The many faces of Dorie (and cookbook covers)

Recently, Dorie Greenspan posted photos of her adorable grandbaby, Gemma on Instagram. This week, in the New York Times she shared a recipe for Strawberry baby cakes. (We will have this recipe indexed soon.) She made these lovely little bites for Gemma’s first birthday.

Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food stylist: Sue Li. Prop stylist: Nicole Louie

I am looking forward to trying these cakes. I so have a thing for miniature desserts. You can eat more and not feel so guilty, right? Happy birthday baby Gemma. You are the luckiest little girl in the world to have Dorie Greenspan in your life!

Thinking about Dorie being a mother, grandmother, wife, cookbook author, culinary icon, the subject of a Jeopardy question and more, made me think about the many “faces” she wears and then of course her photo on her cookbook spines.

When Dorie was a special guest in a virtual class with Brian Hart Hoffman at Williams-Sonoma in February, Brian mentioned the spines of Dorie’s books that have a photo of the timeless Ms. Greenspan. (They also mentioned Eat Your Books and yours truly and I almost fell out of my chair – my 15 seconds of fame.)

It has been said “not to judge a book by its cover” but we all do – especially cookbooks. I am not a huge fan of cookbooks with the author plastered on the front – a beautiful little thumbnail photo on the spine that is another story. I love artistic designs or covers that have a beautiful photo of one dish; when there are a collage of dishes – that to me is very distracting. Remember we are talking just about covers here. The content can be outstanding on a less than amazing cover.

A few of my favorites (click on book record to see cover) are Appetites: A Cookbook; Rose Levy Beranbaum’s books; Anna del Conte’s titles; the Bake from Scratch covers; almost every Diana Henry book; Dorie’s books; New-School Sweets; Sweet (both UK and US covers); Ciudad de Mexico; Ripe Figs; the upcoming Fabulous Modern Cookies; the Tartine covers and there are probably hundreds more and I know I am forgetting some spectacular ones. Which cookbook covers are your top five? Have you bought a cookbook just based on the cover? Share your thoughts in the comments, please.

More posts on Dorie:

Sign up for Dorie’s newsletter and be sure to check out a look inside Dorie’s upcoming cookbook.

Post a comment


  • ToPieFor  on  August 8, 2021

    This lovely post brought a huge smile to my face. I loved reading your perspective, and thoughtful comments and now I’m wondering if I’ve ever bought a cookbook based on the cover…
    Buying a Dorie book is a sure thing chez moi. Her covers and content never disappoint.

  • SheilaS  on  August 8, 2021

    I haven’t bought a book based on the cover alone but I prefer graphic cover designs over photographs so that’s one of the reasons I choose to order the UK editions of Ottolenghi’s books. Lots of my older books have colorful dust jackets but plain covers. I love finding a pretty little design hiding under the jacket like the little copper baker graphic on the Il Fornaio Baking Book. Love the bright graphic design on Bricia Lopez’s Oaxaca, the elegant etched red fish swimming on Carolyn Phillips’ All Under Heaven and the pretty graphic on the cover of Bavel. The cover of American Sfoglino is a favorite that straddles the line between graphic and photo.

  • janecooksamiracle  on  August 9, 2021

    I bought Nigel Slater’s Greenfeast based on the cover: pink and gold 😀
    Love the Ottolenghi covers (UK editions). They are works of art. Not too sure about the new one coming up. Will make my own cover for it.

  • riley  on  August 9, 2021

    I was attracted to the covers of Jikoni and Parwana, however I did not buy the books.

  • SerenaYLee  on  August 14, 2021

    My top 5 covers from cookbooks in my personal collection are:
    1) Pintxos! for it’s still life quality.
    2) The Whimsical Bakehouse for its unabashedness.
    3) A Book of Middle Eastern Food for the charm of its vintage hand drawn cover. This is the one cookbook I bought for its cover. as it was also at a great price ($3 used).
    4) The Village Baker’s Wife – I am a sucker for bakery display cases.
    5) Rawsome Vegan Baking for its food porn quality.

    I would also love to get your perspective on cookbook end pages, as I feel it is way under utilized by book publishers.

  • kmgavigan  on  August 26, 2021

    Maggie Beer’s ‘Maggie’s Harvest’ – gorgeous tactile cover and a fabulous book ( original edition not the recent reprint)

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!