German cookbooks: five favourites

Five German cookbooks lying open on top of each other

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Over the last couple of years, the German section of my cookbook collection has expanded considerably, and for two good reasons. Firstly, I have an excellent local community bookshelf, and a lot of people in my neighbourhood seem to have recently been having clearouts of their old German recipe books. Secondly, there’s been a sudden influx of really good new english-language German cookbooks being published. I’ve been sent a couple of new ones for review recently, and will be posting more detailed reviews of them both soon, but since I’m often asked for recommendations for english-language cookbooks on the German cuisine, I thought I’d quickly share five of my favourites.

A pile of five German cookbooks

German cookbooks: five of my favourites

The newest publication on this list, Alfons Schubeck’s The German Cookbook (Phaidon, 2018) is a cookbook I was really excited to be sent. A beautiful and comprehensive collection of recipes from all over Germany by one of the country’s top chefs, the photographs alone do a great job of crushing the German cuisine’s 70s-dinner-party, sausages-and-sauerkraut stereotype. I’ve found the recipes to be very reliable despite the instructions often being a little confusing, however there are also some very simple ones, such as Schubeck’s delightfully silky pumpkin soup. Buy Alfons Schubeck’s The German Cookbook on (US) | (UK)

Luisa Weiss’s Classic German Baking (Ten Speed Press, 2016) is not only gorgeous to leaf through but comprises a very good range of traditional German recipes for bakes both sweet and savoury. I’ve made her chocolate and cherry cake countless times, and there’s a lovely chapter at the end dedicated to Christmas baking – recipes including Advent cookies and festive fruit breads – which is worth the price of the book alone. (Read my full review.) Buy Luisa Weiss’s Classic German Baking on (US) | (UK)

Anja Dunk’s second cookbook, Strudel, Noodles and Dumplings (Fourth Estate, 2018), was recently sent to me for review, and makes for a very welcome and slightly different addition to my German cookbook shelf. A love letter to her German heritage (born in Wales, Anja’s mother is German) and a celebration of simple, wholesome, family-friendly home cooking, not every recipe is a classic German one, but this modern yet homely take on German food is full of warmth, and the book is as enjoyable to sit and read as it is to cook from. Buy Anja Dunk’s Strudel, Noodles and Dumplings from (UK)

A smaller yet very solid collection of German dishes just like Oma used to make, Grandma’s German Cookbook (DK, 2012) is a collection of recipes for those nostalgic about the German dishes of their youth. I own this book in German, and it’s full of rustic, reliable, meat-heavy classics to keep you sustained throughout a long, cold winter, and some fabulous-looking classic cakes and desserts. Buy Grandma’s German Cookbook from (US) | (UK)

Culinaria Germany (HF Ullmann, 2015) is an excellent, practical resource for those after not just some of Germany’s best known dishes but also a broader understanding of German food. The book is according to regions, and in addition to a comprehensive – though not exhaustive – collection of recipes, there are sections covering different aspects of Germany’s regional cuisines, including ingredients, traditions and history. Available in English and German. (I have both!) Buy Culinary Germany from (UK)


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  1. says: Sophie

    Have been toying with Luisa Weiss for some time now; think your rec of Christmas baking has just tipped the scales …. because we really need to eat MORE at Christmas and I really need to spend MORE time cooking at Christmas mmm hmmmn. And now I am craving flammkuchen too, dammit. Best ask F Christmas for lots of stretchy clothes this year.

    1. Hahaha I know how you feel about Christmas – definitely not enough to do as it is! Am also with you on the stretchy clothes 😉 Classic German Baking really is a fab book, I think Luisa Weiss really did Germany’s amazing baking tradition justice. No more 70s dinner party photos!

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