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

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,717 Ratings  ·  264 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Hachette Books (first published August 17th 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Yvette
Jul 22, 2007 Yvette rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves to cook
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
...more
Samantha
Jan 12, 2008 Samantha rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody who's interested in baking.
Shelves: food-and-cookery
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 ...more
Arista
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
...more
Kristi
Jan 13, 2011 Kristi rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: a baker, a butcher, a candlestick maker
Shelves: cookbooks
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
...more
Rebecca
Oct 24, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars for the burnt butter cupcakes.
Burning butter is a flammable escapade.
The pyro in me is pleased.

*gorges gleefully*
Dawn
Oct 07, 2015 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Jess
Aug 31, 2008 Jess rated it it was ok
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.
Rebecca
Mar 27, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
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...
Shaylene
May 21, 2012 Shaylene rated it really liked it
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...
Shahirah
Jul 31, 2011 Shahirah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kris
Jul 27, 2009 Kris added it
Shelves: cooking
"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
...more
Megan
May 28, 2010 Megan rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jessica Bowden
May 14, 2015 Jessica Bowden rated it it was amazing
I am officially a goddess in waiting.
Libby
May 25, 2009 Libby rated it it was amazing
Shelves: foodie
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.
Katrina
Mar 13, 2009 Katrina rated it really liked it
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.
Terri
Feb 10, 2014 Terri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-and-drink
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
...more
Liz
Feb 23, 2009 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
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.
Naida
Aug 13, 2008 Naida rated it it was amazing
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
Ashley
Mar 12, 2010 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I've had this cookbook for a long time, but recently reccommended it for my bookclub, and it was really fun to discuss. I love the writing: that sometimes in the kitchen "we don't want to feel like a postmodern, postfeminist, overstretched woman but, rather, a domestic goddess, trailing nutmeggy fumes of baking pie in our langorous wake." Or that our first pie is like a first kiss and suffuses us "with heady satisfaction." Or that a woman who bakes her own bread "can see herself in an almost bib ...more
Dayna
Oct 31, 2010 Dayna rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Nigella Lawson
I love watching Nigella Lawson's cooking show(s). I like her personality and the way she talks about what she's making. I like her word choices and the cadence of her speech. And her passion for good food (whether it's actually good for you or not) is contagious. I always end up smiling as I watch her. That said, I don't think her personality and speech translate well in print. While reading How to Be a Domestic Goddess I took the time to thumb through (quite thoroughly) a few of Lawson's other ...more
Cindy
Apr 10, 2009 Cindy rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: the self-conciously retro-cool
First of all, I have to say this - this woman is nuts! She may be a great cook and a very nice person, I don't know, but honestly, she is nuts.

This book, in case you couldn't tell right away, is about baking. She sets it up in several categories: cakes, cookies, bread, pies, Christmas, etc. The pictures are wonderful. But the writing? Wow. It's hard to tell you just how bad it is. So here's an example.

"Coconut Macaroons. These are a very English kind of macaroon, the sort you always used to see
...more
Lauren
Jul 28, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing
I love to bake, but have been uninspired to make anything for a while now. I cracked open this book and the next thing I know I'm pulling Baklava Muffins out of the oven. I checked this book out of the library, but the first chance I get I'm going to buy it. Every other page had something I wanted to try. The best part is, Nigella does such a good job of making every recipe sound do-able, seducing you with her vivid imagery, that it takes a lot of the intimidation out of it. There are a few ingr ...more
Rachel Wagner
Sep 27, 2012 Rachel Wagner rated it it was amazing
I must add the caveat that I haven't actually made any of the recipes but the cookbook is divine. I love the philosophy of doing things not out of sheer necessity but because they make you feel like a goddess! The photos are mesmerizing and maybe its just because I'm on a diet but every recipe looked soooo good! Next cheat day I'm totally making one of these recipes but which one? hmmm. I loved reading her thoughts on food. An example of such charm and whimsy..."When I am fiddling about in the k ...more
Lily
Jun 11, 2014 Lily rated it it was ok
It's a fancy cookbook. The recipes look and sound delicous, I guess. As I was reading the recipes, I kept thinking about the time I made a "fancy" homemade carrot cake and how I wished I just roasted the $20 worth of nuts that were baking in the cake instead. The cake was good, but I just wanted the pecans. I was looking for more basic type recipes. Foundations. I wrote down a few recipes. I really liked the children's section. I will try the easter nests and rocky road recipes. Easy, cute and p ...more
Angie
Nov 18, 2014 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: food lovies
Recommended to Angie by: no one
I was initially not sure about buying a nigella cook book but as it was only 5 pounds in a sale I took the chance. I couldn't of been happier. She's filled the book with recipes that are suitable for either your children's dinners or big Sunday meals for all the family. I loved it so much that I bought the other two books. The brownies were so yummy, two whole batches of them (48) were eaten in one day!! ...more
EditorialCat
Feb 01, 2016 EditorialCat rated it it was amazing
Love this book. Love Nigella. Just suspend any disbelief that you may have and place your trust in her recipes. When she says 'add 1/2 pint of boiling water' to your already perfectly fine cake mix before baking ... well, do it (but if you're making her chocolate cake recipe at the time, do make sure you use a very large baking tin, otherwise you'll end up with cake mix all over your oven!).
Kamal
Dec 29, 2015 Kamal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
Nigella's best book, even though it's one of her earliest. This is a solid dessert recipe book, full of great crowd-pleasing desserts and other confections. Nigella, with tongue-in-cheek irony, teaches us how to become the 50s housewife that we all secretly long to be. This is a fun book with equally fun anecdotes.
Davida Chazan
Aug 15, 2014 Davida Chazan rated it it was amazing
Britain's most sexy television cook has one of the most luscious cookbooks for cakes and baked goods that you'll ever experience, and the recipes are extremely easy to use. You can read my full review here.
Lisa
May 01, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love Nigella's writing. Yes, not her recipes - although they are great - but her writing. Every recipe has a story, a funny anicdote or a bit of helpful info about how to prepare, cook or eat the following goodie. I read her books in bed. My husband thinks I'm mad. This book is just incredible. I cannot cook - but (and here's a secret) people think I am fabulous because I can follow Nigella's recipe say for gorgeous gooey chocolate fudge brownies. You basically chuck everything togther, stir, ...more
Miranda Davis
Jul 12, 2012 Miranda Davis rated it it was amazing
I believe eating dessert first is just commonsense. There is a recipe in here for pain-au-chocolat (bread) pudding. Dessert or breakfast, you decide. I say breakfast! I use milk not the heavy creams in the recipe and of course intentionally let a few choc. croissants go stale to make this and it is sooooooo good.

Truly comforting food. Love her voice and off-hand explanations and reassurance. (I respect Martha Stewart but always feel I"m falling short not raising my own semolina wheat for making
...more
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Nigella Lawson is the daughter of former Conservative cabinet minister Nigel Lawson (now Lord Lawson) and the late Vanessa Salmon, socialite and heir to the Lyons Corner House empire, who died of liver cancer in 1985. Lawson attended Godolphin and Latymer School and Westminster School before graduating from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, with a degree in Medieval and Modern Languages.
Lawson wrote a r
...more
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