Inside the Stunning, User-Friendly Cookbook of the Most Fearless Baker We Know

I’ve had the pleasure of working on cookbooks for almost 10 years. In that time, I’ve worn a lot of hats: I’ve been a food stylist, recipe developer, recipe tester, copyeditor, and ghost writer, even. My journey has taken me through over 60 books for other authors—and working on books is still my favorite part of my job. There’s seriously no better feeling than when that book (finally, many months later) arrives in your mailbox. But for all the magic mailbox moments I’ve had in my career, not much could have prepared me for receiving the first copy of my own book, The Fearless Baker, which comes out this fall.

If you’ve read some of my articles here on Food52, you’ll have an idea of what’s in store inside this book. My passion for baking comes from understanding the science behind why things work, and I think understanding those whys is the key to unlocking your best baking at home. Baking has a reputation for being very “by the book,” but I want to show bakers that there’s tons of flexibility to be found in baking, once you understand what’s happening behind a recipe. Then, it becomes okay to tweak recipes, or even create your own, the way I do. Suddenly, it’s okay to swap out the type of fat used in a cake recipe your mom has always used, or substitute honey for sugar in that custard recipe you’ve been dying to try. Each and every recipe in the book not only provides thorough instructions, but also explains what makes that recipe work. There’s a huge variety of recipes, from easy to hard—and they’re all designed to make you charge into the kitchen totally fearlessly. Plus, I share my tips and tricks for making desserts look as good as they taste.

I’m incredibly excited to share a first look into that book here today, in the form of my book trailer:

Some of my favorite recipes from the book include:

  • Chocolate Palmiers, made with homemade chocolate puff pastry
  • Cream Puffs, filled to the brim with decadent diplomat cream + iced with a glaze made from fresh berries
  • Sugar Pie, a favorite holiday pie of mine, which has the easiest + most impressive décor technique around
  • Dame’s Rocket Cake, a 6-layer spice cake filled with molasses buttercream!
  • Almond Danish Loaf, a brioche-based loaf filled with just-sweet-enough almond cream and featuring a super simple braiding technique.
Erin can teach you how to make this roulade. Photo by James Ransom
  • Chocolate Hi-Ratio Sheet Cake, which uses a mixing method commonly used by large-scale bakeries, so it's not often found in books for home bakers. But you can use it at home, and you should: It produces a cake so super-soft you won’t believe it.
  • A towering Strawberry Shortcake-inspired layer cake, featuring light and fluffy biscuit layers and a whipped cream that’s stable enough to last all through your next summer soiree (if the cake lasts that long)!
  • My favorite Yeast Doughnuts, a recipe passed down from my great-great grandma, plus tons of ideas on how to finish them.
  • My favorite birthday cake recipe of all time (hint: Devil’s Food + coconut)
  • Black Bottom Crème Brulee, which turns the classic custard on its head by adding a layer of creamy dark chocolate ganache

I can’t wait to share the rest of the book (and its 150+ recipes) with everyone this Fall. In the meantime, I hope this trailer gets you hungry to bake—especially some things that have maybe scared you in the past! (Psst: We at Food52 have rounded up a few of Erin's masterpieces, below, to get you started.)

What's something you've always wanted to make but worried you can't pull off? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Shalini
  • miznic
  • Corduval
  • Isabelle
  • laurenlocally
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!


Shalini August 11, 2017
Oh my GODDESS your book looks good! Yum. I would like to make all of these recipes!
miznic July 9, 2017
The stuff I've seen here on Food52 has actually scared the daylights out of me over the years... I'm so afraid that it will fail, that half of the time I don't even try. I'm encouraged by the idea that there's flexibility... that makes me a lot less scared to approach baking. I'm very much looking forward to your book this fall.
Corduval July 9, 2017
You have provided a beautiful, mouth watering, preview of your upcoming, very own, cookbook. Thank you for the recipes, I would love to start cooking from it today! Sign me up for a book this fall.
Isabelle July 9, 2017
Bravo ! I love your recipes and bake them quite often here in paris 🇫🇷
One question, though : did you add metric measurements ?
Erin J. July 9, 2017
Yes, the book provides both volume and weight measures (which are all in grams)!
Isabelle July 9, 2017
Thanks ! Much easier, then 😊 can't tell you how much time I spend converting ounces and Fahrenheit....
laurenlocally July 7, 2017
Soo very excited for and proud of you!
Erin J. July 9, 2017
Thanks Lauren! <3
Aileen B. July 7, 2017
I live to cook and bake and of course to eat it! I can't wait to get this cook book, looks amazing....
Tamara July 6, 2017
Can't wait to get my hands on it!
Hope July 6, 2017
Congratulations! Looks so incredible, the trailer is dreamy. Do you know yet when the book will be out in the UK?
Erin J. July 9, 2017
I'll have to look into that, Hope!
Martin B. July 6, 2017
Congratulations, it's great to see all that hard work and imagination distilled into one book.

Are the recipes in metric weight?
Erin J. July 9, 2017
Thanks, Martin! Yes, all recipes are provided in weight (grams) as well as volume.
Jr0717 July 5, 2017
I love being a mad scientist baker. I can't wait!! Congrats on the book, Erin!
frecklywench July 5, 2017
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Can't wait!
meganvt01 July 5, 2017
That trailer is amazing! Reminds me of the cinematography in Chefs Table. Beautiful.
Judi C. July 5, 2017
Micki B. July 5, 2017
Hooray! So excited for you (and your book) Erin!!
Erin J. July 5, 2017
Thanks, Micki!
mrslarkin July 5, 2017
Hooray! Such a beautiful book trailer. Can't wait to get the book!
Erin J. July 5, 2017
Thank you thank you!
Sarah J. July 5, 2017
This trailer is mind-blowing, Erin. I can hardly WAIT to see the book in all its glory. Congratulations, you mastermind!
Erin J. July 5, 2017
Thanks, Sarah! You're amazing!
fiveandspice July 5, 2017
Eek, I can't wait!!!! Congratulations Erin!
Erin J. July 5, 2017
Ahhhh! Thanks Emily!!!!
figgypudding July 5, 2017
Beautiful trailer! Can't wait for the book. Way to go, Erin!
Erin J. July 5, 2017
Thank you Kate!
Khalid S. July 5, 2017
That's a damn fine trailer. Looking forward to checking out the book.
Erin J. July 5, 2017
Thanks so much!