Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Heartbreak Cake by Cindy Arora (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Fictionella Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Heartbreak Cake by Author Cindy Arora!

Author Guest Post

Tres Leches Cake
 A Dessert, A Recipe And A Love Story
By: Cindy Arora

**Thank you for having me on Jersey Girl Book Reviews!

The first time I had Tres Leches cake I was five-years-old and celebrating my cousins 6th birthday. There we were in the early days of a Los Angeles hot summer, all the kids ran around in the sprinklers of her front lawn.

The moment my grandmother would holler from the backyard “pastel” (cake!), no matter what we were in the middle of, my cousins, sisters and I would drop what we were doing to run to the dessert able where a candle covered cake glowed with the promise of deliciousness.

Sweet layers of three kinds of milk soaked airy sponge cake: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream topped with strawberries and whipped cream. It was an unforgettable first bite. While writing HEARTBREAK CAKE I pulled from this memory to help create the recipe that pastry chef Indira Aguilar and her father help recreate. But I also had a few different recipes that loved to look at while writing the different cake scenes, one of my favorites is from a cookbook called Desserts in Jars, Shaina Olmanson, which is one of my favorite dessert cookbooks.

Here are 5 great recipes to choose from if you’d like to give this Latin special a try at your next celebration.

1. The Pioneer Woman: 

2. Desserts in a Jar: 

3. Taste of Home:
   (This is a really fun recipe that I am actually making for Mother’s Day this year)

4. Pati’s Mexican Table:

5. Betty Crocker (A very easy recipe for the busy folks!): fca08e2ed830 

Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Courtesy of Desserts in Jars Shaina Olmanson and revised by


1 1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 14 ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. Cream softened butter, sugar and vanilla on high speed for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until well incorporated.

Slowly add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until just combined.

Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them half full.

Bake for 18-22 minutes until tops are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Unwrap the cupcakes from their liners. Poke each cake all over with a fork.

In the meantime, combine the sweetened condensed milk, milk and heavy whipping cream.

Using 6 8 ounce jars, place 1 cupcake in the bottom of each. Slowly spoon 3-4 tablespoons of the milk mixture slowly over each cake. Top each cake with an additional cupcake. Slowly spoon the remaining milk mixture over each cake. Cover the jars and store them in the refrigerator overnight.

Serve topped with fresh berries or the whipped cream Shaina suggests in her cookbook.

About The Author

Cindy Arora was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in Saveur, Tasting Table, Orange Coast Magazine and Fodor’s. She’s also a mother, a feminist, a whiskey enthusiast, and proud to call herself a Chick Lit author. 

Heartbreak Cake is her debut novel.


Book Review

Heartbreak Cake by Cindy Arora
Publisher: Simon & Fig
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
Format: Paperback - 320 pages 
             Kindle - 215 pages / 453 KB
             Nook - 770 KB
ISBN: 0985352078
BNID: 2940148978299
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Heartbreak Cake

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Fictionella Book Tours.

Book Description:

Business is sweet for pastry chef Indira Aguilar. Her indie bakery, Cake Pan, is fast becoming the talk of the wedding circuit for its unique take on cakes and homespun creations for the modern bride, garnering national recognition and drawing in celebrity clients. But while her professional life is blossoming, her personal life is crumbling.

Indira may have a talent for blending buttercream into bliss, but when it comes to relationships, she’s got a lot to learn. Considering that the love of her life, Josh Oliver, is not only married, but also runs the award-winning pastry department of her fiercest competition, Crystal Cove Resort, Indira puts much more at stake than just her heart when she ends her affair with him.

Rumors begin to fly as the small seaside community of Long Beach learns of her secret relationship, and Indira must defend not only her actions, but her wedding business and her reputation while trying to maneuver the choppy heartbreak waters of starting over, finding new love, and facing her past. With the support of friends, family, a fondness for butter, and a determined spirit, Indira may just bake her way back to happiness and possibly into the heart of Crystal Cove’s dishy new chef, Noah. But one thing is certain. Where there’s heartbreak, there must be cake.

My Book Review:

In her debut novel, Heartbreak Cake, author Cindy Arora weaves a delightfully sinful chick lit story that is full of romance, heartbreak, hope, friendship, self-discovery, and to-die-for yummy desserts!

Set in the seaside community of Long Beach, California, and told in the first person narrative, sassy Indira Aguilar, a pasty chef and co-owner of Cake Pan Bakeshoppe, takes the reader on a sugar filled journey as she recovers from breaking off a four year secret affair with Josh Oliver, a married director of the food and beverage department at the ritzy Crystal Cove Resort. Tired of being someone's secret mistress, an option and not a priority, and settling for crumbs, Indira decides to stop wasting her time on empty promises and move on with her life. A little heartbreak cake and a sexy guest chef at Crystal Cove named Noah Cavatelli might just be what Indira needs to find her way back to herself, and find love and happiness too ... unless Josh's Italian soap opera wife Valentina gets her way and ruins Indira's reputation and business.

Heartbreak Cake was such a fun read, it is a story that is full of wit, humor, romance, and hope that easily draws the reader into Indira's life. You can't help but like this sassy lady and embrace her as she finds herself after making the mistake of loving the wrong kind of man, and risking everything to get her life back on track.

Indira has a wonderful support system in her best friends Rebecca Potts and Pedro, her bakery partner, and mentor Simon Ford, who have her back and guide her with love and a little dose of sarcastic reality. Add in Noah, a new love interest who will give Indira what she needs to help put her embarrassing mistake of an affair in the past, and with a little help from heartbreak cake along the way, Indira might just be able to bounce back and start her life anew.

With a cast of quirky characters who are engaging; witty dialogue and humorous interactions that will keep you in stitches; and decadent descriptions of cakes, pastries, and other yummy desserts that are tantalizingly interwoven throughout the story and will keep you salivating and reaching for the nearest chocolate bar; Heartbreak Cake is a thoroughly enjoyable and romantic chick lit story that will leave a smile on your face.

So like Indira and Rebecca say: "When the world hands you lemons, eat cake!"


Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

5/5 - This Chick Reads (Guest Post & Giveaway)
5/7 - Literary Chanteuse (Guest Post)
5/8 - A Girl, Books and Other Things (Guest Post)
5/9 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews (Guest Post, Excerpt, & Review)
5/12 - A Book and Tea (Review)
5/15 - A Girl, Books and Other Things (Review)
5/23 - Storeybook Reviews (Review)
5/29 - Mrs. Mommy Booknerd (Interview & Excerpt)
TBA - The Bookworm (Guest Post)

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