Book review Cakes Christmas

Top 10 baking books, the one’s you’ll want under your tree. Best gifting ideas

You can never have enough baking books can you? Every one has something different to taste and each one can inspire a whole meal, cake or just give you that excited feeling we get when we find something that just makes out mouth water. This list is a combination of the ones I have that I reach for all the time and the ones that I really want to get my hands on. They would all make the perfect last-minute Christmas gift so, in no particular order….

1. Lorraine Pascale:

A lighter way to bake

A Lighter Way to Bake

This is one of those books that’s at the top of my wish list. There’s something very fresh and exciting about Lorraine’s recipes. The book is broken up into Breakfast and brunch with recipes like raspberry and banana no-knead bread and Apple and apricot spiced hot cross buns then goes on with Bread -Honey and oat bread anyone? , Savoury bakes like butternut squash, basil and onion Quiche, then Puddings and desserts– I fancy the plum and almond frangipane tarts with sticky Amaretto glaze- how good do they sound?  Cakes– there are ten to choose from, Cookies and traybakes – I’m really into tray bakes at the mo. Teatime treats – these are cupcakes recipes, meringue kisses and scones. Mmmmm, Special occasions and entertaining these are recipes for parties and Christmas. The Cashew, cranberry and spice biscotti caught my eye. Pastry and basics – ooooh sweet honey shortcrust pastry. I want some!

So in other words it’s jam packed. Just a quick“click to look inside this book” on Amazon with all the beautiful pictures and I was hooked!

2. The Humming bird Bakery cookbook

The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

This is a book I had my eye on for quite a while, but as I’m not a huge fan of cupcakes I didn’t get it till really recently. I’m so glad I did. I think the reason I’m not a huge fan of cupcakes is because I’m never happy with how they turn out. This book puts an end to all that!

It’s broken up into more than just cupcake recipes. There are cupcakes – obviously, cakes, pies, brownies and bars, muffins and cookie recipes and I have to admit that it is so much better than I was expecting. I thought it would just be more of what you can get in the shop and it is – but more!

The recipes look really delicious and there are so many to choose from. You can put inches on your hips just drooling over the pages. The lemon Meringue pie looks particularly appealing as does the chocolate cheese cake (an old favourite of mine)and the nutty apple loaf.  They can keep the green tea cup cake though! I’ll stick to the pumpkin ones and black bottom cupcakes instead.

I think this is going to become another fave on my cookery book shelf. I’ll report back!

3. Delia’s Cakes

Delia’s Cakes

How do I only own one Delia book and that is the ‘How to cook’ which I picked up for 99p at a charity shop! This is a book I should have! It was first published in 1977 so it’s 35 years in print means her recipes can definitely stand the test of time! This new edition with it’s modern day makeover has been tested for gluten free recipes too which is brilliant. I’m always looking for good gluten free recipes.

Delia Smith has a way of explaining the reasons why we mix/whisk/fold a cake to get the best results. The book has loads of beautiful photography show casing her recipes. The sections are Sponge cakes, loaf cakes, family cakes, little cakes, muffins, biscuits, chocolate cakes, celebration cakes and dessert cakes.

 I NEED this book.

4. Great British Bake Off: Everyday

Great British Bake Off: Everyday: Over 100 Foolproof Bakes (The Great British Bake Off)

I have to say that I have two of the British Bake off books from the first two series The Great British Book of Baking: 120 best-loved recipes from teatime treats to pies and pasties and The Great British Bake Off: How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers and I refer to both of them all the time. I’m not normally one to go back for more of the same type of book when it comes to baking books, but I admit that I am hooked. I have found the cakes from both these books and this latest additon to be easy to make and taste amazing, always coming out perfectly so I was really keen to get my hands on this one. They also have really good food (not cake) recipes with delicious flavouring. Something I need to learn more of.  Watch out pies. I’m coming to get you! 


5. Mary Berry’s Baking bible

Mary Berry’s Baking Bible

I love, love, love this book! It’s one of my favorite baking books ever. It really is my bible (that and The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook but I don’t want to put a Jewish cooking book here on a Christmas list!)

It’s my first point of reference whenever I want to bake something quick, easy and that I know will turn out well. It has so many recipes (over 250) that you will always find something new. I did a more thorough review on this book which you can find here, but trust me it’s worth every penny.

6. Paul Hollywood, Bread

Paul Hollywood’s Bread

Would you believe that in the Top 10 baking books on Amazon this Christmas, the Mary Berry/ Paul Hollywood/ British Bake off books total six. SIX!!! So it stands to reason that they know their stuff.

I have Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake book which I really liked (you can see the full review of that book here) I haven’t baked much bread,- compared with cakes, but after attempting a few from his book and having a lot of fun/mishaps when making brioche recently I am now more keen than ever. I love the way Paul explains everything in such easy to understand detail. I will make beautiful breads and this is the book to help me!

7.The Cake decorating bible, Juliet Sear

The Cake Decorating Bible: Simple steps to creating beautiful cupcakes, biscuits, birthday cakes and more

I reviewed this book when it first came out back in February this year and have refered to it often when making cakes. It’s great for cake decorating novices and experts alike. Full of inspiration and great hints and tips. It’s also really beautifully shot which makes it a winner in my book. With so many celebrity baking books on the shelves this is probably a more unusual Christmas gift which is why I think it’s a winner.

8. Leiths: How to cook or

Leiths Baking bible

Leiths How to Cook (Leiths School/Food & Wine)

Leiths Baking Bible

I was given the Leiths Baking bible for my birthday by the team at Woman & Home a few years ago and what isn’t in this book you just don’t need to know! It is huge and packed with tons and tons of recipes for ANYTHING you may want to bake. It’s really detailed and explains how things work and why they don’t, why you should and shouldn’t do certain things, what gluten does to the flour/eggs etc. It’s the kind of book you will pass on to your kids as it has everything in it you could possible need. So, when the How to cook book came out I wanted to get it for the same reason. It has everything in it from how to boil an egg to how to prepare fish/meat/poultry – even how to carve!  Each stage is explained – which when it comes to cooking I really need.   It has over 500 recipes in it and I’ve made loads from it. You can see my full review of the book here


9. Peggy Porschen

Boutique Baking: Delectable Cakes, Cupcakes and Teatime Treats

I love Peggy Porschen. Her attention to detail is exquisite. This book has both amazingly designed cakes and biscuits as well as her delicious recipes. Her Lemon Limoncello cake recipe is one of my biggest hitting posts. Her recipes are seriously mouth watering.

The book is packed full of beautiful ideas and the photography is lovely. Real eye candy. Here’s my detailed review

10. Mich Turner’s Cake Masterclass

Mich Turner’s Cake Masterclass: The Ultimate Guide to Cake Decorating Perfection

This is another book I refer to often, especially when I am baking a celebration cake. Mich’s books have tons of really useful information in them like the different amounts of marzipan needed to cover a cake or sugarpaste to cover a cake board. She has really easy to follow steps on how to create a beautiful cake and her designs are just beautiful. The book also has everything you need to know from lining a cake tin to the essential kit you need. There’s a good reason it’s called the ‘Cake Masterclass’.

Mich’s cake recipes (which come with the amounts of ingredients needed for different size cake tins) are really yummy. There are chocolate cakes, moist fruit cakes – my favorite one ever and the only recipe I use, cupcakes and tea cakes.  I made her chocolate and cherry cake for one of the layers in my sister-in-law’s wedding cake and it was deeeelish.

This is the perfect gift for a keen baker or cake decorator. I highly recommend it, if only for the eye candy.


So there you have it. Which one’s do you want? Which one’s do you have? Or are there some that I have missed off that you think should be there? Leave a comment and let me know. I’d love to know what’s on your list?



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  1. glamorous glutton says:

    A great list of books, many of which I’ve already bought. I’m hankering after the Leith books. GG

  2. So which one is your favourite? I’d love some good basics books, a lot of mine are novelty so only used on rare occasions. How could I pick between Mary and Delia though!

    1. EmmaMT from says:

      I think for me it’s Mary all the way.

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