Now for the important part, how did they taste! I’m sorry to say that after a full day of travelling the length and breadth of central London these cakes didn’t have much of a chance of looking perfect when the tasters got their hands on them which is a great shame, but couldn’t really be helped. My original cake eating experts join me again for round 1.
Buttercup Cake Shop – Chocolate Marshmallow
I’m afraid there is no picture of this cake. Unfortunately it was the first cake I picked up and the only one that didn’t come neatly boxed, thus it was rather pathetic and squashed looking by the end of the day. I don’t hold this against the bakery. I’m sure a paper bag is perfectly adequate for normal people who buy one cake and then eat it at the earliest opportunity rather than spend a day collecting cupcakes before dissecting and analysing them! I would like to add, in place of a picture, that this cupcake looked supercute in the shop with smooth chocolaty icing and a piped white heart.
Me: To me, the sponge tasted exactly like the mass produced chocolate muffins you can pick up in any supermarket or corner shop. This was disappointing as it looked so perfect and the topping was not too sweet, although not too chocolaty either. Also, I was surprised to find chocolate sponge as for some reason it looked like a vanilla/plain cupcake through the wrapper. Not a bad cake, but definitely not great.
Mark: First reaction – “There is a layer of different coloured stuff around the outside!”. Thought the sponge seemed quite moist and nice and the topping was chocolaty. He didn’t detect any marshmallow flavours or textures but this could be due to the rough handling it received. “If it was a chocolate sponge cake, then it was. If it was not, then it wasn’t.”
Rich: Thought this cake felt a bit mass produced. There was a sense of chocolate but overall it was pretty average.
Lola’s Cupcakes – Black Forest Cupcake (cupcake of the month)
Me: Firstly, I’d like to say that I was impressed with the robustness of the packaging. The cake itself had a nice well rounded flavour and the filling was lovely and rich although the icing was a touch too sweet. I thought the presentation was beautifully simple and loved the fresh cherry on top.
Mark: Very good. There was nothing wrong with this cupcake at all. It tastes exactly like black forest gateaux. If he had to be extremely critical he’d say the icing was ever so slightly too sweet.
Rich: It’s only flaw is that the sponge is a little dry. Really tasty. Sweet but not too sweet.
Hummingbird – Vanilla with chocolate frosting
Sadly this cake was badly formed, slightly greasy looking and didn’t completely fill the wrapper. I’ve had the same thing happen when trying out new recipes that contain a lot of butter but didn’t expect to see this from hummingbird. I’ve had a couple of cupcakes from here before that were flawless and so have my friends so perhaps I was just unlucky. By 22.00hrs returning to exchange it was out of the question so we went ahead with the tasting anyway.
Me: I was disappointed with the flavours in this cake. The texture of the sponge was slightly chewy and the flavours were too harsh.
Mark: The sponge tasted fine where it worked and the icing was good and chocolaty tasting.
Rich: Good. Not as good as Lola’s but really flavourful. However it tasted slightly too buttery or creamy, almost bordering on sickly.
Cox – Raspberry Ripple
Somehow, and the mind boggles as to how, this cupcake managed to flip all the way over inside its box.
Me: This cake had a real raspberry flavour – more jammy than fresh but tasty none the less. The frosting was creamy and smooth and not over sweet. The whole cake was very moist and the only one so far I could have managed more than a quarter of.
Mark: It tasted like a raspberry ripple or rather it seemed no less fake than a raspberry ripple. Did not taste chemically or disappointing.
Me: Definitely the Raspberry Ripple. I don’t know what it is about Cox cakes but they push all the right buttons for me.
Mark: Black Forest (with raspberry ripple in second place) because it tasted like what it said it would taste like.
Rich: Black Forest, definitely.
The rest of the cakes will be reviewed in the next post.