My cupcake tour of London

Well it was good! I knew of some bakeries I wanted to visit, and using Google I found a few more. I got all the cakes to go – I wanted to show them off to Lewis and his sister back at the hotel, and take away costs a little less. Plus, I had my doubts I could eat that many cup cakes in one day! The idea initially came from this site which I found a long time ago. So when I found out I was going to have a free day in London, this seemed like a really good way to spend it. I chose to miss a few places that were just a bit too far from where I would be, or that had uninformative websites. A few of the well known names only do markets, on days I wasn’t there, so I had to miss them too.

The first stop was the Hummingbird Bakery, literally right next to the South Kensington tube station. The cafe looks just like a classic city cupcake cafe should. My only disappointment was that I did not go on a lemon meringue cupcake day! Or a S’moreAnne cupcake day! I chose the black bottom cupcake, on the basis that everything looked good but this was one I was less likely to try and make at home. These guys know how to make a boxed cupcake look awesome, it was a practical box, but a bit quirky too. It did a great job of protecting the cupcake on its travels in my handbag. And in the eating analysis? Yum! The cheesecake in the middle was a little strong for my taste, but it was a good chocolate cupcake and delicious subtle cream cheese icing.

A quick tube ride later I was in Covent Garden, off to find Primrose Bakery. I was diverted though by Ella’s Bakehouse, which I just happened to pass by (and forget to take a photo of). They had a really good selection, and a few bar stools to sit at. I chose to go for the minis – the only place that had them actually. So a mini chocolate and a mini red velvet (I don’t like red velvet, so hence why I thought mini was the way to go) were placed into a paper bag. This is not a good way for cupcakes to travel! They delicate swirls on top were barely recognisable when I got back. Lewis helped with the taste test for this one – and red velvet was declared the better of the two – and a contender for best out of all the cakes. The chocolate one was nice and light, and not overly sweet. The red velvet sponge was quite bland, as they do tend to be, and was made entirely by the delicious cream cheese icing!

I did then make it to Primrose Bakery, which had a nice cafe vibe going on – you can’t go wrong with cheery yellow paint! Choosing the cupcake was not so easy due to a lack of labelling, but you can’t mistake lemon slices for anything but a lemon cupcake. So decision made, it was a paper bag for this cupcake too, which was a shame, cause it was such a classic, pretty cupcake – a contender for one of the best looking cupcakes. Having relatively survived the journey round London, it was very tasty – a classic lemon sponge, with a sweet lemony icing.

It was a very nice walk around the Covent Garden area to get to Candy Cakes. This place screams funky! They had your standard cupcakes with buttercream icing, and then the Candy Cakes they are known for, which I think is decorated with poured fondant. They have a good selection to choose from, and they are decorated with a selection of sweets – most are decorated with the usual penny sweets, or some bigger marshmallow shapes. So I chose a double chocolate one with a foamy banana –mmmm! This one was placed in a cellophane bag, very pretty. And I think its survival back to the hotel was helped by the firmness of the icing, and being the only cupcake in the camera bag! I saved this one for the train home (it turns out there is such a thing as too many cupcakes for one day), and it was worth the wait. More muffin textured than cupcake, but a nice chocolaty taste, although a bit dry – possibly from the delay in eating it, but you never know! With a glass of milk, it would have been perfect.

The final stop was a little further away, I went through China Town to arrive in Soho to find Cox Cakes and Cookies (the owners surname is Cox, which suits the area well!). Apparently a joint effort from designer Cox and Eric Lanlard aka Cake Boy, this shop wins coolest of them all hands down. Everything is black, with some mirrors and neon lighting for good measure – and the look works so well. The shop also has a few barstools for eating in, and some amazing glassware for sale. I chose the classic chocolate cake and for good measure a Nanaimo bar. Each treat got its own box which is always a good thing, although as I knocked the box, the cupcake got a little smooshed. Now I love Nanaimo bars, so I will admit that this shops cool website and the availability of a Nanaimo bar made me put it on my list. The Nanaimo bar was gorgeous to look at – topped with what could only be called a decadent ganache, and gold leaf, it looked beautiful. It tasted good too – but not the same as Nanaimo bars I had in Canada, and there were nuts in the base which I don’t like. Still delicious, but it didn’t live up to my dream Nanaimo bar.  As for the cupcake the taste was lovely – not too sweet icing, and a nice chocolaty cake.

The prices were all much of a muchness, so the tour wasn’t as expensive I as I thought it might be – around £2 for each cake. Seeing all the cakes makes it hard to choose just one! And as they are all in shopping areas, there are a lot of pleasant distractions on the way around.

Cupcake shops are ‘everywhere’ but it was interesting to see that not a single one of the shops was like the other  – although perhaps only going to five doesn’t really let me judge, I think it shows that they all have their own clear brand, linked with the books and products they have available.

Having read reviews online, I was not sure they would all be good choices for the actual cakes – but all the cakes I had were good! I would go back to any of these places again – and I genuinely can’t decide where I would go first, although Ella’s Bakehouse has the edge I think.

If I was doing this again I might be so daft as to bring my own 6 hole cupcake box so they can all travel safely. Or that might just be too odd!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: London Cupcake Tour Round 2 | A Kimbo Cake

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