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How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking

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Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess is about not only baking, but the enjoyment of being in the kitchen, taking sensuous pleasure in the entire process, and relishing the outcome. Nigella's deliciously reassuring and mouthwatering cookbook demonstrates that it's not terribly difficult to bake a batch of muffins or a layer cake, but the appreciation and satisfacti Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess is about not only baking, but the enjoyment of being in the kitchen, taking sensuous pleasure in the entire process, and relishing the outcome. Nigella's deliciously reassuring and mouthwatering cookbook demonstrates that it's not terribly difficult to bake a batch of muffins or a layer cake, but the appreciation and satisfaction they bring are disproportionately high. At last, a book that understands our anxieties, feeds our fantasies, and puts cakes, pies, pastries, breads, and biscuits back into our own kitchens.


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Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess is about not only baking, but the enjoyment of being in the kitchen, taking sensuous pleasure in the entire process, and relishing the outcome. Nigella's deliciously reassuring and mouthwatering cookbook demonstrates that it's not terribly difficult to bake a batch of muffins or a layer cake, but the appreciation and satisfacti Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess is about not only baking, but the enjoyment of being in the kitchen, taking sensuous pleasure in the entire process, and relishing the outcome. Nigella's deliciously reassuring and mouthwatering cookbook demonstrates that it's not terribly difficult to bake a batch of muffins or a layer cake, but the appreciation and satisfaction they bring are disproportionately high. At last, a book that understands our anxieties, feeds our fantasies, and puts cakes, pies, pastries, breads, and biscuits back into our own kitchens.

30 review for How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking

  1. 5 out of 5

    Yvette

    Oh. My. Gosh. This is the definitive book for me. Nigella is not a "chef"--she is a home cook, just like me, like most of us out there. But she is brilliant--funny, mildly goofy (though not over-the-top the way gals like Rachael Ray can be), and extremely intelligent. Her writing is breathtakingly beautiful--these cookbooks read as deliciously as the recipes they serve up. And as for the title... I've had all sorts of reactions, mostly from women, which astound me. I find that some kinds of wome Oh. My. Gosh. This is the definitive book for me. Nigella is not a "chef"--she is a home cook, just like me, like most of us out there. But she is brilliant--funny, mildly goofy (though not over-the-top the way gals like Rachael Ray can be), and extremely intelligent. Her writing is breathtakingly beautiful--these cookbooks read as deliciously as the recipes they serve up. And as for the title... I've had all sorts of reactions, mostly from women, which astound me. I find that some kinds of women are even offended by the concept of a "domestic goddess"--although Nigella herself clarifies that this isn't some kind of Stepford wife fantasy world, but a real-world concept, of woman as provider and nurturer (or at least, the image of a woman as provider and nurturer)--baking simple things and climbing as gracefully as possible onto that pedestal where we all love to be, that place where we are worshipped as the goddesses we are. :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    I have cooked out of almost all of Nigella's books (not Nigella Express though) but this is always my favourite and the first one I give as a gift! I bought the book years ago in Scotland because I just loved the title. I made the banana bread and have never looked back since. The recipes are consistently good and sometimes fantastic, her writing is delightful and she makes cooking feel like something you share with her. It's the sort of cookbook you cook from, read in bed and refer to constantl I have cooked out of almost all of Nigella's books (not Nigella Express though) but this is always my favourite and the first one I give as a gift! I bought the book years ago in Scotland because I just loved the title. I made the banana bread and have never looked back since. The recipes are consistently good and sometimes fantastic, her writing is delightful and she makes cooking feel like something you share with her. It's the sort of cookbook you cook from, read in bed and refer to constantly! I do use the word cookbook loosely though as this book is mostly about baking. Her other books are more of a mix. She has a useful website as well, www.nigella.com, and you can e-mail,with questions or concerns which is a nice resource. They also have a section that details any errors in past editions and how to correct them.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    Lawson is a real woman. She eats...bad things and good things. She makes cakes for her children that look like a real cake. She invents things, avoids prepackaged foods and best of all she has hips. Her recipes are British which is very obvious, but they are not too weird to try once. Her cakes are delicious. The Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake is our favorite...its been made for gifts..for cravings and for the hell of it. Pair this with some really good raspberry jam and its is divine. I especially enj Lawson is a real woman. She eats...bad things and good things. She makes cakes for her children that look like a real cake. She invents things, avoids prepackaged foods and best of all she has hips. Her recipes are British which is very obvious, but they are not too weird to try once. Her cakes are delicious. The Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake is our favorite...its been made for gifts..for cravings and for the hell of it. Pair this with some really good raspberry jam and its is divine. I especially enjoy her wit, humor and realism. Rachel Ray fans may be disappointed that she doesn't smile the whole time. But she makes cooking and eating sexy...and a part of real life. ps the title is ironic.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Five stars for the burnt butter cupcakes. Burning butter is a flammable escapade. The pyro in me is pleased. *gorges gleefully*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Arista Atsira

