...I don't like Magnolia's Bakery.
YEAH THAT'S RIGHT. I DON'T LIKE MAGNOLiA's BAKERY. me no likey--magnolia not numbah 1, magnolia numbah 10! magnolia not a-okay! (shout out to Operation: Dumbo Drop which when I was younger, was very excited about it being filmed in the motherland--not so sure how I feel about it now. will have to inspect).
Ze cupcakes are moist, perfectly moist, light, not that sweet (on the fence about the flavor of the cake itself). mmm....nummy nummy nummy nummy. We got some red velvet cake. The frosting was bland and lackluster, but the cake was incredibly moist and light as previously mentioned. Please see exhibit 1.
Now, what you can't tell, is the consistency in the frosting which is a HUGE factor for me. Billy's uses buttercream, I assume Magnolia does too but more sugary-ness. Magnolia's frosting is *much*MUCH* sweeter, to the point of overbearing/overwhelming/overpowering, all sorts of "over"-ness as in "over it"--points off. Magnolia's frosting is sloppy, and runny.
Okay, so they pretty much look like Billy's Bakery cupcakes (and u can see below that i smudged a finger on that cupcake there, but BACK TO THE POINT).
Mike & I weighed the fact that we got ours freshly swathed right in our faces, but it DID have time to really settle on the train ride back. (Btw, we went to the new opening of the Magnolia's on the UWS on 69th & Columbus where the Penang used to be--oh Penang how i heart you since beantown w/ ur asparagus chicken and mango shrimp. but tha'ts another story...)
CONCLUSION: I don't *hate* Magnolia's, I just wouldn't go there if I had the chance and I definitely would NOT wait in line OR make it a point to take any friends, who are visiting, to go there. It's really the too sweet frosting that kills it. I don't care about how runny the frosting is, it's just I choke on every bite b/c the sugar just hits the back of ur throat like your tonsils got dropkicked with sunshine and carebears (if u like that sort of thing).
So I've had Crumb's, Buttercup, Billy's (^_^), Magnolia's(with an appalling website)--what's left is Sugar Sweet Sunshine in the LES. Will report back with a cumulative assessment. I had a pistachio cake version of the cupcake from SSS at Karen's bday party--I'm excited to finish out the tasting. Here's a fun little story in NYMAG about the whole cupcake lineage in the city.
Billy's might be a little dry but MY GOD the frosting (even the German Chocolate Cake) is SPOT ON.
(...and thus, u can see the diff b/w setting up the shots w/ no flash vs flash and the world of diff it makes. now that i've got my SB800 w/ diffuser, we'll see how that carries, and how the gold bounce might work out too.)