With all that’s going on in the world, two things can always be counted upon for pleasant distraction: sweet YA romcoms and delicious baking. As luck would have it, these eight books combine adorable meet cutes with genuinely lovely baked good moments. Whether you’re keeping busy in your own kitchen or you prefer to enjoy cookies and cake in imagination only, these books are sure to delight.
If you are into baking, try taking your reading to the next level by making your version of the treats described in each book!
By The Book: A Novel of Prose and Cons by Amanda Sellet
Baked goods moments: a bookish-themed bookstore/bakery with treats named after classic books
Mary knows a lot about 19th century novels but almost nothing about high school. When a new romance enters the picture, Mary will have to decide whether to keep seeing the world through prose colored glasses or embrace what’s happening IRL.
A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo
Baked good moments: magical pie!
When Trix shows up in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas, she doesn’t plan to stay long. But her family there all seem to possess strange magical powers, from baking magical pies to palm reading. But just as Trix starts to feel at home, her past comes back to haunt her and she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life or keep running from the one she’s always known.
Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas
Baked good moments: French meets Cuban cuisine
Isabella is 17 years old and an aspiring chef. Her family life fell apart after her parents’ divorce and the death of her Cuban abuela. Moving in with her father and stepmother in France, Isabella feels like an outsider. But on the upside, her new home is close to the restaurant of world-famous Chef Pascal Grattard, who runs a prestigious and competitive international kitchen apprenticeship.
More Than Just A Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood (August 2020)
Baked good moments: teen cooking turns to love
Danyal may not be the smartest guy in the room, but he’s funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. When he’s selected for a school-wide academic competition, it’s the perfect opportunity to show everyone he’s smarter than they think. He recruits the brilliant, totally-uninterested-in-him Bisma to help with the competition, but the more time Danyal spends with her—and cooks for her—the more he realizes that happiness may be staring him right in his pretty face.
What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter
Baked good moments: cupcake blogging
Halle can share anything with her online best friend, Nash…except for who she really is. Online, she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. But when Halle winds up in the same town as Nash (including running into him in the local bakery!), she doesn’t reveal who she really is to him. But things get complicated when she, as herself, starts to fall for Nash. And he’s in love with her online alter-ego.
Love à La Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Baked good moments: French pastries, ooh la la
Rosie never expected that she, a random nobody from East Liberty, Ohio, would be accepted to celebrity chef Denis Laurent’s school in Paris. She quickly connects with her classmate Henry, but his jealousy over Rosie’s growing friendship with gorgeous bad-boy baker Bodie gets in the way. Desperate to prove themselves, Rosie and Henry cook like never before while sparks fly between them. But as they reach their breaking points, they wonder whether they have what it takes to become real chefs.
Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
Baked good moments: the upside of (maybe) dating a chef
Rosa Santos may be cursed by the sea, but that’s the least of her problems as she is feeling caught between her beloved Abuela, a beloved pillar of the community, and her mother, who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. With a college decision looming, Rosa collides—literally—with Alex Aquino, a mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean and a talent in the kitchen. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Baked good moments: finding peace in a busy kitchen
Emoni has her hands full with a daughter to care for and her Abuela to support. She’s only able to let her responsibilities go when she’s in the kitchen. She doesn’t have enough time to spend in culinary arts class, doesn’t have enough money to attend a school trip to Spain, and knows she should stop dreaming of her future career as a chef. But once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.
Looking for more baking inspo? Check out our list of 50 must-read baking books.