The scrumptious-looking chocolate-peanut butter pretzel layer cake on the cover of Joy Wilson’s cookbook beckoned. But I kept putting the book aside. It’s been so hot, I didn’t even want to consider turning on the oven.

Then, on one of those awful, near 100-degree days, I realized the cookbook by the blogger behind is more than pancakes, pie and pretzel-covered cake. It features an entire chapter devoted to ice cream and other frozen treats. In no time at all, I was happily cooling off with easy-to-make Honey-and-Pistachio Frozen Yogurt.

Before our temps consistently dip below 80 degrees, I also want to try her recipes for creamy milk chocolate pops and French vanilla bean ice cream. Then, I’ll begin baking my way through “Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats.”

A California native who moved to New Orleans in 2014, Wilson is a self-taught baker who launched her blog in 2008 out of her passion for brownies and butter.

She says the recipes in her book “are designed to make you look like a hero at the brunch table or neighborhood potluck.” More than that, she wants the recipes to feel special and indulgent, she writes.

The book begins with brunch recipes, from fresh raspberry-honey butter and roasted-potato breakfast nachos to mango-watermelon tequila sunrise and dirty chai lattes.

Next come recipes for cookies, brownies and bars; pies, crumbles and cobblers; and layer cakes, cupcakes and skillet cakes. Wilson also offers lots of baking tips, including how to get a cake out of pan and how to frost it, how to make a perfect buttermilk pie crust and plenty of ideas for ice cream toppings.

The recipes, written in a clear, concise style, are illustrated with full-color photos.

Home bakers won’t be disappointed — there’s plenty of delicious dessert options in “Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence” to entice them into the kitchen.

Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier