After a visit to the New York Historical Society to see Annie Liebovitz’s latest exhibition, Pilgrimage, we found ourselves on the upper west side. Before this post gets to Magnolia, do visit the museum if you are ever in New York. The museum is very underrated and with a range of exhibits on New York’s history, is incredibly interesting. The city has a fascinating story and the museum explores it beautifully.
I’ve booked a cupcake class at Magnolia and wanted to find out where their bakery was on the Upper West Side. They’re a gorgeous brand and after flipping through all of their cookbooks, I was dying to see it in the flesh. At 6pm, as night had comfortably set in and the snow flurried around New Yorkers, the warmly lit bakery felt like a much appreciate cuddle. This is the first Magnolia bakery, which opened its doors in 1996 – almost 20 years ago. The bakery has a cupcake of the month and January’s is caramel cake with caramel meringue buttercream and caramel drizzle.
Fan-damn-tastic. You see, I’ve fallen in love with caramel (also read salted caramel) and suggest you do the same when here, as whether it’s a macaroon, ice cream, cupcake or tart – this city utterly nails the flavour.
If you’re not into cucpakes (shame), Magonolia has coffees, hot cocoa, pies and cakes a plenty, so you’re sure to find something you like. Unless you don’t like bakeries, in which case, why are you even still reading this? Aside from baked goodness, Magnolia also has adorable 50’s style aprons. Typically I didn’t get a picture as was busy trying to not look like an idiot in front of the cashier and payment console.
In America there is a DIY policy when it comes to cards and even after 2 weeks I still attempt to hand my card over to the cashier and stare blankly at them whilst they stare blankly back waiting for me to swipe the card myself. The styluses are hard to manoeuvre, requiring finesse I haven’t mustered and each store has had a different variation of signature that looks like a spider got intoxicated, dipped itself in ink and then tap danced over the screen.
If you’re not here, don’t worry, they have an online store (of course they do) where you can order cupcakes, aprons and even onesies. Here are the aprons by the way. They probably don’t ship to South Africa, but still, it’s nice to see what bakeries look like in the first world.
In almost 20 years, Magnolia has styled themselves a beautiful brand that lives up to all the hype. The venue, the packaging, the typography and of course the humble cupcake. The cupcake was light and moist, just the right amount of sweet and the icing didn’t spill over on to the cupcake wrapper – irrational pet peeve. I think in my next life I’ll come back as a cupcake connoisseur please.
They’re a little piece of heaven and highly recommended.
I can’t wait for the icing class. You can find Magnolia bakeries across New York city, so find your closest store and add it to your New York bucket list. Why not book a class? I’ll let you know how it goes.