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The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book: Baking Demystified with 450 Foolproof Recipes from America's Most Trusted Food Magazine [Kindle Edition]

The Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $40.00 What's this?
Print List Price: $40.00
Kindle Price: $22.40
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Book Description

When  it  comes  to  baking, people tend to see themselves squarely in one of two camps: as those who bake or those who don’t—as if there is an inherent talent required to turn out a quality loaf of bread or a handsomely frosted layer cake. Test cooks at Cook’s Illustrated magazine have been baking for more than 20 years and we’ll let you in on a secret: Anyone—and we mean anyone—can become a baker. In The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book, we will show you how. An authoritative baking reference and recipe collection for those who want to learn how to bake and for those who want to bring their baking skills to a higher level, The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book is divided into 15 chapters that cover everything you’ve ever wanted to master—cookies, cakes, pies, tarts, biscuits, breads, pastry, and more. And in trademark Cook’s Illustrated style, more than 650 hand-drawn illustrations guide you through such baking essentials as rolling and fitting pie dough, frosting a layer cake, shaping pizza dough, and decorating cookies.
Foolproof recipes are at the heart of The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book, and ours are truly unique—you will not find many of our kitchen-tested methods (or the ­outstanding results that go with them) in other books. For an extraordinary deep-dish apple pie that’s crammed with apples and has no gaping hole between the fruit and crust, we precook the apples to get rid of excess liquid, concentrate the sweet flavor, and prevent a soggy bottom crust. And using a mix of sweet and sour apples ensures this blue-ribbon pie boasts balanced flavor. Biscuits come in all shapes and sizes and our book includes several versions. One of our favorites is a no-nonsense drop biscuit that possesses the same tenderness and buttery flavor as a rolled biscuit. The secret? Allowing melted butter to clump in the buttermilk adds astonishing height to our biscuits, since the water in the butter expands before it evaporates in the oven. A final brush of melted butter over the baked biscuits makes them simply irresistible. For a remarkably chewy chocolate cookie, we pair cocoa powder, which boasts deep chocolate flavor, with dark corn syrup to encourage that alluring chewy texture. And for creamy bites of chocolate throughout, we fold in bittersweet chocolate chunks.
The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book also includes recipes for baked goods that you may never have tackled at home—simply because you never had a reliable home-friendly recipe. Now you can broaden your baking skills with recipes for flaky croissants, buttery apple galette, pillowy-rich brioche, and chocolate espresso dacquoise—this layered torte of crisp, nutty meringue, rich buttercream, and silky ganache may be the most awe-inspiring dessert you ever make. Yes, many of these recipes are ambitious, but who better to guide you than Cook’s Illustrated?
In addition to recipes, The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book provides you with a practical overview of core baking ingredients. You’ll pick up valuable information such as where you should store eggs (not on the refrigerator door), how to accurately measure flour (spooning it into a measuring cup is a recipe for disaster), and how to prevent brown sugar from drying out (and how to restore its moisture if it does harden and turn brittle). A shopping guide in the back of the book includes information on our top-rated brands for both equipment and ingredients so you can make smart decisions at the store.
Remember: Anyone can learn how to bake well, so whether you are new to baking or simply want to up your game, The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book will show you the way.

Product Details

  • File Size: 58285 KB
  • Print Length: 518 pages
  • Publisher: America's Test Kitchen (October 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FEIQ92Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,407 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
136 of 138 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Dependable Baking Book October 1, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book is a 518 page tome that compiles 450 recipes of delicious baked goods that most cooks can pull off in a home kitchen. It is divided as follows: baking basics; quick breads, muffins, and scones; sweet rolls, doughnuts, and coffee cakes; griddle cakes, waffles, and granola; yeasted rolls and loaves; pizza and focaccia; cookies; brownies and bars; snack cakes and fruit cakes; chiffon cakes, angel food cakes, pound cakes, and bundt cakes; layer cakes; fruit desserts and crepes; pies and tarts; savory tarts and quiches; pastry; baked custards, puddings, and soufflés; shopping guide; conversion notes; and index. As you can see, the editors at Cook's Illustrated were serious about giving the reader an encyclopedic array of baked goods to choose from and just in time for the fall and holiday baking frenzy.

