Cookbook Gift Guide for Bakers

The fall and winter are synonymous with baking more so than any other time of the year. What would Thanksgiving be without pie, or Christmas without cookies, or Hanukkah without rugelach or snow days without brownies and hot chocolate? Pretty sad – that’s what it would be. Pretty sad.

Today, I’ve put together a baker’s dozen of great baking books that any baker would love to receive this season. A few titles are from 2016 but the bulk are from years prior. Best books were covered in my Forty Best Cookbooks of 2016 (including new baking titles), books for art and music lovers, and books for entertainers were covered in prior guides. Gift any of these titles and you will find yourself looking for your own Bakery Shoppe sign.

Giving the gift of a baking book can be just as very rewarding for the giver as the receiver. One might very well find themselves on the receiving end of a special basket of goodies as a thank you.  My last gift guide will be up by Saturday and will focus on cooks of all levels from beginners to gourmets. 

If you wish to purchase any of these titles for someone on your gift list (or yourself), be sure to use the Buy Book button to help support Eat Your Books’ indexing efforts. Lastly, An EYB subscription makes the perfect gift for cookbook lovers – each gift certificate purchase qualifies you for an entry to win a lifetime membership for yourself. 

Honey & Co: The Baking Book by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich (or it’s U.S. edition Golden) is the ideal choice for someone who loves the savory and sweet aspects to baking as well as playing with exciting new flavors.  This book by the husband and wife team behind the wildly popular London restaurant, Honey & Co., delivers recipes such as Salty Sweet Orange and Tahini Pretzels, Leek and Goat’s Cheese Pie, and Spice Cakes with Marzipan Cream Filling and Raspberries. I’ve made the Peach, Vanilla & Fennel Seed Mini Loaves several times and they were fantastic. Approachable, unique recipes that will make any level of baker happy.

Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories by Jocelyn Delk Adams is a collection of time-honored recipes, served up in exciting new ways with a nod to generations before. Sea Salt Caramel Cake, S’more Lava Cakes, and Peach Cobbler Shortcake are extraordinarily beautiful in this book. The author even shares a From Scratch Mix recipe, which can be made ahead and stored, much like boxed cake mix without all the unnecessary ingredients. For that someone special who always comes to a gathering offering a cake, this book is for them. 


The New Sugar and Spice: A Recipe for Bolder Baking by Samantha Seneviratne will level up your dessert game with eighty unexpected but totally delicious recipes for spice-centric sweets. Incorporating global twists, the author takes peppercorns, cardamom and chiles and delivers recipes for Crunch Peanut Pepper Cookies or Raspberry Shortcakes with zesty Double Ginger Biscuits. I’ve made the chocolate chip cookies from this book and they were to-die-for – another title for the baker who is open to new flavors and loves a little spice.



Patisserie at Home by Melanie Dupuis and Anne Cazor features100 easy-to-master recipes, stunning full-color illustrations, and a eye-popping modern design that will guide the home baker into recreating French desserts in this oversized cookbook. Written by patissiere, Dupuis, and molecular gastronomist, Cazor, to demystify the art of French baking with detailed instructions, process and mise en place photos – one cannot veer off the pastry path with this baking bible. Gift this book (or buy it for yourself) for anyone that wants to perfect their pastry skills. While it deals with French baked goods which can seem daunting, the illustrations, photos and detailed instructions will have you hanging a Bakery Shoppe sign in your own kitchen.


Crumb: A Baking Book by Ruby Tandoh, a finalist of the The Great British Bake Off, is packed with gorgeous photos and new and exciting recipes. Morning muffins with grapefruit, orange and white chocolate loaf cake, lemon and basil tart, rosemary pecan pie, and banana thyme tart – all await us in this debut offering. (Ruby has since published her second title Flavour which you can learn more about in my review.) Crumb is the perfect combination of sweet and savory, simple and complex. I hope to be seeing more from this talented young cookbook author.


Traditional Jewish Baking: Retro Recipes Your Grandma Would Make… If She Had a Mixer by Carine Goren is a charming collection of decadent treats. Photographs pop off the pages. Every recipe looks killer good – a stunning Babka – Just as it Should Be; Gerbeaud – A Hungarian Layered Cake, and Sfenj (fried, sponge like doughnuts) are calling me. Any baker, of any experience, would love this book! This book totally surprised me with its collection of recipes and totally cool layout.


