In case you haven't heard...Magnolia Bakery is coming to Midtown possibly as soon as next Wednesday. Last night I had a chance to see the new Magnolia at their pre-opening party...
Let's back up a little...I've had plenty of Magnolia Cupcakes in my day. I went to NYU during Sex and the City's heyday after all. And to give credit where credit is due, through their popularity, Magnolia has done much to expand the market for cupcakes in the city. A couple of years ago New York magazine did an interesting piece detailing some of the less sweet side of the cupcake biz and the interesting cupcake genealogy which traces the origins of some of the most popular New York cupcakeries--Buttercup Bakeshop, Billy's, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, and Little Cupcake all back to Magnolia. Not to mention all of the bakeries that have benefited from this rekindled love of cuppycakeness.
And as consumer I've benefited from the variety of cupcakes now available--Carrot Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting (need I say more?). When I first tried Magnolia, yeah, it was sweet and kind of dry, but I hadn't had cupcakes in ages, so it tasted pretty good to me. It was a fun girlfriend bonding treat. But as more bakeries started offering cupcakes in more varieties my cupcake taste developed. Cupcakes are pretty common in my life these days and as much as I enjoy them, I'm much more discerning in terms of what I'll eat.
Located on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 49th Street in the former site of Citarella (RIP) this new Magnolia is situated in a prime traffic area and is poised to do very well in their new location. At the party they were offering up cupcakes and little cups of their famous banana pudding. I didn't have a chance to grab a banana pudding, which was a hands down favorite of one of my former college roommates, but I did get to taste their Red Velvet cupcake for the first time. It was still a bit dry, but much moister than any of the other Magnolia cupcakes I've had. The frosting was also different from their other cupcakes.--still quite sweet but lighter and creamier than the other frostings at Magnolia.
They were very generous with the goodie bags and I brought home 4 cupcakes--I have a Red Velvet and a Chocolate Frosted Chocolate Cupcake for you, Blondie! You know where to find them! Lawman and Lawman-in-law dug into the Vanilla Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes and also pronounced them too dry and too sweet.
While I might not be rushing out to get my next Magnolia fix (though I am very intrigued by that pudding...), I have a feeling that Steve Abrams, the new owner of Magnolia, will do very well in this location, his second to open in the past year (in January he opened a Magnolia branch of Upper West Side). Between the tourist traffic and the Midtown office sugar rush/birthday/get well soon party culture I expect they will be very busy when they open their doors to the public. Word on the street is they could open as early as Monday, but the PR ladies checking people in at the door were saying Wednesday
For more pics check out our flickr.
1240 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020