It’s been a great year for dessert books: Ani’s Raw Food Desserts, BabyCakes, Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, Rustic Fruit Desserts and even The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook—which covers more than just desserts—have all hit readers’ sweet spots. And before the year is over, bookstores will see even more sweet tomes. The buzzwords for this fall’s dessert cookbooks? Cakes, chocolate and simplicity.
While cupcakes still dominate the baked goods scene, this fall brings a number of impressive tomes on cakes—regular-sized ones, that is. Wiley is making a big push for Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by acclaimed baking expert Rose Levy Beranbaum. The book is her first full-color baking book, with photos throughout of such desserts as a towering Saint-Honoré Trifle, decadent Chocolate Ice Cream cake and Mini Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes (apparently even Beranbaum is not immune to the charms of small cakes). Click here for a recipe for Catalan Salt Pinch Cake. While Beranbaum's book purports to provide experienced and novice bakers with easy-to-follow recipes, those with an eye for shortcuts will look for The Cake Mix Doctor Returns by Anne Byrn (Workman, Sept.). Byrn will embark on a massive tour—including stops in Nashville, Cincinnati, Houston, Salt Lake City, Denver and Chicago—to promote the book, which Workman is supporting with a 133,000-copy first printing. Although Adams Media is also releasing a cake mix book—The Everything Cake Mix Cookbook, which will be part of the publisher’s Everything series—by Sarah K. Sawyer in November, it’s likely Byrn’s book will dominate.
Also on the cake list are Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong by Jen Yates (Andrews McMeel, Sept.), based on the popular blog; Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes by Duff Goldman and Willie Goldman (Morrow, Oct.), from the star of the Food Network reality television show Ace of Cakes; and All Cakes Considered by Melissa Gray (Chronicle, Oct.), inspired by the NPR producer’s weekly baking projects.
On the high-end side of this fall’s baking books are a number of coffee table-worthy tomes on chocolate. Little, Brown is bringing out Chocolate: A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner’s Private Collection by Max Brenner and Yonatan Factor in November, with instructions on making some of the most popular chocolate treats from the Brenner restaurant chain. Click here for a recipe for Innocent Meringue Kisses. Another chocolate boutique, La Maison du Chocolat, will be represented in La Maison du Chocolat: Timeless Classics with a Twist by Gilles Marchal, Veronique Durruty (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Sept.). And glossy magazines are behind Absolutely Chocolate: Irresistible Excuses to Indulge by Fine Cooking magazine (Taunton, Oct.) and Simply Chocolate: 60 Chunky, Nutty, Creamy Creations by Southern Living magazine (Oxmoor House, Oct.).
Dessert doesn’t have to be a complicated affair, according to three of this fall’s books. Cake Keeper Cakes: 100 Simple Recipes for Extraordinary Bundt Cakes, Pound Cakes, Snacking Cakes and Other Good-To-The-Last-Crumb Treats by Lauren Chattman (Taunton, Oct.) gives ideas for unadorned cakes “to keep on hand for everyday eating.” You Made That Dessert? Create Fabulous Treats, Even If You Can Barely Boil Water by Beth Lipton (Globe Pequot, Sept.) has recipes for Dark Chocolate Pudding, Banana-Nutella Wontons and other doable desserts. Click here for a recipe for Peanut-Butterscotch Bites. And 100 Desserts for $5 or Less by Angel Shannon (Gibbs Smith, Sept.) covers cookies, bars, cakes, pies, candies and frozen desserts.
The best of the rest
More dessert cookbooks we’re looking forward to.
175 Natural Sugar Desserts by Angelina Dayan and Ari Dayan (Robert Rose, Sept.)
The Craft of Baking: Cakes, Cookies, and Other Sweets with Ideas for Inventing Your Own by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox (Clarkson Potter, Oct.)
Delicious Maine Desserts: 96 Recipes, from Easy to Elaborate by Cynthia Finnemore Simonds (Down East, Oct.)
Petite Sweets: Bite-Size Desserts to Satisfy Every Sweet Tooth by Beatrice Ojakangas (Sellers, Oct.)
Sweet Carolina: Favorite Desserts and Candies from the Old North State by Foy Allen Edelman (Univ. of North Carolina, Sept.)
Sweetness: Delicious Baked Treats for Every Occasion by Sarah Levy (Agate Surrey, Oct.)
Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Treats by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (Da Capo Lifelong, Nov.)
Warm Bread and Honey Cake: Home Baking from Around the World by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra (Interlink, Oct.)
Wild About Cupcakes: Over 130 Recipes by Rachel Lane (Barrons, Oct.)
This story originally appeared in Cooking the Books, PW's e-newsletter for cookbooks.