Even in the age of the internet, there’s nothing quite like a good cookbook to get you excited to bake. You can read a cookbook in bed, in the car, or even in the bathtub, and you never have to worry about it running out of battery.
A few weeks ago, we shared some of our favorite baking websites, so today we’re following up with some of our favorite cake baking cookbooks. Use this list as a reading guide and some birthday present suggestions for friends and family!
Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri
If you’re looking for a book with over 200 decadent recipes with clear instructions and tips for preventing common kitchen failures, this might be the book for you. Whether you’re hungry for a chocolate-raspberry yule log or tips on working with marzipan, Malgieri never fails to deliver.
Simply Perfect Party Cakes for Kids by Zoe Clark
Baby showers, baptisms, and birthday parties are big events—and shouldn’t they have an adorable cake to go with them? Zoe Clark takes you through the process of making twelve cute-but-not-kitschy designs, including a circus tent cake and a three-dimensional toy box cake.
The Perfect Cake by Susan G. Purdy
We love the variety of recipes and techniques in Susan G. Purdy’s updated and republished edition of A Piece of Cake. With everything from jelly rolls to sheet cakes to black-and-white cheesecake, you’re sure to find a new project to tackle. Tips and tricks learned from years of baking experience will help you along the way.
Professional Cake Decorating by Toba M. Garrett
This book is a bible for culinary students and professional chefs, and it will transform your own home baking business. Covering everything from the very basic (how to cover a cake board) to the very advanced (making gumpaste flowers), Garrett provides instruction and plenty of step-by-step photography to help any baker improve their skills.
Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook by Martha Stewart
Whether you’re craving a simple, comforting slice of cake to go with your afternoon tea or a show-stopping creation formal enough for a bridal shower or wedding, Martha Stewart has you covered. The book features plenty of cake recipes and tips, but also includes recipes for other baked goods.
Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan
Although not strictly devoted to cakes, this book features master chefs’ takes on classic desserts, from tiramisu to strawberry shortcake. Expand your baking horizons on one of the fail-proof recipes from this book, or follow along with Martha Stewart as she makes a gorgeous layered wedding cake with airbrushed marzipan fruits.
The Well-Decorated Cake by Toba M. Garrett
If you’re looking to improve your cake-decorating skills, Toba M. Garrett’s book might be just what you’re looking for. Like Professional Cake Decorating (also on this list), The Well-Decorated Cake offers tips and techniques for home bakers. If you’re not ready for the enormous amount of information of Professional Cake Decorating, give this one a try—we think you’ll be impressed by its warm tone and approachability.
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
Dietary considerations can make or break a cake order, which is why Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s book is so useful. If your customer is looking for the perfect red velvet cupcakes minus the dairy products, this is the cookbook for you. Even better, the book includes a gluten-free section. If you’re feeling adventurous, try using the recipes to make full-sized cakes!
Roland Mesnier’s Basic to Beautiful Cakes by Roland Mesnier and Lauren Chattman
Roland Mesnier was the executive pastry chef at the White House, and he knows his stuff. Follow along with him as he teaches you how to make basic recipes and then combine them together for a nearly-infinite variety of cakes for any occasion. He includes health-conscious recipes as well, such as Apricot Soufflé Cake and Orange Sherbet Cake with Glazed Oranges.
The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
Bakers the world over adore The Cake Bible for its clear, easy-to-follow directions and spectacular results. With instructions on everything from a standard wedding cake to a three-layered Golden Genoise with raspberry buttercream, this book will keep you (and your clients) excited about custom cakes.
Which of these books have you read? Which baking books are your favorite? Weigh in by leaving a comment below, and share your experiences with our community of bakers like you.