Regardless of how many baking blogs or Pinterest pins I find I’ll always revert back to one of my baking books when looking for some inspiration on what to make. I love the feel of a book and the visual side with all the pretty and bright photography.
Having collected quite an impressive selection of cookery books in general, most of which are baking related, there are only a few which I go back to time and time again. I find cake decorating books so inspiring and so beautiful.
I am recipe book obsessed! There you go… I’ve said it and I’m not ashamed to admit it either! 😉
It also made me realise that a blog post of my favourite books would be perfect as it may help someone with regards to a little Christmas present shopping! All keen bakers love a good baking book! Hint, hint… nudge, nudge!
So, sprawled out across my living room floor armed with my camera and a hot honeycomb latte with the fire turned on full, here are my absolute favourite-favourite baking books, in no particular order.
Apologies if you spot a greasy fingerprint or a chocolate stained page…they’re well used! I’ve added a link for each book after the description but I’ll put a little list at the end for ease too.
I’m kind like that see 😉
1. Love Layer Cakes by Peggy Porschen
The queen of layer cakes if you ask me. Pretty pastel coloured bakes that are not only easy to bake but also focus on simple creative designs that anyone can achieve.
The recipes in this book combine wonderful sponge cakes with delectable cake fillings and toppings that taste as good as they look. With top tips and tool kit recommendations Peggy’s Layer Cakes book oozes class and sophistication and her style is recognised throughout. If you’ve been to her shop in London you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Perfect for any keen baker and just to make the book even more fantastic, there are two stencils included at the back. Nice touch Peggy. Buy here
2. Cakes for Romantic Occasions by May Clee-Cadman
There’s one recipe in this book that I adore and it’s the chocolate fudge cake recipe. I use it all the time and it always brings in the compliments when baked. The carrot cake is equally as delicious too. If anyone ever asks me for a baking book recommendation this is the first one I always talk about.
As well as simple to follow recipes you can also take your decorating skills to the next level with photo tutorials to make cookies, sugar flowers, mini cakes all dedicated to the subject of love. This book looks like it was lots of fun to make and the inspiration it provides is endless.
Simply irresistible. Buy here.
3. The Painted Cake by Natasha Collins
This book will leave you speechless! No exaggeration. Natasha, with a background as a textile designer, has a natural, awe-inspiring talent and she shares all her secrets, tips and techniques in this book for 30 stunning designs, ranging from classic to contemporary, quirky to lushly romantic.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any background in painting either, each guide is simple and easy to follow with clear, no-fuss photography to back it up.
This book is great in any kitchen but also makes the perfect coffee table accessory – people can’t put it down once they spot it. Buy here
4. Meringue Girls by Alex Hoffler and Stacey O’Gorman
Bright, fun, stand out and addictive – this book needs to be your go-to meringue book! Obviously diverting from the cake books I usually gravitate towards, this book grabbed my attention after tasting one of their meringues at a food market.
The opening page has this message “This book is dedicated to everyone who dreams of leaving their 9-5“. Sold! Honest and inspiring this book is about so much more than baking that oh so perfect melt in the mouth mallowy meringue.
Demystifying the meringue (not to mention low-fat and gluten free) technique there are just over 60 creative recipes all paired with inspiring photographs by renowned food photographer David Loftus and from weekend dabblers to expert cooks obsessed with technical perfection, bakers of every skill level will be sweet on Meringue Girls meringues. I’ve baked them a couple of times and although not perfect at first, they quickly become easier to make. It’s all about the timing with meringue if you ask me. Buy here
5. Wedding Cakes by Rosalind Miller
Award winning Rosalind creates cakes that are truly remarkable. The kind of cakes that make you hold your breath they’re so luxuriously perfect. This book follows that theme. Heavy with thick crisp pages and with the writing edged in gold you know it’s special.
With easy-to-follow instructions and beautiful step-by-step photography it takes the cake maker through the construction of each individual sugar flower and decoration, so that you can either replicate the cakes, or pick and choose techniques from each, to achieve your own unique creation.
The perfect book for anyone looking something that little bit more special.Buy here
6. Happy Cake Days by Wendy Schlagwein
With absolutely no idea where I got this book from, maybe Cake International back in 2012, it was one of my first ever books that included both recipes and cake related tutorials. The fondant bear tutorial was a god-send and Wendy’s way with words makes her so likeable.
