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chocolate cake with summer fruits


I have a few appearances coming up, and if you’re around, please come by and say hi…

-August 5: Borders Books, New York City – 7pm (That’s this week!)

-September 25: La Cocotte, Paris – 3 to 5pm

You can find more information about them on my Schedule page. That’s all I have planned so if I’m not coming to where you are, hop on the plane and I’ll see you here—or there!

Recipe Use and Attribution

Food writer Laurie Colwin once said something along the lines of, “If it wasn’t for sharing of recipes, humans would not have survived.” Recipes are indeed, wonderful ways not just to ensure that humans will continue to inhabit the earth (although it remains to be seen for how long), and many of us have recipe boxes and notebooks full of cherished recipes.

As an author, I share recipes in my books and on the blog, both of which I’m very happy to do. And I’m flattered when people make my recipes. If you wish to use a recipe from the site or a book on your blog or site, you should ‘adapt’ the recipe, which means that you re-write it in your own words (not taking it word-for-word), adding your personal observations and tips for your readers.

If you have a food blog, your readers likely prefer to see your photos rather than someone else’s. Published books and blogs are copyrighted so recipes should not be reprinted word-for-word from either. If you reprint a recipe from a book verbatim, you should contact the publishing house and get permission. Otherwise you should adapt the recipe, and rewrite it in your own words, as newspapers and magazines do.

For further information and guidelines, you can check out the post I wrote on Recipe Attribution for Food Blog Alliance that goes into more detail.

iPhone App

I’ve been adding a blitz of recipes, videos, and a few others things to my iPhone app. It’s a free download and I’ll be adding more in the future, so head to the App Store and download it today. And watch for a new icon, too.

Social Media

In spite of my frequent anti-social behavior, you can find and follow me on Twitter and Facebook, as well as on my colorful Flickr page.

As much as I’d like to answer and respond to folks, I only have ten fingers (and one puny brain…), so most of my ramblings are exit-only. But I love hearing from you and do my best to keep on top of everything that’s happening.


I’ve been anxious to make additional videos for the site since the first one we did a few months back, where the kind folks in Paris were happy to give their opinion of my chocolate chip cookies. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a videographer (plus I can’t figure out how to be in front and behind the camera at the same time), but hopefully they will be more videos on the site in the future.

In the meantime, I’ve done videos for two websites that I’m fond of—




I get lots of questions and I apologize for not being able to answer them all. If you have a question about a post or a recipe on the site, if you leave the question at that post, I answer them there, which I prefer since others may have a similar question and it helps others when I answer in the comments rather than by e-mail.

Many answers can be found at my FAQ page, too, which I update regularly.

Behind-the-Scenes Blog Stuff

I’m in the process of making a big switch with the blog (yikes!), which will be happening sometime later this month. So you might notice some bumps and bruises as you cruise around the site but not to worry; hopefully all will go off without a hitch.

There will probably be a few changes to the site, including a revamp of my Recipes page. A number of you have inquired about adding a print option to the site, and to recipes. In order to do that, I’d have to go back and re-format 1041 entries. And that probably sounds as fun to you as it does to me.

There are ‘print on demand’ sites, such as Print What You Like, as well as others, that allow you to, well…print what you like. (Duh!) So you can use one if there’s something you’d like printed out. Unless you have a few spare weeks to reformat my blog posts.

If there’s any features you’d like to see added to the site, let me know in the comments section.

Hope you’re all having a good summer!



    • Jan

    Thanks enormement for all that you share with us! Enjoy the Big Apple!

    • Phoo-d

    I was so excited to see that you’ll be in NY over the weekend of BlogHer. I’m going to be in town and will plan on stopping by your Border’s signing. Looking forward to it!

    • Paris Paul

    Looking forward to seeing you in September. Wish all of us who are staying behind to hold down “le fort” some luck!

    • Kelly-Jane

    Thanks you for that, especially the recipe sharing bit. Hope you enjoy your apperances.

    • Dani

    Bonnes vacances to you too! And merci mille fois for all the work you put into your blog, cookbooks, etc.

    I’m a huge fan which can be measured by my purchases of the summer: an ice cream maker and a Canon Rebel!! I’m breaking in the new ice cream maker with my all-time favorite, mint chocolate chip ice cream. Fingers crossed that it will turn out.

    • jonquil

    have you given thought to a youtube channel?

