Baking is big right now, as people turn to sweet treats and homemade bread for comfort in their quarantine kitchens. If you want to join them but need inspiration and instruction when it comes to specific baking projects, these baking cookbooks will do the trick.
Lots of people find baking totally therapeutic—and obviously we completely agree. Eating the results is just a bonus, and sharing them with friends and family is even better (if only because it saves you some calories).
We’ve rounded up new and classic baking cookbooks that include some of the most tasty cakes, pies, and sweets around to keep you and your friends content all year long. And they happen to make perfect gifts for any fellow bakers too.
“Baking at République: Masterful Techniques and Recipes” by Margarita Manzke and Betty Hallock, $21.99 on Amazon
If you haven’t had the chance to make it out to the Los Angeles hotspot République, this cookbook by their executive pastry chef is the next best thing. It has over 100 recipes and tons of gorgeous pictures that will have your mouth watering—and your friends telling you you should open a bakery once they try your homemade versions of these treats. (Or vice versa.)Buy Now
Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson of San Francisco’s Tartine are known for some of the most delicious treats (including the bakery’s famous Morning Bun)—and now they’ve updated their iconic cookbook with 68 new recipes, like a sweet potato cake with meringue topping, and a creamy cheesecake with a digestive biscuit crust (and, yes, that Morning Bun). They’ve even included some gluten-free options. It is 2019, after all.Buy Now
In another beautiful new book, Joanne Chang, a James Beard award-winning baker, shares her love for pastries. Chang has eight super successful bakeries called Flour in Boston, but this book includes many items that wouldn’t make the cut there and are best baked and enjoyed at home instead (with bakery-ready treats also in the mix, of course). She shares personal anecdotes, expert tips, and 125 delicious dessert recipes like strawberry slab pie, mocha chip cookies, and malted chocolate cake. Get a Homemade Nutella Babka recipe from the book for a first taste.Buy Now
If you haven’t tried a cake from Milk Bar, you’re seriously missing out. They are the most moist, melt-in-your-mouth cakes I’ve ever tasted. They also include little cake balls in the icing. This cookbook includes not only Christina Tosi’s famous naked layer cakes, cake truffles, and Bundt cakes, but recipes for two-minute mug cakes, slow cooker banana chocolate peanut butter cake, and tips for inventing your own creative desserts worthy of a cult following.Buy Now
Rose Levy Beranbaum, also known as the diva of desserts, released her very own version of a religious experience in 2014: “The Baking Bible.” The book includes simple recipes with foolproof instructions and expert tips, as well as show-stoppers that will stun your guests during parties. It’s a book that’s sure to inspire complete devotion in the kitchen.Buy Now
There are just times when you need a super simple recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth (or your bread tooth), and Eileen Gray has answered that call. This book contains over 100 recipes for baked goods made with very basic ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. It’s a great title for beginning bakers or any perpetually busy baked good lovers on your list.Buy Now
We all know that Mary Berry knows her way around a kitchen, and we’re lucky that she chose to share her wisdom through this book, another bible for bakers. It contains over 250 recipes, as well as tips to make your baking life a breeze. This is a must for any “Great British Baking Show” fan who still misses Mary—or anyone who simply wants to bake like a pro.Buy Now
“The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern” by Claudia Fleming and Melissa Clark, $26.33 on Amazon
New York City’s Gramercy Tavern is known for its iconic, James Beard award-winning desserts. Luckily, pastry chef Claudia Fleming was gracious enough to share her recipes with the world (with the help of Melissa Clark). Fleming is passionate about using fresh, seasonal ingredients and includes 175 recipes that will inspire you to make the most of produce (and perennial ingredients like chocolate and cream, of course) all year long. Buy Now
This classic cookbook by aforementioned baking goddess Rose Levy Beranbaum makes baking a total cakewalk—pun definitely intended. This book is known for making complex recipes and techniques super simple and covers every type of cake, from pancakes to multi-tiered wedding and birthday cakes. Buy Now
Calling all bread lovers! In addition to “The Cake Bible” and “The Baking Bible,” Rose Levy Beranbaum also has all of the most important tips for aspiring bread bakers collected in one tome. She includes delicious recipes for flatbread, brioche, crumpets, rye bread, and many more, and helpful background for understanding how and why things work in the world of bread baking.Buy Now
“Simple Cake: All You Need to Keep Your Friends and Family in Cake” by Odette Williams, $16.99 on Amazon
You can never have too much cake! And no matter what kind of cake you love, Odette Williams has a perfect recipe for it. This book covers a range of flavors from fresh and citrusy to decadent and chocolate-laden—something for every occasion. Williams also includes cool decorating ideas and toppings so your cakes will look as great as they taste. See a Milk and Honey Cake recipe from the book. Buy Now
Because vegans need dessert too! This book is packed with 150 plant-based dessert recipes (and other baked goods) that don’t pretend to be healthy but are certainly delicious. You’ll find chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, lemon cheesecake, cinnamon coffee cake, and what one reviewer says is “[l]iterally the best vegan pancake and waffle recipe I’ve ever used.” Even if you’re not vegan, this a helpful resource for baking without eggs or dairy.Buy Now
Related Video: Try Your Hand at a No-Knead Bread Recipe
Header image courtesy of Amazon.