I’ve always had a sweet-tooth. And sometimes, there’s nothing that satisfies a sweet-tooth quite like a nice slice of cake. The book on this list may or may not be about cake. And they may or may not be sweet. But, each of these books has one thing in common: cake in the title. You may find some of the stories to be a bit more mouthwatering than others, but these engaging and thought-provoking tales will hopefully leave you hungry for more! Just like with desserts, if one’s not quite to your taste, there are plenty of other flavors to choose from!
Black Cake (Charmaine Wilkerson)
In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage and themselves.
Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?
Rabbit Cake (Annie Hartnett)
Elvis Babbit has a head for the facts: she knows that science has proved yellow to be the happiest color, she knows that a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds and that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother who recently drowned while sleepwalking, and that this grief should last for about 18 months. But, there are things that Elvis doesn’t know, like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother’s silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother’s death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (Aimee Bender)
On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother–her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother–tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.
The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden–her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.
Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake (Alexis J. Hall)
Following the recipe is the key to a successful bake. Rosaline Palmer has always lived by those rules–well, except for when she dropped out of college to raise her daughter, Amelie. Now, with a paycheck as useful as greaseproof paper and a house crumbling faster than biscuits in tea, she’s teetering on the edge of financial disaster. But where there’s a whisk there’s a way . . . and Rosaline has just landed a spot on the nation’s most beloved baking show.
Winning the prize money would give her daughter the life she deserves–and Rosaline is determined to stick to the instructions. However, more than collapsing trifles stand between Rosaline and sweet, sweet victory. Suave, well-educated, and parent-approved Alain Pope knows all the right moves to sweep her off her feet, but it’s shy electrician Harry Dobson who makes Rosaline question her long-held beliefs–about herself, her family, and her desires.
There’s Cake in My Future (Kim Gruenenfelder)
After listening to her closest friends’ latest travails in love, parenting, and careers, superstitious bride-to-be Nic believes she has the perfect recipe for everyone’s happiness: a bridal shower “cake pull” in which each ribboned silver charm planted in her cake will bring its recipient the magical assistance she needs to change her destiny. Mel, still ringless after dating the same man for six years, deserves the engagement ring charm. The red hot chili pepper would be perfect for Seema, who is in love with her best male friend Scott, but can’t seem to make their relationship more than platonic. And recently laid off journalist Nic wants the shovel, which symbolizes hard work, to help her get her career back on track. Nic does everything she can to control who gets which silver keepsake – as well as the future it represents. But when the charmed cake is mysteriously shifted from the place settings Nic arranged around it, no one gets the charm she chose for them. And when the other party guests’ fortunes begin coming true, Mel, Seema, and Nic can’t help but wonder…. Is the cake trying to tell them something?