November might as well be synonymous with baking and books. Baking because the shorter days and mostly cold weather signals a need for warm, sweet carbs and books because I can think of no better pairing with pastries and cakes than a good book to curl up with.
November is also prime TV binge season and what better show to binge during the colder months than The Great British Bake Off? To celebrate the month of November as the perfect reading and baking season, I wanted to put together a list of the best desserts from recent YA and Middle-Grade reads that would make Mary Berry (and Mel and Sue) proud. Feel free to take inspiration from the list and savor these wonderful reads and even try your hand at attempting a few of the desserts too. Recipes links included!
November Cakes from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
It wouldn’t be November without a mention of Maggie Stiefvater’s November Cakes. These sweet, honey and butter soaked dessert make my mouth water just thinking about them. If I were Mary Berry, I wouldn’t need to judge any other bakers after having a bite.
Macarons from The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R. Shrum
The idea of someone staying up all night to bake me a plate of multicolored, multi-flavored macarons is swoon-worthy indeed, as swoon-worthy as the wonderful macaroons themselves. I can see these macarons, bursting with flavor and perfectly baked, wowing the judges during biscuit week.
Rainbow Cake from The Pie In The Sky by Remy Lai
It was so hard to read The Pie In The Sky because all I wanted to eat while reading it was the luscious cakes featured in it. Mary would be impressed with the presentation, for sure.
Lemon Verbena Templeque from With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo
There is nothing that I personally love more than something that is both sweet and a little sour all at once like lemon cake or lemon meringue pie or Key Lime pie. Elizabeth Acevado’s Lemon Verbena Templeque is the perfect fit for when you need something that’s not too sweet with a little zing. This dessert would earn anyone star baker.
Guava and Cheese Pastelitos from Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
This book should come with a warning. You will crave nothing but guava pastelitos and dulce de leche for days, weeks even, until you find something as sweet and delicious as what Alex bakes in Port Coral. I can only imagine how tempting it would be for the judges (or namely Mel and Sue) to sneak another bite before going on to judge more bakers.
Twinkie Pie from The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh
It sounds ingenious, this twinkie pie. Something so sweet filling, and made with a classic and beloved packaged dessert? A must-try for all amateur and experienced bakers. Mary Berry might be dubious at first but after tasting a bit, she might even say it was “Quite good.”
Cherry Moon Pies from North of Happy by Adi Alsaid
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest cherry fan but there’s something about the combination of chocolate and cherry here that makes me want to devour a few.I think everyone under the tent would be extremely pleased with the flavor—not overpowering and definitely delicious.
Piñata Cake from Anna-Marie McLemore’s story in Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food and Love Edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond
I have never had the pleasure of eating a piñata cake but it sounds delightful. I can imagine the awe of the judges as bright candy spills out of the layers and as Mary Berry judges, Mel and Sue might steal a candy or two.
Strawberry Baby Pie from Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
It’s November and so you cannot have enough pie and this book will make you want to try every cleverly named pie. The Strawberry Baby pie seemed unique enough to wow Mary Berry and our favorite hosts.
Ardent Apple Pie from A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo
Aside from the fact that this particular pie can “cure all ills,” I think any judge on The Great British Bake-Off would marvel at a genuine American Apple Pie during Pie Week, something most bakers on the show attempt to pull off but miss the mark somehow. Their end results are wonderfully crafted but nothing like a good old fashioned pie and this particular one would definitely do well.