Well, it’s taken me seven weeks but I FINALLY checked out the famous Magnolia Bakery for my red velvet challenge. I wanted to wait until the tail end of my NYC summer to give into the cupcake bakery I’ve heard so much about.
It was upsetting to find the A/C broken when we arrived after a hot afternoon walking in the park. Turns out I picked the perfect time to stop by though, because red velvet is the Cupcake of the Month! Fate? Maybe. It was topped with whipped vanilla icing and fresh blueberries, in honor of National Blueberry Month and July 4th.
I wasn’t blown away by the cupcake’s looks, but appreciated the simplicity since Magnolia is known for its old-fashioned, cozy atmosphere. This was definitely translated into the red velvet, which made for a natural, unpretentious judging experience. Unfortunately there were no benches nearby to sit on, so we had to eat our cupcakes standing up in the middle of the sidewalk. (Womp, womp…)
I broke out a fork and started digging in immediately. First thing I noticed (and loved) about Magnolia cupcakes was the size. They don’t look like they’ve been baked with steroids in the batter; they’re just the right size (the way they’re supposed to be!) The cake held true to the original red velvet flavor that I so desperately seek in this search. It was so moist and fresh that it was clear I wasn’t getting yesterday’s leftovers. The frosting was delicious too, even though it was vanilla instead of cream cheese. I’m beginning to accept that bakeries these days are trying to put a modern spin on the old favorite, which means no more cream cheese.
If I was still using the ole red velvet scale, I’d say Magnolia deserves a high score. But I think I would’ve enjoyed it even more inside, in air conditioning. Clearly the heat is too in love with me to leave — outside, in my apartment and even at Magnolia Bakery! But even on a steamy day, it was a perfect treat. I see why it has become the tourist attraction that it is — it’s that good.