21 Chocolate and Cacao Books (For Every Level)

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Do you remember when books were the preferred form of social media? I dont. Yet I’ve heard stories about how people used to place photographs in albums and simply eat the food on their plate instead of photographing it from every angle. People seem to like gazing at strangers’ meals even more than they enjoy looking at strangers. Dessert is even better since most individuals look to be on a constant diet, preferring to feast with their eyes instead.

So, whether you’re searching for the ideal gift for a chocolate-obsessed reader or a great coffee table book for your new home, you’ve come to the correct spot. This chocolate book collection is my personal collage-style dedication to the genre, built over years of people asking me what the finest chocolate book is. Now I can just point them to this post.

Because, much with general inquiries regarding ruby chocolate, cacao nomenclature, and vegan chocolate bars, there is always more to the topic than meets the eye.

Concerning Chocolate Books

or knowledge that is entertaining. This list of chocolate novels does not include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory since it was created to teach you about how chocolate is manufactured, eaten, and adored. The greatest chocolate books provide a good mix of stunning culinary photography and useful information.

These covers books about chocolate recipes, chocolate’s cultural importance, chocolate making techniques, and cacao farming. Consider this a current guide to books for chocolate lovers, updated by someone who is sick of answering the same question. There’s a category for any chocoholic who enjoys reading, whether they like the weight of a book in their hands or the eco-friendliness of an e-reader.

In this collection of books for chocolate enthusiasts, I lean toward handmade, bean-to-bar chocolate. I think it is my responsibility to ensure that you are reading only the most proper, current, and intelligent interpretations of chocolate, and your loved ones deserve the same. Even if you can’t see them right now, try sending a lovely book and some handmade chocolate to someone you care about. I swear the grins are worth it. There’s even a kid’s book on how chocolate is manufactured!

Culture of Chocolate Books

Chocolate, bread, and wine

2016 by Simran Sethi

Although this isn’t really a chocolate book (Sethi says it’s a love novel, and I agree), I believe it should be mandatory reading for every chocolate fan. Not only is it intriguing from the beginning to the end, but it also does an excellent job of expressing the intersectionality of chocolate. Beginning with a TCHO story in the prologue and continuing through wine grape vine positioning and octopus anatomy, this book relates meals in a manner that only a food writer can.

Bread, Wine, and Chocolate emphasizes the significance of the basic meals, the dishes that, whether we know it or not, serve as the foundation for our unique tales, and their own plethora of stories. Above all, Sethi is a stunningly expressive author, and I really hope she recognizes this and begins production on a new season of her chocolate podcast, The Slow Melt. Simran, we miss you!

Bread, Wine, and Chocolate may be found on Amazon by clicking here.

Chocolate from Bean to Bar (USA)

Megan Giller (2017)

Megan Giller utilizes this platform to officially educate the world to the US artisan chocolate sector, beginning with the foundations of cacao and chocolate manufacturing in mid-2017. Although the beginning of the book provides a good introduction of cacao, chocolate manufacturing, and the notion of artisan chocolate, what I really came for were the interviews. Megan Giller had been collecting them for years before her book was published, and she shared them on her website Chocolate Noise (where you can still read many of them).

Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution also introduced me to various new names to research and add to my chocolate vocabulary, such as epicatechin (which Im still not sure how to pronounce). About two dozen cacao-based recipes from some of America’s top chocolatiers are also included in the book. I can’t believe it’s been three years since publication and this book is still as relevant as the day it was published.

On Amazon, you can find Bean To Bar Chocolate by clicking here.

Raising the Standard

Pam Williams and Jim Eber, 2019.

This is a textbook for cacao pupils, told in four sections starting before the beans even take form and ending through the standard chocolate bar. Raising The Bar is a comprehensive review of the exquisite chocolate industry’s history, present, and future published by two renowned educators, Pam Williams and Jim Eber.

Williams and Eber describe the developments in the cacao and chocolate industries during the previous two or three decades, as well as what they anticipate to see in the next decade or so, via interviews with specialists from every element of the cacao and chocolate sectors. This is required reading for all Ecole Chocolat students, as well as anybody who wants to be more mindful of their chocolate intake.

Raising The Bar is available on Amazon by clicking here.

Chocolate’s Secret Life

2020, Marcos Patchett

After a recent binge of chapter 7, this book is interesting, to quote myself. If you have any interest in the cacao plant, as I do, I urge you hold off on labeling yourself a genuine obsessive until you have obtained a copy of The Hidden Life of Chocolate. The textbook contains over 700 pages of extensively researched reference material, tales, and even recipes compiled by a medical herbalist over the course of 14 years of study.

