Best baking books - cakes, bread, patisserie and more
We've reviewed the best baking books, from new twists on classic cakes, to bread, patisserie, chocolate bakes and more
Fancy a spot of baking and not sure where to start? We've gathered some of our favourite baking books to keep you going with plenty of inspiration.
There's something for everyone, no matter what you want to make, how much you've baked before or who you plan to gift your bakes to. We've got bread books to practice focaccia and sourdough, patisserie books so you can make the perfect afternoon tea and books packed with chocolate treats for the ultimate sweet tooth.
Once you've got your baking bookshelf sorted, check out all our other cookbook recommendations. Get meat-free inspiration with our best vegetarian cookbooks, give our best student cookbooks to someone heading to uni or spend time in the kitchen over the school holidays with one of our best cookbooks for kids, perfect for rainy days.
Best baking books at a glance
- Best for patisserie: Everyone Can Bake by Dominique Ansel, £15.49
- Best for limited equipment: One Tin Bakes by Edd Kimber, £13.29
- Best comprehensive guide: The Pastry Chef's Guide by Ravneet Gill, £18.99
- Best for new twists on classics: The New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi, £16.99
- Best for bread bakers: Crumb by Richard Bertinet, £22.39
- Best for Instagram-worthy bakes: Baking with Kim-Joy by Kim-Joy, £12.14
- Best for chocolate: Cocoa by Sue Quinn, £25
- Best bargain buy: Bread Ahead e-book, £5
- Best for families: Nadiya Bakes by Nadiya Hussain, £20.01
- Best story behind the book: Rising Hope by Luminary Bakery, £12.75
- Best American baking book: What's for Dessert? by Claire Saffitz, £20.85
- Best for global inspiration: Chetna's Easy Baking by Chetna Makan, £20
- Best for on-trend bread recipes: The Dusty Knuckle by Daisy Terry, Rebecca Oliver & Max Tobias, £17.85
Best baking books to buy 2023
Everyone Can Bake by Dominique Ansel
Best for patisserie
The second book from acclaimed pastry chef (and inventor of legendary croissant-doughnut hybrid, the cronut) Dominique Ansel, Everyone Can Bake breaks down the art of patisserie into manageable building blocks, chapter by chapter. It’s split into four sections: bases (think cakes, tarts and cookies), fillings (mousses, jams and pastry creams) and finishings (meringues and chocolate glazes), plus one on assembly and technique. The idea is that, once you’ve mastered some of the basic recipes in each section, you can put them together in endless different ways to create impressive desserts, cakes and bakes worthy of a patisserie window. You’ll master everything from basic banana bread to showstopping mousse cakes, pavlovas and more.
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Must-try recipe: peach brown sugar charlotte
One Tin Bakes by Edd Kimber
Best for limited equipment
It is a rare joy to leaf through a cookbook and find you want to make every single recipe in it. Such is the case with Edd Kimber’s clever book. Perfect for anyone who loves to bake, the recipes are all made in just one tin – a 23 x 33cm brownie tin, to be precise. Covering cakes, cookies, brownies, pies, tarts and desserts, there’s a bake for every occasion, from simple favourites like classic birthday cake and tiramisu, to unique bakes, including tahini chocolate chip cookie bars, grapefruit meringue pie and pistachio crème brûlée tart with honey-roasted apricots. We also love his newer book, Small Batch Bakes, for more of the irresistible flavour combinations, but all shrunk to make smaller quantities.
Must-try recipe: chocolate & cardamom carrot cake with brown butter cream cheese frosting
The Pastry Chef’s Guide by Ravneet Gill
Best comprehensive guide
After working as a pastry chef in some of London’s top restaurants, Ravneet Gill has written her first book, in which she shares secrets for achieving perfect pastry. Ideal for home cooks, this is a complete guide to baking, which includes an enlightening theory section as well as recipes. It’s divided into handy chapters, including sugar, custard, chocolate, cakes and biscuits.
Must-try recipe: salted chocolate & caramel tart
The New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi
Best for new twists on classics
This modern collection from 2016 Great British Bake Off quarter-finalist Benjamina is a breath of fresh air, putting a new spin on classics with the addition of fragrant spices, citrus and floral flavours. Find recipes such as masala chai carrot cake, hot chocolate & halva pudding and earl grey & blueberry teacakes. Her follow up book in 2022, A Good Day to Bake, continues this theme with yet more unique inspiration.
Must-try recipe: honey loaf with sweet dukkah
Crumb by Richard Bertinet
Best for bread bakers
Bread genius Richard Bertinet makes baking easy with his step-by-step recipes. Once you’ve mastered the essential loaves, try your hand at brioches, plaits, crumpets and flatbreads, and experiment with different ferments. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, there’s plenty to try, from a stunning plum tart to a Russian plait stuffed with chocolate crème pâtissière. A beautiful book guaranteed to improve your baking technique.