    • ElleCee

    Oh no! I’m actually going to be in Paris for 5 weeks starting mid September but but September 25th I’ll be in Krakow for the weekend! Damn! :(

    • korovka

    Oh! I’m actually flying to NYC on the 5th from Paris (basically going home for vacation since I’m an expat) on an early flight, I’m so excited to finally make an event! And now I can get the book, get it signed and leave it in NYC until I’m repatriated in December (no oven in Paris…blah). So you may see an over-eager jetlagged 25 year old that day…

    • Shari

    David, if you’re going to the huge effort to revamp your blog, you really, really need to reformat your recipes for printing, despite all the time and effort it will take. I know that I visit and print recipes from numerous websites, and for that reason, I hit that website a lot more often than other blogs that I know I can’t easily print a recipe. The advertisers are very interested in how many hits your blog receives aren’t they? If you have printable recipes, you will get a lot more hits, believe me. Listen to me now, and believe me later. (You must say that in an Austrian accent).

    • David

    Hi Shari: It is something that I’ve given very long consideration to. And I’ve spoken with several web developers about adding the option. It’s just that I don’t have the time to spend going back through each and every post and reformatting them. The whole thing would take me weeks and the idea just makes me bleary just thinking about it. I wish I had more time to do it all..

    The other reason is that I will often go back and adjust or tweak a recipe on the site, making changes or whatever. And unlike books, I like the fact that the site allows me to do that.

    • georgie

    Can’t think of any improvements to your blog other than the ones mentioned. Except it sure would be nice to click on some of the photos and instantly have the real dessert delivered to my door.

    • kim

    David, if you’re updating the site there are several other platforms that make printer-savvy intuitive. I use Squarespace, and my print-friendly views are shockingly nice. They’re automatically generated and strip out everything unnecessary. I don’t know if you’re migrating the whole site or just updating your style, but if you’re open to moving from MT they will hold your hand through the migration–they do this for big-name and smaller sites.

    • kim

    Shoot, I had the page open for a while and didn’t see your response to Shari :) Sorry!

    • Jeremy

    Can you believe it, my flight was changed to Thursday night for my trip, so I have to miss seeing you again!!!! When are you coming back to NYC???

    • Heena

    Your article on Recipe Attribution really helped answer a lot of my questions when I started my blog. I love your recipes. In fact, I just adapted your Easiest Chocolate Ice Cream (added cream, no banana, Amaretto) and it was wonderful!! For someone who doesn’t own an ice cream maker [ :( ] and is too lazy to blend, blend, blend every few hours, this was heaven-sent. So thank you!!

    • kayenne


    not that i am pushing it… but if a printer-friendly option is something that you’d like, you could also consider outsourcing the job. it won’t be as costly if you consider a freelancer – or students looking for extra income, instead of hiring a company.

    as for myself, i used to copy and paste the required recipe into a new word document and print from there. lately though, i would just jot down the ingredient list into an index card and make a few bullet notes for procedures. makes it handy to file as well if it is something that i would like to make again.

    btw, what are you using for your blog now? and where are you switching to?

    thanks! Good luck!

    • Aunt LoLo

    Thank you so much for clearing up the “right” way to re-print recipes on our own blogs. I’m all for original content…but if I make a great recipe, and add my own twist to it, it’s nice to know the Correct way to share my version of the recipe! Thank you.

    • Annie

    I enjoy and use your site so very often, and I’m grateful that you are here in the land of food blogs. I find your site very easy to use, and, mostly, intuitive. Yet there is so much information I think I’ll never read all that I want to. :) And will certainly never have enough time to make all of the recipes I bookmark (you’ve got your own bookmark folder in my browser!).

    And I’m sad to see that your next Paris appearance is not until September 25! I lam only there until the 16th…. Perhaps in San Francisco again one day.

    • lee

    Will there be an app for android?

    • Dani

    I’m just wondering if I’m missing something about the requests for printable recipes…
    Isn’t it easy enough to copy & paste into a word document? I actually prefer this as I can reformat the recipe, for example, us a larger font or fit it to one page or delete some of the commentary that I don’t need in the actual recipe.

    • fotographiafoodie

    Thanks for the comment on the recipe sharing bit. And I didn’t know you had an app, I’ll have to download it!

    • Dina Avila

    Ever plan on coming to Portland, Oregon?

    • Cindi

    Hi, David-
    I met you at the Context Travel dinner back in May. Love your books, love your blog. Words to live by: thank you (though don’t expect it), I was wrong, I’m sorry. Add to that, I GOT THE RECIPE FROM DAVID LEBOVITZ!! Simple common courtesy. Safe travels to New York!

    • molly

    How timely. Just stopped by to mention a) made your ginger cake last week and it was, hands down, The Best Ever. I’ve made dozens. Really. Just amazingly good. And b) I posted an adapted version. We did make changes, to ingredients and copy, and I think it fits the excellent directions you cite above.

