An Ode to Cupcakes

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hey all!

I have a confession. I have been eating my weight in cupcakes for the past two weeks. You know, it’s quite odd. I’ve always been a huge fan of desserts, but cupcakes were never my favorite. Brownies, real cakes, and donuts usually stole my heart away quicker than cupcakes.

Until… I met Magnolia Bakery last year. And then, I waited and I waited and I waited until we could be reunited. In San Francisco this year, I finally got to try Sprinkles Cupcakes, the much-lauded miniature cakes on the West Coast. I liked their cake– moist and sweet, but their icing was too headache-inducingly sugary for me. They were good, but they weren’t Magnolia. So when I went to the Northeast two weeks ago, a stop at Magnolia was a must.

And then… I upped the ante.

I sampled Crumbs Bake Shop cupcakes. Some say that it beats Magnolia to the ground. And after trying both, I have to say that I’m still a Magnolia lover at heart. From Crumbs, I had a red velvet and a bite of the vanilla. The red velvet was ginormous, the size of my palm:

And the cake itself was superb. Very moist and dense and the flavor was amazing. But… everyone knows that it’s the frosting that wins people over. And quite frankly, Crumbs’s frosting was just too darn sweet and crumbly (ha, get it?). I guess some people prefer their frosting extra sweet, but that’s just not me. Here’s another look:

So… In conclusion, Crumbs is pretty high competition, but it doesn’t take the cake for me. Now, what does win my heart over:

Magnolia Bakery. I’m going to be completely straightforward here. On my list of “last meal” items, a red velvet cupcake from Magnolia bakery is very much at the top. I’ve been to three locations so far and it just does not help that one of them is about a stone’s throw away from my sister’s apartment:

Don’t they look so darling? The bakery itself is so awesome, as well. All lace doilies and warm vanilla smells. Oh, gosh. Okay, so what did I get?

Two red velvets and two vanillas. The vanillas aren’t my favorite. The cake is soooooo old-fashioned (AND AWESOME!), but the frosting, once again… Is too sweet. The red velvet, on the other hand, is my favorite thing in the world. The cake is so moist and buttery and dense and great and the frosting… The frosting. The frosting. The frosting. Too amazing for words. It is a cream cheese frosting, but to me it tastes a lot like a condensed milk sort of thing– almost like tres leches. Creamy and milky and whipped-creamish. I have become ineloquent.

More views of vanilla:

And now, for the kicker. When my sister came home from Thanksgiving, she brought me a box of Magnolia cupcakes. Yeah. She did. And that’s why she’s the most blessed child and the greatest person ever to have walked this earth.

Observe:

My brave little cupcakes fared the plane rides well! Clockwise from the top right: Red velvet, red velvet, vanilla, chocolate, snickerdoodle, and vanilla. Red velvet will always remain my first love, but chocolate and snickerdoodle are close seconds!

Snickerdoodle was absolutely amazing with it’s marshmallow-y frosting and its cinnamon-y cake. Goodness gracious.

Here’s tame vanilla once again.

Chocolate was also a clear winner. Very rich, but not tooth-achingly sweet!

My love.

Cupcakes taste best with a glass of milk, of course.

Proof of damage done. And don’t you worry– that cupcake was gone the instant this picture was taken. Like literally, half a second after I clicked the little button.

Anyways, I think it is my new goal and life to try a cupcake at every single famous cupcake bakery in the world. Which is genius because that means the list is neverending. For now though, I am itching to try: Billy’s Cupcakes and Buttercup Bake Shop in New York City and Georgetown Bakery in DC. Where else should I go?

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