Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
Dec 14, 2012 07:02 AM

Best Red Velvet Cake

I'm visiting London for a couple of days and want to check out a British interpretation of red velvet cake. Could someone please recommend a bakery?

Ideally it would be an actual cake rather than a cupcake.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Lily Vanilli just off Columbia Road in E2 has a proper red velvet cake you can buy by the slice. But note they are only open on Sundays (but get down there as you will catch the flower market which is fabulous).

    1. What's a red velvet cake, please?

      Cakes aren't really my thing but I'm sure I dont recall ever seeing it. Presumably it's not a British cake.

      1. The hummingbird bakery also has red velvet cakes and cupcakes, there are a few of those around but think Lily Vanili is a better bakery.

        If you see Red Velvet at all it is typically a cupcake.

        @Harters - it's a sponge cake with an entire bottle of red food coloring and a couple of dashes of cocoa powder in the batter. These days it is often frosted with cream cheese frosting, though growing up it was always boiled frosting.

        1 Reply
        1. Bea's of Bloomsbury makes a wonderful red velvet cupcake which my wife thinks is the best in London.

          There's a branch in Holborn (near British museum) and another at St Paul's by the Cathedral.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ManInTransit

            You stole my suggestion. :-) I've never tried the red velvet at Bea's, but I'm sure it's really good like everything else they bake.

            1. re: ManInTransit

              Agreed. I'm not hugely fond of red velvet cake, and don't understand why one would seek out a British interpretation when there are St John's eccles cakes a 10 minute stroll away, but Bea's version is indeed very good.

              They usually have it in cupcake form, occasionally cake form.

            2. I'm not sure there is a "British interpretation" of red velvet cake as it's not an import that's taken off to the extent of being "naturalised", to to speak.

              It's not impossible to find, have seen it at Bea's and Hummingbird and am sure there are others. But it's just red velvet. It's claim to fame is the amount of food colouring, which doesn't seem like a great claim to fame to me. I'd rather have the same light chiffon cake with its touch of cocoa and skip the colouring. Especially with cheaper food colourings, you can taste the bitterness they give. Ick.