30 Best Baking Cookbooks You Should Have In Your Collection

Many have argued that modern renditions of recipes, which are widely available on cooking blogs, websites, and social media like TikTok and Instagram, will replace the conventional cookbook. We disagree.

There is something nostalgic and magical about opening a cookbook, admiring the high-resolution and mouthwatering photos of food, and selecting a recipe to make. There's an even more special thing about scribbling notes into the margins of the cookbooks after you try a recipe for the first time and passing the same book and annotations down to the next generation of cooking and baking enthusiasts. It's these experiences that you can't replicate on a screen.

We've collected some of the best baking books that any home cook should have in their kitchen. Our standards for the quintessential "good cookbook" are recipes that are easy to follow, accommodate a wide range of baking proficiencies, and cover a swath of recipes. Some books contain classic recipes, while others prioritize novel flavors and ingredients for more new-age bakes.

The Art of Fine Baking by Paula Peck

Don't let the publication date of this 1961 book fool you — the recipes are as timeless as ever. Author Paula Peck does an excellent job of sharing the classic French recipes everyone should know for baking in the kitchen, including pound cakes, loaf cakes, gâteauxs, petit fours, and tarts. Although "The Art of Fine Baking" is geared toward folks who have some familiarity with the kitchen, it would be the perfect book for anyone looking to go back to the classics and improve their mastery of all things French baking.

How to Bake Everything by Mark Bittman

While we don't exactly love Mark Bittman, "How to Bake Everything" is a comprehensive baking bible that should be in every home kitchen. This book has over 2,000 recipes, including everything from modern American bakes like Baked Alaskas to global treats like Afghan snowshoe naan and Nordic ruis. Bittman also provides home cooks with some advice for ingredient swaps, recipe adaptations to suit different dietary restrictions, and technique demonstrations to show you what to do for more complicated recipes — where words alone won't suffice.

The Joys of Baking by Samantha Seneviratne

"The Joys of Baking" not only shares delicious recipes with readers, but it also tells a story. Author Samantha Seneviratne explores one of five themes in each chapter paired with intricate, well-designed recipes and thought-provoking essays.

The book covers 75 different recipes, including chocolate cardamom swirl babka, nectarine galette with sour cherry jam, and coffee crème bundt cake. Her writing is powerful, wholesome, and perfect for anyone who loves a cookbook with a narrative component to it.

Everyone Can Bake by Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel created "Everyone Can Bake" as an accessible cookbook to help inspire home bakers to try new recipes and master old favorites. The cookbook, which has been acclaimed by the New York Times, features a "building blocks" style approach for bakers of all skill levels.

He also includes ways the bakes can be used for other things, like crumbling on top of ice cream or making a tart into cookies. The recipes are imaginative, well-tested, and indicative of Ansel's culinary prowess.

The Cookie Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

"The Cookie Bible" is the brainchild of master baker Rose Levy Beranbaum — and it's a cookbook any cookie lover needs to add to their collection. There is a litany of cookie recipes beyond just the standard chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin.

Some of her more innovative recipes include black tahini crisps, caramel surprise snickerdoodles, and brandy snap rolls. Overall, this book is easy to follow, methodical, and ideal for any level of baker, so long as you're a cookie fanatic.

Baked to Perfection by Katarina Cermelj

"Baked to Perfection" exclusively focuses on all aspects of gluten-free baking. Author Katarina Cermelj highlights gluten-free recipes of all types, including cookies, cakes, loaves, pastry, and bread — as well as some of the science behind gluten-free baking.

The writing is scientific but not overly complicated and accompanied by clear steps and photographs. Plus, her recipes are delicious and almost indistinguishable from gluten-based recipes. This cookbook is nothing short of a treasure for any gluten-free baker.

Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich

"Flavor Flours" is the ideal cookbook for the experimental baker looking to delve into alternative flours like buckwheat, sorghum, and other grains. Author Alic Merdrich writes with clarity on how bakers can make substitutions with these flours in recipes to elevate the flavors and appearance of their baked goods.

