Talk of the Town

Baking romcom | The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake

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I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake by Pippa James organised by publishers Black and White Publishing.

As you would expect with a romantic baking comedy, delicious goodies feature in the story and I’m sharing with you my attempt at making Honey Buns.  Advance warning, baking isn’t something I do regularly and isn’t something I particularly like … so this was a challenge!

First, here’s more about The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake and author Pippa James:

Talk of the Town

Paperback: 256 pages

Publisher: Black and White Publishing (19 Jan. 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1785300911

ISBN-13: 978-1785300912

Daisy Delaney’s life is pancake-flat. A talented baker and passionate lingerie specialist, she has wound up with no one to bake for and a career that hasn’t proved successful. But when she starts a delicious relationship with famous French author-chef, Michel Amiel, everything begins to look a bit more exciting.

That is until Michel’s bestselling cookbook is knocked off the top spot by newcomer ‘Lucy Lovecake’. His outdated recipes slide down the charts, while the popularity of Lucy Lovecake’s new dating cookbook is rising like the perfect sponge.

As Daisy teeters on the brink of love, how can she ever tell Michel that she is the mysterious Lucy Lovecake? Could he ever forgive her for finishing off his career? And more importantly, does Daisy even want to be with a difficult, egotistical, down-on-his-luck Frenchman just as her career is beginning to take off? Especially when she has some other very interesting offers…


Talk of the TownPippa James is a full-time writer with a love for food, fashion and all things French. She is best known as Janey Louise Jones, author of the fantastically successful Princess Poppy series, with sales of over 4m copies to date. Before Princess Poppy took over her life, Pippa James had always intended to write contemporary fiction, and this debut novel is the start of a brand-new series. Pippa James is mother to three sons.

Lucy Lovecake

As mentioned, I accepted the challenge of baking Honey Buns.  I’m going to be honest and say after baking, they didn’t look anything like I was expecting!  They rose far too much …  They did, however, look good before going into the oven 🙂  I definitely need some tips from Lucy Lovecake!

I found this particular recipe at Baking a Moment and used Google to convert to UK measurements.  I also found a recipe for orangey Honey Buns on BBC Food which I might try in the future!


Lucy Lovecake

  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 75ml warm water
  • 1 packet of dry active yeast
  • 2 1/2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 240g – 310g plain flour
  • 35g unsalted butter, softened
  • 35g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the glaze:

  • 35g icing sugar
  • 3 1/2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp honey
What you do:

Place the honey and water in a large mixing bowl, and sprinkle the yeast over the surface.  Set aside and allow the yeast to dissolve for 5 minutes.

Combine the oil, buttermilk, egg yolk, and salt in a liquid measuring jug.  Stir into the yeast/honey mixture.

Lucy Lovecake

Add the flour gradually, until the dough starts to pull away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.  Knead the dough for 2 minutes.

Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm.

Lucy Lovecake

Allow to proof in a warm place for 2 hours.

Lucy Lovecake

Place the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl and mix until fluffy.

Punch down the dough and roll out to a rectangle shape, about 20 inches by 10 inches.

Lucy Lovecake

Spread the butter mixture over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch margin on all sides.

Lucy Lovecake

Starting on one of the longer sides, carefully roll the dough into a log.

Lucy Lovecake

Trim off the ends, and cut the log into 1 inch thick slices.  Place the slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover loosely with clingfilm.

Lucy Lovecake

See, they don’t look too bad do they (although maybe a bit bigger than an inch …).

Allow to proof for 30 minutes, then bake in a preheated 180 oven for 12 minutes.

I set my phone alarm for 8 minutes which was way too long for my fan assisted oven … I’m almost ashamed to show you the last photo (HELP Lucy Lovecake!)

The final step, cool completely and cover with the glaze (Stir the icing sugar, honey and water together in a small bowl for the glaze).

Lucy Lovecake

Although a failure in the shape and how long I baked them, the Honey Buns did taste delicious.  I would like to try baking them again.  Any of you bakers out there have any tips for me?

The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake is available to purchase 19th January 2017. In the meantime, check out the other hosts on tour.


I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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