Must-try recipe: sourdough pizza
Baking with Kim-Joy by Kim-Joy
Best for Instagram-worthy bakes
The 2018 Bake Off finalist Kim-Joy won over the nation with her fun and quirky bakes, and now you can make them yourself with her first book. If you’re a dab hand with a piping bag and enjoy bakes with lots of detail, you’ll love this book. There are showstopping cakes in inventive flavours, from ginger, pecan & salted caramel to blueberry cake with orange curd, plus cookies, breads and a ‘little bakes’ chapter – animal designs feature heavily here (especially cats). We love the 'pigfiteroles' in mud (little pigs sitting in choux pastry buns), and the 'purrmaid' (cat mermaids, of course) macarons.
Must-try recipe: lavender & lemon 'pandaleines'
Cocoa by Sue Quinn
Best for chocolate
This book is perfect for chocolate lovers. As well as the story of chocolate – from bean to bar – and its history, there’s plenty of information, from how to perfectly melt it to the best way to taste it. Heavenly cakes sit among tarts, mousses and cookies, with plenty of innovative ideas, including a duck fat caramel & chocolate bay leaf tart. There’s even a handful of savoury recipes (realise your childhood dream of eating chocolate for dinner) with chocolate adding richness to chilli, game dishes and even pasta.
Must-try recipe: chocolate milk cake with pecan praline cream
Bread Ahead online baking recipe e-book
- Available from Bread Ahead (£5)
Best bargain buy
A very exciting launch from renowned London bakery Bread Ahead, this e-book is an accessible collection of some of the bakery’s most-loved recipes. Learn how to make 18 different bakes, including Bread Ahead’s legendary doughnuts – affectionately dubbed ‘pillows of joy’ – and its fluffy focaccia & almond amaretti biscuits.
Must-try recipe: cinnamon buns
Bread Ahead (£5)
Nadiya Bakes by Nadiya Hussain
Best for families
Accompanying her BBC Two series of the same name, Nadiya Bakes features over 100 recipes, from celebration cakes, biscuits, traybakes, tarts and pies to showstopping desserts, breads and savoury bakes. Nadiya puts her signature creative twists on classic recipes (sheekh kebab toad-in-the-hole and croissant bread & butter pudding) and provides plenty of inventive shortcuts so anyone can easily achieve delicious and impressive bakes at home.
Must-try recipe: strawberry & clotted cream shortcake cupcakes
Rising Hope by Luminary Bakery
Best story behind the book
Luminary Bakery is a London-based social enterprise that supports disadvantaged women, including those who have been homeless or experienced abuse, by offering courses, employment and work experience in its bakeries. Its first book combines inspiring stories from some of these women alongside beautifully illustrated sweet and savoury recipes.
Must-try recipe: Honeycomb cheesecake blondies
What's for Dessert? by Claire Saffitz
Best American baking book
If you read pastry expert Claire Saffitz’s first cookbook, Dessert Person, you might have high hopes for this one. Full of creative flavour combinations, she uses her advanced knowledge to break down showstopping recipes, such as marbled mint chocolate mousse and boozy orange soufflés, to make them achievable at home. This retro-looking cookbook looks good enough to eat.
Must-try recipe: Pineapple & quince tart
Chetna's Easy Baking by Chetna Makan
Perfect for loved ones with overflowing spice cupboards, this collection of sweet and savoury bakes from Chetna Makan includes her pear, chocolate, star anise & hazelnut tarte tatin; rainbow chard masala pasties; and chilli naan pizzas (that’s one the kids will love). There’s inspiration for impressive desserts, too – banoffee chocolate pavlova, coffee cream profiteroles and vegan saffron cheesecake.
Must-try recipe: Mango & lime meringue pie
The Dusty Knuckle by Daisy Terry, Rebecca Oliver & Max Tobias
Best for on-trend bread recipes
The Dusty Knuckle bakeries in Dalston and Harringay are famous for their enormous sandwiches packed with creative fillings, such as pickled beetroot, whipped feta, za’atar & slaw. Learn to make them (we’ll be starting with the egg, chilli & cheese), as well as fabulous breads and pastries.
Must-try recipe: Seedy soft tin loaf
More baking inspiration
For more baking inspiration, check out our recipe collections online. We've got everything you need from easy bakes for novices, indulgent brownie recipes, impressive birthday cake ideas, creamy cheesecake recipes and much more. Check out our reviews for all the best baking kit you'll need to get started:
This review was last updated in September 2023. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.