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Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle Hardcover – Sep 10 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (Sept. 10 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607743604
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607743606
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 1.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #272,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“When Kyra won her episode of Cupcake Wars, she amazed me with her baking technique and flawless execution. I am now convinced that prepared the right way, gluten-free baking can produce a most delectable result, and Kyra’s book is a perfect introduction.”
—Florian Bellanger, founder, Mad Mac NYC, and judge, Food Network’s Cupcake Wars

“Kyra’s creations are the best I have tasted at any gluten-free bakery. Now we have the chance to make her favorites at home? Sweet.”
—Shauna James Ahern, author, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day
“Anyone who swears they can’t eat deliciously gluten-free has never met Kyra Bussanich. Her recipes could make a believer out of the most stubborn gluten-eater around.”
—K. C. Pomering, G-Free Foodie

“Accessible recipes like Triple Berry Cobbler will help inexperienced bakers make deliciously simple desserts with confidence, while more intricate recipes like Lilikoi Chiffon Pie will challenge the budding pastry chef in all of us to rise to any special occasion!”
—Jules Shepard, author, Free for All Cooking

“Decadent and delightful, Sweet Cravings is a treasure trove of both classic and innovative new recipes fit to contend with even the most voracious sweet tooth.”
—Olivia Dupin, author, The Complete Guide to Naturally Gluten-Free Foods

About the Author

KYRA BUSSANICH graduated from Le Cordon Bleu’s patisserie and baking program and worked as the assistant pastry chef at clarklewis in Portland before founding her own award-winning gluten-free bakery, Kyra’s Bake Shop (formerly Crave Bake Shop). She was the first gluten-free baker to appear on—and the only to win—the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. She was also runner-up in the all-star series Cupcake Champions. Kyra and her shop have been featured on the Today show, Fox News, the Food Network, Food & Wine, Delight Gluten-Free Magazine, Gluten-Free Living, the Oregonian, USA Today, Huffington Post, G-Free Foodie, Notes from a Gluten-Free Kitchen, Gluten Free Portland Oregon, and Portland Food and Drink. She and her husband live and eat in Portland, Oregon.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazing recipes that are very well thought out. I love the fact that flour blends are created specifically for each type of baking. It doesn't work to have a gf flour blend for everything and Kyra shows the best for each product. Exciting for all the gf people out there. Highly recommend.
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By A Customer on April 12 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ranges from more simple to advanced recipes,
If you collect gold is books to have on hand this is worth buying and having around for experimenting/reference.
Only dislike: most recipes use less common ingredients (in my opinion) e.g. Xanthan gum, sorghum flour. Whereas my gluten free baking relies heavily on almond flour, coconut flour, etc.
If you're looking for inspiration to take your GF baking to the next level I recommend this book.
I'm surely going to be getting use out of these inspiring recipes!
Happy baking! :)
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Format: Kindle Edition
I purchased this book because of cupcake wars! I just bought it this morning and made the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They are delicious. I'm having a hard time deciding what to try next!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d7afc60) out of 5 stars 78 reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d7c2cb4) out of 5 stars Beautiful, Creative Gluten-Free Creations from Oregon's Cupcake Wars Famous Pastry Designer Sept. 10 2013
By Caliaha - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This long-awaited release has a beautiful hard-bound cover and high-quality, full color printing (and wonderful, smooth paper too). It is one of those feel-good cookbooks and it has 50 amazing, creative recipes in the 131 page book that also includes beautiful full-color photography for more than half of the recipes. The font (text) used throughout the book is a easy to read size. This book will completely inspire you to make your own beautiful, tasty treats and best of all all gluten free!

Note: I initial saw a copy of the pre-release book at Kyra's Bake Shop in Lake Oswego Oregon (previously known as Crave Bakery) in June 2013 and couldn't wait for it to be released! Now, 3 months later, it has arrived! I am thrilled to have my own copy!

The table of contents consists of a 2-page spread listing each of the 6 chapter categories and the names of each of the unique 50 recipes. It has a very comprehensive 5-page index in the back as well. A lot of thought was put into the creation of this unique cookbook and it would make a lovely gift for someone, or even yourself :-)

So the 6 categories of recipes in Kyra's book each have a special "topic." I've included some of the recipes for each section listed below. (You can use the "Look Inside" feature on the Amazon page to view the complete T-O-C). I love it that each of the recipes are rated as Easy, Intermediate, and Advanced so that I know what I'm getting myself into. Each recipe has a unique story that goes along with each recipe. The instructions for each of the recipes is well written, detailed, and easy to follow. Kyra gives details on how the dough should both look and feel along with how to tell when the goodie is ready to come out of the oven. This book is truly the "secret recipe book" even more than I was hoping for.

