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Review - The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook


HummingbirdCover- Trade secrets from a successful London bakery specialising in American baking Recipes for colourful cupcakes, pies, muffins and layer cakes.

It seems fair to say that a cookbook selling over a million copies is a classic.

When this book was first published in 2009 it was something of a revolution. Bakeries were simply not in the habit of sharing their recipes. Their recipes were trade secrets. Since The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook was published, however, many other well known London bakeries have followed suit.

Five years since it was first published, I’m still pulling this book off the shelf and baking from it. Favourites are the cookies, and the chocolate fridge cake bars, which involve no cooking whatsoever and are firm favourites with my children.

The book is simple and clean looking. The chapters are straightforward and divided neatly into cupcakes, pies, muffins and so on. The recipes are laid out well with mouth-watering photography for each bake.

Red Velvet recipe

There were a few issues following the initial print run which were quickly resolved, including a measurement error in their Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake and the Lemon Loaf recipes. This did create a bit of a stir (sorry) with the online community but it was quickly amended in subsequent editions. There was a translational issue, giving the British reader some problems: the paper cases described as “cupcake cases” are actually “muffin cases” in UK supermarkets…using the smaller cases labelled “cupcake cases” would have resulted in spillages and frustration.

It is important to read the notes first at the beginning of the book. Amendments for the recipes can be found, in conjunction with more useful advice here and here.

In 2009 The Hummingbird Bakery published a second book, Cake Days. Again, beautifully packaged with wonderful, tempting photography, this book includes updated versions of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes along with the bestselling red velvet cupcake.

Both books are fun to use and have managed to achieve that balance of inspirational whilst not being off-putting for beginners. Hummingbird Bakery has kindly allowed us to reproduce a couple of recipes from their book, which we think you will enjoy: Key Lime Pie and their excellent Chocolate Brownies.

You will find that the Chicago Metallic range that we stock is the very same bake-ware used by the Hummingbird recipes.

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