8 Cozy and Comforting Books About Bakeries

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Elisa Shoenberger has been building a library since she was 13. She loves writing about all aspects of books from author interviews, antiquarian books, archives, and everything in between. She also writes regularly for Murder & Mayhem and Library Journal. She’s also written articles for Huffington Post, Boston Globe, WIRED, Slate, and many other publications. When she’s not writing about reading, she’s reading and adventuring to find cool new art. She also plays alto saxophone and occasionally stiltwalks. Find out more on her website or follow her on Twitter @vogontroubadour.

Is there anything more comforting than the smell of freshly baked goods and the childlike joy of getting chocolate chip cookies just out of the oven? Or how a warm breadbasket at a restaurant portends a really excellent meal? Or how your heart swells when someone tells you that they baked a cake just for you? Some of my favorite travel memories are sitting at a café outside with a book while drinking tea and enjoying a piece of cake. It’s a memory that feels like a hug. After all, there’s a reason that realtors tell homeowners to bake cookies when there are house showings.

The world of books certainly helps to encourage this feeling of coziness and baked goods. Many cozy mysteries take place in bakeries presumably for that reason. While there’s joy (and a lot of hard work!) in running a bakery, there’s also so many opportunities for murder from sharp knives, tampered ingredients, hot ovens, and giant bags of flour. A rolling pin makes an excellent bludgeoning weapon!

Here’s a list of 8 cozy bakeries stories. The vast majority are cozy murder mysteries, but a few are cozy fantasy stories. Enjoy!

Ill-Fated Fortune book cover

Ill-Fated Fortune by Jennifer J. Chow

While bakeries are magical in their own right, this new series makes that magic come to life. Felicity “Lissa” Jin’s family has magic running through them; whatever they bake is literal magic. They own a bakery where Felicity’s Mom infuses joy into pineapple buns and egg tarts. But Lissa has not been able to follow in the family tradition. Everything she makes has failed…until she makes fortune cookies with bespoke fortunes. But when one of their customers is found dead behind the bakery with Lissa’s fortune foretelling his death in his hand, Lissa has to clear her name and save their business. It’s the first in the Magical Fortune Cookie mystery series.

A Fellowship of Bakers Magic book coverA Fellowship of Bakers Magic book cover

A Fellowship of Bakers & Magic by J. Penner

Magic, baked goods, and a baking competition? Sign me up. Arleta Starstone loves baking. Not having any magic is totally fine with her. But when she finds herself entered into the Elven Baking Battle, Arleta has the extra challenge of making her baked goods shine when all of her fellow contestants have magic to aid in their work. But she’ll soon realize that there is more to competing, including romance. The second book in the Adenashire series, A Fellowship of Librarians & Dragons, comes out in November.

cover image for Against the Currantcover image for Against the Currant

Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews

In the first of the three books (so far?) Spice Isle Bakery mystery series, Lyndsay Murray is finally realizing her dream of opening a bakery inspired by her West Indian roots. Her entire family is chipping in to make it a success. However, not everyone is happy with the new bakery in Little Carribean, Brooklyn. When a rival baker is found murdered, the police turn to Lyndsay after reports of a large argument between Lyndsay and the deceased. Will they have to close their doors just after they opened them or can Lyndsay clear her name?

A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking book coverA Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking book cover

A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher

This one has a little bit of murder (and zombie dead horses), but it’s more fantasy than anything. All Mona wants to do is bake in her aunt’s bakery. She loves the peace of making bread and cookies and the joy that people feel when they eat them. It doesn’t hurt that she was born with bread magic: she can will bread not to burn, make gingerbread man come to life, and even make bread go stale. Sadly, the world won’t leave her alone. Magic is regarded with suspicion. Things get even harder when Mona finds a dead woman on the floor of the bakery. Suspected of her death, Mona finds out there is much more going on in her city than meets the eye. This book won the 2021 Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book.

Book cover of TWO PARTS SUGAR, ONE PART MURDER by Valerie BurnsBook cover of TWO PARTS SUGAR, ONE PART MURDER by Valerie Burns

Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder by Valerie Burns

Maddy Montgomery knows nothing about running a bakery, living in a small town, or caring for a 200-pound dog. But after she’s left at the altar, she finds out that a great aunt she never met has left her in her will. The only caveat is that to get the inheritance, Maddy has to live in her aunt’s home, run her bakery, and take care of the dog for a year. Maddy decides that while the small town isn’t exactly the place she’d thought she’d end up, she would make an honest go of it. But someone decides to go the dishonest route when they stab the mayor and leave his body in the bakery. Now, Maddy not only has to figure out how to bake but also find a murderer.

A Sweet Mess book coverA Sweet Mess book cover

A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

Audrey Choi worked hard to make her bakery a success, but a single mistake results in a nasty review from a food blogger, and her business is in trouble. Worst yet, Audrey’s one-night stand turns out to be the author of the review. After realizing it was all a mistake, he swears he is going to help her rehabilitate her business by joining him on a three-week tour of California wine country for a show. Can she forgive him for his mistake? Maybe he’s more than a one-night stand.

Fangs in Fondant book coverFangs in Fondant book cover

Fangs in Fondant by Melissa Monroe

Priscilla Pratt loves running her successful bakery in a town known for being haunted. But she’s not your typical baker. She’s open only in the evenings and needs her assistant to taste her food. That’s because Priscilla is a vampire. When Priscilla takes on the ultimate challenge of a last-minute wedding cake, she hardly thought that more than her reputation would be at stake. She’s suspect number 1 when the bride is murdered on the day of the wedding. She now has to clear her name and reputation. It’s the first in the six-book Priscilla Pratt series.

A Sheetcake Named Desire coverA Sheetcake Named Desire cover

A Sheetcake Named Desire by Jacklyn Brady

Rita Lucero had thought that getting divorced would be the start of a new life. But (almost) ex-husbands have a tendency to linger…especially when Rita is suspected of killing him. Plus, her mother-in-law, Miss Frankie, asks her to run her husband’s bakery in New Orleans (as well as find the actual killer). But it’s hard going since everyone thinks Rita killed him for the bakery. She doesn’t want to let Miss Frankie down, nor does she want her post-married life to be spent in prison for a murder she did not commit. It’s one of six books in the A Piece of Cake mystery series.

That’s just a taste of the cozy bakery books out in the world. It’ll be fun to see more cozy bakery books in various genres from mystery, fantasy, and romance. If you want more cozies around food, check out this article that I wrote on culinary cozies. Want more magic and baking, here is a list of fantastical food fiction.

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