hung,

Book cover of French Pastry 101: Learn the Art of Classic Baking with 60 Beginner-Friendly Recipes

My apprentice, Betty Hung, who eventually inherited the bakery I founded, has written an award-winning recipe book on French pastries. It’s wonderfully photographed, well-tested and informative. I am always proud to see her create with such precision and success.


Who am I?

Jackie Kai Ellis is a designer, bestselling author, pastry chef, entrepreneur, lifestyle writer, and other bits n’ bobs. Jackie left design to pursue her passion for pastry in Paris. After finishing her studies, she founded the award-winning pâtisserie, Beaucoup Bakery & Café in Vancouver – featured in countless publications and media including Bon Appétit Magazine. Jackie turned her passion for authentic storytelling and launched her bestselling memoir, The Measure of My Powers: A memoir of food, misery, and Paris,.


I wrote...

The Measure of My Powers: A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris

By Jackie Kai Ellis,

Book cover of The Measure of My Powers: A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris

What is my book about?

On the surface, Jackie Kai Ellis's life was the one that she and every woman wanted. She was in her late twenties and married to a handsome man, she had a successful career as a designer, and she had a beautiful home. But instead of feeling fulfilled, happy, and loved, each morning she'd wake up dreading the day ahead, searching for a way out. Depression clouded every moment, the feelings of inadequacy that had begun in childhood now consumed her, and her marriage was slowly transforming into one between strangers--unfamiliar, childless, and empty. In the darkness, she could only find one source of light: the kitchen. It was the place where Jackie escaped, finding peace, comfort, and acceptance.

The Pie and Pastry Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum,

Book cover of The Pie and Pastry Bible

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.


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.


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.

Understanding Baking

By Joseph Amendola, Nicole Rees,

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

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.


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.


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.

Baking and Pastry

By The Culinary Institute of America (CIA),

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

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.


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.


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.

Art of Viennoiserie and Festival of Tarts

By Joël Bellouet,

Book cover of Art of Viennoiserie and Festival of Tarts

This is a lesser-known book written for pastry professionals by the school I attended in Paris. To date, it is the best resource for technique and recipes for viennoiserie and traditional pastries that I have seen. Though beware, it is very much for the professional and hasn’t been well translated, but for those pastry fanatics needing a good challenge, this is it.


Who am I?

Jackie Kai Ellis is a designer, bestselling author, pastry chef, entrepreneur, lifestyle writer, and other bits n’ bobs. Jackie left design to pursue her passion for pastry in Paris. After finishing her studies, she founded the award-winning pâtisserie, Beaucoup Bakery & Café in Vancouver – featured in countless publications and media including Bon Appétit Magazine. Jackie turned her passion for authentic storytelling and launched her bestselling memoir, The Measure of My Powers: A memoir of food, misery, and Paris,.


I wrote...

The Measure of My Powers: A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris

By Jackie Kai Ellis,

Book cover of The Measure of My Powers: A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris

What is my book about?

On the surface, Jackie Kai Ellis's life was the one that she and every woman wanted. She was in her late twenties and married to a handsome man, she had a successful career as a designer, and she had a beautiful home. But instead of feeling fulfilled, happy, and loved, each morning she'd wake up dreading the day ahead, searching for a way out. Depression clouded every moment, the feelings of inadequacy that had begun in childhood now consumed her, and her marriage was slowly transforming into one between strangers--unfamiliar, childless, and empty. In the darkness, she could only find one source of light: the kitchen. It was the place where Jackie escaped, finding peace, comfort, and acceptance.

The Italian Baker

By Carol Field, Ed Anderson (photographer),

Book cover of The Italian Baker: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside--Its Breads, Pizza, Focaccia, Cakes, Pastries, and Cookies

This book literally changed home baking forever by making artisan breads accessible to the amateur cook. It was the first time that many of us saw recipes for the rustic breads with crackling brown crusts and moist, hole-ridden interiors that were before only available at specialty bakeries. All books are a labor of love, but I can’t imagine the determination an American woman must have had to wrestle the original recipes from Italian masters.


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.


My project is...

Cooking & Baking Classes

I am the author of 40 original cookbooks, and the co-author, ghostwriter, recipe tester, or consultant to more than 30 additional titles. I provide culinary and literary services to chefs, corporations, and celebrities, drawing on deep experience in these very different worlds. 

Sunny-Side Up

By Waylynn Lucas,

Book cover of Sunny-Side Up: More Than 100 Breakfast & Brunch Recipes from the Essential Egg to the Perfect Pastry

This gorgeous cookbook from former executive pastry chef and Food Network Cake Wars judge, Waylynn Lucas, is everything a breakfast cookbook should be. Runny egg yolks, light and airy pastries, fresh fruit, and everything in between. And she goes one step further and shares some brunch menus which include beverages and cocktails perfect to start the day with. I absolutely enjoyed this cookbook from a true baking pro.


Who am I?

I am a New Englander, born and bred, 5th generation chicken keeper, and lifelong gardener. I currently live on a small farm in Maine where I raise chickens, ducks, and geese and grow all kinds of vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers. I love cooking and baking with fresh produce from my garden and fresh eggs from my chicken coop. Eggs, in particular, are a favorite ingredient of mine because they are so plentiful, versatile, delicious, and nutritious. Breakfast for dinner is obviously a favorite at our house. 


I wrote...

The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook: Over 100 Fabulous Recipes to Use Eggs in Unexpected Ways

By Lisa Steele,

Book cover of The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook: Over 100 Fabulous Recipes to Use Eggs in Unexpected Ways

What is my book about?

Lisa Steele, fifth-generation chicken keeper and founder of the popular blog Fresh Eggs Daily, knows a thing or two about eggs. And she's ready to show you just how easy and delicious it can be to make eggs a staple of every meal.

Lisa will tell you everything you don't know about eggs and bust some common egg myths. From there, she provides you with foundational techniques for cooking with eggs. And finally, Lisa shares her go-to recipes for everything from breakfast staples. You'll encounter a wide variety of both sweet and savory dishes with Lisa's unique twists. Read The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook to discover new and exciting ways to incorporate fresh eggs into your cooking and baking repertoire each and every day.

The Perfect Scoop

By David Lebovitz,

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

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.


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.


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.

A Good Bake

By Melissa Weller, Carolynn Carreno,

Book cover of A Good Bake: The Art and Science of Making Perfect Pastries, Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and Breads at Home

Baking books are constantly evolving because of changing tastes and new availability of groceries. What was once an exotic grocery item can now be found at every supermarket. Weller’s book is for today’s cook, but she uses familiar formats for her creations. Her multilayered babkas are like no one else’s. You will learn a new technique or ingredient with every recipe.


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.


My project is...

Cooking & Baking Classes

I am the author of 40 original cookbooks, and the co-author, ghostwriter, recipe tester, or consultant to more than 30 additional titles. I provide culinary and literary services to chefs, corporations, and celebrities, drawing on deep experience in these very different worlds. 

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