    I gave How To Be A Domestic Goddess three stars because, while Nigella Lawson is a treasure, I only found about ten recipes I would want to try... In a book with over 350 pages, I felt that was a little bit of a letdown. Admittedly, I am a very fussy person when it comes to my culinary preferences. However, these recipes were just too far out there for my taste. Definitely worth the read as there are some excellent tips and tricks within these pages, but I suspect many people may only find a few r I gave How To Be A Domestic Goddess three stars because, while Nigella Lawson is a treasure, I only found about ten recipes I would want to try... In a book with over 350 pages, I felt that was a little bit of a letdown. Admittedly, I am a very fussy person when it comes to my culinary preferences. However, these recipes were just too far out there for my taste. Definitely worth the read as there are some excellent tips and tricks within these pages, but I suspect many people may only find a few recipes they're interested in trying.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    I've actually read this book twice, with a five year gap between. Five years ago, I thought, "Wow, this stuff looks incredible--and there's absolutely no way I'll ever be able to cook like this." This time around, I threw together three recipes before the book was due back at the library. All three turned out fantastic, and they were pretty easy. As you might surmise, I don't recommend this book for those just starting out in the world of cooking. It's not that the recipes are particularly hard. I've actually read this book twice, with a five year gap between. Five years ago, I thought, "Wow, this stuff looks incredible--and there's absolutely no way I'll ever be able to cook like this." This time around, I threw together three recipes before the book was due back at the library. All three turned out fantastic, and they were pretty easy. As you might surmise, I don't recommend this book for those just starting out in the world of cooking. It's not that the recipes are particularly hard. It's just that a beginner might be overwhelmed by some of the vocabulary, and that many of Nigella's recipes lack a strict structure. She intends them to be frameworks for you to explore, not tech orders that deliver the same result every time. That said, this has some amazing stuff in it, and I'm looking forward to trying more recipes from her chocolate section.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shahirah

    Within the first fifteen minutes of reading this cookbook, my stomach was growling like a bear out of hibernation, and I was salivating like I'd lost control of my jaw. Halfway through the book and I was ready to get arm-deep in pastry. Nigella has a way with words that truly puts her book in the gastroporn genre. She describes food with such eroticism that it evokes an almost carnal hunger within you. Add to that the dreamy, bright photos of the food - the picture of Lily's Scone is my favourit Within the first fifteen minutes of reading this cookbook, my stomach was growling like a bear out of hibernation, and I was salivating like I'd lost control of my jaw. Halfway through the book and I was ready to get arm-deep in pastry. Nigella has a way with words that truly puts her book in the gastroporn genre. She describes food with such eroticism that it evokes an almost carnal hunger within you. Add to that the dreamy, bright photos of the food - the picture of Lily's Scone is my favourite - and you get a really rich, beautiful book that's worth having in your kitchen. What I like best about this book is that Nigella writes so engagingly and encouragingly that the once daunting thought of making a pastry crust doesn't leave me whimpering in a corner. Now if I could only get off my butt and get to the kitchen....

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    It's not that practical. The recipes call for too many hard to find, can't get in west Texas, expensive ingredients. I would have liked a photo of every recipe. The photos in the book are full page and glossy, which is nice if you plan to leave it on your coffee table, but how about a half page photo and get all of them. The food in this book would be nice for a birthday or other special occasion, but do you want to spend $20+ for that? I was lucky I borrowed it from a friend.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    I checked this book out from the library, and I may be checking it out again and again. The recipes look fabulous (I must try more of them...), but I had a good time just looking at the mouthwatering pictures and reading Nigella's directions. I like how this is not a snobbish, fussy baking book. It leaves room for error and experimentation.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shaylene

