It only makes sense to start out this blog with a stop into Magnolia Bakery, the little shop that kicked off the cupcake craze thanks to a well-timed collaboration with Sex and the City.
I first tried Magnolia a few years ago, and it set off what I have since called my “cupcake tour. ” Wherever I travel I search out a local cupcake or two or three. I’ve tried them north, east, south, and west, and I’ve even tried a few international cupcakes. While cupcakes have been my treat of choice, I’ve come to accept that I have the world’s largest sweet tooth. Hence this blog. This is the space where I’ll share my cupcake travels with you, as well as my obsession with any and all desserts!
Now, back to Magnolia.
I wasn’t impressed when I tried the cupcakes from Magnolia a few years ago. The cake wasn’t incredible and the frosting was too gritty and overly sweet. My friend Shannon told me she loves Magnolia because they remind her of homemade cupcakes, but I’d argue not in a good way. The best cupcakes strike a fine balance between tasting homemade and being a bit more refined. Magnolia, in my opinion, hasn’t gotten the second part down.
I was heading toward a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon the other day when I stumbled upon Magnolia Bakery in NYC at the corner of 49th and 6th. I hadn’t had lunch, so I decided to give this bakery another go. It had been a few years since my last one and even though I wasn’t in love the first time around I’m never one to pass up a cupcake opportunity.
My cupcake of choice was red velvet. (Truth: Red velvet is typically my cupcake of choice, though before this latest stop I hadn’t before had one from Magnolia.)
Though I went into this tasting with a clear mind, the Magnolia red velvet cupcake was just OK. The cake was basically flavorless (did you know that a Red Velvet cake should have a chocolate flavor?), and the frosting was … odd. A traditional red velvet cupcake is made with cream cheese frosting, but the frosting on the Magnolia cupcake was light, fluffy, and vaguely reminiscent of Cool Whip. The frosting was not gritty like the Magnolia frosting I’ve had in the past, nor was it too sweet. It was almost flavorless. On the plus side the cake was very moist.
Was the Magnolia red velvet cupcake tasty? Sure. Was it a great red velvet cupcake? No.
If you’re heading to Magnolia I recommend skipping the cupcakes -yes, I know this will be next to impossible – and grabbing the Banana Pudding instead.
Magnolia Bakery is located at 1240 6th Avenue in New York City.