Magnolia Bakery needs no introduction. Most of us who enjoy baking would have heard about this famous bakery ,possibly like myself, through its famous cookbooks. I do not own any of the cookbooks from Magnolia Bakery...was almost tempted by the array of powdery pastel cupcakes on their covers but the lack of photos inside the book had failed to appeal to my weakness for visual stimulation. Magnolia Bakery's cupcakes are legendary and I was eager to try them on this trip. I was literally brimming with a jittery sense of excitement as I joined the bustling crowd in front of the shop.
A lovely cosy shop with pretty sweets decked out in homely display, I thought the bakery exudes an old fashioned southern charm. It was easy to get carried away by the array of cupcakes. Although the flavours available were limited (mostly were just vanilla cupcakes with different colour butter cream frosting), the lovely signature swirl of the fluffy pastel frosting had the ability to beckon. When I left the shop, I was a happy girl with 2 cupcakes and a banana pudding in my bag. When I took my first bite of the vanilla butter cream cupcake at a park nearby, I was crest fallen with disappointment! The frosting was so tooth achingly sweet that I had to scrape it off the cake. As fluffy as the frosting looks, it was, I felt over saturated with sugar, giving it a sandy/gritty texture. The cake itself was ok but I have baked cup cakes which are fluffier and moister myself. The caramel meringue butter cream was much smoother and a little less sweet than the vanilla butter cream. What saved the day was really the Banana Pudding. Creamy and smooth, it was the perfect dessert to be enjoyed on a cool sunny day in the park. I am now contemplating to reproduce it at home.
Following my previous disappointing experience at the very popular Crumbs, this is my second lack luster encounter with the American Cupcake. I am struggling to understand what is it about these cupcakes that make them so popular, is it the fist size portion at Crumbs or is it the pretty frosted swirl at Magnolia? The frosting is not piped but twirled skillfully using an icing spatula. It was bewitching and inspiring to watch the staff work effortlessly with the fluffy icing. For those who are keen to create the signature swirl, watch the little video I had shot with my little compact camera. Enjoy!