    As someone who loathes cooking with a passion, this book makes me feel warm and cozy and with a longing to fill the nostrils of my children with beautiful baking aromas that will forever remind them of home...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A good baking book with a wide range of recipes, including chapters for children and christmas. The only problem is that the baking times are almost always off - for people other than me too, it's not just my cooker! - so keep an eye on the oven the first time you try out things...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    Now that I've tried a couple recipes I feel I can say I've finished reading it, though obviously, I'm not really done. But the recipes were easy to follow and the food was yummy, and there are so many good ideas.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I just love Nigella Lawson. I love her descriptions of food and the little stories she gives to introduce the recipes. This is one of those cookbooks that I MUST own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    I have to admit I bought this book for the title, I thought it was clever and I wanted it on my cook book shelf. I have been wonderfully surprised about the content, it is great. The most important things for me in a cook book are: tempting photographs, well laid out ingredient list, and thorough instructions. This book has all those and a bit of personal information to go with each recipe, like who gave Nigella the recipe, or on what occasion she might make that recipe; just a little personal ti I have to admit I bought this book for the title, I thought it was clever and I wanted it on my cook book shelf. I have been wonderfully surprised about the content, it is great. The most important things for me in a cook book are: tempting photographs, well laid out ingredient list, and thorough instructions. This book has all those and a bit of personal information to go with each recipe, like who gave Nigella the recipe, or on what occasion she might make that recipe; just a little personal tid bit. Our family has loved and made over and over again the Onion Pie, and Pizza Rustica for dinner. Our favorite dessert has been the Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars- absolutely killer! A real sleeper in the cook book is the dense chocolate cake; it looks like any old chocolate cake but it always gets noticed when I serve it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    If any of you know me well, you know that I worship Nigella Lawson. I adore her way of writing and how her cookbooks are also a good book you can fall into as she describes why and how she does all she does. I love her style of writing and her love of food without any apologies. If I could meet one person, it would be her. Her cookbooks are awesome, though I really feel like I would only attempt to make maybe half (or less) of the stuff in it. While I say that, every time I look through them (wh If any of you know me well, you know that I worship Nigella Lawson. I adore her way of writing and how her cookbooks are also a good book you can fall into as she describes why and how she does all she does. I love her style of writing and her love of food without any apologies. If I could meet one person, it would be her. Her cookbooks are awesome, though I really feel like I would only attempt to make maybe half (or less) of the stuff in it. While I say that, every time I look through them (which is often) I find something else I want to try to make that I overlooked the time before. If you try this particular cookbook, try the pizza (with your own toppings) in the bread section. I can't remember what it's officially called, but my pizza loving family deemed it better than restaurant pizza.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    "Lovely to look at/A pleasure to hold..." I love to look at this book, but that's about all I've done with it. I might have tried a recipe or two after I first bought it. In fact, I'm sure I did. It's been so long, though, I don't really remember what I thought. All I know is I was seduced by its rich bronze pages and lovely photo styling and when I saw it in the store I had to take it home with me. But now it's the kind of cookbook that mostly sits on my shelf and collects dust. The problem with "Lovely to look at/A pleasure to hold..." I love to look at this book, but that's about all I've done with it. I might have tried a recipe or two after I first bought it. In fact, I'm sure I did. It's been so long, though, I don't really remember what I thought. All I know is I was seduced by its rich bronze pages and lovely photo styling and when I saw it in the store I had to take it home with me. But now it's the kind of cookbook that mostly sits on my shelf and collects dust. The problem with some of the recipes is that they call for something that I wouldn't normally have on hand, such as elderflower cordial, and combine it with something I'm pretty sure I could never find locally, like gooseberries. I won't give up on it yet, though, but you can bet I'll make a list before I go shopping. I wouldn't want to forget the pomegranate molasses.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tom Stallard

    This is a lovely book. Lawson has such a clear and unpretentious tone to her writing, bringing you into her world within the short space of the recipe descriptions. This book covers a wealth of hearty and heart warming recipes that are fantastic to have at hand if you have family or friends coming over. The recipes are well laid out into common sense sections (something that other Lawson books have not achieved as well). One thing I particularly like about Lawson's writing is that she openly dec This is a lovely book. Lawson has such a clear and unpretentious tone to her writing, bringing you into her world within the short space of the recipe descriptions. This book covers a wealth of hearty and heart warming recipes that are fantastic to have at hand if you have family or friends coming over. The recipes are well laid out into common sense sections (something that other Lawson books have not achieved as well). One thing I particularly like about Lawson's writing is that she openly declares where she has taken recipes from, dispelling the black arts of the recipe book and at the same time providing the reader with new sources to investigate books.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    I made a couple of recipes out of this book: the ricotta cheesecake, and the two types of brownies. The cheesecake was good, though the recipe was drawn out. regular brownies were way too fudge like. Good, but not what I think of brownies. Her attempt of wanting this to appeal to American readers is charming, because she explains things to American readers that we don't often think about, as well as includes some traditional English dishes like steak and kidney pie. Wish I had tried some more rec I made a couple of recipes out of this book: the ricotta cheesecake, and the two types of brownies. The cheesecake was good, though the recipe was drawn out. regular brownies were way too fudge like. Good, but not what I think of brownies. Her attempt of wanting this to appeal to American readers is charming, because she explains things to American readers that we don't often think about, as well as includes some traditional English dishes like steak and kidney pie. Wish I had tried some more recipes. The writing was great, wasn't overly impressed with the recipes I did try.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    Mmmmm NIgella you are almost as scrumptious as your recipes! A delicious, sensual celebration of food without worrying about skimping on the fat or sugar or other such delicious naughtiness. Comfort cooking is one of my mamma specialities and nothing makes me feel more like a goddess than seeing the smiling chocolate crumb covered faces of my family around my dining room table.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This is the book that started my girl-crush on Nigella Lawson. Nigella may have made her name as a telegenic / sexy TV chef, but her background as a writer shines through in her erudite writing. Her intros and asides add an extra level of interest to a collection of very delicious-looking (and delicious-eating) recipes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Isadora Torres

