The Best Cupcake in London (revisited?)

A long, long time ago, my friend TikiChris invited me to take part in the Londonist judging of the Best Cupcake in London. It was a career highlight.

The winner, by a landslide, was Faircake, who produced a jaw-droppingly amazing White Chocolate and Limoncello pieces of heaven:

Two years later, I’ve found myself wondering if we really ought to have another competition, because I’ve tried two different bakeries recently that I think could give Faircake a real run for their money.

The first: The Vanilla Rainbow Bakery in Richmond, which I got to try at work – the byproduct of a client meeting where everyone was apparently watching their figures…

The cake was spectacularly moist, and the  butter cream frosting whipped to perfection. I only wished I’d grabbed a picture of it.

Shortly after declaring my love for Vanilla Rainbow, a friend of mine suggested I try his cousin’s bakery, PJR Cupcakes. Within 24 hours ‘The Cupcake King‘ himself, hand-delivered 12 good-sized cakes to my front door.

I am a very lucky girl.

While the cake wasn’t quite as fluffy as Vanilla Rainbow, it had a good spring, and the cream cheese frosting on the Red Velvet cupcake was delectable. So pretty too!

So, Chris – what do you say? Time for another round of judging?


Best cupcakes in London recipe

Some may remember my intense excitement over being asked to help judge the best cupcakes in London. The winner was online cupcake retailer Faircake. I did complain that they’re a bit expensive, so if you don’t feel like shelling out £35 for 9 cupcakes, Londonist and TikiChris have posted the winning recipe.


Faircake cupcakes

White Chocolate and Limoncello Cupcakes

Ingredients (makes about 16 cupcakes):
For Cupcakes
150 gms unsalted butter
3 tbsp corn flour
1 unwaxed lemon (zest only)
175 gms caster sugar
2½ tsp baking powder
4 medium eggs
2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
284ml (1 pack) buttermilk
220 gms self raising flour

For Icing/Frosting
1 portion of Easy Buttercream
100gms White Chocolate
Good Glug (60 ml) of Limoncello +
extra sips for the baker


Here is the winning recipe that won the Londonist Cupcake Throwdown
in every single category. Enjoy!

Preheat oven to 150C Fan or 160C otherwise.

Ensure that the butter is very soft. You can either leave the butter out
of the fridge overnight, or zap it 20 seconds at a time in a microwave.
The butter should be as soft as possible without melting. Put all
measured ingredients, apart from the flour and buttermilk, in a kitchen
mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until light and fluffy.
Now mix in half the flour and half the buttermilk, on low speed. Mix in
the remaining flour and the buttermilk on low speed. The consistency
of the mixture should be a bit like heavy custard and it should plop
nicely from a spoon. This mixture is enough for about 16 or so
cupcakes, depending on the size of your cupcake liners. Fill cupcake
liners between ½ and ¾ the way up. Fill ½ way up to get an even flat
shape, fill ¾ way up to get a nice dome shape. Use a muffin pan,
otherwise the liners spread into ghastly shapes.

Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven, but check after 15 by
inserting a little cocktail stick. If there is anything stuck to the stick,
then bake for the full 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for
around a minute and then take them out carefully and allow to cool
outside the pan.

For the icing, make one portion of the Easy Buttercream (recipe on Fair
Cake website). Melt the white chocolate carefully in a double boiler
and cool to room temperature and mix in with the buttercream. Add
around half the limoncello to the icing. If you are not satisfied with the
limoncello-ness of the buttercream, add more.

Now, and this is the secret, make a thin-ish liquid mixture of the
remaining half of limoncello with 3tbsps of the buttercream. Using a
skewer or knitting needle, make a little hole in each cupcake and pour
down ½ tsp of this mixture. Make some more if you run out. Sneaky,
eh?! Then slather the cupcakes with icing. Win win!