Bodega Bakes

Recipes for Sweets and Treats Inspired by My Corner Store

By Paola Velez (Author), Christina Tosi (Foreword)


Pub Date 10/1/2024

ISBN 9781454952374

Format Hardcover



Bodega Bakes

Recipes for Sweets and Treats Inspired by My Corner Store

by Paola Velez, Christina Tosi

A baking book bursting with joy that will have you hightailing it to the oven—and planning a trip to your local corner store.

Growing up in the Bronx, Paola Velez’s happy place was the bodega, a unique world full of color and flavor where the shelves were stocked with everything from M&M’s to Muenster cheese to majarete (Caribbean corn pudding)—and, of course, its own cat (IYKYK). Before she was the James Beard–nominated chef, Cherry Bombe cover girl, social media darling, and cofounder of the grassroots social action network, Bakers Against Racism, Paola was a bodega kid with a taste for Warheads, Hostess cupcakes, ice pops, and Malta soda.  

Paola’s debut cookbook, inspired by these treasures and other ingredients available at corner stores everywhere, is a love letter to both her Dominican heritage and her New York City roots; its more than 100 recipes burst with distinctive flavors, inviting you to enjoy new takes on her childhood favorites and yours. Paola’s combination of classical training and self-taught pastry skills means her recipes are accessible no matter your skill level. She’ll be your hype girl through more ambitious projects (you can make a turnover—and a Guava and Cheese one at that), as well as more “set it and forget it” treats, like her Maria Cookie Icebox Cake. Whatever you do, don’t sleep on her signature Thick’ems—giant cookies that are somehow crunchy and gooey—the most requested recipe in Paola’s repertoire and the recipe that made her internet famous, which she shares here for the very first time here. With renditions of traditional Caribbean desserts like Pineapple Empanadillas and Golden Rum Cake alongside twists on classic American treats like sticky buns and brownies, Paola’s unique recipes and infectious positive spirit will help you recreate the magic of the bodega at home—BYO cat.

Bodega Bakes is a great title, but The Book of Joy would be even more accurate. There’s so much happiness packed between these covers! So much of Paola’s heart, soul, spirit, spunk, and boundless talent. Even before you make your first Thick’em, Plantain Sticky Bun, or Brooklyn Black & White Semifrio, you’ll find yourself delighted to be in her sweet world.”
—Dorie Greenspan, New York Times bestselling author of Baking with Dorie

Bodega Bakes is filled with fanciful, creative recipes and photos that are a treat for all the senses. Visually dazzling and with taste combinations that honor Paola’s Dominican heritage as well as the humble corner store of New Yorkers, this is a beautiful book to enjoy and inspire.”
—Jacques Pépin, chef, culinary instructor, and television personality 
“It’s been a true delight following Paola’s journey to the creation of this wildly beautiful cookbook. Her brilliant, deeply personal desserts defy tradition and bring so much joy to those among us lucky to have had the chance to taste them. Now everyone can serve themselves an extra-big slice. Bodega Bakes overflows with imagination, purpose, and indulgence, and I can’t get enough!”
—Gail Simmons, food expert, tv host, and author of Bringing It Home
“This book is filled with recipes that I can’t wait to make over and over again! It’s a love story of family and community, blending flavors from childhood memories with classic techniques in an approachable and creative way. Paola’s signature style of baking shines bright on every page and opens up our hearts and minds to be more accepting of cultures that may not be our own. She is a true original—baking a difference every day!”
 —Cheryl Day, author of Cheryl Day’s Treasury of Southern Baking 
“Growing up in Queens, New York, corner stores (aka bodegas) were a neighborhood’s oasis. They were filled with the necessities that we needed because our neighborhoods didn’t have access to a variety of amenities like other communities. From socks and batteries to pickled pig’s feet in jars and cold cut sandwiches, my bodega helped to inform my spending power and shape my palate. This love letter to the Bronx, in all its Latina flair, is the cookbook my inner-city child has been waiting for. Thank you, Paola.”
—Mashama Bailey, James Beard Award–winning chef
Bodega Bakes is like baking in the kitchen with Paola, live and in Technicolor. It screams ‘Git in there, trust yourself, and have FUN!’ It’s a total vibe.”
—Carla Hall, chef, cookbook author, and television personality


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Paola Velez is a James Beard Award-nominated pastry chef who was raised in New York City and the Dominican Republic. She is the cofounder of Bakers Against Racism, is the founder of the pop-up dining series Doña Dona and Dōekï Dōekï, and is the former executive pastry chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant Maydan in Washington, DC. She was named Food & Wine’s best new chef and Cherry Bombe’s “Person of the Year” in 2021, and currently serves as a culinary diplomat for the United States. She lives in Washington, DC.

Title Details

Pages 288 pages, 100 color photos

Trim 8 x 10 x 0 Inches

Territories World

Category Cookbooks, Food & Drink

Carton Quantity 12