    Anyway, it’s pretty much vaulted into family tradition, effective last week. Many thanks.

    • Michael

    David, Thank you for making this post. I’m a blogger and not a food developer or creative scientist. But so old guy that like to take recipes, and do my own little kick to them. When I post a recipe I always post the recipe author ( if I know who it is) and I rewrite the recipe so that it makes since to me. and I try very hard to do my own photography when my camera is working. So I can understand where your coming from. But I if possible try to do a link to where I got the recipe from. I also put in the way the author states the recipe, then I add my notes to how I changed the recipe and why. Of course it doesn’t always happen that way. But I do try and make it that way as much as possible. Thank you for this post on sharing recipes.
    Michael Long (Michael’s Kitchen)

    • Cyndy

    I agree with the people who say it is easy to copy and paste a recipe into a word doc for printing. I do that all the time. But I’m wondering… can you just start now and make your future recipes printable from here on out? You wouldn’t have to go back and do them all, n’est-ce pas?

    I only discovered your blog a year ago. I love to go through ones I haven’t read. Makes a fun time for a rainy day!

    • Rosarie

    Shari: On the issue of ease of printing — it’s easy enough to copy the recipe text and past it into a text, word, or open office document and print it from there.

    David: I totally understand not wanting to do the mind-numbing work of reformatting all those lovely recipes.

    Loving this blog since I stumbled across it in the course of looking for gelato and sorbet recipes while contemplating purchasing an ice cream maker (purchased). Coincidentally, browsing in my library’s new book stacks, I pulled your new book off the shelf (& as I was checking it out, someone else was putting it on hold!)
    I promptly made the lemon frozen yoghurt, which has convinced me that i need to get your book now! The ginger cake is also fantastic; next up, Racines cake, then chocolate gelato. My 14-year old son has been helping select recipes & we’ve been working together in the kitchen as well as enjoying the results!

    We especially appreciate the clarity of flavor that comes out when things aren’t overly sweet.

    missing Paris, enjoying the glimpses of daily life, recipes, and reflections on food!

    • Marty Thompson

    A big DITTO to the comments regarding the addition of a print option for your recipes. I’m old and creaky with handwriting that looks like a catastrophic EKG, so it’s no small feat for me to copy by hand the recipes from your blog. Thanks.

    • David

    lee: Since I don’t have an Android, I wouldn’t be able to see what the app looked like so I can’t make one without a phone. If anyone has any connections that can get me one, I’d love to do it. But cell phone plans are extremely expensive in France (the most expensive in Europe) so I can’t get both, unfortunately.

    Cyndy: I thought about that. But then people would be going back into the Recipe archive, and wonder why (and write to me) asking why those recipes aren’t in a printable format. So I think it’s best to keep it all the same and folks that want to print out the recipe(s), can cut and paste. But thanks for the suggestion.

    georgie: Now that would be really time-consuming ; )

    • MJ

    Adding hooray for your tips on copying recipes and photos (that is NOT just copying them, and with photos, getting permission first!) – hope it is heeded. Second, thanks for your letting us readers know you’ll be tweaking the site, and all patience is here for those of us who know what that can entail.

    The print version of the recipes is a non-issue to me (I’ve been online since before there was www anything, so maybe I’m just adaptable…sort of – I’ll probably never twitter!). Cut and paste is so basic and one click more than the print version…don’t see the big deal, and as one reader said, it’s easier to adapt that way (and I usually am looking for ‘a’ recipe of something and end up with six and combining some things from a few anyway…

    Have fun in New York…air conditioning is a beautiful thing!

    • Sasha

    I love your blog and not being able to print recipes easily would never make me visit it less. It’s not that hard to select, copy, paste into another app, print.

    • christina brandon

    You should take a day or two and head down to The Eastern Shore for some wonderful crabmeat and incomparable oysters where you are “in country”. Can’t get that anywhere else….plus a tomato pie perhaps…

    • Leslie

    so wonderful to have you quote Laurie Colwin. I treasure her “”Home Cooking”, but loved her novels, too. Very much missed, and with your comment NOT forgotten.

    • shelleyorama

    @georgie: if you ever run for supreme ruler of the universe, I will vote for you. Any universe containing instant clickable dessert is a universe I want to live in.

    @DL, as a cut+paste monster, I am pretty well versed in the many and varied frustrations of borrowing and reformatting text.