CATEGORIES & RECIPES. Here's the line-up:

1. Muffins and Scones (Topic: How Less Sugar Can Be More)
Bran-less Muffins, Orange Current Scones, Chocolate Chip Scones, Cherry White Chocolate Scones, Espresso Scones (the first recipe I tried out of the book, see comments below on the Espresso Scones)

2. Buckles, Cobblers, and Crips (Topic: Naturally Delicious Fruit Desserts)
Strawberry Rubarb Cobbler, Triple Berry Breakfast Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Apple Crisp

3. Quick Breads and Coffee Cakes: (Topic: Conversation Starters)
Coffee Cake, Lemon Pound Cake (awesome with fresh lemon zest and lemon juice), Beer Bread (yes, gluten free!)

4. Cookies, Brownies, and Bar Treats (Topic: Childhood Revisited)
Chile Lime Macaroons, Linzer Bars (amazing!), Almond Biscotti, Peanut Butter Truffle Crispy Rice Bars (wow!)

5. Puddings, Cakes, and Other Pastries (Topic: Comfort and Amaze!)
Bubbie's (Kyra's great-grandmother's) Secret Honey Cake, Coconut Rice Pudding (lovely!), Apricot Hamantaschen, Cannolizelli, Yam Biscuits (oh-yeah!)

6. Six Award Winning Cupcakes (Topic: Little Treats That Pack Big Taste )
African Yam, Boston Buttercream, Orange-Vanilla, Eggnog, Persian Love Cakes.

7. Tarts, Pies and Puffs (Desserts to Impress)
Hazelnut Pear Tart with Goat Cheese Whipped Cream (Wow-zer!), Classic Cream Puffs, Tiramisu

I love the variety of recipes Kyra included and along with the full-page color photograph; this cookbook is a true inspiration. She includes some all-time favorites like her wonderful scones, lots of her award winning cupcakes (as seen on "Cupcake Wars"), and unusual recipes like Apricot Hamantaschen (which is a filled-pocket pastry in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine recognizable for its three-cornered shape). I was disappointed that one of my favorite items from Kyra's Bake Shop in Lake Oswego, Garlic Knots, were not included in the book (although I understand it is probably still a "secret" recipe since it is a real money maker in her shop).

The flour combinations in Kyra's book are not a one-size-fits-all, instead each recipe has a unique gluten-free flour blend specifically formulated for the type of pastry recipe. She also explains how to adjust each of them in baking. There is also a section on "chef's tips and baking secrets" that really helps with technique. You will need a stand mixer for some, but not all of the recipes. Again, since each of the recipes are rated as easy, intermediate, and advanced, there are recipes included for every level of pastry chef. And if you're a beginner like me, lots of recipes that are both quick and easy and others that are challenging to improve my baking skills.

So, I've been gluten-free since 2007 (6 years) and I love Kyra's GF bake shop in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Kyra uses high-quality ingredients in her goodies, including real butter, cream, buttermilk, etc. and everything is totally hand-made, home-made quality. Many gluten-free cookbooks use oat flour in place of regular wheat flower, but oat flour can be problematic for those that are highly sensitive to gluten (especially those with Celiac Disease). I was glad to see Kyra did not use oat flour, instead she used her own unique blends in each recipe including Sweet Rice Flour, Millet Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch, and others. I've been using Millet flour which I learned how to make from David Gabbe, an awesome pacific northwest vegan cooking instructor. David's awesome vegan gluten free cookbook: David's Vegan Home Cooking: Over 250 delicious, easy, low-fat, gluten-free, & cholesterol-free recipes. I was thrilled to see that Kyra uses millet flour in many of the recipes!

MILLET: Millet is the little "bird seeds" that are actual quite tasty. The best way to use millet flour is grinding it yourself, fresh! This tip is not included in the book, so I wanted to share this with you: It's quite easy to make millet flour yourself if you have a high-speed blender (like a vita-mix). Get whole organic millet seeds (available at most health food stores in the bulk food grains dept. or on-line). Put the dry seed in the Vita-mix on high until it is completely chopped into a somewhat fine powder. You'll need 1 cup of millet seed to make 1 cup of flour. This is the best way to go, since millet tends to go rancid and making it yourself assures freshness. Also, millet provides a lot of protein and roughage in a healthy gluten-free diet. You can use this technique with some of the other flours used throughout this cookbook. It's all about experimenting (although I would stick closely to her recipes at first).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I have met Kyra on several occasions in person along with attending one of her presentations about her life and gluten-free bakery in Lake Oswego. She is an warm-hearted, enthusiast person that has overcome her auto-immune disorder thru a GF diet and become famous for her creative gluten-free creations on Cupcake Wars. In the preface of the book she describes her love of dessert recipes from childhood, her gluten-free journey which started 8 years ago, and her discovery and transition to gluten-free baking, and eventual her experiences on Cupcake Wars.

