The Great British Bake Off has a cult following for a reason, and it’s not just the elusive approval of the Paul Hollywood handshake that we all secretly wish for. What’s unique about GBBO is the spirit of camaraderie that is evident among the cast every season. No matter the number of soggy bottoms a contestant’s baking confections produce, nothing stops fellow bakers from supporting and cheering one another on. During a time when television features endless backstabbing and competition, it’s heartwarming to see people cheer one another on as they make gorgeous cakes, biscuits, and breads. If you could use more sugar-coated goodness in your life, make sure to check out these five books.
What goes together better than baking and romance? Nothing if you ask Henry Bird and Alice Fevronia, BGGO’s first ever contestant romance! If you’re inspired to have a taste of a good foodie romance, add The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert to your reading list. The novel follows the lives of chef Lou and food critic Al as a chance meeting and mistaken identity add up to a recipe for romance.
A chance meeting between talented chef Luella and British transplant Al leads to a budding romance. But when Luella discovers her new paramour is the writer behind the anonymous food column whose scathing review of her cooking left her restaurant facing closure, can their relationship survive? A charming tale of mistaken identity and unlikely love, this delightful tale will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.
An extra dollop of baking and romance never hurt anyone and is definitely good for the soul. In Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper, you’ll leave behind the scrummy baking of England and head to the American South to meet two best friends (one in love with the other since high school) as they start over fresh and bake up a happily ever after.
A young widow returns to Lake Sackett, Georgia to face the ghosts of her past—and decide if she’s ready to take another chance on love—in the third sparkling Southern Eclectic novel that “goes down as easy as honey on a deep-fried Twinkie” (Library Journal, on Sweet Tea and Sympathy).
Lucy Bowman would never have guessed that her best friend, Duffy McCready (of McCready’s Bait Shop & Funeral Home) has been in love with her since they were kids. Fear of rejection and his own romantic complications prevented Duffy from confessing his true feelings in high school, so he stood by and watched her wed Wayne Bowman right after high school. Wayne had always been a cheapskate, so it comes as no surprise when he suffers a fatal accident while fixing his own truck.
Even as her family and friends invade Lucy’s life and insist that the new widow is too fragile to do much beyond weeping, Lucy is ashamed to admit that life without Wayne is easier, less complicated. After all, no one knew what a relentless, soul-grinding trudge marriage to Wayne had been. Only Duffy can tell she’s hiding something.
In need of a fresh start, Lucy asks Duffy to put his cabinet-building skills to use, transforming the town's meat shop into a bake shop. As the bakery takes shape, Lucy and Duffy discover the spark that pulled them together so many years ago. Could this finally be the second chance he’s always hoped for?
Once again Molly Harper “writes characters you can’t help but fall in love with” (RT Book Reviews) in this charming and entertaining love story.
Do you love the delightful accents and idioms of the contestants on The Great British Bake Off? Get your recommended serving of British loveliness in Jenny Colgan’s Little Beach Street Bakery set in a small town on the Cornish coast. In the novel, you’ll meet Polly as she kneads away her past by making scrumptious bread with the help of a local beekeeper. The best part? The book includes seven recipes that’ll inspire you to get creative in your kitchen.
Many of the contestants on GBBO learn their love for cooking and baking from beloved family members. Holly Maguire, the protagonist in The Love Goddess’ Cooking School, is similarly inspired; however, she lacks the skills that her grandmother taught in her Italian cooking classes. Sometimes it really is the underdogs on GBBO that we want to root for most, and Holly’s journey to finding true love and learning how to cook will make you want to do the same.
When recently heartbroken Holly inherits her grandmother’s Italian cooking school, she takes on the challenge of teaching her mouth-watering family recipes to a new set of students, despite the fact that she cannot cook. Garnishing recipes with her grandmother’s essential ingredients of memories and wishes, a determined Holly soon comes to learn a thing or two about her own recipe for happiness.
Do you have a soft spot for the younger contestants on The Great British Bake Off? Their extraordinary skills paired with blossoming confidence is enough to make any one’s heart melt. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake explores the magical powers of a young girl named Rose who can taste the emotions baked into the dishes she’s served. Rose’s coming of age story is the perfection combination of funny and sad, just like when a youthful contestant is voted off early in GBBO!
The Great British Bake Off/Netflix