The book is well bound. It is obviously heavy--you'll be using both hands and probably your lap if you carry this to bed for a little late night studying. It also stays open well on its own if you cook without a cookbook stand. The recipes are written in the well-known Cook's Illustrated style which includes a handy few paragraphs preceding each recipe on what makes the recipe work so well for the home cook whether that be using room temperature butter or whipping egg whites in a copper bowl. It's the basic science of the recipe that is covered in these introductions without getting too technical if that turns off the home cook. Many of the recipes also have some cooking techniques illustrated in the simple but easy to understand black and white line drawings that many readers are accustomed to seeing in the magazine. The index seems to be well cross-referenced and easy to use.
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97 of 106 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine but slightly anemic second edition/rewrite October 6, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
ATK has an interesting history with second editions; they often retitle them so it gets a little confusing sometimes whether the new one is a supplement or replacement for the old one. This is an extreme case; this book is a ground-up rewrite of Baking Illustrated, which is still in print. Since the original is a remarkably awesome book as both a tutorial and baking reference, it's worth examining this book in that context.

What's remarkable about it is how much has changed about what's fashionable in cooking trends in only nine years. The old book came before Jim Lahey's bread, something that radically changed home bread baking; accordingly, ATK's almost no-knead bread appears here. Their vodka-mediated pie dough appears here as well as their laminated blueberry scones. In other words, this book basically includes all the best work that they've done since the original book came out. It's a beautiful book, too; although the black-and-white photographs might be a bit off-putting to some people, there's plenty of how-to diagrams, sidebars, and callouts to get information across effectively.

But... there's that four-star rating, you ask. Well... first off, Baking Illustrated contained a lot of information on how the recipes were developed, as you would expect from a Best Recipe book. This is not a Best Recipe book, so all you have are the basic descriptions of the science involved. Also, there's a few rather odd omissions.
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130 of 150 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neither New Nor Improved November 23, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book, the latest from Cook's Illustrated, arrived on my doorstep I found myself in a bit of a quandary. First, I was flabbergasted that the book had been entirely printed in black and white, even the photographs. Black and white photography does have a place and can be extremely artistic, but these photos are not art photos. The most recently published cookbook I've seen with this type of photography is from 1953. (The other 100% black and white cookbook my collection contains is from 1932.) It left me wondering what on earth the designer had in mind other than saving pennies on printing costs, but never mind. This is a cookbook after all, and cookbooks are all about the recipes! So, I started going over the recipes . . .

I was surprised that I didn't find anything new or unusual in the way of recipes in the pages of The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book. These are the sort of recipes that have appeared in every baking book published in the US for the last 50 years or more - Blueberry Muffins, Oatmeal Cookies, Chocolate Sheet Cake, Cherry Pie - and there are some prominent omissions. There is, for example, no section at all on holiday baking. No recipe for Pavlova, which has become a classic here in the US. No recipe for the beautifully colored and filled French-style Macarons that have become so popular, a recipe everyone is dying to learn.

Reading a recipe from Cook's or America's Test Kitchen can be a bit of a chore.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best cook books I have purchased
One of the best cook books I have purchased. It explains why things work and what causes failures in baking.
Published 14 days ago by cp4151
5.0 out of 5 stars Great baking tips and recipes
Great baking tips and recipes! Great if you really would like to know the science of baking. All recipes came out fantastic in my first attempt as a novice baker.
Published 1 month ago by mesruh turkekul
5.0 out of 5 stars who will love it.
This is a gift for my granddaughter, who will love it.
Published 1 month ago by Gene Burkhardt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
the BEST
Published 2 months ago by Ellen Madison
5.0 out of 5 stars ... and feel that what I deliver should be the best I can make
I bake a lot of gifts and feel that what I deliver should be the best I can make. I've replaced a lot of my old recipes with similar ones from this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lainey
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Baking Successes!
Everything that I have EVER made from a Cook's recipe book succeeds. I ALWAYS get a 'first-time success'. All that you have to do is follow their directions...completely. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stupid_Boy_Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this!
My new favorite cookbook! I've been a fan of Cook's Illustrated for a while now, and this one is another A+ book by them. I've already won 2 cookie contests! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andrea L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bake On!
Big fan of America's Test Kitchen site and books.
Published 3 months ago by Todd
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I did not love these books
I wish I did not love these books! First recipe I made was homemade pizza. We've been making it for years, using recipes from other books. Read more
Published 3 months ago by KathyV
5.0 out of 5 stars He was delighted to get it for
Son had this on his wish list. He was delighted to get it for Christmas
Published 4 months ago by Priscilla A. Winner
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