It’s not every day I bake the biggest, pinkest, gayest cake I’ve ever made. And it’s not for just anyone that I would do that either, but this was a special occasion. My friend Melissa was getting married… in Australia. Why was I making a cake in London? Well, it’s all very complicated… and this is definitely not the wedding cake!

Melissa, known affectionately as McMuffin (cute, right?), lived in London for a year in 2008 and she was my favourite eating buddy. We ate together everywhere humanly imaginable, and she was The One who introduced me to Lantana. Mostly, you would just find us at Hummingbird Bakery in South Kensington, sharing a slice of vanilla cake, red velvet cake and choc fudge brownie. Yep.

This is McMuffin! And our Hummingbird Bakery vanilla cake! And I had long hair! 🙂

Anyway Mel got married on Saturday to the fabulous Chris and it sucks so bad that I missed her wedding, but when you live abroad, there’s only so many weddings you can go home for. I decided to celebrate Mel in a different way, a way I knew she’d wholly approve of, and so on Saturday night I baked for her her favourite cake, the Hummingbird Bakery vanilla “princess” cake.

Caveat! Hummingbird Bakery don’t call this cake a princess cake, it’s just a vanilla cake but come on. It comes with sprinkles and stars or scattered with flowers so um, princess much?

So I baked this crazy three tiered cake on Saturday afternoon, blasting Bon Jovi loud. There’s totally nothing wrong with that. It took me almost three hours because I only have one cake tin and look, it has three fracking layers! so I had to bake the cake three times. Mel if you ever get around to reading this, I did it all for you. Because I sure as hell didn’t make a big pink cake for me.

The cake is so huge that one slice gave me sugar headache and because Mel isn’t actually here to eat the cake (I offloaded a quarter to Su-yin thank god), I still have about 5kgs worth of pinkness to get through. I’ll be living on fruit for all eternity.

Which reminds me. Check out this infinitely healthier dessert – the most colourful fruit salad I’ve ever seen! landed on my radar recently and I actually quite like the site. Lots of healthy eating, beauty, fashion-y girl stuff.  And I especially love that fruit salad. How many fruits are in that thing?

Anyway, vanilla princess cake. Pretty? Pretty. Too pink? Too pink. But if nothing else it gave me a valid excuse to wander around John Lewis’ foodhall (my happy place) and buy those adorable little sugar flowers 😉

vanilla princess cake
Quantity for ONE layer of cake:
120 grams plain flour
120 grams castor sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
40 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
120 mL whole milk
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Quantity for ALL THREE layers (if you want to make it in one go):
360 grams plain flour
360 grams castor sugar
4 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
120 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
360 mL whole milk
3 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla frosting:
500 grams icing sugar
160 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
50 mL whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
red food colouring (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F.
  2. Beat together flour, sugar, baking powder and butter on a low speed until the ingredients are mixed in a sandy texture.
  3. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until incorporated.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg/s, vanilla extract and the rest of the milk briefly and then pour into the flour mixture.
  5. Continue mixing for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth.
  6. If you have three cake tins, pour one third of the batter into each.
  7. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes. If you’re baking all three tins, swaps the tins from tray to tray so they all cook evenly. The cake is done when light golden brown on top and a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Leave to cool slightly before removing from cake tin to completely cool on a wire rack.
  9. If you’re making each layer separately (like I did) repeat steps 2-8 (make sure all layers of the cake are cooled before making the frosting).
  10. For the frosting, beat the icing sugar and butter together on low speed until combined.
  11. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and add to the butter mixture slowly. Once all the milk has been added, turn the mixer up to high speed and 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.
  12. If you’re making pink frosting, add a couple of drops of red food colouring and continue beating.
  13. Place the bottom cake layer on a plate or cake stand. Cover it with a thin layer of frosting, then add the second layer on top. Cover with frosting and add third layer. Cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting and decorate as desired.
Serves 12-16.

27 Thoughts on “Hummingbird Bakery’s vanilla princess cake. The biggest, pinkest, gayest cake I’ve ever baked!

  1. If you ask me, I think we all need a huge dose of pink and gay in our lives. If anything I want more pink and more gay! I’m not sure where I’m actually going with this…

    …so I’ll just say, holy fracking moly, that is one big hit of sugar! Wheeeee!

  2. I *totally* agree with Karen.

    More pink.

    More gay.

    Bring it!

    Gorgeous cake hon. Shame you didn’t make it *before* we met you the other day, as you could have offloaded at least half with us



  3. Never too pink and never too gay. Love it!

  4. Why didn’t I know you before my wedding? I’d flown you down to bake a cake for me!! I’d ask for pink and green cakes!

  5. Just checking that you know about the new Hummingbird Bakery on Frying Pan Alley, Spitalfields. Heading there this week to check it out, you know, in the name of research for the blog….

