Book Review: The Icing on the Cupcake

Nancy’s Review of The Icing on the Cupcake by Jennifer Ross

Ballantine Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, published The Icing on the Cupcake by Jennifer Ross in April of this year. This is the third novel from Ross, who wrote her previous novels under the pen name JC Conklin. The Icing on the Cupcake tells the story of Ansley Waller, a young Texan woman who is dumped by her fiancé. Ansley must reevaluate her life and decides to leave Dallas for New York to live with her estranged grandmother, Vivian. While Ansley works toward opening her own cupcake shop in an unfamiliar city, Vivian must deal with unfinished financial business left behind by her late husband. These women rely on baking to help them overcome life’s obstacles.

Ansley is introduced as a snobby girl who is disliked by most of her sorority sisters at Baylor University. When her fiancé dumps her because she is horribly mean to others, she realizes that she must change her attitude if she wants to succeed in anything. Ansley gets some initial tough love from Vivian when she arrives in New York, which sets her on the path to discovering who she is and the right way to interact with others. Vivian is a strong willed woman who harbors secrets and regrets that have consumed her for many years. As she gets to know Ansley, she increasingly hopes she will get a chance to reunite with her own daughter, Hattie. Vivian and Ansley form a believable bond but lack communication with each other despite living in the same house. The Dallas lifestyle is described in significant detail. It is important to know what kind of background Ansley comes from to understand the magnitude of her decisions in New York. Other notable characters are Ansley’s ex-fiancé Parish, Ansley’s sorority sister Patty, Ansley’s new friend Dot, Vivian’s daughter Hattie, and Vivian’s financial advisor Thad.

The Icing on the Cupcake is an enjoyable, quick read. The cupcake recipes at the end of each chapter are great additions to the book. They allow readers to see exactly what Ansley and Vivian are up to. Cupcake lovers and foodies alike will find these recipes useful and will take an interest in reading about the ups and downs of opening a cupcake shop.

For more information about Ross and to read her blog you can visit You can also follow her on Twitter @cupcakeauthor. The Icing on the Cupcake can be purchased at all major bookstores or online by visiting What We're Reading. To learn more about other books published by Ballantine Books you can visit
What do you think of this review? Do you want to read The Icing on the Cupcake? Have you read it or read Ross's other books? Let us know!