She includes delicious recipes like blueberry corn flour cobbler, a teff chocolate layer cake, and rice flour brownies. You won't miss plain wheat flour after looking at her innovative and creative approaches to baking with alternative flour.

Nadiya Bakes by Nadia Hussain

Nadiya Hussain was known for her appearance on "The Great British Baking Show" where she captivated the hearts of viewers. Her cookbook, "Nadiya Bakes," features over 100 different achievable, methodical recipes for beginner to advanced bakers.

Her recipes include family-friendly bakes like blueberry and lavender scone pizza, mint choc-chip Nanaimo bars, and key lime cupcakes. Overall, we love this cookbook because Hussain's bubbly, whimsical personality shines through in each and every recipe.

Cheryl Day's Treasury of Southern Baking by Cheryl Day

If there's someone to look up to in the world of Southern baking, it's the owner of Savannah, Georgia's Back in the Day Bakery, Cheryl Day. Her book, "Cheryl Day's Treasury of Southern Baking," includes a deep family connection to nearly 200 Southern recipes.

The book provides a comprehensive introduction to Southern baking and its staples, from soft biscuits to pies. Day also focuses on the ingredients steeped in Southern culinary tradition, like pecans, cornmeal, and cane syrup, and how bakers can use them to elevate their favorite bakes.

Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

Martha Stewart is the queen of entertaining for a reason. Her cookbook, "Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook," includes over 200 recipes for classic, timeless baked goods, including cookies, cakes, pies, biscuits, and scones.

Her recipes are basic enough for amateur home bakers to try or sufficient for home cooks looking for a unique centerpiece for their next gathering, shower, or wedding. The book also contains a glossary of cooking equipment, step-by-step photos, and helpful storage advice. 

The King Arthur Baking School

The King Arthur Baking Company is well-recognized for its quality products and practical cooking advice for everything baked. The 2022 cookbook, "The King Arthur Baking School," should be a staple cookbook in every kitchen.

The book contains 100 recipes that follow a curriculum created by individuals who are not just bakers, but folks who are familiar with how to teach baking to others. It's one of the most systematic and instructional-written books you can buy because it focuses on the how and why of baking — not just the end result. This book is perfect for individuals who don't want just to master recipes but really want to learn the art and the science of baking.

100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer

Sarah Kieffer was the inventor of the pan-banging trick, so it's clear there's some ingenuity in that baker's brain of hers. Her cookbook, "100 Cookies," highlights cookie recipes beyond the classics.

Her recipe includes fool-proof recipes for cookies, brownies, and bars that will captivate your tastebuds and inspire you to bake beyond your wildest dreams. We love the marshmallow peanut butter brownies and olive oil sugar cookies with a blood orange glaze, but we can also appreciate her three variations on a chocolate chip cookie.

BraveTart by Stella Parks

No modern baking cookbook has been as acclaimed as "BraveTart." Stella Park's writing and recipes celebrate classic American recipes that have captured the hearts and stomachs of many.

Her writing is not only meticulous but offers room for experimentation and interpretation across recipes. Parks also channels a historical lens to look at the events that shaped many of these American bakes, like where the precursors to the Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie came from and how Prohibition allowed the root beer float to flourish. Her writing is thoughtful, comprehensive, and complementary for any American baker.

The Perfect Loaf by Maurizio Leo

"The Perfect Loaf" is a cookbook for the bread-curious among us. Blogger Maurizio Leo brings his knowledge of sourdough to book form in this 2022 cookbook, which includes numerous applications for this fermented staple.

Leo's writing features troubleshooting sections for bakers just learning about how to work with sourdough and answering commonly asked questions about working with bread. His writing also lends well to experienced bread-bakers with recipe variations, opportunities to use different flours, and fundamental changes in hydration and ratios that will take their bread to a new level.

Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish

"Flour Water Salt Yeast" is a baker's companion for pizzas and artisan bread. Author Ken Forkish hones in on the art of well-made, rustic bread recipes — all that were tested in his home oven.

His recipes focus on all levels of complexity and time, perfect for bakers who want to make a dinner loaf or those looking for a more intricate flavorful pre-ferment. He also highlights making your own bread starter and some of the science behind hydration and baking ratios. Pizza lovers will love his suggestions for cast-iron skillet dough and recipes that rival any local Neapolitan joint.

The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

Peter Reinhart is a well-known name in the bread-baking world. His book, "The Bread Bather's Apprentice," highlights the fundamentals of bread — from pizza to challah.

The 15th anniversary edition of this book takes what Reinhart learned from his experience in French boulangeries and time learning from Parisian bakers. He focuses on the 12 stages of making bread and includes 100 step-by-step photographs to replicate the process at home. Plus, his writing takes cooking to a new level, with scientific and historical connections along the way.

The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Rose Levy Beranbaum's "The Baking Bible" is a treat in itself. The recipes are meticulously crafted and focused on the intricate details that every home baker needs to elevate the consistency and taste of their recipe.

Beranbaum's writing features both kitchen staples like gingersnaps and gooseberry crisp as well as intricate and complex recipes for special occasions and formal dining. It's an anthology of all things baking and, as its name proclaims, a true baking bible that anyone should have in their collection.

Baking with Dorie by Dorie Greenspan

Dorie Greenspan is one of the queens of baking. So it isn't a surprise that her 2021 "Baking with Dorie" cookbook made the list of our favorites.

This landmark cookbook contains 150 of Greenspan's best recipes, like footlong cheese sticks with cream puff dough, apple pie with mulled spices, and a s'mores ice cream cake that's bound to excite eaters of all ages. Her recipes are as unexpected as she is, but she also manages to rein in some of her favorites, which she calls her "Sweethearts."

Wild Sweetness by Thalia Ho

"Wild Sweetness" is unlike other baking books because it emphasizes seasonal recipes and recipes from the wild. Thalia Ho's work focuses on the herbaceous elements of spring (through recipes like lemon thyme bars), berries and fruits of the summer, and squashes and seasonals of the fall.

Although many of her recipes call for ingredients not often found in the home kitchen, they encourage bakers to move past their comfort zones and think about baking and cooking from a wild perspective. Her writing is nothing short of poetic.

Midwest Made by Shauna Sever

If you want a book that screams "homestyle," it's "Midwest Made" by Shauna Sever. Although her recipes focus on baked goods that we often think of as American, Sever highlights the immigrant roots of favorites, including pies, cookies, and pastries — all of which are done from a family-friendly angle for bakers of all skill levels. You'll love her ooey gooey butter cake, made with homemade pudding rather than the boxed stuff, and classic oatmeal cookies.

Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Shere

"Chez Panisse Desserts" was written by the longtime pastry chef at Chez Panisse, Lindsey Shere. Her recipes take a step out of a professional kitchen and into a home baker's world.

The desserts featured are ideal for seasoned chefs looking to amp up their baking repertoire and feature seasonal ingredients like the ones Chez Panisse is known for. Shere includes recipes for chartreuse ice cream and figs in caramel, along with recipes for pink grapefruit and Champagne sorbet.

What's for Dessert? by Claire Saffitz

Claire Saffitz is an ingenious baker who uses her book, "What's for Dessert?" to explore 100 easy, ready-to-make recipes that are streamlined to help home cooks get their favorite desserts from their kitchen to the table. Saffitz also includes many recommendations for kitchen substitutes to make baking even more effortless. Her recipes for cocoa-chestnut brownies, a no-bake strawberry ricotta cheesecake, and a honey and tahini matzo are indicative of her style of both practical and whimsical food writing.

