The daughter of a beloved baker revives her father’s 

famous recipes, and in the process discovers her 

family’s fierce love—as well as its secrets.


  The daughter of a beloved baker revives her father’s 

famous recipes, and in the process discovers her 

family’s fierce love—as well as its secrets.


Reader Reviews

"a baker's daughter"


What happens when a devoted daughter begins to revive her famous-baker-dad’s recipes, and instead uncovers a hidden family history? In this case, a narrative cookbook—about people. Marcy Brenner’s devotion to her dad, Max, is evident from the first line to the last, but her journey of discovery goes back in time, to long before she tasted her first Chocolate Top Cookie. As she teaches herself to bake like a pro—by decoding Max’s cryptic, commercial recipe cards—she follows the story of generations of bakers who used love as their primary ingredient. Meanwhile, she delivers the goods for generations of Brenner’s Bakery fans who have been waiting for years for “kitchen-sized” recipes that would make their favorites come back to life. In the process of sharing her discoveries, Marcy forever marries breads and sweets to her family members who craved them. Her chapters have names like “Miss Charlotte,” and “Sisters.” The narrative format also intermingles dozens of recipes with moving stories of Marcy’s parents’ deep Southern humanity, her grandparents’ struggles—and a Jewish ancestry buried by fear. With unflinching empathy, she embraces the hope and loss that brought her Polish ancestors to America, and which connect her to a past she sensed, but never knew. She wonders aloud whether baking is in her genes, whether she’ll be able to pull off this experiment, and whether the cakes and cookies and croissants, doughnuts, breads, Boston Cream Pies, and macaroons will turn out. Maybe because true love never dies, they do.



"part cookbook, part ode ... one satisfying volume."

 Whenever you needed a loaf of marble rye, a bagful of molasses cookies (my favorite) or a birthday cake for someone special, you went to Brenner's in Alexandria, Virginia. And it was easy to find excuses to stop there for all the in-between times too. Part cookbook, part ode to her father Max, Marcy Brenner weaves love, joy and warm aromas into one satisfying volume. 

 -- Susan Stuck, Food writer and former Alexandria resident 

"family, memories and recipes - a delight of the senses"

 Like an excellent cinnamon swirl, this memoir blends family history, loving memories and cherished original recipes - a delight for all of the senses.

 -- Karen Jones, broadcast journalist and author

"a world of love, work, and most of all ... treats"

In "A Baker's Daughter" Marcy Brenner recreates the world of her childhood--a world of love, work, and most of all, of delicious bakery treats. - Pat Garber, nature writer and poet

"buy (it for the) recipe. read it to feed your soul"

Buy A Baker's Daughter to get the Chocolate Top Cookie recipe. Read it to feed your soul. - Sara Bernstein, screenwriter

"the real treat is the stories"

Converting bakery-volume recipes for home cooks is no small feat, and  fans of Brenner’s Bakery will undoubtedly love this book for enabling  them to recreate their favorites to enjoy at home. But the real treat of  A Baker’s Daughter is the stories. Told with Marcy’s remarkable  clarity, wit, and introspection – in beautiful lyrical language that  reflects her roots as a singer-songwriter – these tales of the family  that made the bakery so beloved are as delicious and pleasurable as any  of the sweet indulgences the bakery offered.   

- Kati Wharton, Baking  & Pastry Arts student 

"Engaging and heartfelt story of an immigrant family."

Marcy Brenner’s book tells the engaging and heartfelt story of an immigrant family making its way in the American century. Rich with photographs, first-hand accounts and recipes to die for, “A Baker’s Daughter” recalls a time before Starbucks and Big Box stores when family-owned businesses served as places of comfort, community and continuity for America’s burgeoning middle class. So grab a sweater, a cup of tea, and Marcy Brenner’s book. At least for a while, life will be sweet again.

Leslie Siddeley, consultant and writer living in Alexandria, VA

Available in hardcover & paperback


Note: Please allow about two weeks for delivery. Orders print on demand in batches especially for you!


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A Baker's Daughter: Recipes & Memories From A Family Bakery

by Marcy Brenner & Kristin Donnan

Editing and Design by Rockin' Dog Studios

Illustrations by Ginny Foard

Special Photos by Jessie Morrissey and Shane Moore

Photo Staging by Danielle

Photos from Brenner Family collection except where indicated.


Feed coming soon



Brenner's Bakery PUMPKIN PIE won the Best Pumpkin Pie in the Metro DC Area year after year after year ...

FREE Recipes!

Click and Print Recipes!

SUGAR COOKIES Recipe (jpg)


PIE CRUST Recipe (jpg)


ANGEL FOOD CAKE Recipe (jpg)


PUMPKIN PIE Recipe (jpg)


EMERGENCY Chocolate Fudge Base RECIPE from the web (docx)


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Marcy Brenner - marcelle r. brenner Publishing LLC

PO Box 734, Ocracoke, NC 27960, US

(252) 256-2081