8 Cookbooks That Gave Us Some of Our Most-Loved Chocolate Desserts

Because there's no such thing as too many chocolatey recipes.

February 14, 2023
Photo by James Ransom

This article is a part of Chocolate Week—seven days of recipes and stories, all chocolate—presented by our friends at Guittard. A fifth-generation family business, Guittard has been crafting an array of chocolate offerings (from top-quality baking chips to bars) in San Francisco since 1868.

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a cook. I love food, I love to eat—but I’m not the person you’ll find building a menu for the dinner party or offering to host a holiday feast. Where you will find me is behind the bar or walking into a gathering with a freshly baked pie, cake, batch of cookies, or another dessert I decided to make on a whim. While you will probably never see me carrying a pot roast or glazing a ham (at least not one that I made myself), you will absolutely find me icing a cake, cutting dough, or garnishing the perfect brownie slice.

If you’re also someone who gravitates towards baking, and you love to dabble in chocolate confections specifically, you’re in for a treat. Whether you’re looking to bake a chocolate chess pie or torch the top of a baked Alaska, these eight cookbooks are valuable additions to any chocolate-loving baker’s collection.

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

Photo by Bookshop

1. A Good Day to Bake: Simple Baking Recipes for Every Mood, $32 $29.76

Filled with 70 recipes that range from sweet to savory and experimental to classic, it’s no surprise Benjamina Ebuehi’s second book has received rave reviews from The New York Times, Eater, Bon Appetit, and TASTE. And with an entire section dedicated to chocolate? We’re sold.

Photo by Bookshop

2. What’s for Dessert: Simple Recipes for Dessert People, $37.50 $34.99

If Claire Saffitz, the New York Times best-selling author, food writer, and Bon Appetit alum, puts out a dessert recipe, I will always try it. A follow-up to her first dessert-focused book, Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking With Confidence, which was published in 2020, What’s for Dessert is a fantastic collection of over 100 recipes. One of my favorites? The Malted Forever Brownies.

Photo by Rocky Luten

3. Genius Desserts, $35

Pulling together over 100 of the best dessert recipes from some of the biggest names in desserts, Genius Desserts is the one-stop book for all of your baking needs. In this book you’ll find a mix of recipes from our James Beard Award-nominated column, Genius Recipes, alongside new recipes from talented bakers and tips, mini recipes, and tricks.

Photo by Bookshop

4. Tartine: A Classic Revisited, $40 $37.20

Try your hand at making Tartine’s Chocolate Eclairs, a holiday-ready Bûche de Noël, Devil’s Food Layer Cake, or Chocolate-Oatmeal-Walnut Cookies with the help of this French-inspired cookbook from the famous bakery’s team.

Photo by MJ Kroeger

5. The Essential New York Times Cookbook, $55

This classic cookbook, authored by Food52 co-founder and co-CEO, Amanda Hesser, includes over 1,000 fan-favorite recipes from the New York Times. If you have chocolate on the brain, skip ahead to chapters 14 through 18 for all things bread, baking, cookies, candy, frozen desserts, cakes, pies, tarts, and any other dessert you can dream up. (A sweet bonus? This copy is signed by Amanda herself.)

Photo by Bookshop

6. Black Girl Baking: Wholesome Recipes Inspired by a Soulful Upbringing, $21.99 $20.45

I first found Jerrelle Guy’s Flourless Fudgy Brownie Pie when I was searching for a gluten-free dessert for a friend’s birthday party. Although I first made it to accommodate his dietary restrictions, I now keep the recipe on hand for any occasion that calls for a perfectly rich chocolate dessert. The delicious chocolate-centric flavors don’t stop at the brownie pie, either—try the Break n’ Drop Chile Chocolate Chip Cookies or her Chocolate, Chocolate Veneer Cake.

Photo by Bookshop

7. Cheryl Day’s Treasury of Southern Baking, $40 $37.20

As a New York transplant, I am always on the hunt for classic dishes that were staples of my Southern childhood (think: biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, and banana cream pie). When I found Cheryl Day’s recipe for Chocolate Chess Pie, I was immediately transported back to a friend’s tenth birthday party where we devoured thick slices of the quintessential Southern dessert.

Photo by Bookshop

8. My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats, $30

The best chocolate recipes aren’t always for something you can bite into. Fany Gerson and Ed Anderson’s book is dedicated to delicious Mexican desserts (many fit for any chocolate fan) and one of my favorite recipes is Chocolate Caliente, a rich and just-sweet-enough Oaxacan hot chocolate that you’ll want to dip pan dulce into.

More Chocolate Desserts We Love

What are your favorite dessert cookbooks? Let us know below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Julia is a Senior Editor here at Food52 and a freelance writer. She has written for Grub Street, Eater, PUNCH, Edible Brooklyn, and more. She is based in Brooklyn, NY.

1 Comment

Smaug February 15, 2023
Preposterous to make such a list without including any of Maida Heatter's books. I suppose those listed are currently being promoted by publishers (let's face it, this is mostly a shopping site now), but come on. Her "Book of Great Chocolate Desserts", for instance, gave us "Richard Sax's Chocolate Cloud Cake" in 1978, years before Sax ("Torte Souffle au Chocolat") and over 400 pages of fabulous recipes.