    Adding a print option wouldn’t add value for cut+paste me, as long as you continue to situate your recipes as carefully as you have been doing all along [i.e., NOT widely dispersed among images, NOT thoroughly studded with active links]. A-OK as is, thanks!

    I cut+paste b/c I like being paperless. I drag my laptop into the kitchen to follow recipes using the zoom function. Other portable folks might try this if they haven’t already. Sometimes I daydream about a cabinet-mounted recipe iPad. Sigh.

    But not everyone is equipped to go paperless. Marty makes a good point, and is funny to boot — catastrophic EKG, too funny XD. The student hire idea is a good one, or perhaps you could take it out in trade. Ice cream for data entry?

    • astheroshe

    Thanks soo much for the “”adapted”” info ! I had no idea being a new blogger..Just downloaded your app :) and i always copy and paste all your Paris info for my next visit..Mille Merci!

    • Sunshine

    Thank you for the reminder regarding recipe attribution. I’ve just started a food blog and I wasn’t sure how to proceed with using other’s recipes.

    • Jessica

    I’m looking forward to seeing these changes.
    But more importantly, where can I find the recipe for that delicious looking chocolate cake in the picture? Please tell me I’ll be able to find all the ingredients in India… :)

    • David

    That recipe is Gâteau Thérèse and is from my book, The Sweet Life in Paris. The ingredients are pretty simple: chocolate, butter, flour and eggs.

    • Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

    If you’re revamping your blog; wondering if adding the recipe print piece moving forward might be a good idea though; I didn’t get it added to my blog until after I had done a lot of posts and so far have never heard mention of the older ones being an issue. I do revise one if I ever revisit or know it’s going to be looked at for some reason so it’s a couple here and there. Not perfect but better than nothing. I am a web developer and have an easy solution for that with WordPress; any chance that’s part of your plan?

    I’m sure I could find a whole bunch of over eager dying to get noticed food bloggers who would most likely help revamp old posts with the promise of, well, attribution!

    But even without; my practice has always been with your and other sites to copy text, paste into Notepad (I’m a PC) and then print. Strips out pictures and colored text so a better option than using document software like MS Word and really, about 5 seconds of time. That print function might be most helpful for readers who still think you find a website by putting the address in Google!

    • Cyndy

    Barbara, Tell us more, please! I have Notepad too. Can you just copy everything in one fell swoop and have the pictures disappear when you paste/print? Don’t need it for David’s site, but that would be great for other sites. I’ve always used MS Word and have to copy and paste around the pictures.

    • Joan Bedard

    I love your blog and have The Sweet Life in Paris (hilarious and informative) and Ready for Dessert.Would you ever consider doing a cooking show?

    • Rijk

    I am flying to New York on the 7th and intend to go to Borders the same afternoon to get “Ready for Dessert” and your Paris book. And now I read you will be there on a signing session on the 5th. Bad luck. 2 days late. On the other hand Borders will have plenty of your books on the shelves I presume? Maybe you would be so nice to sign them on the flight back to Europe?

    It might be possible to purchase copies of the books from Border’s and I can sign them, and they can hold them for you. You can call the store and see if they offer that service. Thanks! -dl

    • shelleyorama

    One quick thought: I really enjoy the “one year ago” “two years ago” “three years ago” option on smittenkitchen. as a doorway to archives, it has the fun of a random search, yet targets seasonally appropriate recipes. I also like sites that allow one to click on adjacent archived posts, as yours does (thanks!).

    I like happenstance functions like these. they take me outside my own search habits and always seem to build new cooking habits/enthusiasms. Also, it’s a good way to honour your extensive archive.

    • nancy halpern

    so sorry to miss you in nyc! the one night i’m away and won’t be able to thank you – am a big fan (also of katie parla in rome) and couldn’t finish the sweet life since life would not have been as sweet when i was finished.
    and the recommendation of chez dumonet josephine (is that right?) – life without their duck confit is not worth living.

    since you have a iphone app….begging you for an ipad one….

    • Chef Sue

    My first coment after reading this WONDERFUL blog for a while!

    If you want to print a recipe, highlight the text, copy, then paste into a Word document and print from there. So easy!

    • Lucia

    Hi David – For your Borders signing, are you also autographing copies of the Perfect Scoop, too?

    • Hannah

    Actively, adamently pouting. Your New York Borders appearance is on the one night I already have plans this week – the Arcade Fire concert at MSG.


    • David

    Lucia: I believe they will have copies of The Perfect Scoop available. But you can call the store and confirm if you wish. Thanks!

