Top 5 books to get you baking

Baking can be a true pleasure. Producing a perfect Victoria Sponge for a relaxed afternoon tea, or a rich chocolate cake for a birthday celebration, is immensely satisfying, both for the baker and for those who enjoy the fruits of his or her labour. However, if you are new to baking or just can’t seem to produce the results you crave, it can be a disheartening experience. Never fear! If you want to up your baking game, the Happy Foodie can help. We’ve gathered together a collection of brilliant recipe books that will take you from shambles to showstopper in no time at all.

Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess

This was the book that brought the glamour back to baking and launched Nigella Lawson’s career into the stratosphere. An absolute cookery classic, it is an essential book for anyone who lacks confidence with their baking. Nigella’s warm, conversational style and relaxed approach make even the most complex recipes feel achievable.

James Morton’s Brilliant Bread

A finalist in 2012’s series of Great British Bake Off, James Morton won over the nation with his witty banter, fairisle jumpers and boundless enthusiasm for baking. In Brilliant Bread, he guides the reader through every aspect of breadmaking in a friendly, no-nonsense style. The recipes are graded from easy to challenging, and are accompanied by clear step-by-step guides to essential techniques.

The Great British Bake Off: Learn to Bake

From the team behind Britain’s favourite TV baking show, Learn To Bake is the ideal book to entice families into the kitchen to get baking together. With a comprehensive glossary of baking terms, notes about essential equipment and 80 family-friendly recipes, it is a wonderful starter book. Pick a bake, grab the kids and get messy in the kitchen!

Dan Lepard’s Short and Sweet

Fans of Dan Lepard’s writing for The Guardian appreciate his laid-back, accessible style and fuss-free recipes. Short and Sweet is full of these, covering every aspect of baking – from cake to pizza and sourdough. The straightforward explanations in the book are accompanied by stunning, inspiring photography.

Mary Berry’s Baking Bible

Who better to get you baking than the queen of Bake Off herself? This book lives up to its name, with over 250 recipes for cakes and bakes to suit every occasion. All the classics are here – from simple everyday bakes, to sumptuous celebration cakes. Mary’s simple pared back style inspires confidence and takes the terror out of trying something new.

Let us know what you think of our selection of baking books for beginners on Twitter @thehappyfoodie and facebook.com/thehappyfoodie

Try some of our favourite cakes and bakes here:

Red Wine Velvet Cake with Whipped Mascarpone by Deb Perelman

Anna Del Conte's Chocolate and Pear Cake

Nigella Lawson's Yoghurt Pot Cake

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