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Master Delicious Desserts with These 9 Cookbooks

The covers of Tasty Dessert, The Book on Pie, and Bravetart.
Clarkson Potter/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/W. W. Norton & Company

Calling all sweet tooths! Whether you got into baking during quarantine or just need the perfect cookie recipe to impress your friends, these dessert cookbooks will help you achieve all of your baking goals.

Nothing completes a delicious meal like an equally delicious dessert. Sweets have an important place in almost every culture around the world, from crème brûlée in France to good ole apple pie in the United States.

Sure, you can pick up desserts at a store or bakery, but nothing beats homemade. Whether it’s cookies or gooey brownies, everything tastes better straight out of the oven. Even if you’re a novice, the cookbooks below will help you step up your dessert game in no time.

Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence

If you’re looking for recipes that will impress with both presentation and taste, Dessert Person is the cookbook for you. Written by former Bon Appétit food editor and current YouTube star, Claire Saffitz, this cookbook is packed with beautifully illustrated and thoroughly detailed recipes.

There’s also a ton of guidance offered along the way, from common problems and solutions for specific recipes to step-by-step photos you can follow from prep to the final product. You’ll find a healthy mixture of classic recipes like her Apple Tarts and Coffee Cake to more unique ones like Salted Halvah Blondies and Pistachio Pinwheels.

Tasty Dessert: All the Sweet You Can Eat

Tasty, a child company of Buzzfeed Media, is known for their short recipe videos that quickly gained popularity on social media. They used some of their most popular shorts to create their cookbook Tasty Dessert.

Recipes are easy to follow and every one is totally Instagram-worthy. There’s a good variety of difficulty in recipes so you’re bound to find something that fits the time and patience you have on any given day. It also includes some exclusive recipes you won’t find on their social media accounts.

The Weeknight Dessert Cookbook: 80 Irresistible Recipes with Only 5 to 15 Minutes of Prep

The only downside to making dessert is that you can’t always spare an extra 30+ minutes in the evening to put one together, especially on a busy weeknight. The Weeknight Dessert Cookbook features 80 recipes that all take less than 15 minutes to prep.

You still need to factor in cooking or setting time, but these take very little commitment on your part and are perfect for busy days. Some of the recipes include one-pan desserts like Blueberry Almond Pound Cake, make-ahead treats like Walnut Toffee Bars, and no-bake options like Pretzel Avalanche Fudge.

Sally's Baking Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cupcakes, and Desserts for Your Sweet-Tooth Fix

Food blogger Sally McKenney has become well known for her mouth-water desserts, from cookies to cakes to fudge. Sally’s Baking Addiction is her debut cookbook that highlights some of her most popular recipes. Fans love these sweet treats for being a step above the rest, usually due to a secret ingredient McKenney adds in to add an extra punch of flavor or texture.

Some of the desserts include her award-winning Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies, popular Strawberry Rolls with Vanilla Glaze, and bright Sunshine Lemon Cupcakes.

Taste of Home 365 Days of Cookies: Sweeten Your Year with a New Cookie Every Day

Cookies are the perfect dessert, in our opinion. They don’t take long to bake, are easy to take on the go, and come in unlimited varieties. If you feel like you’ve been making the same cookie recipes over and over, flip through 365 Days of Cookies.

As its name suggests, this cookbook contains a different cookie recipe for every day of the year so you’ll never run out of options. To make it even more fun, each recipe follows a theme based on the day. You can make Molasses Cookies with a Kick on January 16th (Hot and Spicy Food Day), Pecan Pie Thumbprints on July 12th (National Pecan Pie Day), and Dracula Cookies on October 31st (Halloween).

BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts

Known for how sugary-sweet all of our food is, you can’t deny that the United States knows how to do dessert well. BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts pulls together the best of the best. Most of the recipes contain a mini history lesson about the dessert that’s fun to read while you pull your ingredients together.

You’ll find the best recipes for classic cookies like Snickerdoodles and Chocolate Chip Cookies, cakes like Boston Cream Pie (technically a cake) and Devil’s Food, and even recreations of treats like Twinkies and Thin Mints. 

Food52 Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake

If your goal is to become a better baker, get a hold of Food52 Genius Desserts. In addition to a wide variety of delectable recipes, this book is full of wisdom from some of the world’s best chefs who chip in periodically to share advice from the trade.

Each recipe teaches you something new about cooking and will ultimately change your perspective on food. Some of the recipes you’ll find include David Lebovitz’s Gingersnaps, Molly’s Yeh’s Marzipan Butter, and Martha Stewart’s Slab Pie.

Vegan Dessert Cookbook: Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Puddings, Candies, and More

If you’re vegan or you want to see what all the hype is about, Vegan Dessert Cookbook will prove that you don’t need dairy or eggs to make great desserts. This book includes recipes for every skill level and plenty of tips on transitioning to a plant-based diet. It also has helpful swaps for other allergies available for many of the recipes.

You can look forward to some sweet treats like Lemon Squares, Banana Pudding Cake, Date-Caramel Banoffee Pie, and Cinnamon and Maple Donut Holes. You probably won’t even notice these are vegan!

The Book on Pie: Everything You Need to Know to Bake Perfect Pies

Pie is simultaneously one of the most inviting and daunting desserts. There’s nothing as comforting as pulling a warm apple or cherry pie out of the oven, but many people are nervous to tackle a recipe on their own. If you want to improve your pie game, get a hold of The Book on Pie.

This cookbook will help you master every kind of pie you can think of, from fruit to custard to savory. The entire first chapter is dedicated to doughs and crusts alone, with the second chapter focusing solely on toppings. You’ll get thorough instructions on pulling together a dessert to rival even the one your grandma used to make when you were a kid.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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