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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

London's best cupcakes
© Rob Greig
By Time Out London Food & Drink and Megan Carnegie Brown |

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 of London's ten best cupcakes found in shops, bakeries and cafés going one step beyond the rest.

London's best cupcakes

London's best cupcakes, persian love cake, lily vanilli
© Rob Greig
Restaurants, Bakeries

Persian Love Cake at Lily Vanilli

icon-location-pin Bethnal Green


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?

London's best cupcakes, carrot cake, 108 pantry
© Rob Greig
Restaurants, British

Carrot cake at 108 Pantry

icon-location-pin Marylebone


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.

Venue says Come experience our take on autumnal beauties, and ode to seasonal produce that will delight all palates and suit all occasions.

London's best cupcakes, The Ambassador, Ms Cupcake
© Rob Greig
Restaurants, Cafés

The Ambassador at Ms Cupcake

icon-location-pin Brixton


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.

London's best cupcakes, Hummingbird Bakery, salted caramel cupcake
© Rob Greig
Restaurants, Tea rooms

Salted Caramel Cupcake at Hummingbird Bakery

icon-location-pin South Kensington


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.

Coconut Violet Bakery best cupcakes
Restaurants, Bakeries

Coconut at Violet Cakes

icon-location-pin Dalston


Think back to a time before freakshakes, bacon jam and ‘Man vs Food’. Claire Ptak may be Californian but she’s acing old-school English baking; fluffy, crumbly cake comes balanced with just the right amount of silky, snow-white coconut buttercream. Generous sprinklings of desiccated coconut add bite to this WI-standard indulgence, which would go dreamily with a strong brew. A worthy gold-star-winner at the village fete bake-off, this is simple baking at its best. 

Jaffa at Primrose Bakery best cupcakes
Andy Parsons
Shopping, Bakeries

Jaffa Cake at Primrose Bakery

icon-location-pin Primrose Hill


Points to Primrose Bakery for imagination – they’ve basically recreated the humble Jaffa Cake in cupcake form. Glossy, gloopy chocolate frosting is cut through by a light lemony sponge and an orange jam layer, near identical to the McVitie recipe. Get your hands on this bad boy when you want a nostalgia hit – without the dizzying sugar high.  

London's best cupcakes, Crumbs & Doilies, banana and chocolate cupcake
© Rob Greig
Shopping, Specialist food and drink

Banana & chocolate cupcake at Crumbs & Doilies

icon-location-pin Soho


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.

Andy Parsons
Restaurants, Bakeries

Red Velvet at Fairy Pan Bakery

icon-location-pin Brick Lane

£1 each, £16 for 25

After baking her first cake aged six, Silvia Stocchino (aka FairyPan) now magics up these bitesize beauties in her Homerton kitchen. Teensy enough to pop in your mouth but too good to gulp in one go, the moist red velvet bottom comes topped with a delicate blob of cream cheese frosting and a dusting of sugar pralines. Sod the restraint, have five – they’re too cute not to.
Posh Peanut Butter Flavourtown best cupcakes
Andy Parsons
Restaurants, Bakeries

Posh Peanut Butter Cup at Flavourtown Bakery

icon-location-pin Old Oak and Park Royal


Purists, look away now – there’s as much frosting on this as there is cake. Grotesque as that may be, we love it. Just one word of warning: don’t tackle this on your own – go halves with a sweet-toothed companion. PB mousse buttercream quivers like a giant blancmange when it’s cut open and a smooth Skippy core oozes from the choc-chip studded cake. The whole damn thing is dipped in chocolate, before being sprayed gold. Bonkers, but brilliant.

Banoffee at Peggy Porschen best cupcakes
Andy Parsons
Restaurants, Bakeries

Banoffee at Peggy Porschen Cakes

icon-location-pin Belgravia


Peggy’s banana bread-banoffee mashup made us lose our shit. In a good way. This celeb baker spares no expense on ingredients; dense sponge is flecked with black (proof there’s a fair bit of real banana in there), frosting is oh-so-velvety and chewy dark-choc chips grab you when you least expect them. Eat with caution: the perfectly sweetened toffee centre will get everywhere. But for a cupcake as wondrous as this, it’s worth getting your trousers dry-cleaned. 

Find more beautiful cakes in London

© Luana Failla

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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