I'm writing this before lunch, which seems like a stunningly awful idea. It's currently sunny outside and I work ~20 minutes walking distance from here, so now that I thought of reviewing this, I'm highly tempted to ditch the review and go pick up a cupcake instead.
I have a huge sweet tooth, but it's a very picky one. So when my parents had a cake delivered to me for my birthday from Hummingbird, I was initially somewhat wary. After all, they're in the US, so I (rightly) assumed they just went with the first bakery that had online delivery available.
Then I ate the cake.
I don't even really like cake. In most cases, I find it dry and much less interesting than other desserts (read: chocolate). I'm that person that asks for just a teeny-tiny slice of the birthday cake: not because I'm trying to watch my sweets intake, but because I'm really only eating it to be polite.
This cake was oh-so-different. It was moist and rich and flavorful, and the frosting was creamy without that overwhelming-pure-sugar flavor. I was very sad when the cake was gone.
With this joyous memory, I went here to pick up cupcakes for a friend's dinner party a month or two later. Everyone loved loved loved them; at the end, my friend even said "usually I'd offer to let you take some of the leftovers home...but in this case, I'm going to keep these as your housewarming gift to me."
So why only 4 stars? Because the bill on that cupcake order was bad. These are ~£2-3 per cupcake (more for the fancier ones), and to my unfortunate surprise, there's no discount for bulk orders.
All-in-all, definitely an amazing treat, but I'd advise against a bulk order.
This is a quintessential American cupcakery. I tried the red velvet and chocolate bottom. Both were good but I would recommend the chocolate over the red velvet only because I still prefer the red velvet at Sprinkles. (check it out if you're ever in the golden state of California.)
The place is cute and colorful, and it's just around the corner from Oxford Circus. I'm definitely coming back to try the carrot next time!
The only downfall is that the cupcakes are a little pricey. (But that's kind of expected right? ....A cupcake bakery in central London. Yeah.)
There is nothing better than a cake from this bakery. I've got a serious sweet tooth so I am soooo glad that I live no-where near this place or I would be there regularly!
So where should I start... Chocolate cake/carrot cake are a must have. Their Red velvet cake should be on your list of things to try before you die. Cupcakes always look (and taste) amazing. They also do some nice tea to go with all the sweet goodness!
As pricey as they may seem, it is worth the money as a treat. However, if you become an addict like me they also have some great baking books so you can regularly spoil yourself at home!
In a way, I'm glad I don't live closer to Hummingbird Bakery because I would probably be ten times larger from visiting every day!
The cupcakes are always good, but it was the rainbow birthday cake I had on a recent visit that was particularly excellent.
The only downside is the prices, but I guess you get what you pay for.
10 steps that need to be implemented every time one visits this place.
1. Go to Hummingbird.
2. Graze on the array of sweets.
3. Spend around 15 minutes contemplating which cupcake to eat.
5. No, REALLY decide (if you can't, just get Red Velvet).
6. Spend more time reflecting on your decision.
7. Move on to the till.
9. Leave the premises immediately.
If you fail to apply step 9 you might end up repeating steps 1-8 until you decide to go online and look for a new gym to join.
Yes, it's that good.
Very nice place for cupcakes lovers :)
Beautiful, colorful and tasty cupcakes.
Everything we tried was very good.
Not the best cupcakes I've ever had, but not bad! A bit pricey for the quality of the cupcake, I think. Cute little shop, though!
Red velvet.... awesome
expensive but very tasty, i have fallen in love with their black bottom cupcake, a lovely chocolate cake base with a cheesecake topping. In my opinion the best cupcake there.
Their death by chocolate defeated me, it was indeed too chocolatty for a selfconfessed chocoholic, could do with better seating
Leave it to me to have absolutely no idea that this is an American bakery. Ha! The red velvet is actually pretty good despite what some people have said, although I did feel like the whole atmosphere was a bit on the stiff side.
You know sometimes you walk into a small shop and there are way more service people than patrons? That's pretty much how I felt here at Hummingbird. They really need to lay back on the people asking if you need help since you can clearly see what they have to offer.
This place is almost like ... Sprinkles, but with more character and way more pink. The frosting is a little on the sweet side but the cake is dense and moist! Definitely a delightful afternoon treat.
A tad too sweet for my liking. Nevertheless, really pretty cup cakes and cakes. I think it would be quite nice as presents.
Just a quick note to say that a branch of this famous American bakery has opened in Soho.
