I hope you are all keeping well. If you haven’t caught up with my latest post with my recipe for Traditional Shortbread, you can read it here!
In today’s post, I want to share with you my top 5 novels inspired by baking!
Baking is a hobby close to many people’s hearts so it is no surprise that many authors have been inspired to write stories about its healing and therapeutic properties. Whether you’re looking for a spoonful of escapism to another sugar-coated world, or you want to taste a slice of a life beyond your own, these 5 novels will take you on an adventure inspired the magic powers of baking.
Here’s my personal pick that I wanted to share with you! The books I have chosen are available to buy from your favourite bookshop or online – whether as a hard or digital copy. For each novel, I have given you a flavour of the book with a quote, a short description of the story, as well as its title, author and publisher.
To accompany this post, here is my cover of ‘What Baking Can Do,’ written by Sara Bareilles for Broadway musical Waitress, which explores the importance of baking and what it can do for our lives, if we let it.
Without further ado, in no particular order, here are my Top 5 novels inspired by baking…
TOP 5 NOVELS INSPIRED BY BAKING
“Baking is a means of cherishing loved ones. Of developing an enjoyable, desirable skill. Baking can introduce one to new flavours and cultures. It can educate and open up a whole new world.”
Copyright Sarah Vaughan 2014/Published by Hodder and Stoughton
- Great for fans of the Great British Bake Off
- Written in two separate times – 1960s and 2010s
- A baking contest telling the stories of why we bake
This book is the perfect escape to a world of baking. It tells the story of five bakers who, for different reasons, decide to sign up to the ‘Search of the New Mrs Eaden’ a baking competition inspired by the life and work of Kathleen Eaden, a fictional renowned cookery writer. As the contest progresses, we discover the stories behind why each of the contestants bakes, from feeling isolated with a troublesome toddler, to being trapped in a loveless marriage, in parallel with an unfolding story of Kathleen’s life – a seemingly perfect housewife with the inability to conceive a family of her own. It explores whether anyone’s life is really as perfect as it seems on the outside.
“Cherry’s bakery was a safe haven, a place where people could forget their troubles for an hour or two. And when their bad feelings latched back onto them as they left, Cherry noticed that their troubles seemed a little smaller than before.”
Copyright Carrie Hope Fletcher 2017/Published by Little Brown
- Cosy but thought provoking
- How baking can affect our feelings with a little magic
- Mental health told through magic realism
This story follows the magic baking talent of Cherry, who has the ability to see the feelings that people have, from loneliness to anxiety, and bakes to change how people feel, magically and literally. She visits towns on her ‘Flour Power Tour’ to bake the feelings that change how people feel and what they need. However, her powers are put in jeopardy as she meets her nemesis in Chase, who has powers similar to hers but uses them for evil, not good. Getting in trouble with the Authorities who are responsible for keeping people with powers like theirs in check isn’t part of Cherry’s plan, but will the consequences change how she views her own feelings forever?
“From the outside, the shop looked like nothing at all, a tiny, discreet storefront leading to a selling space the size of somebody’s front room. At the moment, it was empty, just glass display cases polished clear, standing to attention. The streetlights outside cast an orange glow from their wrought iron posts through the front windows, and I could make out an old polished wooden floor and shelving filled with boxes behind the cabinets. Over everything lay a layer of scent, a heavy deep smell of dark, dense chocolate, thick as tobacco smoke. It was as if it were rubbed into the wood, used as varnish on the floor, as if the whole building were steeped in it.”
Copyright Jenny Colgan 2013/Published by Spere
- Immersion in Parisian life
- Beautiful love stories – young and old
- A glimpse inside the world of artisan chocolate making
As the title suggests, this book tells the story of the life of a chocolate shop in Paris. After a freak accident at work in a British commercial chocolate factory, Anna Trent is confined to hospital, where by chance she meets an old teacher from school, Claire, who teaches her French, to pass the time. She helps Anna to out-grow her small town life by escaping to Paris to a world of artisan chocolate making. The different love stories of Anna and Claire are played out decades apart, giving a unique perspective on Paris, and showing how true love never does die away.
“So what if I didn’t exactly cut an inspiring figure for Poppy? I was a farmer’s wife and a mum, with a passion for pastry. I’d just have to find other ways to be role model for her, being a good person, warm-hearted and kind. I’d have more hope of achieving that than by wowing her with my achievements outside the home.”
Copyright Cathy Bramley 2018/Published by Corgi
- Glimpses of life on a working farm
- Inspiring story of women in business
- Beautiful description of the countryside
Hetty is a farmers wife from Cumbria who is the centre of her farming family’s universe, always having the answer to any problem, but with no time to herself. Hetty’s Farmhouse Bakery tells what happens when her go-getting entrepreneurial sister-in-law asks her a favour to bake some of her famous pies for the Sunnybank Farm Shop. When Hetty is caught up in the whirlwind search for the Best British produce competition, she is torn by her home life and the prospect of a new business of her own. Now she has to overcome her uncertainty and believe that she could become the role model she has always wanted to be for her daughter.
“For over ten years now, Luca has run the Food of Love Cookery School. His guests come from all over the world to make his nonna’s dishes, spiced with saffron and cinnamon or flavoured with chocolate that Favio is famous for. Luca teaches them all the most important things: how to tell good olive oil from bad; how to know fake gelato from the real thing.”
Copyright Nicky Pellegrino 2014/Published by Orion
- A glimpse into Sicilian culture and food
- 4 women come together over creating food together
- How food can change people’s lives
Inspired by his nonna’s love for cooking, Luca Amore, sets up the Food of Love cookery school in the Sicilian town of Favio. We join four guests who come to stay to learn about love, life and most importantly, the importance of good quality ingredients and eating good food. Each guest has a different reason for taking the trip and as they get to know each other through exploring the local area, the story explores what really makes you happy and how learning to love enriches all our lives, whatever our past.
Thank you for popping by my blog today for my Top 5 Novel inspired by Baking. Are there any favourites that you would add to my list? I would love to hear any of your book picks, so I could enjoy them myself!
See you next time, for another tuneful baking post, but in the meantime,
English Singing Baker x