There are foods in life that are perfect for every occasion or mood and I’m sure cake is one of them.
To celebrate? Drown your sorrows? Recovering from heartbreak? Cake is the answer to everyone – and that’s why knowing how to make the perfect soft sponge cake with delicious fillings and awesome designs is a must.
Over the years – mainly through shows like The Great British Bake Off and more recently from Netflix Is it cake? – we’ve all been tempted at one time or another to put on an apron and whip, mix and layer in the kitchen. As summer calls, there’s no better time to kiss that sweet tooth and hone your baking skills to impress your friends and family.
Of course, a great chef needs good tools. Before you start with your pastry master, make sure you have everything you need close at hand – there’s nothing worse than realizing you forgot the flour halfway through.
We recommend ditching the old whip and investing in either a stand mixer Where wearable electronics a. A silicone baking kit is a must as it makes scraping bowls and pans much easier than using wooden utensils and helps reduce waste. Finally, don’t forget the cake stand; a necessary piece of equipment for all bakers, as it will enhance your show and make it shine – even if the frosting is a bit runny and the cake slightly dense.
We’ve also rounded up the best dessert-focused cookbooks, so you too can try your hand at baking. Putting the recipes to the test, we embarked on a decadent chocolate mousse from Reynold Poernomo’s cookbook: The dessert game. With just four ingredients, it’s the simple yet perfect pudding we all need to try.
Whether it’s cupcakes for the school party, a birthday cake, or a divine chocolate pudding for one (we don’t judge), we’ve got the book for you. .
The dessert game
Best for: breathtaking desserts
If you’re looking to take your baking to the next level, this cookbook is an absolute must. Divided into three sections, the book helps you learn skills and techniques through interesting and fun recipes. Starting at level one there are crowd-pleasing desserts such as chocolate mousse and brownies, and at level three you can bake some seriously awesome puddings including pear and yuzu pie and the gorgeous slice of passion berry cheesecake – a dessert that even a Parisian patisserie would be proud of.
We love the creative twist on some of Britain’s most classic desserts – try the Creamy Vanilla Parfait with Strawberry Granita for an interesting and impressive take on the much-loved strawberries and cream.
Buy now £13.99, Amazon
Afternoon Tea at Cutter & Squidge Bakery
Best for: afternoon tea
Free up your schedule, prepare your cake pans and invite your friends over while you cook up a storm in the kitchen with some of the most creative afternoon tea recipes. Written by sisters Annabel and Emily, this cookbook is the culmination of their years of inventing weird and wonderful treats. Famous for its immersive afternoon tea experiences at the flagship London store, this cookbook is divided into six sections – all of which pay homage to a different part of the afternoon tea experience.
There are recipes for timeless scones as well as reimagined classics like strawberries and cream cookies. If you’re feeling brave, try some of the recipes in the Orient and Americana afternoon tea section as they feature ingenious flavor combinations. Some of our favorites include Magic Carpet Cookies from Pineapple Chilli and Lime Cake Bar Genie.
The additional sections on buttercreams, jams, and curds are perfect if you’re looking to learn more about baking and want to put together your own flavors. All recipes use natural flavors and colors, making many of them gluten-free and suitable for vegans.
Buy now £14.43, Amazon
Best for: sugar solution
Treat yourself to a teatime treat from Bernadette Gee’s first cookbook that features amazing cake recipes that will leave your guests oohing and aahing for hours. We have found this book to be perfect for beginner bakers and master cake makers as the step-by-step guides are clear and there is a good variety of recipes perfect for every occasion – so no more pretending that the chocolate cake from the supermarket was homemade.
We absolutely loved the raspberry white chocolate fondant for a quick but impressive dessert and if you have more free time the rich Signature chocolate cake is a must – the beautiful flower and marble decorations make it almost too pretty to eat.
Buy now £14.47, Amazon
The Italian Bakery
Best for: Italian desserts
No cookbook summary would be complete with a mention of the wonderful world of Italian desserts. Often overshadowed by French pastries or British cakes, Italian dolci (sweet treats) are still uncharted territory for many of us. This cookbook includes 140 recipes that are both classic and accessible, ranging from cakes and pastries to chocolates and pies.