Expect to find some of London's best cupcakes here. Though the icing can look alarmingly colourful, no preservatives are used. You can also get some of the USA's famous sweet desserts - pecan pie, red velvet cake, Mississippi mud pie and New York style cheesecake.
Good competition for Princi and Pastry Pilgrim nearby
Er...overly hyped. I've had better cupcakes in Hong Kong. Seriously.
The icing on my red velvet cupcake was good. The cake itself was okay. As in... I could eat it, but I don't have to.
There was this big slice of chocolate cake that my friend dared purchase. That was pretty nice.
This is something like 3.5 stars, but given all the cupcake renown this bakery has, I don't understand why it's sooo well-loved. Have the English not had a proper cupcake before? (I can reco that place in HK if you want...)
Oh, and I don't think freshness was an issue, because I walked in literally as they opened the door at 9:30am on a Friday morning.
Just perfection. I love their special Daily muffins the Nutella cupcakes are my favorites they just melt in my mouth and I have to force myself to stop eating them. Sometimes I drive to the place exclusively to get some of this goodness!
I recommend them strongly
Ugh! Ugh ugh ugh! Staying in Soho one weekend, we walked past this bakery, saw the line, and thought, hm, it might be good. They certainly look good, with brightly colored frosting and a fun "cupcake of the day." I was excited when I saw that the next day they would have a Boston Cream cupcake--one of my favorites, and of course as a Bostonian I appreciated the nod, so we made plans to come back the next day.
We decided to keep it simple and bought a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting, but didn't eat it until about an hour later. The store manager is lucky we were no longer in the vicinity, because I probably would have complained. This was, without a doubt, one of the worst cupcakes I've ever put in my mouth. While the cake itself was all right (moist, but tasteless), the frosting was VILE. Upon closer inspection, you could see the granules of sugar and an opaqueness that indicated a high water content in the frosting. It was like shoving a spoonful of raw sugar in my mouth. I don't know how you manage to bleed the flavor out like that and leave revolting sweetness in its wake, but they did it.
Needless to say, we didn't bother to go back for the Boston Cream. God only knows what they would have done to it.
As a cupcake baker and fan, I've heard a lot about Hummingbird over the past few years but had never gotten around to trying them until this trip to London. My daughter and I visited the Wardour Street boutique and tried 4 different cupcakes in total. While small, I loved the presentation of the shop -- there was quite a big assortment of cakes, loaves, whoopie pies and cupcakes (both regular and gluten-free, what is billed as "Without"). The gal who waited on us was just adorable and since there was no room at their limited seating area, she made space for us to eat at the counter.
What we tried: chocolate/chocolate (liked this the least; cake was not very chocolatey, a bit dry, and frosting was a bit on the thick side), vanilla/vanilla (good but again not flavorful enough), red velvet (frosting was delicious; cake was a bit off in terms of being billed as a red velvet - it certainly had the right color but the tangy aspect of a RV was missing. If my eyes were closed, I probably would have said it was a vanilla cake) and carrot cake (my favorite of the bunch - the spice blend was amazing and rich, and again it had that delicious cream cheese frosting). My one gripe for the cupcakes overall was that the addition of a simple fondant cut- out on the cupcake added I believe 50 pence to the bill. Knowing the price of fondant and how easy these are to make, I was a bit surprised.
I loved their take-out boxes. Note cupcakes are several pence cheaper when you get them to go (which is what I assume most people do as seating as limited (small bar area with about 6 stools. Also to note, there are no customer bathrooms. Not a big deal for us but might be useful info for someone.
Now that Love Bakery is closed, if I needed to buy cupcakes again in London, I would probably go with Hummingbird.
The red velvet cupcake is pretty amazing. It reminds me of Sprinkles, in the US, not quite as good but better than anything I've had in Britain.
Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. That is all I really need to say.
Seriously, though, I am super duper glad that they've moved into the neighbourhood. We usually receive at least one box of cakes per week from clients and agencies, and the red velvet ones are always the first to go.
The store itself is a shiny, colourful place filled with tidy rows of gorgeous little cupcakes. The variety is vast, from fluorescent-pink, sugar-butterfly -adorned sparkly cakes to some killer looking savoury cheese and courgette muffins. No matter how rushed I am when I visit Hummingbird, I always spend a few moments admiring the selection of coloured frosting and edible glitter.
Not only do they look impressive, but they taste GREAT. I can't handle more than a half a cake at a time because they are so dang sweet, but that half cake is simply divine.
If you, like me, can't justify spending £2 on a single cupcake, there are ladies standing on Argyll Street most mornings handing out vouchers for free mini-cupcakes. They're only redeemable certain days, but this is an excellent way to avoid spending too much money and keep the sugar rush to a minimum.
