Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

By Martha Stewart

8,704 ratings - 4.07* vote

Every new book from Martha Stewart is cause for celebration, and with Martha Stewart s Baking Handbook, she returns to bring the pleasures of baking to readers at every level, from beginner to expert and beyond. A culinary compendium packed with more than 200 foolproof recipes for the best baked goods, Martha Stewart s Baking Handbook takes readers by the hand and guides t Every new book from Martha Stewart is cause for celebration, and with Martha Stewart s Baking Handbook, she returns to

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Book details

Hardcover, 415 pages
November 1st 2005 by Clarkson Potter Publishers
Original Title
Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
0307236722 (ISBN13: 9780307236722)
Edition Language

Community Reviews

Christina Windle

There are 150+ recipes in this book and I have tried just a small sample, 17, of these recipes. 12 of these recipes I would make again. I find especially this is so with the icings and "side recipes" that go into recipes.

If I rated just on recipe awesomeness, this book would get a 5 for sure. All the recipes I tried were good, very good, or phenominal. But the reason that I just don't feel this book gets a 5 is because many of the recipes are expensive and/or require unusual/hard to find ingredients. That's not to say that all the recipes are expensive, because there are a lot of great recipes that aren't; and that I may make in time. It's just that all the really phenominal looking recipes, all the recipes that make my mouth water when I look at the pictures are the three-recipe, seven-stage, 25-ingredient recipes. And I want a cookbook that makes me mouth-wateringly interested in making the basic recipes also.

The book starts out with a small section that is a baking primer, with tips, techniques, and equipment suggestions. Then the book is divided into sections by baked good theme: simple baked goods; cookies; cakes; pies, tarts, cobblers, and crisps; yeasted baked goods; pastries; basic recipes (icings, sauces, curds, all that little etc. stuff). Each section starts out with a mini-primer and includes 20-30+ recipes with, I'm pretty sure pictures for every recipes (Which I always love!). Most of the recipes look delicious! I also like that even though the book is divided into themes, the themes are not ridged; the cookie section includes things like brownies and biscottis; the cakes section includes things like tortes, roulades, madeleines. Like all Martha books that I've run across, it's clear that only the best of the best in the book. They don't do things like the best 200 ______ recipes. What's there has gone through rigourous inventing (there's always a pelthora of uber-unique recipes) and testing. Like I mentioned before, there are a lot of multi-step recipes but there are also a lot of simpler recipes.

Recipes to try: fudgy chocolate brownies (this recipe is the end-all-be-all brownie recipe), one-bowl chocolate cupcakes (simple and affordable), brown sugar buttercream icing (rich, unique flavour), pate brisee (aka the easiest pie crust recipe in the world), and olive oil bread (the olive oil gives it a hint of a sourdough taste).

Recipes I have tried (starred for like it):

Fennel and golden raisin scones
*fudgy chocolate brownies
apple-spice layer cake
*creamy goat cheese icing
*one-bowl chocolate cup cookies
*brown sugar buttercream icing
*vanilla buttercream icing
*chocolate buttercream icing
*mocha roulade
fourth of july apple pie
*pate brisee
peach, apricot, and cherry pie
*olive-oil bread
honey whole-wheat bread
*vanilla whipped cream
*mocha mousse
*basic caramel


I've owned this book for several years, and it has quickly become one of my favorite baking books (Believe me, I own quite a few). The recipes run the gamut from simple breakfast muffins to rustic cobblers to elegant napoleons. There is even a recipe for a three-tiered wedding cake! Some recipes are quick and easy, while others tend to be very complex and involved, offering options for both the novice and advanced home baker, and allowing the user to grow with the book, trying more difficult recipes as one's skills expand. However, even the most complex of the recipes are laid out and explained clearly. In addition, there are beautiful photos on nearly every page (and most pages have more than one!), showing both finished baked goods and illustrating techniques.

