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  • Written By 10Melanin Team

10 Cookbooks By Black Bakers

Baking has never been more popular in recent times than it is now, with shows like The Great British Bake Off, Nailed It and Sugar Rush making for addictive programming, we can't seem to stop watching. Coronavirus has also changed the way we live this year, it made us look for alternative ways to entertain ourselves and baking proved to be one of the most popular chosen new hobbies (if you were lucky enough to get your hands on some flour). So if you've always fancied picking up a rolling pin but don't know where to start, or if you want to take your skills to the next level, this list is for you. And why not do it by supporting Black businesses at the same time, these cookbooks don't just include great recipes but inspiring stories about Black culture and family too.

10. Bake

Black female baker Lorraine Pascale on the cover of her cookbook Bake with a lemon meringue pie

Lorraine Pascale

Lorraine Pascale is a house hold name in the UK, she's not just a baker but a TV chef, an ex model and her cookbooks have sold over 1 million copies in the UK alone. Aside from cooking Lorraine is also a speaker, author and emotional wellness advocate, often promoting mental health tips on social media. Bake is Pascale's second cookbook dedicated to baking and represents Pascale perfectly, it's sleek, stylish and offers a grown up approach to baking. Including 125 recipes that are guaranteed to wow your dinner guests with recipes such as Naked Pecan and Popcorn Layer Cake and Chocolate Layer Cake with Toasted Meringue, this book oozes sophistication.

9. New World Sourdough

Black male baker Bryan Ford eating bread next to his cookbook New World Sourdough

Artisan Bryan

Bryan Ford is Afro-Honduran, who grew up in New Orleans and now based in Miami. After Ford noticed how narrow minded people were when it came to naturally leavened breads, often focussing on the typical country style loaf, he created this cookbook which is dedicated opening peoples minds to Sourdough. People are often unaware that there are different natural leavening techniques used all around the world such as with Indian dosas, Ethiopian injera, and Armenian lavash. New World Sourdough teaches you not only about the basics of a sourdough starter, but also invites you to get creative with your flavours and be inspired by recipes from Ford's Honduran roots and New Orleans upbringing.

8. The Brown Betty

Black female bakers from the Brown Betty Dessert Boutique promoting their cookbook The Brown Betty with a piped and frosted cake

The Brown Betty

Unfortunately the famous Brown Betty Dessert Boutique in Philadelphia closed in 2016, but the good news is it still lives on through their cookbook The Brown Betty. When three generations of African–American women opened the bakery offering their delectable homemade treats such as poundcakes, cheesecakes, pies, and cookies, they had no idea how successful it would be. This delicious cookbook features both the secret recipes of the Brown family, along side personal stories, offering a perfect opportunity to own a slice of history for bakers who want to experience the best of Brown Betty in their own homes. Combining old–fashioned treats with contemporary flavours and beautiful full–colour photography throughout, this book is a must have for any keen baker.

7. Crumb

Black female baker Ruby Tandoh in the kitchen with her cookbook Crumb with donuts on the cover

Ruby Tandoh

Ruby Tandoh was a Philosophy and Art History student when she entered the tent on The Great British Bake Off, often travelling home to study between episodes. Her unique flavour pairing on the show made sure she was not easily forgotten and this worked, as she only just missed out on the winning title, finishing 2nd. Since then she has written 3 cookbooks and continues to show off her day to day baking on social media. The style of baking you will see in her 1st cookbook Crumb is very down to earth mixed with some delicate and unique flavours, such as in her recipes for Chamomile Vanilla Cupcakes, Rosemary Pecan Pie and Fennel Seed & Chile Crackers.

6. Homemade Decadence

Black female baker Joy Wilson in her dining room with her cookbook Homemade Decadence and pretzel covered cake

Joy The Baker

Joy Wilson, better known as Joy the baker, is a self taught baker turned professional and with currently 3 cookbooks to her name, you're sure to find one that suits you. Homemade Decadence is the 2nd cookbook and focuses on everything sweet, it includes 125 of Wilson's favourite recipes that are easy to replicate but still over the top and decadent. Ironically growing up, Wilson's world was more full of vegetables than it was cakes, as her parent believed in a strict health food diet. This made baking so much more interesting to Wilson and explains why she chose to dedicate her life to sweet stuff instead!