WEB SITE: Check out Kyra's Crave Bakery's new web site too: cravebakeshop dot com. She has awesome cupcake/cake mixes. You can order many of her fresh baked goodis on-line. If you live or visit the Portland Oregon Metropolitan area, you MUST visit her bake shop in Lake Oswego. You can check out the menu for the day on her web site (it changes daily), or join her facebook group where she posts the next day menu the afternoon before.

RESOURCE: Bob's Red Mill (based in Portland Oregon) is an excellend resource for gluten-free flours and ingredients needed for these recipes. You can purchase them on-line, in many stores around the US, and even on-line.

MY FIRST CREATION: Espresso Scones. They turned out fabulous!!! I was able to find all the ingredients for the recipe at my local natural food grocery store including white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch (flour), sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, espresso powder (instant espresso available in the coffee or international section of the store), butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract. And for the glaze, confectioners' (powdered) sugar, whole milk, and espresso powder. The instructions were very clear. The only adjustment I made, was I halfed (1/2) the espresso glaze. I don't like my scone quite that sweet, so they turned out perfect with this small adjustment.

PAPER VS. KINDLE: At first I thought I would just order the Kindle version so I would have it on my iphone and ipad, but after previewing the beautifully printed version, it is an absolute "must have" for only $3 more. I may even order both as having the Kindle version is really helpful when I'm in the store for a shopping list of ingredients.

ABOUT THE PRICE: Since this book is printed in China it is available for a very low price. We have outsourced so many working class jobs in this country and I was disappointed to find tucked away in the back that "Printed in China" text. It is however an amazing price for only $11.39 on Amazon. Even the regular retail price of $18.99 is an awesome price for a hard-bound, full-color, high-quality publication. I suppose printing this book would have costed the consumer at least twice the price...yet, still my only disappointment with the book. I really doubt the the author actually makes very much money off the book!

FINAL NOTE: A friend of mine adores the espresso cookie and is never able to get over to the Kyra's Bake Shop shop in Lake Oswego when they're baking them. I was really, really hoping that the espresso cookie recipe would be included in the book, but unfortunately, not :( my only other "issue" with the cookbook....really, I love this cookbook and hoping the sequel to the book will include the espresso cookie recipe along with her amazing garlic knots :)

ABOUT ME (YogaKat): I am not paid to endorse products nor do I work for Amazon. I started writing reviews on Amazon over a decade ago and continue to do so purely for pleasure. My speciality is yoga, meditation, and exercise videos, but I also enjoy reviewing books, especially cookbooks. I am a computer specialist, so I review lots of electronics and software/hardware products. If you have a book or product you'd like me to review on Amazon, contact me thru my profile on Amazon. Namaste'
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d7c2f00) out of 5 stars Beautiful need refining Nov. 8 2013
By Karen Rodgers - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Sweet cravings is a lovely book and thumbing through the pages opens many possibilities for those of us who love to bake and have found gluten free baking less than satisfactory. I want what I bake to be good enough that I crave that delicious cookie or cake or scone. I am looking for a taste and texture as close as possible to the glutinous baked goods of my past. I have baked the Cherry White Chocolate Scones which tasted delicious. The texture, however left a lot to be desired. They were sticky in the middle and quite flat with a rather gritty texture and aftertaste. After experimenting with the recipe, I discovered that sweet white rice flour was the culprit in the stickiness and the millet flour lends a slightly gritty texture and aftertaste. I changed the flour mix omitting sweet white rice, reducing the millet and the starches, and adding sorghum flour, brown rice flour, and a bit of cornstarch. I doubled the baking powder and reduced the x-gum (sensitive tummy, you understand). My new scones baked up light and golden with flavor and texture almost like their glutinous cousins. However, I should not have needed to experiment with a book recipe to get close. I trusted Kyra to do that for me, which is why I bought the book. I really do want to try more of the recipes, but need to take a pause for my waistline sake.
I believe Kyra tried to make her recipes accessible to home bakers by limiting the numbers of ingredients. Baking delicious snacks and desserts requires a mixture of flours and starches which all work together to give the finished product that crave factor. There is a lot of good info online from experienced bakers that is very helpful. Also, the ingredients lists on prepared packages can be insightful. That is where I found food grade glycerine listed as a moistening ingredient which I now use in my muffins and will try in these scones. I purchased my flours from Bob's Red Mill except white rice flour and brown rice flour which I bought from Authentic Foods because they finely milled and do not give a gritty texture to the finished product.
Some of the other recipes in the book may be delicious the way they are written, however many of them are reading heavy due to the proportions of heavy flours.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d7c415c) out of 5 stars Measurements out of whack? May 31 2014
By HilaryN - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So, I really want to love this cookbook. Maybe that's why I keep making the recipes. But, unfortunately, all the ones I've tried have been failures, and I think it may because the weight conversions in the recipes are simply wrong. For example "1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda/7 grams" however, the weight in reality is 13 grams. Similarly, the weight of 3/4 cup sugar is listed as 170g, when a quick internet search provides several sources (ie King Arthur Flour) which agree it is 150g, which is a pretty significant difference. In gluten free baking it is even more important than regular baking to measure by exact weight because you are trying to replicate a scientific process to mimic glutenous baking. I honestly think no one editing this cookbook made an effort to double check the weight conversions, so beware.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d7c4300) out of 5 stars Gorgeous Cookbook, Amazing, Gluten-free Recipes Sept. 12 2013
By FarmersMarketGirl - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Kyra Bussanich owns a gluten-free bakery in the Portland, Oregon area, and she's won cupcake wars twice while competing against glutenous cupcakes. Her baked goods are the real deal, folks. Classically trained as a pastry chef, she's parlayed that knowledge into creating gluten-free baked goods that taste just as, even better than anything I could eat before I found out I had celiac disease. When I visited her bakery my eyes nearly popped out of my head. All her recipe creations are amazingly delicious...and believe me we tried just about everything. Even my kids, who aren't gluten-free, loved every bite.

