From an award-winning pastry chef and a James Beard Award nominated writer for Serious Eats, foolproof recipes and a fresh take on the history of American desserts, from chocolate chip cookies to toaster pastries.

"A living, breathing pastry goddess." — J. Kenji López-Alt

From One-Bowl Devil’s Food Layer Cake to a flawless Cherry Pie that’s crisp even on the very bottom, BraveTart is a celebration of classic American desserts. 

Whether down-home delights like Blueberry Muffins and Glossy Fudge Brownies or supermarket mainstays such as Vanilla Wafers and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, your favorites are all here. These meticulously tested recipes bring an award-winning pastry chef’s expertise into your kitchen, along with advice on how to “mix it up” with over 200 customizable variations—in short, exactly what you’d expect from a cookbook penned by a senior editor at Serious Eats. Yet BraveTart is much more than a cookbook, as Stella Parks delves into the surprising stories of how our favorite desserts came to be, from chocolate chip cookies that predate the Tollhouse Inn to the prohibition-era origins of ice cream sodas and floats. 

With a foreword by The Food Lab’s J. Kenji López-Alt, vintage advertisements for these historical desserts, and breathtaking photography from Penny De Los Santos, BraveTart is sure to become an American classic.

Stella Parks (c) Sarah Jane Sanders
Stella Parks (c) Sarah Jane Sanders

STELLA PARKS is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a James Beard Award nominated writer for Serious Eats. She was named one of America’s Best New Pastry Chefs by Food & Wine. When not at home in Lexington, Kentucky, Stella can be found at the Serious Eats test kitchen in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise for BraveTart

“Intelligent, engaging, inquiring, instructive, and joyous: as befits its subtitle, this is destined, deservedly, to become a truly iconic book.” 

 — Nigella Lawson, chef and author of How to Be a Domestic Goddess and Simply Nigella

“I am convinced that Stella is the result of a biological accident where a lab technician dropped Betty Crocker, Ernie the Keebler Elf, Mr. Wizard, and Fannie Farmer’s DNA samples into an incubator and out emerged a living, breathing pastry goddess. A genetic experiment gone horribly, horribly right.”

 — from the Foreword by J. Kenji López-Alt, New York Times-bestselling author of The Food Lab

“With her excellent and adventurous palate, inventive mind, and phenomenal baking skills, Stella Parks gives the reader a smart no-nonsense education in baking with a good measure of attitude, loads of encouragement, and plenty of details to ensure success. Refreshing, fun, and inspiring for seasoned and beginning bakers alike.”

 — Alice Medrich, James Beard Award–winning author of Flavor Flours and Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies

BraveTart is the book that every baker needs in the kitchen. I am in love with her take on classic American pastry staples like the fluffy homemade white bread that begs to be turned into a PB&J or the flaky, tangy hand apple pies like the ones you can’t pass up at the McDonald’s drive-thru.”

 — Christina Tosi, chef, founder, and owner of Momofuku Milk Bar

“Reading Stella Parks’s BraveTart takes us to an extremely decadent, fun place—and beyond: our immersion in the quirky history of American baking is as satisfying and fascinating as these recipes are delicious and impeccably rendered!”

— Matt and Ted Lee

“From the second I picked up BraveTart I had a childish grin from ear to ear and rightfully so. Stella Parks has managed to tap into everyone’s childhood with her clever, witty and scrumptious versions of iconic and nostalgic sweets of our youth. Don’t be fooled though, she is a no nonsense baker and this book is chock full of lessons and demystifying baking tips, tricks and techniques. BraveTart is must have 'ingredient' for bakers of all levels. ”

 — Johnny Iuzzini

“Stella has given us all a gift in recreating these wonderful recipes. Every recipe will bring a smile to your face and make you want to bring your family together and recreate your childhood birthday parties or other special moments. Thank you Stella for reminding us these special iconic desserts are as much fun to make as they are to eat.”

— Maura Kilpatrick, Pastry Chef and Owner of Sofra Bakery and Café, co-author of Soframiz