    this is not a cookbook, it's more like an invitation to your own kitchen. as a food lover, it became sort of a bible when I need inspiration. nigella loves food and she wants you to love too. amazing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    My favorite and most-used cookbook. Her chocolate loaf is amazing. And I like that it focuses on all kinds of baking - sweet and savory. Plus she uses words like "squidgy".

  23. 4 out of 5

    Naida

    A Wonderful cookbook. Not too fussy, not too complicated. I have not found a bad recipe in the lot. I usually make something from this when I need tasty food that will impress

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mysticpaganwitch

    I love Nigella.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Maybe I am being bias.. but her recipe for snickerdoodles in here is terrible. I have to pass on the rest of the recipes since she couldn't come up with a good recipe for my favorite simple cookie.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy Shoesmith

    This is my absolute favourite sweet baking book,(though there are a few savoury dishes and breads in there too.) Her style of writing is funny and engaging. I was given this book around 15 years ago, and used it a lot as a student, then through moving house it got lost and I felt so bereft for a few years without it that I had to buy it again for myself. This is the only book I have ever owned twice. The recipes have become so well used I almost know them, and I chop and change bits of recipes whe This is my absolute favourite sweet baking book,(though there are a few savoury dishes and breads in there too.) Her style of writing is funny and engaging. I was given this book around 15 years ago, and used it a lot as a student, then through moving house it got lost and I felt so bereft for a few years without it that I had to buy it again for myself. This is the only book I have ever owned twice. The recipes have become so well used I almost know them, and I chop and change bits of recipes when I have other ingredients I want to use. For example, i make the banana bread every time I have a few left over bananas, though I quite often make up the bulk with other vegetable matter, (carrots, courgettes) if I only have one banana. Nigella’s style of writing has encouraged this. She always says where she borrowed the recipe from, and so my copy is also filled with pencil writings where I have altered recipes in the past, always to suit what I have in the cupboard rather than buying things in specially. I have made probably half the recipes in this book, and find them easy to follow with my three year old helping. From reading other reviews, it looks as though this is an easy book to use in the UK, but not so easy to read or find the ingredients for in the US. I would just suggest making the recipes your own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lígia Marcelino

    Provado e aprovado. Já tinha um fascínio pelas receitas da Nigella desde que a vi cozinhar no seu programa televisivo. Por isso quando descobri este livro tive de o ter!!! E é realmente o que esperava receitas simples mas deliciosas para miúdos e graúdos. Atenção que eu não gosto de cozinhar! Mas a Nigella é contagiante, não consigo evitar!! E cá em casa agradecem 👨👩👧👦 🍽 Provado e aprovado. Já tinha um fascínio pelas receitas da Nigella desde que a vi cozinhar no seu programa televisivo. Por isso quando descobri este livro tive de o ter!!! E é realmente o que esperava receitas simples mas deliciosas para miúdos e graúdos. Atenção que eu não gosto de cozinhar! Mas a Nigella é contagiante, não consigo evitar!! E cá em casa agradecem 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 🍽

  28. 4 out of 5

    LaryssaQ

    This is one of my favourite cookbooks of all time. Nigella writes all of her cookbooks with such love and articulates her passion for each recipe in its description. I love the fact that she always gives tips with each recipe to ensure success in every attempt!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tineke

    Het eerste kook/bakboek waar ik echt blij van werd! Dat mij echt leerde koken en mij het vertrouwen gaf dat ik dit kon. Het eerste kookboek ook waarbij mijn resultaat er uit zag als de foto’s bij de recepten.

  30. 5 out of 5

    David Rosam

    This is food as lifestyle. Ignore it. It’s unlikely to be your lifestyle.

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