Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hummingbird Bakery, Jam Doughnut & Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes

Hummingbird Bakery has recently (as in, starting last month) began doing 'head-to-head' flavor battles here in the UK, the first of which was Sticky Toffee Pudding and Lemon Meringue. Not being a huge fan of either flavor, but more importantly assuming I'd know exactly how they tasted, I shrugged and waited for the next month to see if maybe a weirder battle emerged.

I was right to wait.
This month is Strawberry Milkshake and Jam Doughnut, and I was actually there on day one in the mid-afternoon. Preliminary results showed that there were tons of Jam Doughnut ones left and very few Strawberry Milkshake...but what did I think?

The one I was most excited about was Jam Doughnut, for one reason only: cinnamon buttercream frosting. I love buttercream frosting, all the better if it is anything other than vanilla or chocolate--but cinnamon? Cinnamon is a delicious partner to overwhelming sweetness, such as what is seen in frosting. I was on board. However, less exciting was the actual cake itself, which was just vanilla sponge, and the kind of dorky inclusion of a tiny doughnut hole on top. I also don't care for jam.

 So I suppose I'd be just as happy with a snicker-doodle cupcake. Feel free to write that one down, Hummingbird. All I ask is 10 percent of all snicker-doodle sales and free cake for life.
I was not let down by the Jam Doughnut, but all I really needed it to be was cinnamon-y. The frosting was just perfect, Hummingbird does a very tasty buttercream, and I consider myself a bit of a frosting connoisseur. Very smooth and creamy, not at all oily or claggy. The difference with the cinnamon buttercream is that it is a bit more gritty, just because the top is dusted with cinnamon sugar. It is delightful--really reminds me of the best kind of cinnamon rolls, the kind that have buttercream frosting on top of them instead of icing. Man, I am a pig.

The sponge was good, vanilla cake basically. Airy and not dense, which is the way sponge is usually baked. I'm usually more of a fan of dense, moist cakes, but that might be a bit of overkill with the amount of frosting on any given Hummingbird cupcake. Did it taste of vanilla? Well, it tasted like cake. Do you think any 'cake' tastes like vanilla? If so, this will taste like vanilla to you. Me, I'm quite partial to a strong vanilla hit so I'm usually disappointed by 'white cake' or 'yellow cake' masquerading as vanilla. It just tastes like butter and sugar to me.

The jam center was tiny, and I was glad for that because I don't much care for jam. A cupcake with a few inches of frosting is already quite sweet, does it really need jam? Hummingbird says that it is strawberry jam, but really, it is just the red stuff. No specific taste, just very sweet and vaguely tart.

The miniature doughnut on top, really a doughnut hole technically, was very chewy and not particularly nice. It was coated in sugar though, so not a complete loss. Would've been just as good without it, but it does make for a cute way of acknowledging the doughnutical inspiration of the cake.
The Strawberry Milkshake is described as 'strawberry milkshake sponge swirled with frothy strawberry milkshake frosting', topped with an edible straw. Don't get too excited, the straw isn't functional and it tastes like sugarpaste--because it is sugarpaste. Looks pretty cute, though.

You might be thinking what makes strawberry milkshake sponge different than say, strawberry sponge? The answer is nothing. However, what makes strawberry milkshake frosting different than strawberry frosting Strawberry milkshake frosting tastes like strawberry condensed milk! It was a bit tangy, quite milky, and sweet. Tasted like a strong, true Crusha. I was a fan.

Like with most frosting-heavy cupcakes, most of the taste comes from the big glug of sugar and fat on top, not so much the smaller splotch of fat and sugar at the bottom. The cake base was nice, but definitely tasted like standard strawberry cake--nothing milkier about it. Not that there's anything wrong that.

I would've been interested to see how a Strawberry Malted Milkshake cupcake would've gone down, as that would be a good way to make it a bit more beverage-like, and less like a standard fruit cupcake. Again, Hummingbird, take a note to my terms above. Use both, and I'll make it 15 percent all together with a cupcake assortment delivered monthly to my workplace. Sounds fair? Call me.


  1. wow!! lady steaks you certainly inspire the snack-lust within us all! hummingbird bakery would do well by taking you up on your offer!

    1. Thank you! It would be nice for a company to finally take me up on my crazy ideas, haha.

  2. Mmmm love the idea of cinnamon buttercream. Still yet to visit a Hummingbird Bakery - need to resolve this ASAP x

    1. Most definitely! The cinnamon buttercream was amazing. I hope they use it for another cake soon.