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The BEST cookbooks to give as gifts. Perfect Christmas gift and holiday gift idea. List includes a great variety for both novice and experienced cooks. Truly something for everyone! From @wellplated

In addition to last week’s Kitchen Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide, I wanted to share a special list of gift ideas focused exclusively on cookbooks. My cookbook shelves are among the best-loved (and most crowded) places in our home. I love flipping through them and am always on the lookout for special, useful books to add to my collection.

Give the right book to the right friend and you might even find yourself rewarded by getting to sample some of the resulting recipes. (“What? I gave you The Essential Cookie Cookbook two years in a row?”)

In all seriousness, cookbooks make wonderful gifts. A good cookbook can inspire, entertain, and become a loyal kitchen companion…or, at the very least, a lovely piece of coffee table decor. Here’s a list of 10 of my favorites, and I’d love to hear about some of yours too.

Top 10 Cookbooks to Give this Holiday Season

In no particular order…

1. Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan: My absolute favorite baking cookbook. Dorie has it all, from well-loved classics to more advanced, celebratory goodies. The brownie and muffin sections are my favorites.

2. My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz: It’s as much fun to read David’s musings on his favorite Paris spots as it is to gather recipe inspiration. A must-own for any Francophile.

3. Small Victories by Julia Turshen: Recipes in Julia’s book hit the perfect sweet spot of being achievable yet inspirational. With lots of tips and suggestions (“small victories”) sprinkled throughout the book, you’ll be sure to find something delicious for your next meal and also learn a thing or two.

4. The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham: This book is packed with trustworthy recipes for all things breakfast, from pancakes and waffles to eggs, fruits, and anything cooked on a griddle.

5. Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten: Every recipe of Ina’s I have tried is solid gold. I have several of her cookbooks and love each one. Cooking for Jeffrey is her newest, and Back to Basics is the one I find myself reaching for most often.

6. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman: Covers both basic and advanced cooking techniques and has excellent recipes that even the most ardent of carnivores can enjoy. (Can’t give up the meat? Try How to Cook Everything.)

7. Sweeter off the Vine: Fruit Desserts for Every Season by Yossy Arefi: A wide variety of fruit desserts (such as cobblers, cakes, and pies), plus suggestions in each recipe for ingredient swaps depending on the time of year, make this book a perfect choice for the seasonal baker.

8. Biscuit Head by Jason and Carolyn Roy: Biscuit Head, a restaurant located in North Carolina, is renowned for their pillowy biscuits, seemingly endless assortment of jams, and stellar breakfast and brunch. In case you aren’t fortunate enough to live near one of their locations, this cookbook is the next best thing!

9. Skinnytaste Fast and Slow by Gina Homolka: Even if I were not completely biased toward this book after spending a weekend with Gina, its author, earlier this fall and finding out firsthand how generous, down-to-earth, and passionate she is, I would tell you to buy it anyway. The recipes in this book, on her blog, and in her first cookbook Skinnytaste offer lightened-up, delicious versions of everyday favorites, a cooking philosophy I share and strive to emulate. I’ve made many of Gina’s recipes over the years, and they continue to be some of my favorites.

10. Neiman Marcus CooksTreasured recipes from the iconic retailer’s cafes, including the infamous $250 chocolate chip cookie. My grammy gave me this cookbook for Christmas two years ago, and I have dozens of bookmarks littered throughout its pages.

For More Ideas, Check Out My Other Gift Guides Below:

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

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  1. Love all of these!! I also love “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child. One of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten!!

  2. I have 4 of Inas’ cookbooks and constantly refer to them. I just got her latest but seem to also gravitate towards Back to Basics. Make It Ahead is also really helpful when preparing holiday meals so that you can enjoy your guests and not spend the entire day in the kitchen. I’ve asked for Mario Batalis’ new one for Christmas…I am just a cookbook junkie!!!

    1. Anything of Ina’s is gold! Thanks for sharing your recommendations, Chris! I’ll have to check out that Mario Batali one.

  3. Love the retro additions on this list! Need that breakfast book! I just got The Alternative Baker and it’s a game changer for us gluten-free folk. So inspired by it already. xoxo

  4. YOU should put out a cookbook! I always love your recipes because they’re “clean”, healthy, and with regular everyday ingredients!

  5. Cookbooks are great gifts.  One of my favorites, if you want vegetarian recipes is The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen by Erin Alderson (aka Naturally Ella).  I love her taste in food.  The other one I really like is Nourished Kitchen by Jenny McGruther (who has a blog by the same title).  I’ve got a bunch of new cookbooks, but have been so stuck on food blogs (and using my recipe program) that I haven’t done anything with them.  Shame on me.  But it’s even harder now that I’m cooking only two weeks out of three.  Bless my husband for relieving the stress of constant cooking.  I keep seeing the Ina Garten cookbooks in Costco and have thought about them, as she’s the source of my love of roasted Brussels sprouts, but I haven’t gotten there yet.  I might have to get the Back to Basics book.

  6. great list, I always love reading lists, including cookbooks, I’d add: Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller, challenging comfort food recipes that aren’t necessarily French Laundry super chic, also Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie’s Italy” that has some nice tweaks to classical Italian cuisine

  7. I am a consummate Martha Stewart fan. I grew up watching her and learning from her. I own her Baking Handbook which I adore!! And, The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook 1200 Collected Recipes. These babies are my bibles. I also love, love, love Ina!!