Magnolia Bakery opened its doors in the summer of 1996 with the idea that it could be an old fashioned bakery
Before I even begin, I have a confession to make to all of you. I have never been a huge fan of cupcakes. I know, this is like heresy, especially from the American half of El Boqueron Viajero, but its true. My memory of cupcakes from my childhood is fogged over by countless birthdays at school where other children brought in store bought cupcakes from the grocery store counter with too sweet frosting mounded on top of a dry and tasteless vanilla muffin. These, my friends, do not win out over a slice of moist cake that my mother would offer me at home on my birthday at the end of January. These little cupcakes were imposters of good cake; not to be tolerated by anyone with a true sweet tooth.
As an adult, however, it seems that cupcakes have come into fashion, and with this turn of events, the quality of said cupcakes sold at almost gourmet level has consequently improved greatly from those days of dry cupcakes and impossibly sweet bright blue and pink frosting from elementary school. We now live in an era where people make a living, indeed create whole bakeries dedicated to cupcakes. One such bakery that has made a name for itself via the cupcake is Magnolia Bakery in the Greenwich Village, New York City.
Magnolia Bakery opened its doors in the summer of 1996 with the idea that it could be an old fashioned bakery where people could stop in for a cup of coffee and a sweet treat. Its décor reflects this original idea with the worn wood floors, green painted walls, and simple glass cases where you can see all the cakes and goodies for sale. Since 1996 the bakery has had such success that it is expanded from one shop to eight, but you can still find a long line outside the original store on Bleeker Street.
The store is actually a rather hectic place, mainly due to the fact that the secret has gotten out about the really delicious cupcakes thanks to TV appearances on shows like Sex and the City. When I stopped in with a friend this spring, the store was packed, and the lady at the counter seemed almost annoyed with us that we hadn´t chosen the correct box size for the two cupcakes we purchased with a cup of coffee to go. Fortunately, we were distracted by the people in the back frosting cupcakes and putting trays of freshly baked cakes on racks to cool. You can see all these things at the Bleeker Street location because the store itself doesn´t have a big wall separating the front of the establishment from the back room where preparations are going on.
The big decision you will have to make, of course, is which flavor cupcake you would like to try. There are rows and rows of perfectly iced cupcakes (and this has nothing to do with those awful creations kids in my elementary school passed out on their birthday!) These are the real deal, and I´m pretty sure its impossible to choose the wrong cupcake. In the end I went for a red velvet cupcake with white cream cheese icing and red sprinkles. My friend went for a chocolate cupcake with white frosting and purple sprinkles. And, after having paid and dealt with the grumpy cashier we took our goodies to a park across the street.
While the original idea of Magnolia Bakery may have been for people to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee with their cupcakes, it is hard to imagine sitting inside the busy shop and having a good chat with a friend. We ruskommend that you take our lead and go to the nearby park where you can sit on a bench and enjoy your coffee and cupcakes, as well as the fresh air. The actual cupcakes were quite tasty, I must admit. Each one was very moist and the frosting was just the right sweetness. The gourmet cupcakes have won me over. I am what you might call a cupcake convert, especially because the cupcake offers the added bonus of portability, portion control, and style. We ruskommend Magnolia Bakery with 5 boquerones for anyone craving something sweet in New York City. Bon Appétit!