The material is current, having been published in spring 2020, and covers a wide variety of cacao-related subjects; dare I say, all of them. Flipping through the chapters (I stress seven hundred pages), some of the more interesting parts include those on chocolate allergies, ancient blood sacrifices, and Theobroma cacao’s numerous current relatives.

The publisher gave me with a complimentary copy of this book, but as usual, all thoughts are my own. On Amazon, you may find The Hidden Life of Chocolate by clicking here.

History of Chocolate Books

Chocolate’s Real Origins

Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe (2013)

Despite the fact that both writers have already died, this amazing resource on the history of chocolate still provides a detailed look at where chocolate has gone. Although this third version lacks up-to-date information on ancient Amazonian cacao use published in 2018, it does include an overview of Mesoamerican chocolate manufacturing. Above all, it was authored by a Mayan history and culture researcher.

As a result, the Mesoamerican-centric overview contains historically correct details on the botanical properties of certain cacao varietals, cacao’s archeological effects, and culinary usage from El Salvador to Spain. There are even full-color images of chocolate adverts from the nineteenth century, when chocolate was still primarily considered as a medical beverage, that are as amusing now as they were two centuries ago.

On Amazon, you can find The Real History of Chocolate by clicking here.

Chocolate’s New Flavor

Maricel E. Presilla, Maricel E. Presilla, Maricel E. Presilla, Mari

This book’s full title is The New Taste of Chocolate, Revised: A Cultural & Natural History of Cacao with Recipes, which is a bit of a mouthful. To be fair, it corresponds with the contents, which offer a detailed examination into chocolate’s history and use throughout the Americas during the previous several millennia. This was the first book I had read on chocolate history. I spent the most of one night in Guatemala reading this book from cover to cover on a chocolate field (& skimming once my eyes tired out).

The emphasis is on the Americas and, to a lesser extent, Europe, with a heavy impact from the Cuban-American author’s lifetime love with Theobroma cacao. I’d suggest this book to anybody who wants to learn about chocolate history (albeit some of the information needs to be updated as new science emerges) and bake with quality chocolate.

On Amazon, you can find The New Taste of Chocolate by clicking here.


Kristy Liessle, Dr., 2018

Cocoa is one of the numerous byproducts of the African cocoa sector’s two decades of field experience. The African Studies professor utilizes the 240 pages at her disposal to convey the exploitative politics hiding beneath the taste most of us grew up salivating over. Her study has led her to hundreds of cocoa plantations throughout West Africa, mostly in Ghana, where she is based, to interview cocoa producers about what it is like to be a contemporary cocoa farmer.

She follows the cocoa value chain throughout the world to uncover the often-dark secrets underlying the world’s favorite snack. This was one of the first chocolate books I purchased on my kindle, however there’s something about holding the book in your hands that makes the contents seem more genuine. I had the honor of interviewing Kristy Leissle for a podcast episode in 2019. You may listen to our whole interview here.

Cocoa may be found on Amazon by clicking here.

Chocolate Making and Tasting Books

Chocolate as an Art and Craft

2018 Nathan Hodge

Despite it seems to be a little book with just 160 pages, this tome covers the history and application of the bean to bar chocolate production process. Unlike other chocolate-making manuals, Nathan Hodges’ book starts with the chocolate tree rather than the completed result (presumably to be made into other chocolaty treats).

With a decade in the chocolate business, the author is clearly equipped to talk about his numerous sourcing visits to cocoa-growing nations, as well as his many mistakes while manufacturing his own chocolate. The many recipes for regional moles and chocolate beverages wowed me the most. They’re all on my to-make list as an amateur chocolatier!

On Amazon, you can find The Art and Craft of Chocolate by clicking here.


Dom Ramsey, 2016.

This work has been translated into at least eight languages, and there are certainly more that I have yet to see. Chocolate is a heavenly resource for everything linked to its namesake, providing a tutorial on purchasing, tasting, and crafting great chocolate. There is a segment devoted to the history and harvest of cacao, but the title is accurate since the material is entirely centered on the so-called dark gold.

It even discusses the addictive aspects of chocolate before revealing some of Ramsey’s hard-won bean-to-bar chocolate recipes and some suggestions for what to do with it after you’ve prepared it. Hundreds of high-quality images support the author’s decades of expertise in the chocolate business, which has been distilled here.

