treat of the week: vanilla cupcakes, humbug cafe

It’s good to see suburban cafes popping up around greater Auckland that are more than capable of holding their own against the big names in Ponsonby, Parnell and Mt Eden. A good cafe need not be surrounded by designer clothing and specialty food stores. In the suburbs, parking is a doozy, and the clientele are less pretentious. (Or, perhaps more accurately, gathering under less pretentious circumstances.)

Humbug is one such welcome gem in West Auckland’s Glen Eden – previously somewhat barren as far as good cafes were concerned. It was recommended to me by locals, and I was delighted to find that it’s being run by the duo previously responsible for my old haunt Arcadia – awkwardly located at the Mount Eden end of Symonds Street, just a few steps from my equally awkwardly-located workplace.

Just like Arcadia, Humbug has a homely atmosphere. Its big, open kitchen bustles with an extraordinary number of staff, who turn out tasty-sounding menu items like bagel burgers, and fettucine with artichoke cream sauce. But I always head for the fully-stocked cabinet. The vanilla cupcakes are an old favourite. Unlike traditional light and fluffy cupcakes, these ones are dense and rich – I suspect custard may have been added as a secret ingredient, but please correct me if you know otherwise!

It’s worth a trip out west to visit.

Oh, and of paramount importance – the coffee is great too!

Humbug Cafe
32 Rua Road, Glen Eden, Auckland
Ph: 09 827 5124


© thebakingof 2012



  1. I’ve been meaning to pop in here whilst on one of my frequent west-akl jaunts. I think I shall now that it has your seal of approval!

  2. Hi there,great read and as far as the custard comment as a secret ingredient I can assure you there’s none. Just top ingredients and a whole lot of love from the owner/baker. I know this because I’m the chef.

    1. Hi Doug! Thanks for your message – good to know! I’ve enjoyed lots of other meals & treats from Humbug since this post – keep up the good work.

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