Whether you’re a complete novice or you’ve been decorating cakes for years, this book contains something for everyone. Step by step, Wendy explains both how to create the basis and how to model the decorative figures. Thanks to the clear instructions in this book, you’ll be amazed by what you can conjure up with your very own hands! Buy here
7. The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town by Ms Cupcake
Vegan baking can be tricky so when I first started baking vegan this was my go-to book for learning about what works and how to answer the ever so popular question “but how does it rise without eggs?” Ms Cupcake not only guides you through her recipes in a clear, easy to follow way she answers all the questions you’ll be wondering about too. Bright, funky with a 50’s vibe running throughout this book will make you smile the moment you open it and is guaranteed to make your mouth water.
Ms. Cupcake’s motto is “everybody deserves great cake” and the cakes really are great!
They might be naughty, but they are also nice, to animals and the planet, and all the vegans who really deserve some nice cake. It’s also a great book for anyone with allergies or intolerance’s to dairy, eggs or even gluten (there are tips for making most of the recipes gluten free and they work too). Buy here
8. Wafer Paper Cakes by Stevi Auble
This book is my most recent purchase and it is super classy! It feels like you’re holding a piece of modern art type of classy. With its monotone colour palette and simple aesthetic, clean lines combined with striking photography Stevie really pulls you in with very unique and one-off creations. I can guarantee that every design you see in this book will be new to your eyes.
Flicking through you’ll want to make it all!
Stevie shows how to make a plethora of different wafer paper flowers, plus other wafer cake decorations such as bows, wreaths, and cake toppers. Stevi also demonstrates how you can cover cakes in wafer paper to create spectacular backgrounds on which to place your decorations–all with minimum effort. Buy here
9. Sugar High Cute and Easy Cake Toppers by Brenda Walton
Brenda Walton and her stunning Sugar High fondant creations are legendary in the cake world! Her love of fondant and sugar art began while making her daughter’s first birthday cake in 2010. Less than a year later, she started her business, Sugar High. Brenda’s focus soon shifted from making cakes to creating fondant cake and cupcake toppers.
Cute & Easy Cake Toppers is Brenda’s first book and brings together a super cute collection of fun and lovable characters to create at home. Making fondant animals isn’t my strong point of mine but with this book I find it so much easier to do. Buy here
10. The Cake Book by Cupcake Jemma
Bold statement alert – When it comes to cupcakes, no-one does it better than Cupcake Jemma! Deadly. Serious. Have you been to her shop Crumbs & Doilies?
If you don’t know who Cupcake Jemma is then where the heck have you been? Her YouTube channel is amazing and totally addict-able. I love seeing a notification pop up when a new video is out.
Her book is equally as fun with an occasional touch of bonkers thrown in! The recipes are simple but with an occasional twist and split up seasonally. You’ll have a wonderfully naughty treat to choose from, whatever the time of year. This book might be small in size, but it’s crammed full of delicious recipes.
One of my favourite quotes from Jemma is: “Baking a cake from scratch, watching it rise and making it look beautiful is one of the most satisfying things that you can ever do.” She’s fab! Buy here
So, bookmark this page, email it to your better halves, share on your Facebook page if it helps. I can guarantee if you end up at least one of these books you’ll love it forever.
For easy shopping, here’s a list of all the books I love:
- Layer Cakes by Peggy Porschen – buy here
- Cakes for Romantic Occasions by May Clee-Cadman – buy here
- The Painted Cake by Natasha Collins – buy here
- Meringue Girls by Alex Hoffler and Stacey O’Gorman – buy here
- Wedding Cakes by Rosalind Miller – buy here – buy here
- Happy Cake Days by Wendy Schlagwein – buy here
- The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town by Ms Cupcake – buy here
- Wafer Paper Cakes by Stevi Auble – buy here
- Sugar High Cute and Easy Cake Toppers by Brenda Walton – buy here
- The Cake Book by Cupcake Jemma – buy here
Have I missed a book you think should be on here? I’d love to hear your recommendations too.
Looking for some baking inspiration ideas? Check out my baking blogs here where you can find recipes like Peanut Butter Oat Bites, Raspberry & Orange Cupcakes with Prosecco buttercream or maybe you fancy some delicious Chocolate Chip Banana Bread?