Chocolate may be found on Amazon by clicking here.

Creating Chocolate

2017 Dandelion Chocolate

When Dandelion Chocolate launched this book in the autumn of 2017, it generated quite a stir. I recall having my sister transport my copy to my house in South Korea, along with the unique origin bars that came with pre-ordered copies. That was such a thrilling occurrence that I spent the most of our first night together reading the book while she slept in the other room!

This was one of the first complete books on chocolate manufacturing from bean to bar to be published, and its popularity has remained even after years of publication. The book is divided into five sections: history, method, ingredients, deep dive, and recipes, with each part building on and off of the previous one. Each of the book’s four contributors contributes their unique viewpoint and experience to the process, resulting in an informative and humorous read. This is a coffee table book you’ll really use, thanks to its many lovely photos.

Creating Chocolate may be found on Amazon by clicking here.

Chocolate Cookbooks

Chocolate Cookbook by Guittard

Amy Guittard, Amy Guittard, Amy Guittard, Amy Guitt

How many cookbooks have the endorsement of famous pastry chef and blogger David Lebovits? If you’ve never heard of David Lebovits, I suggest doing a Google search, but suffice it to say that his high regard for this book and the Guittard firm as a whole is significant. The book features several dozen cacao-focused recipes, all of which utilize at least one Guittard Chocolate product (surprise), however you could easily replace another brand’s product of the same proportion.

What I admire most about this book is not the trendy food blog-style technique of interspersing family anecdotes with recipes, but rather the sheer diversity. Several of these recipes plainly date back 100+ years to the company’s beginnings, and owning this book feels like possessing a piece of history.

Guittard Chocolate Cookbook may be found on Amazon by clicking here.

Almost Anything Chocolate

2020, America’s Test Kitchen

America’s Test Kitchen almost never disappoints (and Im pretty sure that when it does, its my own damn fault). In this case, I’m impressed with their new chocolate cookbook, which includes over 200 dishes using America’s favorite dessert: chocolate.

This book does not go too far into the history or tales around cacao and chocolate, instead focusing on recipes such as panna cotta and pie, as well as manufacturing your own chocolate bars. It does, however, employ time-tested recipes to get you one step closer to a great dessert at any time of day. I’m always astounded at how many different ways chocolate can be used.

Anything Chocolate may be found on Amazon by clicking here.

Recipes and Sweet Secrets from Theo Chocolate

2015, Debra Music, Joe Whinney, and Leora Bloom

Although this Seattle chocolate giant has created a reputation for itself over the previous decade and a half, it hadn’t ventured much into the savory area until the publication of this book in 2015. Chocolate, as it was eaten in Mesoamerica and even ancient Iberia, was a flavorful dish, which the average chef is unaware of. Or, more accurately, it was unsweetened.

This cookbook pays respect to that heritage with 75 cacao-centric dishes ranging from sweet to savory and suitable for any time of day. They also talk about how and why Theo Chocolate was formed, perhaps encouraging you to use only handmade chocolates while making their recipes!

On Amazon, you can find Theo Chocolate: Recipes & Sweet Secrets by clicking here.

120 Recipes for Hot Chocolate

2016 Bonnie Scott

Despite the fact that the title pretty much tells it all, this book covers a lot of ground. Inside its pages are regional, flavored, vegan-friendly, and even slow cooker hot chocolate recipes. These aren’t your average Swiss Miss hot cocoas, though; they are authentic hot chocolate recipes gathered over years of observation and travel.

Consider it a go-to recipe for your cookbook shelf when you want something chocolatey and decadent but not so risky that it will sit in your fridge until you eat it. However, there are only around 100 hot chocolate recipes in this book, since the final 20 are for different whipped creams to top them all off with.

On Amazon, you may get 120 Hot Chocolate Recipes.

Travel Books About Chocolate

From the Bean to the Bar (Britain)

2020, Andrew Baker

To a doubt, the British handmade chocolate industry has evolved since my previous visit in 2013. This 270-page chocolate travelogue tells the stories of hundreds of chocolate manufacturers and chocolatiers from around the British Isles. Each chapter concentrates on the origin story of a major corporation and then goes into some of the areas other manufacturers (when there are any). Willies, Chocolate Tree, Duffys, and Dormouse are some other well-known brands. This chocolate book has earned its full title, From Bean to Bar: A Chocolate Lovers Guide to Britain, in my opinion.

