As Close to the US as You Can Get in London
The American Cupcake
I have been living in London for close to 2 years, but I was born and raised in Los Angeles. When I think about the difference in food, and what I miss most from home, it is difficult to really pinpoint something truly American.
The US is on the forefront of the culinary world, but it doesn’t have it’s own identity. Very few foods, especially ones worth caring about, are truly American. One though that I do brand as such is the cupcake and as far as American-style cupcakes go in London, Hummingbird Bakery is the best.
…the first to offer bespoke cakes…
About a month ago the home-grown bakery opened the doors to its fourth venue conveniently located near Spitalfields and the City. It is a bit difficult to find and my GPS refused to register the location, but upon arrival, I was so happy I persevered to find it.
This is by far the most spacious of locations and the first to offer bespoke cakes for parties and special occasions starting at £22.50 for a 6-inch (feeds 6-8). I however wasn’t looking for cakes; I was looking for my beloved cupcakes.
The Icing On The Cake
What sets Hummingbird apart from the competition, in my American opinion, is the frosting. Whereas some bakeries go for bold flavor combinations, Hummingbird sticks to the classics, but focuses on the texture. It comes down to getting the precise sugar to butter to milk/cream ratio to produce a silky, sweet, rich icing that blends together. I find at some other bakeries the frosting is grainy because the sugar granules don’t melt in enough.
I opted for a carrot cake cupcake topped with a superb cream cheese frosting. The cupcake’s warm spices remind me of Christmas and the cream cheese frosting is a comforting harmony of savory and sweet. I chose to pair my treat with an Illy cappuccino, although as this branch is trying out Teapigs tea, I was almost swayed away from my favored drink.
While there, I picked up a box to go. I even grabbed a gluten-free cupcake for a friend who rarely gets cake because of his intolerance. I also picked up a Rocky Road and would recommend anyone who loves chocolate, malt balls, and marshmallows run to get one NOW. I devoured it in shear minutes and have been craving one ever since.
I heard of places having “crack-cake”, so this must be the equivalent of “crack-cupcakes”. Beware, they’re addictive!
I also picked up the newest Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, which came out a few months ago. Tantalizing recipes are coupled with stunning food porn. I can’t wait to start testing it out. My waistline doesn’t stand a chance.
Hummingbird Bakery – 11 Frying Pan Alley, E1 7HS
Image courtesy of Hummingbird Bakery