The dolci in this book are perfect for special occasion celebrations or everyday indulgences. We found the 50 Basic Recipes for Basic Baking particularly helpful with step-by-step images that are helpful if you’re getting into this style of cooking for the first time.
Buy now £26.19, Amazon
Comfort Bake: Heart-Warming Foods
Best for: comfort food
As the name suggests, this cookbook is all about comfort food and these recipes are comforting. With everything from nostalgic ginger cookies to colorful peaches and creme cupcakes, we love mixing classic and adventurous flavor combinations — and we know you will too.
Comfort Bake is all about demystifying desserts – these puddings might not be the most elaborate, but they’re perfect for home bakers looking to whip up a simple, tasty treat for friends and family. The cookbook also contains savory recipes such as quiches and pies which are equally delicious.
Buy now £14.47, Amazon
Knoops All Day Chocolate Recipes 2021
Best for: Chocolate
Get ready for your stomach to start rumbling as you browse through this ode to chocolate with 40 drinks and 20 food recipes that all incorporate Knoops hot chocolate flakes. From morning chocolate cookies to afternoon Knickerbocker retro glory, this book tells you how to incorporate chocolate into every meal from sunrise to sunset.
Decadent party trays are an absolute must if you’re hosting big events as it’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory that’s sure to please everyone. Or experiment in the kitchen with Chocolate Chilli con Carne for a twist on a classic weeknight dinner. Forget the coffee chain’s hot chocolates and indulge in the art of creating thick, luxurious, flavorful chocolate that can be enjoyed hot and cold.
Buy now £20.00, Water Stones
The Cadbury Creme Egg cookbook
Best for: fun desserts
Go crazy and try eggs (see what we did there) with this bright and bold cookbook that pays homage to the sickly (but tastiest) chocolate of all time – the custard egg.
With 60 recipes, vibrant images, and divided into cookies, cakes, desserts, and fun snacks, this book shows how you can indulge in Creme Eggs any time of the day (yes, even for breakfast). As a Creme Egg fanatic, I’ve tried many of these recipes and some of the best include donuts, ice cream and of course the chocolate cake – all of which feature Cadbury’s favourite.
Buy now £3.00, Amazon
Vegans deserve better than a fruit salad
Best for: vegans
Welcoming vegan friends over the years, I have to admit I feel guilty when it comes to creating subpar desserts for them – usually a fruit salad – while the rest of the party feasts on a indulgent and delicious pudding. This is until now.
This cookbook is informative, humorous and accessible to vegans and non-vegans alike. With 60 recipes that cover classic seasonal delights (everything from Eton Mess to Sticky Toffee Pudding). vegans will no longer be left with boring dishes to end the night with.
Recipes are simple to follow thanks to clear ingredient lists and a helpful breakdown of chapters that range from basic desserts to expert-level desserts such as Frozen Strawberry Souffle.
We recommend the Chocolate fondant with mango coulis for a dessert that will please everyone and will undoubtedly cause your guests to jump to the murmur of your guests: is it really vegan?
Buy now £9.85, Amazon
The Last Bite: A Whole New Approach to Baking Year-Round Desserts
Best for: seasonal pastry
What award-winning pastry chef Anna Higham doesn’t know about baking isn’t worth knowing. This revolutionary dessert cookbook covers everything from skills and seasonings to techniques and tasting. With over 150 recipes accompanied by beautiful illustrations and photographs, this cookbook will soon become your baking bible as you learn more about the foods you cook with and how to create your own desserts.
Divided by season, there are recipes for berries in the summer, apples and pears in the fall, citrus fruits in the winter, and nuts and grains in the spring. Absolute must-haves include sage meringues, burnt butter cakes, and black currant leaf oil. Get ready to take your cooking skills up a notch, or five, with this cookbook.
Buy now £16.76, Amazon
How to Bake Anything Gluten Free
Best for: gluten free recipes
Is there anything better than enjoying your favorite cake or dessert after a long day? Well, this cookbook will help you turn all those delicious treats into gluten-free treats that will wow you, your friends, and your family. This cookbook includes recipes for brownies, rainbow cakes, and red velvet cupcakes that, surprisingly, are also dairy-free and vegetarian-friendly.
Buy now £13.75, Amazon