Freshly made cupcakes and cakes to tickle yo' taste buds.
Compared to the other branches in London, the amosphere at this branch is very 'moderneqsue' if there is such a word. I love the fact that this store is hidden well away from the busy high street. They have one table at the back and table bar on the left hand side oh and they had a big sign at the back saying 'no toilets'.
When all the world's a hopeless jumble, or I'm just having one of those days, sometimes only a cupcake moment will do. When I feel like that, I head on over to the Hummingbird Bakery on Wardour Street.
This little gem is hidden away at the bottom of Wardour Street and from the moment you step into it, you start to smile. The interior is a riot of pink and brown and oddly also features a light brown entry carpet, that slightly jars in terms of the overall look and must be hell to keep clean.
Peppered along the wall, above their seating area (six bar stools, which are fiercely thought over, as it is the only available seating) were Warhol lookalike cupcake prints and for some unexplicable reason a massive tv screen with more images of cupcakes on it.
Rather a missed opportunity I thought, as they could have used for example clips about the company and its founder, the in-store bakery as well as their cakes and cupcakes receipes being made.
Once you snake around in the queue towards the counter, your eyes are meet with Wonka type cakes and loaves in various flavours and colours - I particularly recommend the Devil's Chocolate Cake and the delicious Lemon Loaf.
So what about the cupcakes? Well if you're feeling adventurous I'd plum for their daily special. My favourite was Sunday's Chocolate Caramel. If you want a guaranteed favourite, then go for the classic Red Velvet.
This was perfection. Just the right texture and depth, it was light and moist and the cream cheese frosing was luscious. I found the basic chocolate and vanilla cupcakes a tad dry, but at £2 they are the cheapest cupcakes on the menu, which rises (as does everything on the menu) if you eat in, in this instance to £2.15.
The winning cupcake for me was the Black Bottom. This dark chocolate cheesecake combination was really lovely. Perfectly balanced in favour and large enough to leave you wanting more.
If you're getting take-out, look out for a cute Chinese takeout style carton for a single cupcake or depending on how many cupcakes you buy, the distinctive pink and brown Hummingbird packaging in box sizes of 2, 6 or 12.
Finally, there's the staff. Excluding their over zealous manager, the girls in the store are fantastic, friendly and knowledgeable about their products. My favourites were Nathaly and Sigita, who couldn't do enough to ensure that both myself and my cupcake companion enjoyed a great customer service experience.
This shop is great because it's not full as much as the Notting Hill and Kensington branches.
My favorites are carrot cake and cheese cake cupcakes!
I don't know what I can say about this shop that has not been said already. But the cupcakes are so damn good that I can't help myself yelping about it!
Before starting reviewing I need to give a big bravo to Hummingbird for putting up such a great internet website. That's the key really to sucess, because when you see such yummy cupcakes in HD on your screen, you just want to go straight away to try it out.
This Hummingbird Bakery is located on the famous Wardour Street, just beside one Pastry Shop that looks also very appealing from the outside window.
The shop is colorful in a pink-mauve color that's make its very perky.
Inside it's very small but clean and there's often people waiting in line to get some of these sweets.
Some seats near the wall are available but very very tiny space.
The cupcakes are normal sized, but for some the frosting is very cute and colorful. I must say that I've found the frosting to be delicious even if it's maybe a little too sweet for me.
I think their real power is the fact that they really look mouth watering.
What's not to be missed : I think the all time favorite is the Red Velvet, Deep red vanilla cake with a light taste of chocolate, topped with cream cheese frosting.
For the chocolate lovers you have the Chocolate Malt Cupcake with some very nice chocolate topping on the frosting
For the real fans out there you got also the Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcake (special cupcake selection)
Money, money, money :
The cupcakes go from £1.75 to £2.25 for the normal selection.
The special cupcakes cost around £2.95
That little thing :
The little boxe where they put your cupcakes are nice. It's fit, so the cupcake won't fly all over around.
You also have to give some point for the online order. You need to order 2 cupcakes minimum and the delivery cost is quite expensive.
W2, W9, WC1-2 £11.95
W8, W10-11, W14 £14.95
(for the rest of the areas you can look it up on the website)
What needs to be work on : the seatings! again i always find the seatings in this kind of place to be too small. It's too bad because sometimes you really want to sit down for a while and enjoy your cupcake.
The cupcakes and brownies are indeed extraordinarily good (though nothing beats home made ones, of course). A bit on the expensive side, but I've paid more for much worse, especially in London. And this can be forgiven especially considering how much it must cost to rent that shop space in Soho!
