The Best New Dessert Cookbooks

Hot Fruit
In time for spring and summer harvests, Deborah Madison brings us Seasonal Fruit Desserts with recipes for things like Huckleberry Cream Tart, Apricot Fold-Over Pie, and fruit and cheese pairings. Madison has a way of packing lots of info into her cookbooks without making them dry, and finding classy flavor combos that inspire.

Trendy Dessert Alert
Not as hard to make as the equally trendy macarons, whoopie pies come to your kitchen in the aptly titled Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell. The basic flavors are covered, as well as unusual combos, such as Pistachio-Cardamom Whoopie, and Vegan Whoopies (see recipe.)

Who Doesn’t Love Coconut?
No seriously, who doesn’t? Luscious Coconut Desserts by Lori Longbotham was kind of a gimme – it made everybody who flipped through it hungry. Layer Cake with Coconut and Mango Curd, Coconut, and Cream looks good, as do the Melt-In-Your-Mouth Coconut and Lime Meringue Macaroons, which would pair well with CHOW's Perfect Margarita.

Hell Yeah, We’re Ready for Dessert
The famous-pastry-chef-who-lives-in-France, David Lebovitz, is at it again, this time with Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes. So what are his favorites? Apparently things like Cherry Gâteau Basque (anything with Basque in the title just seems cool.) And Buckwheat Cake with Cider-Poached Apples. And, this is genius, Irish Coffee Cupcakes, containing Bailey’s!

Vegan Chocolate Whoopie Recipe
Adapted from Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell

1 cup rice milk
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons egg alternative, ie: Ener-G Egg Replacement Powder
4 tablespoons hot water
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dairy-free butter substitute
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Position rack in center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the rice milk and vinegar (the mixture will look curdled, but that’s okay) and set aside.
In another small bowl, whisk together the egg replacement powder and the hot water and set aside.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter substitute and the brown sugar on low speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg replacement mixture and the vanilla and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.

Add half the flour mixture and half of the rice milk mixture to the batter and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and rice milk mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them out at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 12 minutes each or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Makes about 48 two-inch cakes.