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Jan 20, 2008 12:49 AM

Am I crazy for thinking that Magnolia cupcakes suck?

I think they're gross. The frosting is horrible and they don't add any salt to their cake. Does anyone have any recommendations for a cupcake that actually is good. (I don't like Billy's either...they make them ahead and freeze them...yak!)

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  1. No, most on this board hate Magnolia. As for me, I love them.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tpigeon

      Guess we're the only 2 crazies on this board! I love their cupcakes, as well.

      1. re: tpigeon

        their red velvet cupcakes are the best - -

        the brownies are great! and the banana pudding is total comfort food.

      2. I think you'd be crazy if you thought otherwise!

        I have had cupcakes from almost all of the cupcake stores in NYC and I don't think that any of them are particularly good. I truly hate American buttercream (butter + confectioner's sugar + milk, which to me = sugary chalk but to others is sugary bliss), and that's the frosting that they all use.

        My "favorite" of the lot is Sugar Sweet Sunshine in the LES. Their cakes are moist, they always have good flavors (I like the pistachio and the pumpkin) and their frosting isn't as sickly sweet and chalky as many of the others are.

        Honestly, you'd be better off making your own. I feel like everyone is blinded by the craze of the cupcake and as a result, they don't really care about the quality, which is why all these places get away with making bad products. Which is why I make my own.

        4 Replies
        1. re: scarlet starlet

          Second Sugar Sweet Sunshine's pumpkin and also second the fact that homemade are better than any you'll find in nyc.

          1. re: scarlet starlet

            agree on all counts:
            - don't like magnolia's cupcakes although i think they have great banana pudding
            - sugar sweet sunshine is way better; i prefer their "sexy red velvet"
            - you're better off making your own (by a long shot)

            1. re: Lau

              Yes I LOVE their banana pudding. That's pretty much why I go there -- unless there's a line of saps waiting for cupcakes.

            2. re: scarlet starlet

              The two times I tried SSS I found them to be dry and the flavor to be less than stellar.

            3. This board basically agrees that they're among the worst of the lot, better cupcakes can be had in orphanages and prisons than at Magnolia.

              1. Try Amy's Bread.

                I also don't get the hype over the cupcakes at SSS. People rave about that awful, artificial tasting pistachio. We tried them twice and the only one I found even halfway decent was the pumpkin.

                1. When I first moved to NY I went on a cupcake binge. Magnolia was by far the biggest disappointment--the most hype for the most pedestrian cupcake. I don't think they "suck" per se, but I do think they are very run of the mill (I liken them to cupcakes bought from a grocery store bakery).

                  I've made the cupcake rounds (although I have not tried SSS) and so far my favorite cupcakes are from Two Little Red Hens. I tend to agree with scarlet starlet--I'm not the biggest fan of buttercream frosting--and 2LRH uses cream cheese frosting on most of their cupcakes, so thats a large reason why I enjoy them so much.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: digitalburro

                    Yeah, Magnolia (and Buttercup) never did it for me. However, some people (including DH) loves it. I've gotten cupcakes from Magnolia and Buttercup with him and tried it together to make sure he didn't get an abnormally tasty one or that I got a regular dry tasteless one. I just don't get it -- I'm thinking it's more of the cache than the actual cupcake.

                    I also hate Cupcake Cafe. While pretty, they're terrible.

                    While the best is homemade, I can deal with Mitchel London's and Two Little Red Hens.

                    1. re: digitalburro

                      I've never had the cupcakes at Two Little Red Hens because I'm usually getting some of their wonderful squares. That's a really good bakery!

                      1. re: Pan

                        Two Little Red Hens has moist, rich chocolate cupcakes and tasty choc frosting. Mostly, I hate buttercream frosting on cupcakes, but Tonnie's near Washington Sq Park is pretty good - rich cupcake and not bad frosting.

                        120 W 3rd St
                        New York, NY 10012
                        Phone: (212) 473-2002

                        They're not as pretty as Cupcake Cafe, which I also like, except that CC has a better frosting and a slightly less moist cake.

                        Magnolia, Buttercup - they can go in the trash for all I care.

                      2. re: digitalburro

                        Second Two Little Red Hens. All their baked goods are excellent (esp cheesecake!) -- but cupcakes are outstanding!!! Worth the trip if you dont live in the area.

                        The Cupcake Cafe is not good. Dont waste your time--in addition to cupcakes not being good, donuts and muffins are dried out. Just threw out yesterday after 1 bite!