24 April 2017 | 6 °C

Cupcake Throwdown! And the Winner is

By tikichris Last edited 94 months ago
Cupcake Throwdown! And the Winner is
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We’d like to say that the competition was close. But it wasn’t. Three London bakeries stole the show: Faircake, Bea’s of Bloomsbury and Sweet Things.

Of those three, Faircake’s dainty limoncello and white chocolate morsels of wonder scored well above the rest of the competition and swept all six judging categories (presentation, icing/frosting, creativity, flavour, cake-iness, and overall yumminess). Our judges (a mix of food bloggers, professional cooks and folks - from both pro and anti-cupcake camps - that are involved one way or another in London food and drink businesses) seemed to most appreciate Faircake’s focus on quality, fair-trade, organic ingredients.

Coming in second was the pride of Theobald’s Road: Bea’s of Bloomsbury. Bea’s masterful chocolate Grand Marnier cupcake with candied kumquats presented in “one flavour - three cupcakes approach” wowed the judges with a choice of über decadent Valrhona 66% caraibe buttermilk cake with Grand Marnier ganache and piped icing; the more considered gluten-free and lactose-free chocolate Grand Marnier cupcake with chocolate shavings; and a vegan version with gold dust.

In third place with a strong showing above the twelve contenders below was Sweet Things from Primrose Hill. Their vanilla sponge with vanilla butter cream and milk chocolate buttons on top were initially received with a collective shrug of the judges' shoulders until they tasted Sweet Things' subtle and homey flavoured treats.

Our totally informal and utterly unscientific throwdown did yield some sweet advice for our contestants and any potential cupcakers out there: Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. The main complaints from our judges were “too much icing” and “too much sugar”. Yes, that formidable mega-dollop of icing topping a cupcake might look pretty, but a true foodie can see right past it. Food colouring is pretty much a no-no as well, unless used in the pursuit of the most noble of extreme artistic endeavours.

What seemed to impress the judges most was real flavour independent of sugar and the overall “cake-ness” of the entries. An effort to go gluten free was welcomed. As for butteriness, consensus could not be achieved. There were those that really really (really!) liked a buttery flavour and others that viewed it as a cheap crutch.

Londonist sincerely appreciates all the bakeries (from Buckinghamshire to Croydon and a variety of London postcodes) that submitted cupcakes. See a list of all contestants in our previous Cupcake Throwdown Update. Keep reading for the results of the Londonist Cupcake Throwdown.

Photography by Chris Osburn

Results from the Londonist Cupcake Competition

Presentation

1st Place: Faircake

2nd Place: Sweet Things

3rd Place: Tina, We Salute You

Icing

1st Place: Faircake

2nd Place (tie): Bea’s of Bloombury, Sweet Things

3rd Place: Lola’s Bakery

Creativity

1st Place: Faircake

2nd Place: Bea’s of Bloomsbury

3rd Place (tie): Cakehole, Crumbs and Doilies

Flavour

1st Place: Faircake

2nd Place: Sweet Things

3rd Place: Bea’s of Bloomsbury

Cake-iness

1st Place: Faircake

2nd Place: Bea’s of Bloomsbury

3rd Place: Sweet Things

Overall Yumminess

1st Place: Faircake

2nd Place: Sweet Things

3rd Place: Bea’s of Bloomsbury

Top Scores

1st Place: Faircake

2nd Place: Bea’s of Bloomsbury

3rd Place: Sweet Things

Last Updated 01 June 2009