I first stumbled upon the Hummingbird bakery by chance. I was out walking one evening with a friend in London’s Portobello Road when we saw the most amazing-looking cupcakes in a shop window. We immediately walked in and bought a cupcake each. They were even better than they looked! And what’s more, it turns out we showed up right before closing time so be both got to take home as many cupcakes as we wanted…totally FREE!
I have not been back to the Hummingbird bakery since, but I have dreamt of going back. For my 24th birthday a few weeks ago I got a really surprising gift; the Hummingbird bakery cookbook. It has the most incredible cakes and of course cupcakes, I knew what I had to try first. This recipe is for the classic Hummingbird vanilla cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream frosting. I have never been a big fan of buttercream, but this recipe was really good. My boyfriend, who doesn’t really like cakes, even licked the bowl clean! I shared this batch with some friends and my sister, we all thought they were absolutely fantastic. I can’t wait to try more recipes from the book!
Recipe (makes 12 cupcakes)
For the sponge
120 g plain flour
140 g caster sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
40 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120 ml whole milk
0.25 tsp vanilla extract
For the vanilla frosting
250 g icing sugar, sifted
80 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
25 ml whole milk
a couple of drops of vanilla extract
a couple of drops of food colouring (optional)
- Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter with a mixer on low speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
- Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
- Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and mix until the mixture is smooth, careful not to overmix.
- Spoon the mixture into paper cases until two-thirds full and bake on 170 C for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. Cool on a wire rack.
- When the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Beat the icing sugar and butter together in medium-low speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
- Combine the milk and vanilla extract (and food colouring if using) in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time.
- Once all the milk has been incorporated , turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mintues.
- Frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles.
Source: The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook