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Magnolia Bakery


bmartino
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Hi all!

Without getting into the Great NYC Cupcake Debate (I know you've all got your personal faves), I was wondering whether anyone who frequents Magnolia on Bleecker has noticed a change in their cupcake recipe over the past year.

I live in the neighborhoos and stop in for a cupcake from time to time, but I stopped in around October or November of 2008 after not having been for awhile, and things had definitely changed:

1. Cupcakes were protected by new plastic hinge-y covers that always seemed to slip off and threaten to crash to the floor when you try to get a cupcake;

2. The plain, run-of-the-mill white cardboard bakery boxes had been replaced by fancy, expensive looking boxes with wee cup[cake]holders that now held fewer cupcakes per box with more packaging, and a fancy-looking color print of the Magnolia logo on top; and

3. The cake part seemed harder and drier, while the icing seemed colder, stiffer, more sugary and less buttery.

Now, changes 1 and 2 are easy to notice, but I'm driving myself crazy wondering whether it's the recipe that changed or my tastebuds.

I'm sure there are those of you who will say Magnolia's cupcakes have always been dry and crumbly with over-sugared icing, but I swear, a year ago the icing melted in your mouth and the cake was springy enough that I didn't feel like I was biting into a scone.

My friend has a theory that they are now chilling the cupcakes before putting them out for consumption, but I saw them take a tray directly from the icing station to the cupcake retrieval area yesterday.

An alternative theory is that the cold weather acts like a refrigerator, producing the above effects. But I've had the cupcakes in cold weather over the past few years, and they all seemed fine until this change.

Incidentally, all the changes seemed to coincide with the opening of the uptown location. Maybe the recipe needed to be more shelf-stable? Maybe they're cutting costs on ingredients?

Thoughts?

Edited by bmartino (log)
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I'm sure there are those of you who will say Magnolia's cupcakes have always been dry and crumbly with over-sugared icing

That's certainly how I see things.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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  • 2 years later...

I had a Magnolia cupcake today at a kid's birthday party and it was an order of magnitude better than any Magnolia cupcake I've ever had. The icing was soft and luscious and the cake was moist. It was a damn-near-perfect cupcake. And beautiful to behold. One thing I was thinking was that Magnolia cupcakes really suffer from sitting in the refrigerator case and being eaten cold. These were room-temperature and maybe they'd never been chilled?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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