Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The London Cupcake Tour

Every summer my family and I take a trip round London! Normally we go to Oxford St, look round the shops, and do the sights like Buckingham Palace.

This year I decided we would do an alternative tour – The London Cupcake Tour! (As originally seen on An American Cupcake In London – Kerrycooks also recently took the tour and you can read her post here A-Cupcake-Tour-Of-London)

Our tour looked a little something like this:

Harrods Food Hall – Lola’s Cupcakes
Candy cakes

Ella’s Bakery
Primrose Bakery

Hummingbird Bakery

View The Kitchen Goddess (in training!)'s London Cupcake Tour in a larger map

Here are my reviews of each of the cupcakeries!

Lola’s Cupcakes
As Lola’s was the first we visited, I was slightly greedy, I bought two large cupcakes – the Chocolate Sundae (£2.50) and Strawberries and Cream (£3.50). I was also spoilt for choice! The counter was huge with so many different varieties in all shapes and sizes!

We took our Harrods lunch (don’t worry I didn’t just eat cupcakes) to Hyde Park, and the cute little cardboard carry case came in extremely handy. By the time we found Hyde Park my cakes were still perfectly formed and fresh inside!

I tucked into the Chocolate Sundae cupcake first...
Oh my gosh...I had the BIGGEST sugar rush EVER! It was SO sickly! It was a lovely moist chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting, chocolate sauce, nuts and a cherry on top. I could barely get the whole way through it. It was just FAR too sweet, which kind of spoilt it for me. If they had a miniature version I think I would have enjoyed it more.

The strawberries and cream cupcake on the other hand was AMAZING! It was perfectly balanced – the right amount of sweetness, with an element of savoury. What I found really interesting was that the sponge was super light and moist, yet had the taste of a cream tea/scone! The sponge was the best sponge I ate all day. The buttercream was simple but that was what the sponge needed, and the fresh strawberry on top bought enough sharpness to balance the whole cake. Delicious!

Candy Cakes

Candy cakes was a bakery I had not originally planned to visit on my tour, I had not heard much about it before but its shop was so vibrant, that I couldn’t not go inside! They had two different types of cupcakes, the simpler, more traditional flavours, of which I chose peaches and cream, and then their candy cakes, which were HUGE. After my sugar rush earlier I was fearful that if I ate one of their giant candy cakes which were full of food colourings, and sweeties, that I would end up in a sugar coma, though they certainly looked impressive!

The cake I chose was unfortunately quite disappointing. At £2.50 it was a little overpriced, it was quite a bit smaller than the cakes I had had from Harrods. It also tasted NOTHING like peaches and cream. You would be forgiven for thinking it was a vanilla cupcake. Very disappointing.

It was also a shame that the store itself was quite cramped. It had been decorated beautifully but it was too dark and dingy to sit inside, and the counter itself was very cramped so we grabbed our cupcake and got out as soon as we could!

Ella’s Bakery

At Ella’s I chose to just have a taste – I had been adamant that I would try a red velvet cupcake on my tour as I have never had one before, so chose a miniature at just £1.50. Overall it was nice, but still couldn’t match the cakes from Lola’s. The ratio of buttercream to sponge just wasn’t right. I could barely taste the sponge which was what I was so excited about! It defeated the point. It was also a shame that Ella’s also didn’t have much room to sit so we went back out in to the Covent Garden Market.

Primrose Bakery

I was determined that I would visit both Primrose and Hummingbird Bakery, so after the disappointing cupcakes in the main Covent Garden Square, we went in search of Primrose Bakery. Just a short walk away we found the store which looked so simple, yet inviting my dad decided to treat himself to a peanut butter cookie as I had my cupcake! His cookie really didn’t last long!

We didn’t sit inside as it was late in the day and we still had plenty to see (including Portobello Road market) so we ate our goodies on the go. I chose a small chocolate cupcake with a beautiful iced flower on top. All of the cakes were beautifully decorated. The simple frosting was a nice break from the swirls on all the other cakes we had seen. Instead they focused on topping each cake with a unique decoration whether it was a different style/colour of flower or a variety of sprinkles!

I’m unsure how much my miniature cupcake was but with the cookie and cake coming to just £2.10 it couldn’t have been more than £1.50! A bargain!
  As for the cake itself, it was delicious! It had the perfect balance of sweet chocolate buttercream, but the sponge had a bitterness that meant it was nice to eat (no sugar coma for now!)

Hummingbird Bakery

Last but not least we visited Hummingbird Bakery on Portobello Road, but....they had practically run out of cakes! I couldn’t believe it! There were just two cakes left looking rather sorry for themselves. The shop staff were also busy dealing with a customer who was ordering a large batch of cakes, and there were no prices on anything so I chose not to buy one. I was hoping to see everything the bakery had to offer, and compare their own cakes to the ones in their recipe book (which never turn out quite right! Any advice here?) But there was no choice and they looked like they’d been sat there for a while so I thought it was best to leave it – perhaps I’ll try one another day.

All in all we had a lovely day, visiting the antiques stalls on Portobello Road, visiting the National Portrait Gallery, and eating lunch in Hyde Park, but I was most definitely craving savoury food when I got in that night!

Overall, my favourite cupcake was Strawberries and Cream from Lola’s bakery in Harrods, BY FAR! I still can’t understand how they got the taste of a scone with the texture of a cake! Heaven! I highly recommend visiting Lola’s!


  1. I love the guy in the front of the Hummingbird Bakery pic! On a serious note, I've never had any problems with anything from the Hummingbird books but I don't really have any suggestions... I don't tend to worry until things go wrong!
    Looks like you had a lovely sugary day anyway :)


  2. I really can't work out what I do wrong?! I have no trouble with good old fashioned Mrs Beetons, or my Primrose book but Hummingbird just doesn't agree with me haha!

    What a shame I'll just have to keep on trying ;)


  3. I visited Lolas in Harrods the other week and had a red velvet- the cream cheese frosting was AMAZING. I have my eye on the oreo cookie one for next time!

    They have a larger selection of Lola's cakes in Selfridges and somewhere to sit down for a drink as well! xxx

  4. Hummingbird recipes don't really ever work out for me either!

    Wow I really wish I'd had a Lola's cupcake now, they sound amazing!!!

  5. That sounds like my dream tour! I love the Primrose Bakery recipe book, so it's good to hear that the real deal is fab too.



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