Polly and her adorable puffin Neal now live in the lighthouse on the Scottish island of Polbearne with her boyfriend Huckle, the beekeeper. In the mornings, she wakes early and goes down to the cold bakery and starts up the oven for fresh bread and pastries the locals will devour. Christmas is no exception, with excessive orders, awkward visits with her mother, and all she longs for is a peaceful week off in bed with champagne and her boyfriend. But her best friend Kerensa who married the ludicrously wealthy American Reuben, has shocking news and a horrid secret that could ruin the nearly-perfect life she’s found. Comical and merry, Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery is an unexpectedly honest look at the motives in relationships and the misunderstandings that can occur when people fear to trust and love one another.
Polly complained that she had “a million things to do and all anyone wants to order is gingerbread!” Although Huckle certainly enjoyed the smell. Also, Reuben insisted that he made the best hot chocolate and it couldn’t be made in a machine, “and brought Polly several tins of his specially imported Swiss chocolate” for the hot cocoa in the shop. To combine these elements, the following cupcake recipe is for:
Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Ginger Spice Frosting
- salted butter, at room temperature
- brown sugar
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- large eggs, at room temperature
- sour cream
- 60% cocoa chocolate chips
- vanilla extract
- ground ginger
- ground nutmeg
- ground cloves
- powdered sugar
For the full recipe and instructions, visit owlcation.com/humanities/Christmas-at-Little-Beach-Street-Bakery-Book-Discussion-and-Recipe.
- What were some of the challenges for Huckle relocating to the lighthouse instead of living at his bee farm (like his father said about not heating the houses like in America, or drinking beer at room temp)?
- Polly’s mother insisted that “you couldn’t miss what you’d never had” but was that true for Polly, especially about her father?
For more discussion questions, visit owlcation.com/humanities/Christmas-at-Little-Beach-Street-Bakery-Book-Discussion-and-Recipe.
The previous two books in this series are Little Beach Street Bakery and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery. Other similar books by Jenny Colgan are Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe, Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe and The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris.
Similar books about love and baking or chocolate treats are The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Riechert, Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, Charmed by Chocolate (Love at the Chocolate Shop #6) by Steena Holmes, Chocolate Magic (Love by Chocolate #3) by Zelda Benjamin, Raspberry Crush by Jill Winters, or Miracle Pie (Miracle Interrupted #4) by Edie Ramer.
Similar books for Christmas are Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, With Love at Christmas by Carole Matthews, and Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley.
Similar cozy romance by the beach books are Divine Interruption and Divine Connection by Amy Lyon.