I've made quite a few of the recipes in this book and thought I'd share a few of my favorites. There are four cupcake recipes in this book, of which I've tried three. The Maple-Walnut Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream (p. 164) are really excellent. Make more candied walnuts than cupcakes - you'll just want to grab a handful and munch on them while you're garnishing. The Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes (p. 166) were really light and fluffy, although they very mild and not all that carrot cake-y, so that may not be to everyone's taste. But the instructions for making marzipan carrots (with photos!) make them so easy. I've made the One-Bowl Chocolate Cake on p. 168 as both cupcakes and a layer cake, and it's a great go-to basic chocolate cake recipe. The Marble Cake with White Chocolate Glaze (p. 65) is super easy yet impressive - the perfect thing to have with coffee when a friend stops over.

Martha's Classic Apple Pie recipe (p. 228) is simple and excellent, and her Pate Brisée (p. 224) is my go-to recipe for pie dough - it works every time. The Tarte Tatin (p. 265) is about as easy as a "company" dessert can get, looking both rustic and fancy at the same time (and it tastes amazing - like candied apples on pie crust; how could you go wrong?) I've made the Fruit Curd Tartlets (p. 258) with both lemon and lime curd (both on p. 390), and while the tartlet molds I used were really small (about 1" - don't do it to yourself!!!) and a huge pain in my ass, everyone loved them and they were gone in a flash.

This book makes even difficult, pastry chef-caliber techniques like laminated doughs accessible. I made the from-scratch Puff Pastry on p. 359, and while it took the better part of a day and used a crapload of butter, the difference from frozen, pre-packaged puff pastry was so amazing that I don't ever want to buy it again. I also tried my hand at the Danish Dough (p. 334), and made the Prune Pinwheels and Apricot Bow Ties (p. 336 & 338, respectively). The absolute winner of the book, though, is the Chocolate Babka on p. 352. Coming from a Russian/Polish Jewish background, I've eaten a lot of babkas, but this one was PERFECT. Loaded with chocolate, covered in streusel.... you need to try it. Granted, the recipe calls for 2 rises and with several different components it takes a bit of time to complete, but it also makes three loaves and they freeze beautifully. Eat one, store the other two in the freezer, and you'll have something perfect to bring to a potluck or housewarming at a moment's notice.


Good as gold. The recipes are flawless, the pictures are beautiful, and I wouldn't be surprised if the book itself is bulletproof.


I have had great success with this baking cookbook. Baking is tricky, but with proper adjustments I got some great recipes out of this while living at 9000 feet! Now that I am at a lower altitude, everything I've tried in here has been fabulous. Recently did the cake on the cover, basically a mixed berry pound cake with homemade whipped cream that was overall easy, but looked pretty and cut nicely despite the height. Cake was perfect--sort of a cross between pound cake and a shortcake, delish. The bagel recipe is right on, with my own bagel making tweaks, of course. Recipe only makes ten bagels, and I would double or triple it with right equipment. It's kind of hard to justify the work & mess for a small yeild, so I don't often make them. Until I have a (much) bigger mixer, though, I stick with ten, or make twelve smaller bagels. They taste great!


This is easily one of my favorite cookbooks. It's well laid out, has a marvelous variety, and is very easy to follow. I have made dozens of things from this book and never been dissapointed. A must own for bakers.


This is the only Martha Stewart cookbook I own. It is invaluable if you like to bake. I consider it as essential as my Joy of Cooking. I have given it as gifts because it is such a great cookbook!

Tamra Lagrone

I guess my tag will always be currently reading for this one. If you bake, love to bake, have questions about baking, this is the baking bible. I have been coveting my friends Susies book for a while and finally broke down and bought it. I have already cooked several items (cheesecake, key lime pie) and they were EXCELLENT. No they were not easy to make, but sometimes thats the joy in the result. Right?

James Hayes

Great book for beginners for bakingThis was a great read with some very yummy recipes. Martha has over 98 books out there, I hope to read them all! This book covered almost everything I could imagine for baking.


I've been watching the Great British Baking show. Wanted to try some of their recipes but the conversion put me off. Why wouldn't I just go with the American standard MS? That's what I did, her recipes are so easy to understand and the photos alone are worth the price. I'm actually baking....

Mathew Scott

I can't wait for another book from these author