How to Eat a Cupcake

By Meg Donohue
(William Morrow Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780062069283, 320pp.)

Publication Date: March 2012

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Free-spirited Annie Quintana and sophisticated Julia St. Clair come from two different worlds. Yet, as the daughter of the St. Clairs' housekeeper, Annie grew up in Julia's San Francisco mansion and they forged a bond that only two little girls oblivious to class differences could—until a life-altering betrayal destroyed their friendship.

A decade later, Annie bakes to fill the void left in her heart by her mother's death, and a painful secret jeopardizes Julia's engagement to the man she loves. A chance reunion prompts the unlikely duo to open a cupcakery, but when a mysterious saboteur opens up old wounds, they must finally face the truth about their past or risk losing everything.

About the Author

Meg Donohue has an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from Dartmouth College. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband, daughters, dog, and a weakness for salted caramel cupcakes.

Conversation Starters from


  1. Julia describes her relationship with Annie as a "yin-yang friendship." In Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin yang refers to interdependent opposites, or two halves of a whole. Have you ever had a friend whose personality or background was very different from your own? In what ways did those differences strengthen your friendship? It ways did they weaken it? How has what you look for in a friend changed as you've gotten older? Are you more or less likely to befriend someone different from you now than when you were younger?

Praise For How to Eat a Cupcake

“[A] sparkling, witty story. Donohue’s voice is lovely, intelligent, and alluring. Grab one of these for your best friend and read it together--preferably with a plate of Meyer Lemon cupcakes nearby.”
-Katie Crouch, bestselling author of Girls in Trucks and Men and Dogs

“Beautifully written and quietly wise, Meg Donohue’s How to Eat a Cupcake is an achingly honest portrayal of the many layers of friendship--a story so vividly told, you can (almost) taste the buttercream.”
-Sarah Jio, author of The Violets of March and The Bungalow

“A heartwarming and unpredictable tale of friendship, family and frosting.”
-Zoe Fishman, author of Balancing Acts

“An irresistible blend of sweet and tart, this book is truly a treat to be savored.”
-Beth Kendrick, author of The Bake Off and Second Time Around

“Deliciously engaging. Donohue writes with charm and grace. What could be better than friendship and cupcakes?”
-Rebecca Rasmussen, author of The Bird Sisters

“Donohue’s sweet debut is a clever exploration of how a West Coast mean girl grows up and gives in to friendship, love, and dozens of delicious cupcakes....Donohue’s culinary romantic thriller will keep readers hungry for more.”
-Publishers Weekly

“Donohue has written a sharp little novel featuring the subtle characterizations of two appealingly flawed young women.”
-Kirkus Reviews

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