The Hummingbird Bakery vanilla cupcakes recipe

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  • Nut-free
makes: 12
Skill: medium
Prep: 40 min
Cooking: 25 min

Nutrition per portion

Calories 400 kCal 20%
Fat 15.3g 22%
  -  Saturates 8.8g 44%
Carbohydrates 63.2g 20%
  -  of which Sugars 56g 62%
Protein 2.2g 4%
Salt 0.29g 5%
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  • These Hummingbird Bakery vanilla cupcakes, topped with candy-coloured vanilla frosting and sprinkles make a great alternative to a classic birthday cake.

    These classic Hummingbird Bakery vanilla cupcakes look just fabulous. The Hummingbird Bakery first opened in London’s Notting Hill in 2004, its owner taking inspiration from trendy American cake shops such as New York’s Magnolia Bakery. The bakery specialises in pretty cupcakes in a range of colours and flavours, but their vanilla cupcakes have always been a staple. With a light, airy, moist sponge and a subtle vanilla taste, they are as close to cupcake perfection as you can get. The Hummingbird Bakery has shared its recipe with us so you can now make your favourite treats at home.


    • 120g plain flour
    • 140g caster sugar
    • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
    • a pinch of salt
    • 40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 120ml whole milk
    • 1 egg
    • ¼tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 quantity vanilla frosting
    • hundreds and thousands or other edible sprinkles, to decorate
    • a 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases
    • 250g icing sugar, sifted
    • 80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 25ml whole milk
    • a couple of drops of vanilla extract


    • To make this cupcake recipe, preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

    • Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow 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 continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

    • Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched.

    • A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

    • When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the vanilla frosting on top and decorate with hundreds and thousands.

    • Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.

    • Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Combine the milk and vanilla extract 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.

    • Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.


      This recipe is taken from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers. Photography by Peter Cassidy, Published by Ryland Peters & Small, Text © Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers, Photography copyright Ryland Peters & Small.

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    Top tip for making Hummingbird Bakery's vanilla cupcakes

    These cupcakes would make great food gifts – just pop into a cupcake box and tie with a ribbon.

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    (4442 ratings)
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