Very very good.
My bakery of choice in Soho for sweet treats. It's not cheap, but man are these cupcakes worth it.
A few minutes down from Oxford Street, Hummingbird does make other cakes, but it's famous for the aforementioned miniature baked goods. They have around 20 varieties of the classic style of cupcake and each one has a cream cheese frosting plus it's own delicate flavour.
Earlier today I tried one of the daily specialities - called a black bottom - which was a dark chocolate sponge with CHEESECAKE on top, then a light layer of icing. Sounds crazy, too rich, too many flavours? No. It is a PERFECT combination. Heavenly.
£8 for four cupcakes is quite a lot to fork out, but when you fancy a treat, this is the only place to go. Everything else is just sickly sweet and too heavy.
As a whole, the Hummingbird is the best place to get American cupcakes in London. I prefer the Wardour Branch because it's not quite as busy and I tend to hang around Charing Cross Road and Oxford Circus when I visit the city. It can be a tad confusing to find though if you're unfamiliar with the area.
The bakery's daily special cupcakes are fabulous. They change every couple of months, and so far I've had fruity cupcakes, soda-flavored cupcakes, Christmas cupcakes and "classic" cupcakes. For Christmas, I got a gingerbread-flavored cupcake that was to die for. A full description of specials (and all other products) can be found on the Hummingbird's snazzy website.
Red velvet is kind of the specialty. They're delicious, but be warned that the frosting is pretty tangy and intense. You can and probably will get a sugar high. Black bottoms, carrot cake and plain jane vanilla round out the house styles. I'm also a fan of the cheesecake and the brownies.
Note that the Hummingbird accepts orders online, packs large cupcake orders in fitted boxes (this keeps them from rolling around and getting gooey) and does custom consultations for things like wedding cakes. It's cheaper to get cupcakes to take away than to eat them in the shop, but there is some seating and a nice list of espresso drinks and tea.
Bottom line: It's a great stop to indulge your sweet tooth. Beware sugar comas.
I've put off writing this review as I just can't decide whether to give it 2 or 3 stars. I was visiting my friend in London when she reminded me that I should visit Hummingbird. I love their cookbook and I think I've given it as a present to all my baking girlfriends. Everything I've made from it has been incredible and I've perfected the carrot cake so well that my boss wants it as her wedding cake. That's more of a reflection on the recipe and not my baking skills.
So boy was I excited to go here. The best ever cupcakes I've eaten were Hummingbird Red Velvet ones made by my friend Claire C so I thought I was in for a treat when I bought a big slice of the red velvet cake from the bakery itself. Sadly the cake was on the dry side and the icing was far too sweet. My Claire L bought a slice of their vanilla cake and it suffered from the same problems. We didn't eat the goodies until we were down by the South Bank and although I don't think I would actually have gone back into complain if I were still nearby, I would certainly have been saying something if I were eating in.
Claire L (a fellow Hummingbird baker) assures me that the standard is usually higher. Maybe it was an off day. I'd pop in to try again once more if I were back down but that would be their last chance.
Luckily as a result of texting Claire C to tell her that her red velvets were much superior, she baked a batch for me which were just heaven. Who needs the real thing when you can whip up tastier at home?
The Hummingbird bakery is one of the many competitors in the cupcake war, and unfortunately for them, they have no chance of winning. Partly for the fact that their variety of cupcakes is seriously lacking. The average cupcake costs around £1.75 and to eat in, its an extra 50p. The decor is bright and colourful, the premises are clean and staff are very friendly. The seating area is small and I can imagine this particular branch getting very busy on the weekend, so no chance of seats there! Once you've purchased your cake, they give you a cute little box and a bag to put it in. If you become a regular, you may want to sign up for a hummingbird card that you can top up with pay as you go credit. The taste of the hummingbird cupcake is an average one and sadly, you may be able to find a better quality one in the tesco finest section.
Lastly, a few things they could improve in, i.e. more flavours, a notice that explained what the flavours are with ingredients listed, better tasting cupcakes, and again, more flavours!
Fantastic! Famous all over London, and possibly the world, Hummingbird have some of the best cupcakes. The red velvet was luch, giving vanilla fairy cakes a whole new twist! A touch of cocoa, a lot of red food colouring and bug juice never tasted so lovely!
My only beef with them is that egg nog and gingerbread are only available at weekends when I'm not in London
Get your butt down there PRONTO!