From Bean To Bar is available on Amazon.

World Chocolate Tour by Lonely Planet

2020, Lonely Planet Food

To be completely honest, I did contribute to this book, however I do not get revenue for each copy sold. I simply think it’s a lovely combination of the many quality chocolates available in the globe right now, not to mention another wonderful chocolate book. Over the course of 250+ pages of insider information and full-color images, you will discover 150 of the world’s top chocolate locations in 45+ countries across 6 continents.

Each business profile contains a picture, a description of what to expect when you visit, surrounding attractions, and all the contact information you’ll need to organize your trip. Although there are a few firms in there that I’ve visited and would have deleted (no, I’m not going to disclose any names! ), this isn’t my book. Yet, it is an excellent guide to some of the world’s greatest chocolates.

Amazon has a listing for World Chocolate Tour.

Cacao Journal

by Lukas T. Reinhardt, Alexandra Davidson, and Ruby Willow, published annually

If you’re a genuine chocolate enthusiast, you’ve definitely heard of Cacao Magazine. The fledgling company released its first issue in early 2019, and the bi-annual magazines seem to be a big success with everyone interested in gourmet dining. There are now three issues available, with a fourth in the works.

Even though there are only two new issues each year, the structure is such that each iteration seems more like a standalone book, and each issue has a distinct theme. The first two magazines concentrated on Germany and Thailand, respectively (I contributed to this issue! ), while the most recent one focused on women in chocolate. This is one firm I want to hear more from in the future!

Cacao Magazine may be found on Amazon by clicking here.

Chocolate Books for Children

Chocolate Is Smart: A Sweet History

Sandra Markle and Charise Mericle Harper, Harper, 2005, ages 6-9

This chocolate storybook, part of the Smart About series for youngsters, takes the guise of a student report outlining the origins of chocolate. The book begins with a history of the cacao tree, followed by how the seeds were used, where it presently comes from, and finally how chocolate is prepared. It is a historical overview of the history of chocolate in the globe, given in plain terms yet without dumbing down any of the several processes. It, ironically, would be an excellent book for a youngster to do a book report on.

Smart About Chocolate is available on Amazon by clicking here.

Cacao Grandfather

Elizabeth Zunon, aged 3-6, 2019,

This novel has me a bit addicted. It not only combines two of my favorite things (cacao and education), but it also connects the intricate relationship between West Africa and the taste of chocolate to a subject that every youngster can understand: grandparents. Although not all of us had the pleasure of visiting our grandparents as youngsters, it is a notion to which we can all identify. In this book, a little girl is creating a chocolate birthday cake with her father while listening to a narrative about her grandpa, an Ivory Coast cocoa grower.

It’s lovely to see the images clearly connecting the kitchen and the forest, and then the young girl and her grandfather. Zunon skillfully weaves together the tale of a youngster making something delightful with his or her parent, as well as the story of the millions of West African farmers who harvest and process the cocoa that forms the chocolate we remember from our childhoods. These farmers are not simply outsiders from other nations; they are our people.

Grandfather Cacao is available on Amazon.

From Cocoa Beans to Chocolate (Whose Lunch Was It?)

Bridget Heos, aged 5-8, 2018.

This edition to the Who Created My Lunch? series, like the Smart About series described above, is all about the growth and manufacture of chocolate. Beginning in the equator, the chocolate tale follows you from tree to bar, via the eyes of a kid. Similar to Grandfather Cacao, this book mentions that almost two-thirds of the world’s cacao is farmed in West Africa, demonstrating the product’s globality. The book contains a map of cacao growing areas as well as a glossary of more esoteric words.

Amazon has a listing for From Cocoa Beans to Chocolate.

The Cacao Tree and the Jaguar

Birgitte Rasine, aged 9-12, 2016,

This reminds me of the Magic Tree House series, which I devoured as a child. The plot revolves on Max, a little child whose parents relocated the family to Guatemala to study the cocoa tree. While not your traditional chocolate story, the plot revolves around Max and his bond with a local girl called Itzel, who educates him about Mayan culture and the cacao tree.

It serves as both a magical enigma and a learning aid for people interested in some of the cultural influences underlying chocolate’s divinity. Although The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree is intended for young adults, I believe readers of all ages will enjoy learning about one of chocolate’s lesser-known origins through the eyes of young Max.

The Jaguar and the Cocoa Tree is available on Amazon.

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