HR cupcakes: Share your pictures and recipes!

EllisonBloomfieldHRCupcakes.jpgA change from our usual fare here on XpertHR Employment Intelligence today, with a special and very appetising post to highlight and celebrate an unsung hero of the HR universe: the HR cupcake.

Over recent months, I’ve detected a subtle trend in the HR blogosphere, with increasing numbers of HR bloggers making reference to their baking habits (whether cupcake-orientated or otherwise).

Then on Wednesday (26 January 2011), Melbourne-based HR professional and blogger Ellison Bloomfield posted a picture of her latest creation: some vanilla cupcakes with butter cream icing (which Ellison has kindly allowed me to use here, above).

If the picture of Ellison’s cupcakes inspires you, please feel free to submit pictures or recipes of your favourite cupcakes or other baked goodies (bread, for example, very much included), via the comments bow below, or via Twitter. These can be your own creation, or the work of others (please be so kind as to give credit to the baker in question if they’re not your own doing).

Ellison’s picture has already sparked not only a related Twitter discussion, but also the #HRcupcakes hashtag, which has already drawn together the thoughts of numerous admirers of the cupcake from the HR blogging community.

These include Doug Shaw (who has posted a picture of a raspberry cupcake from Harvey Nicks on his blog) and the estimable Charlie Duff (editor of HRZone), who has been so generous as to share a host of amazing pictures of her creations (for example, this, this and this).

She has kindly allowed me to reproduce a few of these below, depicting the aptly-named “stringy monster cupcakes.” Get in touch with Charlie via Twitter to find out more…








Update 1 (Friday 28 January 2011): I’m delighted to report that Twitter discussion about HR cupcakes is already underway, and has brought forward some extremely good cupcake photographs from Perth-based HR professional Jo McMahon. Jo has kindly allowed me to reproduce the following links to pictures of just some of the cupcakes to which her colleagues are regularly treated. They can be seen in a delightful online gallery of HR cupcakes. And straying beyond the world of HR cupcakes (which is entirely fine with me – I want to highlight all HR baking here), Jo also specialises in “ninjabread men!” In the spirit of full disclosure, Jo says that many of her cupcakes are based on recipes from the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World.

Update 2 (Friday 28 January 2011): Here’re the latest goodies to arise from the growing HR cupcakes movement…

  • Reading-based HR, OD and change management consultant and interim Gavin McGlyne presents a picture of a very fetching horse cake. Thanks to Gavin for his kind permission to link to this image.
  • And just this morning – in the refined environs of Bristol’s Arnolfini – my former colleague Martin Couzins conducted an exclusive audio interview with none other than Charlie Duff on just what exactly makes for a good cupcake. You can listen to Charlie’s thoughts below, by kind permission of Charlie and Martin:


Update 3 (Monday 7 February 2011): I’m very pleased to report that discussion around the #HRcupcakes hashtag has been both ongoing and lively over recent days. Some newcomers to the world of HR cupcakes have posted impressive pictures of their creations over recent days. These include: @HRHopeful; @MrAirmiles; and @MrsDurbs. And @DesignTwit, meanwhile has shared a picture of some cupcake millinery. But perhaps the most exciting development of all is that Jo McMahon (see Update 1, above, for some of her stunning HR cupcakes) has now launched her very own HR Cupcakes blog! Jo’s new blog has the self-explanatory strapline “I work in HR and I bake cupcakes.” Jo is using this blog to showcase her latest confections and also some of her favourite recipes. Please do check it out!

Update 4 (Valentine’s Day, Monday 14 February 2011): Today is Valentine’s Day, and it would seem that this occasion has resulted in some excellent, seasonally-appropriate activity in the ever-expanding world of HR cupcakes. For example:

Update 5 (Wednesday 16 February 2011): The HR cupcakes featured so far on this page have received a positive appraisal from none other than Savile Row tailor Richard James! Richard James weighed in via Twitter with his opinions on both Charlie Duff’s stringy monster cupcakes (“We like the stringy monster cupcake!”) and Jo McMahon’s ninjabreadmen (“The ninjabreadmen are very impressive. Rather put our fig rolls in the shade.”). Should Mr James ever try his hand at cake decoration, I am willing to make a one-off exception and widen the remit of this celebration of HR cupcakes in order to feature his work here.

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6 Responses to HR cupcakes: Share your pictures and recipes!

  1. Kevin Ball 28 January 2011 at 10:07 am #

    Not nearly as pretty as Charlie’s efforts, but here’s some bread:

  2. Doug Shaw 28 January 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    ninjabread men – fantastic!

  3. Michael Carty
    Michael Carty 28 January 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing the images of your loaves of bread, Kevin. Excellent work, sir!

    And I couldn’t agree more, Doug: Ninjabread men are an invention of rare genius!

    Jo has also been so very kind as to share (via Twitter) an image of a gingerbread man who – in her words – “died of unnatural causes”. Readers of a delicate disposition might be advised to click on the following link with caution:

    Kind regards


  4. Richard Sherman 28 January 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    I love this topic! If I could find a way to combine making a living and baking…sigh. But then, perhaps baking would no longer be lovely and it would be work. Hmmm.

    I am happy to share recipes for anything. I have lots (I cook every weekend and usually bake something), but here are a few recent ones.

    Chocolate and Butterscotch Brownies – really sweet and very addictive

    Salted Peanut Chews – like a Payday bar (US). You can tell they are my favorite so far. They are my Twitter background.

    This is zopf – swiss braided loaf. Not quite as tasty as challah, but excellent nonetheless.

    Red Velvet Cake with 7-Minute Frosting

    Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramel Sauce

    Brioche Nanterre – so buttery and wonderful

  5. Doug Shaw 28 January 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    I am in awe of the baking caking expertise going on here. In awe, and hungry of course. Great bunch of cakes n stuff.

  6. MrAirmiles 7 February 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    Here are my sugar free apricot cup cakes:

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