Joy the Baker’s 5 Essential Cookbooks

Wilson has an incredible knack for making anyone believe they can cook with her recipes. Photo courtesy of Joy Wilson.

Do you know Joy the Baker, a.k.a. Joy Wilson? She’s the delightful writer behind her super-popular, eponymous website and the author of three cookbooks (so far):  Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting RecipesHomemade Decadence: Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats, and the brand-new Over Easy: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Leisurely Days. You can meet her on Monday, March 20, at Rizzoli Bookstore, where she’ll be doing a Q&A with Smitten Kitchen‘s Deb Perelman—and nab a copy of Over Easy a day early while sipping wine and snacking on bites from the cookbook.

Wilson has an incredible knack for making anyone believe they can cook with her recipes, so we wanted to find out which cookbooks inspire her. Here, her essentials—including the one she used to copy into her notebook before she could afford it.

Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Dorie Greenspan’s Baking was my first adult cookbook. Nearly every page is marked with notes and stained with butter. Dorie’s recipes are workhorses, and I’m sure by now I’ve just about scribbled her fool-proof baking proportions inside my heart.

The Gourmet Cookbook: More Than 1,000 Recipes by Ruth Reichl
Ruth Reichl’s The Gourmet Cookbook is the cookbook I used to sit with in the bookstore and scribble recipes from into my notebook because the book itself was way out of my budget. There’s a recipe for everything. I’m sure if anyone checked we’d actually find that the book itself is infinite… That’s how many recipes I think are there. (I’ve bought the book by now. I’m done bootlegging it.)

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🍳It’s tiiiime! OVER EASY Book Tour!🥓 I hope you’ll join me for cooking demos and friend chats and book signings in the next few weeks as I hop around the country with my new brunch book! ✨I’ll even have sweet little gifts for you! Here are the details! More dates will be added soon. I can’t wait to see you! Monday March 20th in NYC @rizzolibookstore in conversation with @smittenkitchen. Join us for cupcakes and wine spritzers, too! Thursday March 23rd @tridentbooks in Boston for cooking demo and signing 7pm Saturday March 25th in Chicago @readitandeatstore for a cooking demo and signing 2pm-4pm Sunday March 26th in Seattle @booklarder for a cooking demo, signing, and ice cream from @sweetlosicecream 4pm (the demo is sold out but please come for a signing and ice cream at 5:30pm!) Thursday March 30th in San Francisco @omnivorebooks in conversation with Tracy from @shutterbean 6:30pm Saturday April 1st in San Francisco @cuesa Ferry Building for a cooking demo noon-12:45pm Sunday April 2nd in Los Angeles @hedleyandbennett Apron Factory for a cooking demo, snacks and signing 2pm-4pm Monday April 3rd in Los Angeles at @wsbeverlyhills for a cooking demo and signing 6pm-8pm Wednesday April 5th in Austin @bookpeople 7pm Thursday April 6th in Houston @bluewillowbooks 7pm Saturday April 22nd in Nashville @countrylivingmag fair for a cooking demo and signing 2pm. (Link in profile for more details and addresses) 👩🏻‍🍳see you real soon! #jtbovereasy

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The Perfect Start to Your Day: Delicious Recipes for Breakfast and Brunch by Tonia George
Tonia George’s The Perfect Start to Your Day is my cookbook collection’s feel-good breakfast book. The pancakes are inspiring, and Tonia makes very vegetable-forward breakfasts that feel unexpected and satisfying.

The Yellow Table: A Celebration of Everyday Gatherings: 110 Simple & Seasonal Recipes by Anna Watson Carl
Anna Watson Carl’s The Yellow Table is the book I reach for when I have more than four close friends coming over for dinner. It’s homey and approachable and inspires the kind of meal that I’m still comfortably preparing as my guests arrives. It’s a slow dice-and-enjoy-your-wine kind of cookbook.

Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater
Nigel Slater’s Tender is my vegetable bible. Written like a love story to every vegetable under the sun and inside the ground. Nigel Slater’s recipe writing feels more like an invitation and an opportunity more than it does a list of steps and tasks—it always inspires me to get in the kitchen, sometimes with a rutabaga.