So, last Saturday I unexpectedly ended up going to one of my favourite bakeries I have always wanted to go to. When I was probably about 15 and my Mum gave me my first Humming Bird Bakery cookbook. Since then I have always wanted to visit the place itself. Since starting this blog my urge to grew and grew and finally, on Saturday, it happened!
It may sound silly to some people how much I wanted to go to The Hummingbird Bakery but sometimes it’s just the little things that can really make your day/weekend. It was only Friday night I and my boyfriend planned we’d go to London to visit the Imperial War Museum. Where we live we often find we run out of things to do so we decided to take a spontaneous trip out!
So how did we end up in the Humming Bird Bakery from the Imperial War Museum? Well, we went to Leicester Square for a pint and then a thought came to me. We’re near Soho…which means we’re near the Humming Bird Bakery! My boyfriend understands my love for cakes and could probably tell how excited I was, so he agreed to do the 15min walk for me.
For those who have no idea what I’m banging on about here’s a bit more info about the bakery. The Hummingbird bakery bakes American style cakes and came to the UK in 2004, starting off in Notting Hill. They opened up in London as the owner of the bakery felt there was a gap in the market for truly authentic American style baking. They have a series of recipe books out as well.
The Hummingbird Bakery is located in 5 destinations in London-Soho, Spitalfields, South Kensington, Islington, Notting Hill and Richmond. I went to the one in Soho, which as I said is a 15min walk from Leicester Square. A quicker tube destination is Tottenham Court Road or Oxford Circus. But basically, if you’re in Mayfair, Leicester Square or Covent Garden it’s an easy walk.
The bakery in Soho is small but nonetheless still a gorgeous little thing. There are high breakfast style tables and chairs to sit on along the side if you just can’t resist the temptation of eating the cakes there and then! I’m sure if we got there earlier I would of happily of sat in and enjoyed a moment of indulgence. There wasn’t a queue when we got there which was a pleasant surprise. Sometimes a lot of the food shops unique to London can have horrendous queues going out the door and I am just not about that.
In terms of hot drinks, I’ll be honest, I was so distracted by the cakes I didn’t even take a look at these for that, I apologise.
Let’s crack on with the cakes. The bakery is very well known for its cupcakes. You can see why as soon as you walk in! The cupcake selection is so big, and they all look so well decorated and identical to one another. The flavours range from vanilla, chocolate, oreo, snickers, salted caramel, black bottom, red velvet etc etc. But trust me when I say the overall look of these cakes are so sweet and so amazing. They also have novelty ones, for example, when I went they had a rainbow one as you can see from the pictures. They also do brownies and a selection of cakes such as a rainbow style one, walnut, chocolate, again the variety is great! They also do a monthly special! They bake the cakes fresh on site with each bakery having its own cake experts and kitchen. If that isn’t enough to entice you, do read on…
I bought the Black Bottom cupcakes and a Snickers cupcake to take away. This cost me £6.10. For a store in London, which is unique and popular in social media etc, this price is good. I’ve been to a place where it’s been more. The boxing was beautiful as well. They were sturdy and had good cupcake holders which you knew were going to withstand the bustle of the tube on the way home. It also came with a cake care leaflet, telling you how to get them home in one piece, and when to eat them. Buying the cakes themselves with all these elements was a great experience.
Now on to the tasting! The Snickers cupcake was definitely the sweetest of the two. It had a peanut caramel middle, with chocolate sponge, chocolate buttercream and a small bit of snickers and peanuts for the topping. The sponge was chocolaty and delicious and as was the buttercream. The middle did make it incredibly rich, but that’s OK if you like a rich peanut butter taste. The Black Bottom was also lovely. The sponge was a mix of vanilla and chocolate with chocolate chips, and the buttercream was a light, beautifully balance cream cheese buttercream. It was easily one of the best cheese cream icings I’ve ever had, not too sickly and just light enough. I also forgot to mention both cakes made it from London to Bedford safely with no damage! (hooray!)
If you haven’t got the time to go to London anytime soon never fear, there’s more to offer. The Hummingbird Bakery website is full of inspiration for baking and has a great section of baking advice! The Recipe books are 10/10 as well. They are jammed pack of ideas which are unique and fun to bake, and the recipes are easy to follow. I couldn’t recommend these books more. You can usually get them for a really good price on Amazon used as well.
The Hummingbird Bakery experience was most definitely a good one. Again, it has inspired me to continue to explore my baking and get creative. The cakes were delicious, the website is so helpful, and the shop itself is so pretty. If you’re in London, google map the nearest Humming Bird and take some treats home. I can assure you, you will not be disappointed!