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Procrastibaking, comfort baking, distractibaking, even rage baking – sometimes the best way to deal with strong emotion is to get into the kitchen and reach for the mixing bowl and the cookbooks. With anxieties at an all-time high thanks to COVID-19, enforced coronavirus captivity is the perfect moment to get comfort baking with a beautiful cookbook. Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has 12 of the very best baking cookbooks for stress relief. Grab your whisk and let’s go!

coronavirus captivity is a moment for comfort baking

Call it procrastibaking or comfort baking, we’re guessing ovens across America are working overtime these days. Following a recipe word for word is a welcome meditation and a way to feel control when things are very much out of control. And even if the end result looks nothing like the cookbook or Instagram photo, it can still be pretty tasty.


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Whether you’re an overachiever who finally has time to attempt that chocolate soufflé or a novice who just needs some chocolate chip cookies right now, we’ve rounded up the 12 best baking and dessert cookbooks you need to know about.

the best beautiful comfort baking or procrastibaking cookbooks

Beautiful comfort baking or procrastibaking cookbooks for stress relief.

And now that we’re all social distancing, you can certainly be that person who ate the last piece of cake without any guilt.

the best cookbooks for comfort baking right now


Pastry Love by Joanne Chang. Owner of eight acclaimed Flour bakeries in Boston and a James Beard award-winning baker, Joanne Chang includes 125 of her favorite dessert recipes in this excellent cookbook. They start off easy with Lemon Sugar Cookies, and advance to showstopping confections like Passion Fruit Crepe Cake.

the best comfort baking cookbooks

One of the best comfort baking or procrastibaking cookbooks: Pastry Love. Courtesy Photo.

Included also are Chang’s tricks of the trade for making pastry cream, lemon curd, puff pastry, and more.


Tartine: A Classic Revisted by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson. Chosen by NY    Times as one of the “Best Cookbooks of Fall 2019,” this beautifully rephotographed book from one of the most acclaimed bakeries in the world will have you swooning and drooling.

One of the best comfort baking cookbooks

One of the best comfort baking or procrastibaking cookbooks: Tartine. Courtesy Photo.

From breakfast breads to tarts to holiday treats, all the classics are here with some whole-wheat and gluten-free options.


Simple Cake: All You Need to Keep Your Friends and Family in Cake by Odette Williams. This collection is an ode to the simple pleasures of homemade cake.

best baking cookbooks to reduce stress

One of the best comfort baking or procrastibaking cookbooks: Simple Cake. Courtesy Photo.

Williams’ recipes are unfussy and versatile. She give the reader ten cake bases, fifteen toppings, and an assortment of delightful decorating ideas, all deliciously photographed.


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Sally’s Cookie Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cookie Bars, Shortbread, and More from the Creator of Sally’s Baking Addiction by Sally McKenney. If you have a cookie monster in your house, then you’ve probably used one of McKenney’s perfect recipes from her blog, Sally’s Baking Addiction.

One of the best comfort baking or procrastibaking cookbooks: Sally’s Cookie Addiction. Courtesy Photo.

It’s basically the only cookie cookbook you’ll ever need. Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Cookies, and Lemon Creme Sandwich Cookies- get in my belly!


Josey Baker Bread: Get Baking – Make Awesome Bread – Share the Loaves by Josey Baker. Former science teacher turned partner and master bread baker of the San Francisco bakery, The Mill, Josey Baker, has created a true entry-level break baking cookbook.

One of the best baking cookbooks for stress relief

One of the best baking cookbooks for stress relief: Josey Baker Bread. Courtesy Photo.

Combining step-by-step lessons with more than 100 mouth-watering photographs, the recipes build from basic loaves to more complex ones with depth and detail.


The New Pie: Modern Techniques for the Classic American Dessert by Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin. There are 75 classic and innovative pie recipes in this book from a couple who have won more than 500 ribbons for their baking creations.

Best cookbooks for baking for stress relief

Best cookbooks for baking for stress relief: The New Pie. Courtesy Photo.

Try the Strawberry Margarita pie with a salted rim or a striped chocolate “Pie of the Tiger” to cure all woes.


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The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook: Recipes from the World-Famous Bakery by Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey. The iconic New York City bakery has been churning out its nostalgic, world-famous cupcakes since 1996 and this cookbook includes all of the irresistible fan favorites.

Best cookbooks for baking for stress relief: Magnolia Bakery. Courtesy Photos.

A novice baker here at Dandelion Chandelier shares that she’s personally made many of these recipes and has loved every one of them. It’s her go-to for birthday cakes. 


Modern Baking by Donna Hay. This approachable cookbook from Australia’s best-selling and most popular home cook is chock full of 250 mouthwatering recipes for cakes, cookies and everything in between.

Best cookbooks for baking for stress relief: Modern Baking. Courtesy Photos.

The stunning photographs will tempt you to recreate each recipe.


Rage Baking: The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury and Women’s Voices by Katherine Alford and Kathy Gunst. If you like your kitchen time with a side of political activism, this is the baking book for you. It includes more than 50 cookie, cake, tart, and pie recipes.

Rage Baking Cookbook. Courtesy Photos.

But the beating heart of this cookbook is actually the inspirational essays, interviews and quotes from some of the best bakers, activists, and outspoken women in America. The luminaries include Dorie Greenspan, Ruth Reichl, Carla Hall, and Cecile Richards. Their voices encourage women to use sugar and sass as a way to defend, resist, and protest.


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All About Cake: A Milk Bar Cookbook by Christina Tosi. We’d buy this book for the mind-boggling photos of Tosi’s baller layer cakes alone.

One of the best comfort baking cookbooks: Milk Bar. Courtesy Photo.

But in addition to the recipes from her famous NYC bakery, Tosi’s book will be your guide for how to dream up and make cakes of any flavor you can think of. Which might be the best skill to have while grocery supplies are random and/or limited.


Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland by Shauna Sever. The Midwest often gets a bad rap for its cuisine. But Sever’s cookbook traces all-American baking to the immigrant families from Germany, Scandinavia, Poland, France and Italy, all of whom baked their way to the American Midwest.

A great cookbook for procrastibaking: Midwest Made. Courtesy Photos.

This unique collection of more than 125 recipes includes refreshed favorites and new treats reflecting their influence.


BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts by Stella Parks. Cherry pie that’s crisp even on the very bottom? Say no more. We’re in. That’s the promise of this cookbook of classic sweet baked goods. There are excellent recipes paired with advice on how to “mix it up” with over 200 customizable variations.

One of the best comfort baking cookbooks: BraveTart. Courtesy Photos.

This best-seller also includes really interesting nuggets of food history, like the origin stories of some dessert classics, along with vintage advertising. One-Bowl Devil’s Food Layer Cake or Glossy Fudge Brownies? Yes, please.

the best cookbooks for comfort baking right now

We don’t know about you, but just looking at these photos brings a sense of comfort. Yum! What’s your favorite comfort baking go-to?

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter hereAnd see luxury in a new light.

Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, and fitness. Julie lives in New York where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing. And spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood