Mary Berry is a prolific cookbook author, the Queen of British baking, and the former co-judge of the smash hit, The Great British Bake Off.
It should come as no surprise that her cookbooks are beloved around the world, but with so many to choose from how do you pick the best one?
Whether you’re interested in entertaining, learning basic culinary or baking skills, looking for festive bakes, or just want to learn to make every meal a little more special, there is a Mary Berry cookbook out there for you.
So, how do you choose the best Mary Berry cookbook? First you need to figure out if you want to cook or bake. Then decide your theme: holiday, quick & easy, beginner basics, or entertaining. Finally, make sure it has loads of gorgeous photos for you to cook along with and clear instructions.
While I am going to share 7 of the best Mary Berry cookbooks, you really can’t go wrong with any one that you choose.
Her recipes and writing are beloved by millions and you are sure to find inspiration within the pages of whatever cookbook you choose!
Read on to discover how to choose the best Mary Berry cookbooks so that you can take your creativity to the kitchen and get cooking! No more soggy bottoms in your future!
How To Choose The Best Mary Berry Cookbook For You
You don’t need a Great British Baking Show cookbook to learn from Britain’s finest. You can learn straight from Mary Berry instead, with one of her many, many guides.
With a culinary genius like Mary Berry, you’re going to get good help and great recipes with any of her books. But each of us is different, so there’s certainly an even better choice for you out there.
Let’s look at the key things to consider when choosing your ideal Mary Berry guide to cooking or baking.
Do You Want To Bake Or Cook?
While Mary Berry may be best known as the Queen of Baking, she is also a great home cook.
She has tons of wonderful cookbooks that range from the “Baking Bible” to a “Cookery Course to Entertaining” to classics and everything in between.
In order to choose the best Mary Berry cookbook for you, you need to decide if you want to bake, cook or both.
From there you can narrow down your options depending on whether you are just learning to cook or bake or you are a whiz in the kitchen who is looking for more inspiration.
Regardless of your skill level at either baking or cooking, Mary Berry has several titles for you to choose from.
Figure Out What Your Theme/Need Is
Once you’ve figured out whether you want to bake or cook, you can narrow your choices down further based on the theme you’re looking for.
Do you want to focus on entertaining? Are you hoping to learn the basics? Do you want to learn some new comfort food recipes? Or perhaps you want some special holiday recipes to wow your guests at the next holiday party or dinner event?
If you don’t generally have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen then your theme might be looking for recipes that are quick and easy to do, but still have a wow factor.
When it comes to choosing the best Mary Berry cookbook, you can’t really go wrong with any of the choices, it really will depend on what you’re hoping to accomplish with the recipes.
Mary Berry may have exceptional hosting books, but if you’re hoping to learn to bake bread, then entertaining with Mary won’t help you!
Look For Cookbooks With Lots Of Photos
We all learn in slightly different ways, but across the board I’ve always found it to be very helpful when there are plenty of photos of a new recipe I’m trying to learn, especially if there are pictures of multiple steps in the middle.
Being able to see the different steps or at least the final product will help you know whether or not you’re on the right track.
Luckily, Mary Berry’s cookbooks are all beautifully shot and lots of her kitchen or baking basics recipes include step-by-step photos to help you recreate her culinary creations.
If you are newer to the kitchen, look for books with more photos.
If you have been cooking or baking for ages and are looking more for inspiration than technique and skill, then you don’t need to worry so much about cookbooks that contain all the step-by-step photos of the cooking process.
It never hurts to look at what others are saying. This is especially helpful when trying to figure out how clear the instructions are in a recipe.
Even Mary Berry can make mistakes! So be sure to read reviews if you can’t see a sample of the recipe to make sure it’s written in a way that makes sense to you.
Best Mary Berry Cookbooks: Kitchen Basics
Based on all the different types of cookbooks Mary Berry has written, I am going to break down the top 7 into sections depending on the theme you’re looking for and offer options for both cooking and baking in each one.
That way, no matter what style or theme you decide on, you’ll be able to find a cookbook that works perfectly for your needs.
|1.||Mary Berry Cookery Course||New cooks|
|2.||Mary Berry's Baking Bible||Baking A to Z, beginning to advanced|
|3.||Mary Berry Cooks to Perfection||Savory cooking|
|4.||Cooking with Mary Berry||Simple, but delicious recipes|
|5.||Mary Berry Everyday||Adding pizzazz to your meals|
|6.||Fast Cakes: Easy Bakes in Minutes||Baking made simple|
|7.||Baking with Mary Berry||Intermediate-advanced baking|
|Bonus||Entertaining With Mary Berry||Cooking for parties/events|
|Bonus||Mary Berry's Christmas Collection||Holiday cooking and planning|
|Bonus||Mary Berry's Simple Comforts||Elevated comfort food|
Read on to figure out which one (or all!) you want to pick up today.
1. Mary Berry Cookery Course
We are obsessed with this cookbook. It is perfect for people who are new to cooking and who want to develop a really solid foundation of skills in the kitchen.
It will walk you through all the steps you need to become a great cook from building a pantry to storing ingredients and whipping the perfect egg white.
This cookbook includes 12 classic recipes from Chargrilled Salmon to Leek and Potato Soup to a Classic Victoria Sponge to help you build basic skills. From there it includes over 100 fail-safe recipes to have you cooking and baking like a pro.
The recipes are really clearly written and there are also photos of the process and final products for many of them. You can easily see whether you’re doing it correctly as you go.
This cookbook is a hybrid of cooking and baking techniques. It is perfect for the home cook who wants well-rounded skills in the kitchen.
It also makes a great gift for the university student who is moving away from home for the first time. But really, everyone can learn something from this one!
2. Mary Berry’s Baking Bible
This next choice is perfect for anyone who wants to focus solely on baking, while learning the basics from a true master.
Right off the bat, it includes a handy conversion chart, which is perfect for bakers in the United States since we use different measurements than they do in the U.K., which is where Mary Berry is from.
It has over 250 classic baking recipes. They are broken down into sections such as Shortbreads and Bars, Baking for Children, Celebration Cakes, Cupcakes and Other Small Bakes, Souffles & Meringues, and Tarts and Pastries, to name a few.
There are tons of clear instructions in each recipe with color photos to help you recreate the simplest to most complicated bakes in the book.
It also walks you through the different baking equipment that you will need to ensure success in the kitchen.
The section on techniques is also really helpful. It explains how to line baking pans with parchment for the best results and other basic techniques you will need to become a master baker in your own kitchen.
If you are interested in learning the foundations of amazing baking, Mary Berry’s Baking Bible is your go-to choice. Whether you’re new to baking or have been around the block a few times, this is the “Bible” you need.
Best Mary Berry Savory Cookbooks
3. Mary Berry Cooks to Perfection
This cookbook is Mary Berry’s most recent offering and it is truly delightful!
While it does contain her signature baking recipes, it really focuses on savory recipes, so I slid it into this category. If you’re looking for a cookbook that is as beautiful as it is useful, then this should be at the top of your list.
Like her cooking basics cookbook, this selection includes super helpful photos of the entire cooking process so that you can follow along simply and easily.
The photos are incredibly beautiful and make it so easy to recreate these delicious recipes.
Each recipe is clearly written step-by-step in an easy to follow manner so you won’t be left feeling confused or lost as you work through your creation.
As the folks who swear by her books state “if you can read, then you can cook!”
If you want to learn how to cook amazing dishes such as Asparagus with Soft Poached Egg and Buttery Crumb, Salmon en Croute with Watercress Sauce, Pasta Carbonara, and Warm Chicken Salad with Avocado Salsa, then you will want to add this cookbook to your shopping cart.
4. Cooking with Mary Berry
We love this cookbook, because it keeps things super simple and accessible, while still being absolutely delicious!
Like her other cookbooks, it is stunning to look at and packed with photos, though it doesn’t have as many step-by-step pictures as some of her other cookbooks.
This choice is perfect for folks who are looking for meals that are simple to pull together, but still have a big wow factor!
It includes recipes for everything from Persian Pilaf to Butternut Squash Soup, from Mussel Gratin to Steak Diane, so there is guaranteed to be something for everyone.
This book does include some sweet recipes, but it is mostly focused on savory foods, which is why it is under this category as opposed to her baking cookbooks.
It’s a great well-rounded cookbook for those who have some culinary skills and are looking for simple recipes to feed your family and friends.
5. Mary Berry Everyday: Make Every Meal Special
We added this cookbook to the list because it takes everyday recipes and just makes them a little more special.
That makes them perfect for holidays and other special occasions when you want to wow your friends and family.
They are also perfect if you just want to treat yourself to special meals every day of the week.
There are great sections of appetizers (food for sharing), first courses and light lunches, recipes for preparing different types of meat and poultry, seafood recipes, and vegetarian recipes.
Every recipe includes a photo and some have step-by-step pictures if they are a little more complicated.
As with all her cookbooks, the writing is clear and easy to follow so that even if you’re making something like the Very Posh Fish Cakes or Thai Crab Poppadom Canapes, you can feel confident that you will be able to achieve success.
Best Mary Berry Cookbooks: Baking
If you fell in love with Mary Berry from the Great British Bake Off and want to pretend you’re on the show, check out these beauties.
Each will have you baking showstoppers in no time, with nary a soggy bottom in sight!
6. Fast Cakes: Easy Bakes in Minutes
I love this baking cookbook because it is perfect for busy folks who don’t have a ton of time to commit to the kitchen, but who are still looking for fun and delicious baking recipes.
Mary has incorporated her all-in-one method into as many of these recipes as possible to make them quick.
This cookbook includes over 150 amazing baking recipes that include things such as Honey & Almond Cake to Mary’s First-Rate Chocolate Cake.
If you’re baking with kids, there are fun recipes for Happy Face Cookies, Traffic Lights, and Jammy Buns.
There are tons of gorgeous photos of the final product and her recipes are super simple to read and follow. If you’re looking for quick, easy, and delicious baking then this is the perfect cookbook for you.
7. Baking with Mary Berry
For those bakers who want to get a little more involved in the baking process and who enjoy spending time in the kitchen perfecting their bakes, then this Mary Berry cookbook is the perfect choice.
I would recommend this cookbook to folks who have a little baking experience, since it doesn’t have the same breakdown of information as the Baking Bible.
Still, it includes photos and simple to follow recipes for over 100 recipes that range from The Ultimate Chocolate Roulade to Lemon Cupcakes.
Honorable Mentions: Best Mary Berry Themed Cookbooks
We wanted to include a few specialty cookbooks on the list as well. So check out these bonus cookbooks from the genius of Mary Berry.
Entertaining with Mary Berry
As the name of this cookbook suggests, it is perfect for folks who are looking for delicious recipes to cook for a crowd.
There are over 160 recipes, gorgeous photography, the classic Mary Berry simplicity when it comes to recipe writing, and tons of inspiration for your next gathering.
It includes information on how to scale the recipes up or down, depending on your party size.
Whether you’re entertaining a small lunch party with friends or a large gathering at the holidays, this cookbook will give you tons of choices to choose from and instructions on how to create the perfect meal.
Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection
Nothing says Christmas and the holiday season quite like baking, and Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection cookbook doesn’t disappoint.
This cookbook has a Christmas countdown (so you know what to prep and when), sample menus, shopping lists, and lovely photography.
Mary also gives tips on what you can prep ahead and freeze. So when it comes to the day of your event, entertaining and serving is a breeze. It’s a must-have for those who love entertaining at the holidays.
Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts
Finally, this last cookbook is all about simple, comforting recipes for everything from Whole Roasted Squash with Garlic and Chilli Butter to a warming Spicy Sausage and Red Pepper Hot Pot or a slow Roast French Lamb with Ratatouille.
No matter what you’re looking for, this beautifully shot and clearly written recipe book will have you covered.
Each recipe includes a photo of the final product. You know exactly what you’re aiming for as you cook along with Mary Berry’s signature simple style.