7 Best Baking Cookbooks

Our top picks for the best baking books of the past 25 years

Classic Home Desserts Cookbook
Photo: Randy Mayor

1. Classic Home Desserts

Classic Home Desserts: A Treasury of Heirloom and Contemporary Recipes
By Richard Sax, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1994. Hardcover. $35; 648 pages

At his death in 1995 at age 46, Richard Sax was one of the most respected food writers in America, and this book, full of authority, heart, and wit, is his greatest achievement.

"If there's a type of dessert not included in this book," enthuses Dorie Greenspan, "I've never heard of it, or ... it's not a dessert that's made at home." The wonder of this big book is that it is "classic" without being dowdy or dusty; it reads like a new, fresh spin on generations of accumulated wisdom. While big names appear in the pages, the essence of the book is the sense that Sax rifled through the recipe cards of every housewife who ever lived, rewarding us with the fruits of his love and labor.

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