    • Lisa Bergtraum

    David, as luck would have it my office isn’t far from that Borders store. So I will definitely stop in tonight during my break (yes, I work nights, unfortunately) to attend your reading. Hope you’re having a great time in NYC.
    I will have to re-read your entry about recipe attribution–it’s an important subject! (Hey you might remember me–I’m the admirer of yours who noticed an award-winning recipe 2 years ago in Southern Living magazine, which was an almost verbatim plagiarism of your roasted banana ice cream. I wonder whether that was ever resolved in a satisfactory way? Hope so.)
    Must tell you too how much I appreciate your recipes (and keep revisiting them), your superb blog… I’ve read your books with great pleasure (including the wonderful Paris memoir) and look forward to grabbing the new book tonight!
    Best always,
    Lisa Bergtraum

    • Nari

    David, I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! I would love to get your iPhone app, but I don’t have an iPhone so that’s that. I have tried many recipes, mostly dessert so far, and found them to be excellent! :-) And I can’t wait to go back to Paris and try more of your recommendations. Thanks for all your time and effort!!!

    • Lisa Bergtraum

    David, I thoroughly enjoyed your appearance tonight at Borders–you’re a natural raconteur and as charming in person as in print/on webpage (or even more so). I hope the rest of your visit to NYC is delightful. A trip to Dinosaur Barbecue might be worth it! Just take the 1 train to 125th, veer west and north a couple of blocks. And by the way, that’s the west side — while Target is in East Harlem (you mentioned wanting to go).

    This may sound crazy to suggest but I happen to be off from work tomorrow and would be happy to escort you to Dinosaur (about 20 blocks uptown from where I live). But I know you have many fans and friends, and assume they’re eager to ensure you sample the best of NYC’s culinary treats. By the way, Covo is also an excellent restaurant a block or two north of Dinosaur. Their calamari, among other things, is the best I’ve ever had–no calamari ever came close to that in flavor and tenderness… and perfect, slightly charred texture… So you’ve been to Porchetta; yes, Hill Country too would be worth your while.

    Sorry I eventually had to slip away tonight to head back to work–I would’ve loved to say hi and have you sign my book. It looks terrific! Hearing the women alongside me pondering its selections aloud, I felt compelled to recommend the ginger cake recipe — which I tried recently with great success.

    Thanks again! Bravissimo! and if you ever do move to NYC, I think you’ll find a loving instant extended-family…

    Lisa Bergtraum

    • Lisa Bergtraum

    P.S. By some strange coincidence, my office was abuzz today with discussions of black-and-white cookies. Folks raved about Glaser’s (venerable) Bakery on the Upper East Side. They pointed me to a NY Times article about the place, including a recipe here:
    Wonder what you’d think of them. I hear they’re now closed til mid-August, sadly. (Following the French style of long vacation perhaps?)
    Can’t wait to try your recipe for black and whites. And I also have the book by George Greenstein, whom you mentioned, with his “wine loaf” version, so may try that too!
    Feeling so very inspired after tonight, and just looking at the photos in your book.

    • Melissa in Austin

    Dear David,
    I need to confess to you that I won our neighborhood’s Ice Cream taste-off with your recipe for Salted Butter Caramel ice cream. I told everyone that my friend in Paris gave me the recipe. I hope you don’t mind, and I do consider you my internet friend.
    I did have to throw out my first batch of caramel – you are SO right, much easier to start over than risk ruining your base – but it was SUBLIME and I have the coveted gold spray-painted ice cream scoop to prove it. In fact, your recipe even beat out a really fine Hill Country Peach Ice Cream – and her husband drove out that morning to get the peaches.
    Thanks for the bragging rights….

    • Candice

    Last night I baked your Zucchine Cake w/ Crunchy Lemon Glaze for my book club gathering tonight. Only the glaze succeeded. I should have known when my “batter” could not be “scraped” but had to be poured into the bundt pan, but I persisted. Even though I live in Albuquerque, NM, I cannot blame the altitude. The proportions seemed wrong — a cup of olive oil to 2 cups flour , 1 cup toasted almonds + the rest of the ingredients. Was there a typo? It did form a cake, but did not rise very much, stuck to the greased pan after, and is altogether too gooey to hold itself up. Tasty but gooey. The glaze is terrific. Where did I or the recipe go wrong? What was I missing?
    P.S. I love your column and usually your recipes and love Paris and your take on it. Many thanks for your insights and humor. Now, about that cake….

    A number of people have had success with this recipe, photo here, so am not sure where you went wrong. But in general, high-altitude baking requires converting recipes and leavenings. That’s not my specialty, so can’t advise but that could possible have been the issue. The one I made in my post, Zucchini Cake, came out fine. -dl


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