Tuesday, January 21, 2014


20 Questions with Indira Aguilar from Heartbreak Cake

I’m Cindy Arora, and I’m happy to be here on Books by Banister. Today, I’m sharing a fun 20 Questions with pastry chef Indira Aguilar, who is the main character of my debut novel Heartbreak Cake. With Valentine’s Day less than a month away, Indira also wants to share her favorite easy-to-make jarred strawberry shortcake dessert that’s always a crowd favorite.

Now, discover 20 things you never knew about Indira Aguilar.

1. Milk or dark chocolate? 
Milk. I will always ask for more heavy cream.

2. Justin Bieber or Justin Timberlake? 
Is there even a debate about this? JT, hands down. Have you seen him in a suit? 

3. Horse-drawn carriage or long walk on the beach? 
Love sand in my toes. 

4. Frozen yogurt or ice cream? 
Peanut butter chocolate ice cream makes my night. 

5. Love at first sight or a slow-burn? 
Five years ago, I would’ve said love at first sight. But I don’t believe in it anymore, so now I’m a fan of the getting-to-know-you slow-burn. 

6. Pasta or rice? 
There’s nothing better than a creamy cheese pasta with rosemary. 

7. France or Italy? 
France. They bred the croissant, you know.

8. Pilates or yoga? 
Pilates. It’s yoga with edge.

9. Cake or pie? 
I can’t choose between the two. I just can’t! What would the world be without either? 

10. What’s one of your favorite habits? 
I love my morning coffee ritual. I could never give it up. 

11. eBook or paperback? 
Paperback. I’m old school. 

12. Cookbooks or food blogs? 
I have my favorite cookbooks, but I do get a lot of inspiration from food bloggers and food writers. 

13. Backyard wedding or luxurious hotel wedding? Charming backyard weddings are the best. And really, the star of any wedding—next to the bride naturally—is the wedding cake.

14. Sweet or savory? 
I work with sweets all day, so I actually love savory, salty and spicy. Spicy buffalo wings are a household must-have.

15. Morning or night? 
I’m an early bird, always have been. Love how quiet it is in the early morning. 

16. Cupcake or cake pop? 
Cupcake because you can do more with them. 

17. Cat or dog? 
Have you met my 20 pound cat Norma (named after Sally Field in the movie Norma Rae)? You should. She’s flufftastic. 

18. Favorite smell? 
Cookies baking in the oven.

19. Heels or flats? 
I’d love to wear heels more, but I live in clogs and flats. They just make more sense in the kitchen. 

20. Lipstick or lip gloss? 
Tinted lip gloss in mocha. Never leave home without it.

Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar
  • 1 boxed yellow cake mix, baked according to package directions (If you have time or energy, make your yellow cake mix from scratch. Indira’s favorite recipe is from www.browneyedbaker.com.)
  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • 1 (8 ounce) whipped topping
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries mixed with 1/4 cup sugar

Crumble the yellow cake mix into large chunks. Press a small amount of the crumbled cake mix into the bottom of four small canning jars. In a small bowl, mix together the frosting and whipped topping. Spoon a small amount on top of the cake layer. Spoon a few strawberries on top of the frosting layer, then add another layer of cake, frosting, and strawberries. Top each jar with a lid and ring. Store in the fridge up to 12 hours before serving. Recipe from www.babble.com

Author Bio
Cindy Arora was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley TribuneThe Orange County Register and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in SaveurTasting TableOrange 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. 
Heartbreak Cake by Cindy Arora

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 and 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.

Add Heartbreak Cake to your Goodreads shelf! Follow along with the Heartbreak Cake Blog Tour via Fictionella! Visit publisher Simon & Fig for more information about the book, and connect with Cindy at cindyarora.com!

Buy Heartbreak Cake


  1. Just reading your answers made me SO hungry. I'm very happy it's almost lunch time :) Looking forward to reading Heartbreak Cake - it's already on my Kindle. I love the cover so much.

  2. Okay, having a major sugar craving now! Wish I had several jars full of that strawberry shortcake! Looks so tasty and summery! Best of luck with the book! Looks like a fun read!

  3. Thanks Jackie and Meredith! Make the strawberry shortcake this spring, it's amazing!

  4. That strawberry shortcake looks SO good!! :) Indira and I have a lot in common--I love peanut butter ice cream and hot wings too. I'm looking forward to getting to know her better in Heartbreak Cake!!

  5. Heartbreak Cake sounds great… I have to see a picture of Norma Rae - she sounds way too cute!

  6. I am so hungry and that recipe looks amazing. I'm so excited to read "Heartbreak Cake," and the cover has drawn me in since I first saw it.

  7. Cindy, I can't wait to read your début novel. Indira Aguilar ... now there's an alter-ego if ever I heard one!
    I always knew you would be doing something salt-of-the-Earth grounded and delicious, oh live-wire classmate from journalism school!
    "DC" (hint: slightly older Canuckette ...)
    "Silly Valley"