Today I’m sharing my fourth bakery tour stop and I’m shocked that so far I haven’t even tasted any cupcakes yet! New York is chock-full of cupcake shops after the craze began a few years ago, and one of the first on the scene was Magnolia Bakery. Although they’re not exclusive to cupcakes like shops such as Crumbs and Sprinkles, they may be even better known due to their coverage on Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada. There are several Magnolia locations in the city, but a few weeks ago Ryan and I headed to the West Village to visit their original location on Bleecker Street. Even though we didn’t get there until 8PM on a Sunday night, there was still a line around the corner!
Since this bakery is best known to me for their cupcakes, I wanted to make sure to get a good sampling of flavors and frostings. We ended up choosing five including caramel, red velvet, chocolate chocolate, coconut, and snickerdoodle. Their signature swirl of frosting is really charming and I think it makes they seem a little more homey so they’re not too fancy but still really nice. Their cupcakes decorations are simple and I like that, it’s more about the flavors than the pizazz here. Their store reflects that too – despite their wild success the store still feels like a Mom-and-Pop old fashioned bakery complete with gingham tablecloths, pretty lace curtains, and vintage baking posters. Their cakes on display were gorgeous but we stuck with the cupcakes in order to try more flavors :)
Of the cupcakes we tried, my favorites were the snickerdoodle and chocolate chocolate. Their chocolate frosting was heavenly, and although I’m usually drawn to the more creative flavors, I loved this basic combo so much. The snickerdoodle was fun because the frosting had a meringue texture so it wasn’t too heavy or too sweet to overpower the cinnamon-studded cupcake. My favorite thing we tried from the bakery sadly didn’t make it to the photographs – the banana pudding! It’s the bakery’s claim to fame, and Ryan shared a serving on our way home and I never snapped a pic. OMG, so, so good!! Usually pudding doesn’t excite me, but this was pudding studded with caramelized bananas and bits of vanilla wafers, and maybe a little crack-cocaine, I’m not sure. The recipe is in their cookbook and I’m definitely going to have to recreate it for my own very soon!
The verdict: Were the cupcakes good? Yup. Were they the best cupcakes I’ve ever had? Nope, definitely not. The cake was a bit dry in a few of them and didn’t leave me craving more. I wanted to love them since this bakery is such a NYC staple, but I must say I wasn’t overly impressed. The banana pudding was a game-changer for Magnolia in my mind, and totally makes it worth the trip. Check out the nostalgic storefront, cross the visit off your bucket list, and bury your face in some banana pudding heaven! Grab a cupcake or two while you’re at it, never hurts :)