Dahlia Bakery Cookbook Review

Note: This is not a sponsored review and it’s not based on a review copy of the cookbook. I bought this book to add to my ever-growing cookbook collection. There are a lot of cookbooks out there and they’re not cheap, so I wanted to share my thoughts on my purchase in case it might help others in their cookbook buying decisions.

Dahlia Bakery Cookbook CoverDahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle
Tom Douglas and Shelley Lance
Hardcover: 288 pages (125 Recipes)
Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks (Oct 15 2012)
ISBN-10: 0062183745 / ISBN-13: 978-0062183743

thumbs up Highly Recommended!

About the Author

Tom Douglas is a four-time James Beard winner and this is his 4th cookbook (his first baking one). He is the chef/owner of thirteen of Seattle’s most popular restaurants, including the Dahlia Bakery. The Dahlia Bakery in Seattle opened in 2001 and has been serving up baked goods to the public, as well as supplying all of Douglas’ restaurants in the area.

What’s Inside

Dahlia Bakery Cookbook contains “125 of their favorite recipes”, both sweet and savory. Included are their famous Donuts (that Giada declared the “Best Thing She’s Ever Eaten”), Coconut Cream Pie, Peanut Butter Cookies and Maple Eclairs. You’ll also find their English Muffin recipe, along with some great sandwich recipes to make great use of them.

What I Love

All of the recipes come with both weight (a must in a baking cookbook, really) and volume measurements. Beautiful pictures of the finished product are also included (also a must for me in baking books!), along with some photos of various techniques as well.

This book is full of tips and thoughtful explanations on the techniques and ingredients used, that are delivered free from any assumptions that the user already knows certain things. They’ve clearly given thought to their intended reader (the home baker) and made sure to explain in plain language and highlight the parts of the recipe where success and failure hinges.

The author’s passion for good food shines through and extends beyond their own food and restaurants. Douglas uses part of his book to guide fellow foodies to the best food in and around Seattle, beyond his own establishments. You’ve got to love that!

The photos are beautiful!


Gosh. I’m trying here, but at this point, I can’t think of a single thing. It’s hitting all the right notes for me. As I bake from it more, I may find some small points, but there is certainly nothing yet.

Who Would Love This Cookbook

First and foremost, this is a baking book. From a bakery. So if you love to bake, or you like to bake, or you want to learn to be a better baker, this is definitely a cookbook worth considering. While there are simple muffins in this book, there are also recipes that are a few more steps. That doesn’t mean they’re hard, it just means that they are lengthier (the English Muffins, Donuts and Monkey Bread are all a two-day baking adventure). That said though, all of the recipes in this book are very accessible to the home baker. There are ones that are more challenging, for those bakers that like to stretch themselves a little, and there are those that are just great, simple recipes.

This cookbook delivers beyond the sweets. While the sweets are certainly front and centre, you’ll find savory recipes, such as sandwiches, soup, jams and ice cream.

What I’ve Baked From It

Monkey Bread (Delicious!)
English Muffins (My first attempt was not so pretty, but delicious. Thinking I’ll have better technique the second time around.)


This book is a definite “buy it”. One of the best cookbooks I’ve bought in a long time. This cookbook is sure to be well-used in my kitchen and will be referred to often any time I’m looking for great tasting baking ideas.

Jacket price for Dahia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle is $38.00. I paid $23 for it at Amazon.ca.

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