Sweet Sugar, Sultry Spice: Exotic Flavors to Wake Up Your Baking by Malika Ameen is the pastry chef’s debut cookbook overflowing with bold, interesting recipes that I found unique and enticing. You can read more about this book in my review post where we share a recipe for Malika’s Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes. By now you see a theme with me, I totally covet books which utilized warm, interesting spices and have elements of savory aspects in their offerings. As I said in my review post, is it too soon to ask if Malika is working on a second book? It’s never too soon for great cookbooks.


French Desserts by Hillary Davis is striking from its eye-catching cover of the Giant Break-and-Share Cookie, to the photographs of the vibrant French countryside and city markets. Hélène’s Grandmother’s Rice Pudding Cake Bathed in Caramel, Pumpkin Seed Tuiles, Grand Marnier Mousse, and a stunning Fresh and Dried Fruit Salad in Sweet Basil Syrup are examples of a few of innovative recipes from this title. The classics are here as well such as Breton Butter Cookies and Chocolate Sables. I have made the Orange Madeleines with Orange Glaze a few times now. They are truly magical because they disappear. For more information on this title, check out my review and recipe post – where you will find recipes for that cover cookie and those magic Orange Madeleines. Hillary’s books are not to be missed.

Social Sweets: Top Desserts to Make at Home by Jason Atherton was a book that I chose for myself recently when I had a gift code. This cookbook brings desserts to an elevated, restaurant level. Beautifully presented recipes from the classics such as Tiramisu to Toasted Coconut Creme Brulée with Pineapple, Coconut and Malibu Sorbet are covered here. Somehow Atherton makes a corn muffin look as if it is deserving of a Michelin star. And curses to him, because now that I own this book, I went and ordered all his titles. I hope my husband isn’t reading this – I will say they are birthday gifts as that date is rapidly approaching. We always joked that he would never want me working for Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table, as I would spend my entire paycheck or more – I think it holds true for this position as well.  

Sweet Studio: The Art of Divine Desserts by Darren Purchese is another new purchase. I had ordered Lamingtons & Lemon Tart  and included that title in my best of 2016 post and as is my norm, I went in search of other books by Darren. Sweet Studio is absolutely a show-stopper. Multi-component desserts have always intrigued me and this book breaks down the steps to create a Smoked White Chocolate, Coffee, Aniseed & Lemon cake what would wow Pierre Hermé. I’m longing for some time to play with these recipes and also wondering when the next title from this pastry genius will be forthcoming? Darren…tick tick. 

The Italian Baker: 100 International Baking Recipes with a Modern Twist by Melissa Forti is a hauntingly beautiful book set in darken hues (see the cover) that add an air of mystery and intrigue to the book. Melissa shares 100 international baking recipes with a modern twist in this title. From a Valencia Orange Cake that is gluten-free to a Torta Al Tè Chai E Zenzero (Chai and Ginger Layer Cake) – this book will have you mesmerized by her flavors, recipes and vintage inspired photographs.


Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day, Plus Butters, Sauces & Spreads by Donna Currie is a must have for the baker. There are recipes for breads, rolls, croissants, pizza dough, butters and even recipes for what we can do with leftover bread. Some of the standouts – sauerkraut rye, savory monkey bread, maple, bacon and onion loaf, stuffing bread with dried cranberries, blueberry and cream cheese buns with lemon zest, almond sweet bread, peanut butter bread with raspberry swirl, almond sweet bread and dozens more. Donna is the voice behind Cookistry and posts product reviews, great recipes and sometimes serves them up with a dose of sarcasm. 

Tarts by Frederic Anton and Christelle Brua and Chihiro Masui is a collection a selection of tarts that hit all the notes – classic and modern, sweet and savory and present them with 130 photographs by Richard Haughton. Each tart is photographed as circles of deliciousness that could easily be perceived as far too gourmet and complicated for us mere mortals. This book, however, is not all style and puffery, there is substance behind Tarts. The recipes contain clear-cut instructions that are detailed, yet concise, and simple to follow. More information and a recipe from this title can be found on my review post.

Breaking Breads, The Cardamom Trail, Layered, Art of the Pie, Dorie’s Cookies, Marbled, Swirled & Layered, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book, Classic German Baking, The Baker in Me, Lamingtons & Lemon TartsPanetteria and Better Baking are covered on my Top Books of 2016.  Be sure to check that post out for more information and links to full reviews and giveaways. Happy gifting and baking! 

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One Comment

  • Marcia1206  on  December 7, 2016

    Great list Jenny! I'll take them all lol

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