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American style cupcakes in London (central)

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isabella_deste Apr 28, 2008 07:16 AM

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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    DollyDagger RE: isabella_deste Apr 28, 2008 08:07 AM

    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. zuriga1 RE: isabella_deste Apr 28, 2008 10:11 AM

      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
        babybat RE: zuriga1 Apr 29, 2008 03:17 AM

        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
          zuriga1 RE: babybat Apr 29, 2008 03:35 AM

          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
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          isabella_deste RE: zuriga1 Apr 29, 2008 08:48 AM

          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
            zuriga1 RE: isabella_deste Apr 29, 2008 11:16 AM

            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
              babybat RE: isabella_deste Apr 30, 2008 08:35 AM

              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
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                bagelfairy RE: babybat May 1, 2008 11:40 AM

                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
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                  ruddy RE: babybat May 15, 2008 04:33 PM

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

            2. Kake RE: isabella_deste Apr 28, 2008 10:40 AM

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

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                Harters RE: isabella_deste Apr 29, 2008 11:21 AM

                "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
                  nanette RE: Harters Apr 30, 2008 03:08 AM

                  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
                    iheartcupcakes RE: nanette May 6, 2008 11:46 AM

                    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
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                      DollyDagger RE: iheartcupcakes May 6, 2008 01:28 PM

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

                      1. re: DollyDagger
                        iheartcupcakes RE: DollyDagger May 6, 2008 01:48 PM

                        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
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                        isabella_deste RE: iheartcupcakes May 8, 2008 05:38 AM

                        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. clkristoff RE: isabella_deste May 7, 2008 04:51 AM

                    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!

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                      funkygirl RE: isabella_deste May 7, 2008 09:59 AM

                      I am always on the hunt for American style cupcakes- ie with loads of thick, gooey frosting (NOT icing!) I was impressed with the cupcakes at Konditor & Cook http://www.konditorandcook.com/ and I also like the Hummingbird Bakery.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: funkygirl
                        iheartcupcakes RE: funkygirl May 8, 2008 06:35 AM

                        Do Konditor and Cook do cupcakes? I've never seen them in there and i'm there lots as I walk home via the Borough branch most days! I've had their magic cakes but they've got icing on.

                        1. re: iheartcupcakes
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                          funkygirl RE: iheartcupcakes May 8, 2008 07:32 AM

                          Hi- I have only been to their location on Tottenham Court Road inside Heal's or Habitat's so I can't vouch for the others....

                          1. re: funkygirl
                            iheartcupcakes RE: funkygirl May 8, 2008 09:09 AM

                            Isn't that Peyton and Byrne inside Habitat/Heals not Konditor and Cook? Konditor and Cook haven't a store there I dont think.

                            I've had the Peyton and Byrne ones - they were quite good.

                            The best in London in my opinion are Hummingbird, Crumbs and Doilies, Lolas, Primrose Bakery and Buttercup Bakery.

                            Theres reviews and pics of them all on my blog if you want addresses etc.

                            I'm hoping to try a new place tomorrow so will let you know :)

                          2. re: iheartcupcakes
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                            isabella_deste RE: iheartcupcakes May 9, 2008 04:19 AM

                            If Konditor and Cook made a Curly Wurly cup cake I would be a very happy bunny indeed!!

                            1. re: isabella_deste
                              iheartcupcakes RE: isabella_deste May 9, 2008 05:51 AM

                              you could make some chocolate ones and put some mini curly wurlys on top yourself!

                              i've got a recipe for rolo cupcakes, where you put a rolo in the middle before cooking - got to try and make them to see what they taste like.

                              i got some cupcakes at Whitecross Market today by Netty Poskitt - I can't find anything online about them but they're recommended by Time Out so will have them 2nite and let you know how they are! They looked cute :)

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