I have to say i have been a keen hummingbird devotee ever since i worked near portobello Rd. I was so excited when i heard about the new shop that i walked down to their newest shop about 30 min after it opened. I was so surprised to see that it wasnt jam packed with people. I think it has a little to do with the location though - you almost have to search it out.
I will admit to not being a big fan of sponge cakes and cupcakes, but for hummingbird that changes completely. I adore their red velvet cupcakes and i've been loving hte extra christmas decorations that they've been putting on the cupcakes now. Edible glitter tastes like rainbows :)
I tried their cheesecake brownie as well, and while i absolutely loved hte cheesecake bit, i found the brownie base a little bit much - it could just have been that it was too much sugar that day.
Only thing i'm upset about is that they havent introduced the extraordinarily awesome rocky road cupcakes, but i'm holding out hope for the post festive season!
The only issue i have with hummingbird is the price - thats not to say i think they're not worth the money, because they really really are - but they're quite expensive so its an occasional indulgence rather than being a daily event, which my waistline has to give thanks for!
I have to agree with the negative comments on here. The cakes and cupcakes, just aren't the best.
Being used to Red Velvet from the states, these do not even compare. The cream cheese frosting tastes TOO cheesy and almost borders on savoury!
The sponge itself tastes of not much. It's pretty dry and has no flavour. They look pretty nice, but that's it. I still wolfed it down of course, but I think they should up their game.
I think this place has had a lot of hype and somehow a great word has spread. Probably typical of how us Brits just settle for second best.
Harsh but fair :)
Just don't get this place!
expensive but very tasty, i have fallen in love with their black bottom cupcake, a lovely chocolate cake base with a cheesecake topping. In my opinion the best cupcake there.
Their death by chocolate defeated me, it was indeed too chocolatty for a selfconfessed chocoholic
Uh oh... my favourite London treat just got a whole easier to reach. I suspect 2010 might be the year I grow a dress size... : (
But on the bright side - yey! Hummingbird Bakery is now in Soho! It's a tiny little shop so don't expect to be able to settle in for the afternoon. There aren't any seats, just a little bar to stand at and eat. But the range of cakes is as good as ever, the staff are wonderful and friendly and, well, it's just great. Best cakes in London. Easily.
Today I had a black bottomed cupcake, which is dark chocolate cake, cheesecake and cupcake topping. DELICIOUS.
The best red velvet cake in London, if not the UK... if not the universe. Ok, perhaps I exaggerate. It's darn good, and I'm from the South.
The only complaint is the pricing. But then if the cupcakes and cakes were priced cheaper, then I'd eat more, and then I'd gain weight, and then I'd have to spend more money buying a new wardrobe. So in the end, in the cosmic sense, I suppose Hummingbird's prices are more fair and easier on my budget.
Yum yum yum! OK, have you heard the simile 'like a child in a candy store' ? They should totally change it to 'cupcake shop'
This place has the colourful-est choices of frosted goodies - making me salivate at the thought of purchasing a few.
The actual cupcake is moist and the frosting isn't overly sweet. Perfect.
I would recommend the Red Velvet cake - a hearty slice with a hot brew is just *drool*
Service is very helpful and patient plus if you take away they give you these cute little box/baskets - so cute.
I would recommend getting the recipe book which I owned before I even bought anything from here - I was truly impressed.
SUPER FREAKING DELICIOUS. I had a red velvet cupcake here and it was awesome -- totally worth the extra dimple in my thighs that I'm sure I walked away with. Friendly employees, tons of cupcakes (and other baked goods) to choose from, and a very clean organized little shop.
my friends bought me a box of these bad boys for my birthday last week and holyyyy shit, they were amazing. i've never been the the actual store, but after finally trying them, will definitely be venturing there asap to get more. i had the black bottom, red velvet, choc with vanilla icing, and vanilla with choc icing (yes, i'm a fatty) and they were all amazing. can't wait to try to store and every single flava!
** although 2.50 for a cupcake is sort of steep... i wish they were just 2 pounds, but whatevz. worth da splurge
Ordered a chocolate birthday cake online from this Hummingbird last week and I must say the service was great and the cake went down a real treat.. Was enjoyed by all the guests and had them wanting to know who's birthday was next and how long they had to wait till the next cake.
The whole place was fascinating. Great design showed up in the store front and the product line. Beautiful, tempting cup cake treats. Funny that this is what is viewed as the best of American baking. Get the cookbook!
The cakes are all freshly made with top quality ingredients. My favourites are raspberry cheese brownies and pumpkin whoopie pies :) Must try, they only make a few every day.
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