  6. It’s gorgeous Catty, I love it!

  7. Karen: I know, SUGAR HIGH! And yes, we all need a little pink once in a while! 😉

    Mowie: This cake should be dedicated to you, Mr. I was thinking about you the whole time I was baking it! I know, would have been great to give you like half the cake!

    Lora: Agreed!

    Corsage: Aww man, I totally would have made you a cake haha as you can see, the original vanilla cake is pink and green!

    London Lady: I haven’t been to the Spitalfields one. If you haven’t had ANY Hummingbird Bakery stuff before, beware it is really sweet. The cakes are good because there is more cake in the cake to frosting ratio, but with the cupcakes, I often have to scrape the frosting off. Hope you enjoy though.. their brownies and whoopie pies are good too.

    Maria: You are too sweet xx just like the cake!

  8. I love it! It really is a princess cake! On another note I hate missing friends weddings as well…

  9. Catty you are hilarious! It is a rather big, pink gay cake although I would have thought princessy. I say that because as a child I would have asked for this cake for my birthday-repeatedly! 😛

  10. Eeeee….it’s so pink! 😀 I love the flowers.

  11. heh it’s so pink! im turning into a girly girl for every second im staring at it!

  12. Mel C on May 31, 2011 at 3:09 am said:

    Omg, Cat – I am so touched! I almost started crying, lol. If I was there, you know I’d have polished that off with you. it looks a-mazing. We need to do this when you’re in brisbane! Love you muchlies!! xoxo

  13. Gourmet Chick: I know, it was a reality we had to accept when we moved here. the only wedding I’ve been back for is my brothers!

    Lorraine: hehehe and I would have made it for your repeatedly 🙂

    Su-Lin: The flowers are cute huh! and yummy too. I ate the left over flowers just on their own haha!

    chocolatesuze: hence why I had to jam rock n roll while baking, otherwise I would have turned into a girl! ICK!

    Mel C: DARLING.. I wish I didn’t have to miss your wedding and bake this cake on my lonesome. We would have eaten this and sugar highed and sugar lowed together… Can’t wait to see your wedding pics and yes see you in Brisbane! xxx

  14. Ahhh here’s to pink (and Mowie!). 😉

    Funnily enough I walked into Hummingbird yesterday, saw this cake, and immediately thought “this must have been the pink cake Catty made”. It was so YUM, I’m definitely gonna make this one day… except maybe I’ll just make one layer of it, hehe.

  15. jenny chan on May 31, 2011 at 9:10 pm said:

    WOW. just WOW! what a pretty and HUGE cake!

  16. It DOES look like a princess cake.
    Oh yeah. And long hair becomes you, by the way.

  17. Wow so beautiful! I’m jealous that I wasn’t there to see this in the making…u’re a really sweet friend Catty! x

  18. samantha on June 1, 2011 at 9:55 pm said:

    oh my god, come make me a princess cake! although my daughter would probably want it more, but so do I!

  19. Su-yin: they had a big vanilla cake?? Ah, I haven’t had a Hummingbird one in so long. their pink is usually hot pink though, right? Kinda scary haha..

    jenny: huge indeed!

    Linda: Awww thanks! I had long hair all my life and then in 2009 I decided to chop it off. Rather liberating but I always toy with the idea of growing it back 🙂

    diva: I know, I’d feed you some too if you were here!

    samantha: just don’t tell your daughter 😉

  20. OMG i’m gonna go make a cake right now this looks BOMB

  21. That’s one serious declaration of affection in a cake. Missing weddings back home is the worst – nb, good call on the Bon Jovi to balance out the sugar shock…

  22. ADORABLE! I went to the hummingbird for the first time for my birthday last april – their carrot cake is so amazingly moist and delicious. now i want to make a really girly pink cake. and it’s all thanks to you!

  23. annabel: Please do, it IS the bomb! Takes a while though if you only have one cake tin like me haha..

    Tori: I know, kinda have to be cut throat about what weddings to go back for right? I’ve only been back for my brother’s!

    lynne: Their cakes are usually awesome but sometimes I find the frosting a little sweet. Easily swiped aside though for some good cake 🙂

  24. Lynette Bayard on December 31, 2016 at 3:43 pm said:

    Looks delicious – what size tin/s did you use?

  25. Anna on July 3, 2017 at 3:40 am said:


    What size cake tin did you use? I’m assuming an 8 inch one?

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