5. The Back In The Day Bakery

Black female baker Cheryl Day in the kitchen promoting her cookbook The Back In The Day Bakery  and ham and cheese croissants

Back In The Day Bakery

Cheryl Day is the Chef and owner of Back in the Day Bakery located in Savannah, Ga. Day is best know for her biscuits, jams, pies, chocolate chip cookies, brownies along with her southern hospitality as she is adored both locally and nationally. To celebrate the bakery’s 10th anniversary, her and her husband Griffith Day wrote this book filled their customers’ favourite recipes. The book is packed with tips and pointers along with recipes for their famous Buttermilk Biscones, Chocolate Bread, Cinnamon Sticky Buns, S’more Pie, Drunk Blondies and much more. The colourful photography reflects the bakers themselves and also features behind-the-scenes shots that give readers a glimpse into everyday life at the Bakery.

4. Cheeky Treats

Black male baker Liam Charles on the cover of his cookbook Cheeky Treats and ham with a three tiered  banana chocolate cake

Liam Charles

Another Bake Off alumni, Liam Charles made waves on TV for creating flavour combinations that you could only dream of as a child. This is why Cheeky Treats is perfect for small kids and big kids alike, who don't mind following recipes that have big ambitions. Charles also doesn't shy from incorporating some of his Caribbean roots, such as with his recipe for a plantain tart titan, adding some spice to the classic dessert. Not only is Charles charming with his recipes but a real character to watch, this has helped him land multiple TV gigs, co-hosting Junior Bake Off and Bake Off: The Professionals on Channel 4 along with having his own TV show, Liam Bakes.

3. Grandbaby Cakes

Black female bakers Jocelyn Adams and her grandmother the cover of their cookbook Grandbaby Cakes  and a three layer cake with blackberries

Grandbaby Cakes

As a child Jocelyn Adams and her family would journey from their home in Chicago, all the way to Winona, Mississippi to visit her grandmother. It's during this time that she would watch her grandmother bake and develop delicious desserts. Adams created her blog Grandbaby Cakes as a way to inspire a new generation of bakers but with the help of her Grandmother's classic recipes. The cookbook reflects just this, with 50 recipes that put a modern twist on classic bakes, from gorgeous centrepiece cakes to pound cakes and sheet cakes, Grandbaby Cakes makes baking fun and will take you bake to your childhood.

2. Black Girl Baking

Black female baker Jerrelle Guy promoting her cookbook Black Girl Baking with chocolate fruit cake and muffins

Chocolate For Basil

Jerrelle Guy based in Dallas, Texas is most famous for her blog Chocolate for Basil, she has gone on to win awards, and create her first cookbook. Black Girl Baking however is much more than a cookbook, but acts as a guide for healing. Guy talks in the book of how she grew up an awkward and sensitive child but would use eating and baking as a way to release stress. Baking can be a great form of therapy, allowing yourself to shut off from the world and create something special for yourself or your friends and family. Each of Guy's bakes has a story to tell and with this book you can begin to create memories, have fun and explore your senses.

1. The New Way To Cake

Black female baker Benjamina Ebuehi drinking tea promoting her cookbook The New Way To Cake with a orange and cream cake

Benjamina Ebuehi

Benjamina Ebuehi in a baker based in London, UK, she rose to fame when she featured on the 7th series of The Great British Bake Off, in which she made it to the quarter finials. Ebuehi has since been able to maintain her status as a great baker by often showcasing simple but beautiful recipes on her Instagram. The cookbook acts as an extension of her online presence, carrying on with the theme of simplicity matched perfectly with minimalistic photography. This means that The New Way To Cake shouldn't stay new for long but age well amongst the rest of your cookbooks and hopefully will become something you find yourself reaching for again and again.

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