The combination of sweet icing and fluffy sponge in an irresistibly cute package is our tea-time treat of choice. Here's our guide to the bakeries, cafes, tea rooms and coffee shops baking London's best cupcakes
This West Hampstead tea room taps in to the girlie side of things, even paying homage to Carrie from ‘Sex and the City’ with a cupcake flavoured with vanilla, cranberry and Cointreau – the ‘Carrie’ Cosmopolitan. There are gluten- and dairy-free creations too.
Best known for its light buttercream frostings, such as a deliciously tart raspberry number atop rich chocolate cake. Get your fix from either the Bloomsbury original or the new branch at One New Change near St Paul’s Cathedral.
Crumbs & Doilies
Partridges Fine Food Market, Duke of York Square, SW3 4LY (10am-4pm Sat/www.crumbsanddoilies.co.uk); Chocodeli, 24 Upper Tachbrook St, SW1V 1SW (9.30am-5.30pm Fri; 9am-5.30pm Sat).
This market favourite is still going strong, trading in crowd-pleasing cupcake flavours from salted caramel (made with proper Maldon sea salt) to raspberry and white chocolate. There are vegan cupcakes, too.
For ultimate US-style cupcakes. They tend to err on the sweet side, but the range of flavours is a big plus. Strawberry cheesecake, for example, is vanilla sponge with strawberries, cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of crushed digestive biscuits. It’s recently launched a ‘Made Without’ range, which means cupcakes made without gluten.
Pastry chef Clare Ptak brought her beautifully made cupcakes to Broadway Market in 2005, and finally opened her own café in increasingly trendy Wilton Way, Hackney, in 2010. The signature is a candied violet cupcake, though we’ve a soft spot for the mellow coconut milk creation. The mini bite-sized cupcakes are perfect for a spontaneous treat.
US favourites such as red velvet and banana split make up a good chunk of the flavours on offer here, but there are some British concessions, too, such as Bounty bar. The main shop is in Kensington but a kiosk at Westfield London provides sweet respite in between shopping sprees.