Love is a Pink Cake by Claire Ptak

Claire Ptak is a master baker known for baking the lemon elderflower wedding cake for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Her book, "Love is a Pink Cake," highlights some of her favorite recipes from her home in Northern California and her bakery in London.

Her 75 recipes revolve around seasonal produce and coloring agents from the foods themselves. She also includes some recipes for vegan, gluten-free, and refined-sugar-free baking, which accommodate a broad audience of dietary preferences and are made for anyone who loves dessert.

The Magnolia Bakery Handbook by Bobbie Lloyd

"The Magnolia Bakery Handbook" is the brainchild of Bobbie Lloyd — chief baking officer of the esteemed New York City establishment. Since opening in 1996, the bakery has expanded into cities worldwide — and into your home cooking library.

The handbook features 150 classic recipes, including a whole chapter on the bakery's famous banana pudding. Lloyd also shares her tips for home bakers and what kinds of ingredients the bakery utilizes to make some of the Big Apple's (and beyond's) favorite sweets.

Everyday Bread by America's Test Kitchen

America's Test Kitchen is on a mission to make bread simple with "Everyday Bread." The book features 100 recipes with customizable timetables, so you can ensure you get the challah or quick bread of your dreams on the table.

The recipes won't require any specialty equipment, either, which is perfect for home bakers just dipping their toes into making bread. Once you master the seven essential bread recipes, you can move on to more complex, intricate recipes that will make your tastebuds sing.

Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz

Claire Saffitz's baking style shines in her cookbook, "Dessert Person." She shares modern renditions of sweet and savory classics like "Babkallah" (a hybrid of babka and challah), crispy mushroom galettes, and a strawberry-cornmeal layer cake.

Each recipe features common problems and solutions, which always makes the reader feel supported through each step of the baking process. Saffitz's writing style is approachable and personal, making this a perfect book for inexperienced bakers and seasoned chefs alike. After all, we're all dessert people, aren't we?

More Than Cake by Natasha Pickowicz

The recipes for Natasha Pickowicz's "More Than Cake" draw on both her Asian and American heritage with recipe pairings for miso and nectarines in a tarte tatin and black cardamom nestled into pecan sticky buns. Her recipes are as surprising as they are detailed.

Pickowicz includes informative tips for bakers on sourcing and preparing ingredients to get the best baked goods possible. You can tell from her writing that she put a lot of effort into this cookbook — and it deserves to be celebrated.

Mary Berry's Baking Bible by Mary Berry

Mary Berry is the queen of British baking (both recipes and television), and her cookbook is nothing short of fantastic. "Mary Berry's Baking Bible" includes over 250 recipes, which were converted into American measurements in her most recent edition of the book.

You'll find many of the classics that also appear on episodes of "The Great British Baking Show," like the Victoria sandwich cake, Bakewell slices, and chocolate eclairs. If you are interested in mastering the art of British baking, it's a book you'll want to get your hands on.

Bake it Better by Matt Adlard

TikTok and Instagram star Matt Adlard shares 70 of his favorite recipes in "Bake it Better." We love that this book comes with "Tier 1" recipes for beginners and "Tier 2" variations for bakers seeking a little more challenge from their cookbook.

His writing is approachable, and the food photography is sublime, which makes this book a must-have for your kitchen library. Try your hand at baking brownies and ice creams and grow your experience under Adlard's guise.

Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson

"Tartine Bread" follows the style of San Franscisco's Tartine Bakery and owner Chad Robertson. The recipe is separated into four sections: basic country bread, semolina and whole-wheat bread, baguettes, and enriched bread, and day-old bread.

After you've mastered Robertson's basic formulations, you can explore how he integrates bread into other meals — like homemade croutons on a salad, classic bruschetta, and breadcrumbs. His recipes feature easy-to-follow instructions and visually stunning photographs, making this book as much of a joy to read as it is to cook with.