Because I live in Southern California, I don't have the luxury of visiting her bakery that often. However, I'm SO excited to have these recipes so I can bake them in my own kitchen! Her flour blends totally produce the tender texture and delicate crumb of cakes, crisp buttery pie crusts, and fluffy cream puffs that I loved so much before I gave up evil gluten. I'm not exaggerating when I say I think she's amazing and totally at the top of the game when it comes to gluten-free baking.

It's true that this cookbook is not for people who are looking for grain-free or sugar-free recipes. It's for people who want to re-create the flavors and textures of treats that have always been a part of their lives. Just because you're gluten-free doesn't mean your dessert has to taste like sand...or cardboard...or worse. I have served up her beautiful desserts to many different people, and unless I tell them, they have no idea they are gluten-free. To me that says everything.

If you or someone you love is gluten-free, you NEED this book.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d7c46cc) out of 5 stars many typos and omissions Dec 27 2013
By Barry Horwitz - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So far i have only tried 2 recipes from this book. The first one I tried was Bubbie's secret honey cake. This recipe was fairly simple to bake and, although it didn't look pretty, had a great taste and decent texture.

The next one I tried was not such a success. I tried the eggnog cupcakes today. The recipe is marked advanced, and I'm not an advanced baker, so I was taking a bit of a risk. The eggnog pastry cream turned out really thick and lumpy (after taking it out of the fridge), and the buttercream looked almost curdled. These could just be a result of my lack of experience... HOWEVER, there were also many obvious mistakes in the recipe. First of all, the recipe states that it makes 12 cupcakes, but then in the second paragraph, the recipe says to "line two 12-cup muffin pans." Turns out the recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but enough pastry cream and buttercream for 24 if not more... Next, when reading through the ingredients I noticed that the cake called for "1 1/2 cup/113 g butter" and the buttercream called for "1 1/2 cups/ 340g butter." Confused, I looked up conversions and found that 1 1/2 cups of butter is 340 g and 113g is just 1/2 cup. I figured that the 113 g must be correct for the cupcakes and used 1/2 instead of the stated 1 1/2 cups. Luckily this was right, and the cake part turned out just fine. But if someone was reading this a little less carefully, that's a HUGE amount of extra butter to add. The final glaring mistake I found was the worst. The recipe tells you to mix together the dry ingredients for the cake and set them aside as you cream the butter and sugar and other wet ingredients. After you've set these ingredients aside, they never make another appearance in the recipe. The recipe never tells you to add in the dry ingredients!! Fortunately, I wasn't just blindly following the recipe, and mixed the dry ingredients in when realized that they were missing. It's always a good idea to read through a whole recipe before you start, but the reader of a published book of recipes should not have to do this much extra work. Where was the editor?? That's a huge step to leave out.

There are still many recipes in this book that sound/look delicious and I will keep trying, but so far I'm pretty disappointed. When you get a cookbook like this, you expect that a few things might not turn out quite right the first time you try them, but you DON'T expect to have to edit the recipes as you go. I noticed another reviewer here saying that had to make several changes to the cherry white-chocolate scones...