I have over 175 cookbooks on the bookshelf in my kitchen. More than 40 of those are baking books alone. And while I love every single one of the titles, below is a list of my go-to baking cookbooks, the ones I find myself coming back to again and again, for inspiration, for reflection, or for one of my favorite recipes.
Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan
Based on the PBS series of the same name, this classic cookbook published in 1996 features favorite recipes curated from the best bakers and pastry chefs around. Flo Braker, Lora Brody, Nick Malgieri, and Alice Medrich, to name a few. It’s an impressive collection! And with Dorie Greenspan at the helm, all the recipes are masterfully adapted for the home kitchen.
Favorite recipe: Buttermilk Scones from contributing baker Marion Cunningham (After 20+ years, this is still my go-to sconce recipe!)
BraveTart by Stella Parks
Stella Parks is a damn good baker. She was named one of America’s Best New Pastry Chefs by Food & Wine magazine and was the pastry editor at Serious Eats. This cookbook is a compendium of nostalgic dessert history with accompanying modern-day recipes. Parks is spunky and opinionated, which comes across in both her writing and her desserts.
Favorite recipes: Hazelnut Brownies (gluten free!) and Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats
Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce
This book is special to me because it came out around the same time as my cookbook, our books were featured in Food52’s Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks together, and Ms. Boyce and I gave a book talk a day apart from each other at the lovely culinary bookshop Omnivore Books on Food in San Francisco. And, the book itself is brilliant. Accessible, home-baked goods enhanced with unexpected whole-grain flours. But, as a testament to Boyce’s talents, the grains aren’t used as a gimmick, but as a true complement to the overall baked good.
Favorite recipes: Chocolate Chip Cookies (the internet made this whole wheat cookie famous when the book first came out), Chocolate Chocolate Cookies, Granola Bars
Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan
If I would admit to having a baking crush, Zoe Nathan would be it. She’s a self-taught professional baker that makes classic-y desserts that are just so frickin’ good. I had to be careful when first posting recipes on Bake it Write, as I would have shared every recipe from this cookbook. I restrained myself with just two. 😉 I also love how the table of contents is organized by the time the recipes are made at the bakery (e.g. 3:30am = muffins; 4am = biscuits and scones; 8am = pancakes). And the “My Apologies” section (vs. the more traditional Acknowledgements) is pure genius. It makes me laugh every time I re-read it.
Favorite recipes: Blueberry Cornmeal Cake, Chocolate Chunk Muffins, Old-Fashioned Coffee Cake
Sweet Laurel by Laurel Gallucci & Claire Thomas
To date, this is my favorite “healthy” baking book out there. All the recipes are grain-free, refined-sugar-free and dairy-free, yet still made with whole food ingredients. There’s not a fake flour or alternative sugar in sight. For me, a recipe can be as healthy as it claims to be, but if it doesn’t actually taste good, there’s no point. Fortunately, this cookbook more than rises to the challenge. The chocolate muffins are case in point.
Favorite recipes: Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies, Classic Snickerdoodles, Double Chocolate Muffins, Double Dark Chocolate Cookies
Tartine by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson
When I dreamed of opening a bakery, so much of what I didn’t yet realize I envisioned was brought forth in this cookbook: Perfectly executed rustic American classics with a nod to French patisseries. Elisabeth Prueitt is one of the best bakers out there (her former husband and co-author, Chad, is famous for his bread) and all the recipes in this book are deliciously foolproof.
Favorite recipes: Almond Rochers, Deluxe Double-Chocolate Cookies, Pumpkin Tea Cake, Zucchini and Orange Marmalade Tea Cake
But, I want to know what YOUR favorite baking cookbooks are. Please share in the comments below 👇 (and tell us your favorite recipe in each book, too). 💕
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