I've realised I am becoming quite fussy when it comes to cupcakes. The more baking I do myself, the more I feel it's unacceptable for so-called bakeries to make a boring old vanilla cupcake, stick a few sweets on top and charge upwards of £1.75 for it. So what a delight to stumble upon Molly Bakes yesterday. I had a lunchtime bowling date for a friends birthday and on the way home decided to pop into UpMarket at the Truman Brewery to grab a bite to eat. One delicious Ethiopian injera wrap later it was time to head home. But just as I was thinking "hmmmnnn, what I really fancy is something sweet", the Molly Bakes stall appeared before me as if a vision. My growing scepticism about cupcakes may have encouraged me to walk on by were it not for the lavender cupcakes I spotted.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before but I am a lavender fiend. I can't get enough of it. The smell is good - but the taste is just heavenly. So imagine my excitement when I spotted a stand of violet-coloured cupcakes with tiny lavender buds sprinkled on top. I just had to try them. As it was getting towards the end of the day, the lovely lady behind the stall (Molly herself I presume) offered a bargain deal - 4 cupcakes for £5 - so I really had no choice but to accept.
Half-an-hour later, at home, with a steaming cup of my Assam/Darjeeling/Lapsang blend in hand, it was the moment of truth. And, I'm pleased to say, a pretty good moment it was too. The texture of the cupcake itself was perfect - light without being insubstantial. But the biggest delight was the presence of tiny lavender buds throughout the cake which gave a subtle yet distinctive flavour. The vanilla buttercream was a lovely texture and those few extra sugared lavender buds topped the whole thing off beautifully. Coffee Boy had a banoffee one which he declared to be delicious: banana sponge with lovely little chewy toffee bits. I also chose a lime & coconut, and a rose & pistachio one, neither of which I've tried yet. But if the two we've sampled so far are anything to go by, we're in for another treat.
It really is a pleasure to find someone making genuinely good cupcakes and selling them at a reasonable price, rather than the scores of places that seem to be jumping on the cupcake bandwagon and offering - at best - pretty ordinary goods for far too much dosh. So if you find yourself wandering down Brick Lane one weekend and need a little sugary pick-me-up, you know where to go. Just save a lavender one for me!