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American style cupcakes in London (central)

There seem to be a proliferation of cupcake bakeries in West London - Notting Hill, Kensington etc. but hardly any in the centre (I'm thinking Soho, Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia, Covent Garden). Does anyone know where I might be able to satisfy my cravings (yes, I know its very 2006!) without having to go out on the central line during my rush hour?
I've tried Peyton and Byrne, by the way, but find the sponge is usually really dry and hockey puck-like.

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  1. I can't personally vouch for them, but I've heard very good things about:

    http://www.hummingbirdbakery.com/flas...

    This Gridskipper article may help too:

    http://gridskipper.com/travel/london/...

    If you find anywhere good, do report back because I've got a cupcake craving too!

    1. I liked the cupcakes and other pastries at Bea's of Bloomsbury. They were pretty much what they taste like in the States. They're buttery and I seem to remember them being moist. The shop's on Theobold's Road right around the corner from the Holborn Tube.

      http://www.beasofbloomsbury.com/

      7 Replies
      1. re: zuriga1

        I had lunch at Bea's recently; the quiche was delicious, although a bit on the small side given the price, but the cupcakes were very good. I had the vanilla and passionfruit, and the frosting was delicious - moist, refreshing and melt-in-the mouth. The sponge was a little dry, but the frosting totally redeemed it. My friend also raved about their peanut butter brownies.

        1. re: babybat

          My only criticism of Bea's after my trip there was the cost of things... but I still hold on to my American calculator-brain, which isn't wise in London. I bought some scones, too, which were very tasty.

        2. re: zuriga1

          Actually I have tried the Red Velvet at Bea's but (and I am loathe to say it as the woman behind the counter charmingly let me off paying 20p as I was short of change...and I LOVED the peanut butter brownie) I have to admit the frosting disappointed me slightly. It just seemed a bit bland compared to the Hummingbird Bakery one I tried. Is it really authentically American? I know they use marscapone rather than butter...The cake was lovely and moist though. Perhaps I just chose the wrong flavour.

          1. re: isabella_deste

            I don't treat myself to cupcakes often (maturity does not help the waistline much), but I'll try to get to Hummingbird one day so I can try those, too. American cupcakes have a variety of frostings as do cakes. I always liked the buttercream ones best (can even get it ready-made in supermarkets). I'm not sure if marscapone is common, but it sure does taste good.

            1. re: isabella_deste

              Mascarpone! Thanks for the tip, I'm going to try and recreate this at home; I suppose that would explain why it seemed wetter and had a less fatty mouthfeel than buttercream. Thank you!

              1. re: babybat

                The Mascarpone is just for the Red Velvet Cupcakes I believe---they're not as sweet at Hummingbird---the other icings are buttercream but not American style--french?

                1. re: babybat

                  I suppose they're using mascarpone in place of American cream cheese, which is the traditional frosting on red velvet cakes?

            2. Krista recently did a mini-tour of cupcake places; see http://kristainlondon.typepad.com/din... and the next two posts following that.

              1. "American style cupcakes"?

                Just curious but can anyone with experience both sides of the pond tell me if there's a difference between an American cupcake and British fairy cake?

                J

                5 Replies
                1. re: Harters

                  Cupcakes a bit bigger than fairy cakes and I think tend to be a bit more decadent with a rich frosting rather than a light icing. Bit "fluffier" too I think.

                  1. re: nanette

                    Hiya
                    I'm new to Chow - I found it whilst searching for cupcakes.

                    I'm not sure if you're still looking for cupcake places to go to but if you can get to Selfridges they have both Lolas Cupcakes and Primrose bakery cupcakes in their food hall. I believe Primrose Bakery are also available in Fortnum and Masons. They also have a really nice cafe in camden and are sold at Wholefoods in Camden.

                    I have an obsession with cupcakes (I blame visiting New York!) and have a blog on it - feel free to take a peek - I've been to most London cupcake places, and a few outside London too! If anyone knows any I've missed please get in touch

                    http://i-heart-cupcakes.blogspot.com/

                    1. re: iheartcupcakes

                      What a wonderful blog! Another delicious addition to my foodie favourites.

                      1. re: DollyDagger

                        Thank you very much!! I started it because people kept asking where to find cupcakes in London and whenever I'm shopping I stumble across cupcake items and thought it was nice to share!!

                        Thanks again :)

                      2. re: iheartcupcakes

                        That's brilliant news - just the sort of thing I was looking for! Selfridges is just about walkable in my lunch hour, so thank you very much! Cupcakes here I come.....

                        p.s. Great blog by the way. A girl after my own heart!!

                  2. There's a little bakery off of Tottenham Court Road called Penton and Bryne, and as a fellow american ex-pat I can vouch for these littler beauties. The shop is actually located inside, and inbetween the Habitat and Heals almost across from Goodge St station. Highly recommended!