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London's best cupcakes

The cupcake is back and more tempting than ever. Start the countdown on London's ten best cupcakes whipped up in masterful bakeries, cafés and shops around town

The combination of sweet icing and fluffy sponge in an irresistibly cute package means cupcakes are our tea-time treat of choice. Delve into our delectable countdown on London's ten best cupcakes found in shops, bakeries and cafés going one step beyond the rest.

© Rob Greig

Peanut butter cupcake at Rubys of London

One of 12 for £35

Nuts for peanut butter? This one’s for you. Rubys does a Deliciously Dark selection box that includes this concoction of dark chocolate sponge slathered with a silky peanut topping. And here’s the surprise: it’s vegan and gluten-free too.

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© Rob Greig

Dark Chocolate Darling at BB Bakery


This bad boy is a truly indulgent affair. BB Bakery’s ‘Darling’ has a dark cocoa base and perched on top is a swirl of thick, take-no prisoners sweet coffee buttercream, with a sprinkling of shiny micro-balls scattered over the top. Because who doesn’t love a tiny edible Xmas tree decoration?

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Covent Garden
© Rob Greig

Magic Cakes at Konditor & Cook


Think posh fondant fancies and you’ve got a good approximation of Konditor & Cook’s signature Magic Cakes. The deliciously light lemon sponge has just a hint of marzipan and a full coat of icing. And if you really want to say it with sugar, they can be personalised too (starting at £3.25). Magical stuff.

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© Rob Greig

Red velvet cake at Parcafé at The Dorchester


You might not be able to afford a night’s kip at one of London’s finest hotels, but you can get a flavour of the high life by tucking into one of their cakes. With its jammy centre, this one’s a cross between a fluffy cake and a doughnut. And it’s quite sublime.

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© Rob Greig

Salted Caramel Cupcake at Hummingbird Bakery


Billed as ‘authentic American cakes’, Hummingbird’s offerings are big on what our Stateside pals call ‘frosting’ but thankfully what’s beneath is just as good too. The salted caramel has enough sweetness to get you through a dull Monday morning meeting.

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South Kensington
© Rob Greig

Raspberry cupcake at Bake-a-boo


In a little corner of West Hampstead you’ll find something that reminds you of old-school British birthday parties. Those were the days when cupcakes were called fairy cakes. The icing, which comes topped off with a raspberry, is super-sweet and guaranteed to make your inner child smile.

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West Hampstead
© Rob Greig

The Ambassador at Ms Cupcake


Intolerant, vegan or just plain fussy, you’ll be fine here. This Brixton indie cake shop has all the bases covered with its dairy-free range. The Ambassador is a kick-ass chocolate sponge covered in nuts, like a Ferrero Rocher on steroids.

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© Rob Greig

Carrot cake at 108 Pantry


At this boutique hotel in Marylebone you’ll find one of the best carrot cakes in London. Topped with a dollop of tart cream-cheese icing, it has the sort of homemade quality that would make Mary Berry proud. It’s served with a slice of carrot to remind you that it’s okay, there’s some of nature’s goodness in there too.

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© Rob Greig

Persian Love Cake at Lily Vanilli


In the ultra-competitive world of cupcake-making, you need to keep upping your game, and that’s exactly what bakery goddess Lily Vanilli has done. Her Persian Love Cakes are the perfect consistency: not too heavy, not too light – and they come with micro-nuggets of pecan. As for the towering rose, balanced precariously on top… before you dismiss it as style over substance, know this: it holds your destiny. That’s right, there’s a teeny-tiny fortune cookie note tucked inside. How cute is that?

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Bethnal Green
© Rob Greig

Banana & chocolate cupcake at Crumbs & Doilies


This cupcake is completely amazing IF you eat it the right way. Which is to start at the bottom, then – slowly – work your way up. This means you'll fully appreciate the subtle banana flavour of the moist, not-too-sweet cake, before one of the chocolate chips melts in your mouth and you finally reach the creamy chocolate icing. You can also get it in a mini version (£1.45), which is so adorable we could cry.

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Find more beautiful cakes in London

The best cakes in London

We Londoners like a little sweetness in our lives. And it's not all iced buns and victoria sponges – we have baked goods from across the globe right here on our doorstep. As proof, we've picked ten of the most beautiful and delicious cakes we could find to show that a spoonful of sugar really does help everything go down.

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By: Ashleigh Arnott


James G
James G

I see the annual Cupcake article has re-surfaced with predictable drudgery.  Time Out has sold out, filling innocent minds with poorly researched advice with clearly no actual interest in the products they are selecting. Some of these are cakes offered by top quality hotels with dedicated pastry chefs. The type of chefs that have been trained from 4yrs old and only allowed outside when it snows to take inspiration how to ice a Victoria sponge, or a dry red velvet. I'm also stunned that an entirely Vegan company is here. Vegan cupcakes are totally fine but they are like electric cars, if you made a list of the top 10 cars available Tesla wouldn't be on it.

For me Crumbs and Doilies are the best cupcakes. There are imitators (behave, Flavourtown) but little come close. Each to their own, but to not feature in this list again is wrong. I like them because of the way the icing marries with the soft sponge. Baking the sponge closely to the time of icing is crucial, as well as the icing mixture itself to make this happen, and that's why I like them. This also translates to the bigger cakes as well, which are meticulously designed and so much care goes into each one.

If I have to walk past that empty Lola's cart in Blackfriars station again, I may report them for unsuitable working conditions for their staff.

Katarzyna A
Katarzyna A

James G Could you mention the companies you are talking about? would appreciate. @James G 

James G
James G

This is surely one of the most inaccurate and poorly researched articles I have seen in Time Out. There are companies that are working incredibly hard to create a genuinely brilliant product, and to have some half baked (yup I did it) PR backed stunt knock them back in favor of mass produced, dull and fault filled cakes, is very disappointing.  I know that companies mentioned here have questionable practices when producing cakes that compromise their quality. Recent buy-outs have led to falls in standards and corner cutting is very obvious when making such a delicate product. Other companies, not featured here, produce cakes without freezing the sponges after mass production runs, use very high quality ingredients and have an excellent brand to boot. Also,  this is clearly just a re-print (again lazy) as comments left are from 2013 when the article above says printed in 2015...

mariam o
mariam o

Do you mind giving some suggestions, I'm looking for somewhere 2-3 friends and could seat and enjoy some cakes and a cuppa. Somewhere not too busy prefebly not a chain (:

James G
James G

@mariam o It depends on the atmosphere/decore/style you're after. There is no small list of venue to suggest in London and they are spread all over so have a proper think about where you might be in town and research that area. Any 5* hotel will be good but will pay a lot for them, if you just want a cake and a cuppa then there are many places available.

Kimberly S
Kimberly S

Crumbs & Doilies cupcakes, coffee, and cakes are wonderful and not too sweet.  Jemma, the owner, has 250,000 following her on YouTube, where she makes it look easy to make different flavours and seasonal cupcakes with great artistry, such as ghosts and bandaged mummies for Halloween.  Their lovely new shop is near Carnaby Street: 1 Kingley Court, W1B 5PW.