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Cupcake Mecca

So I am admittedly a huge fan of cupcakes. I love them, a lot. So recently when the new Magnolia opened on 49th and 6th Ave., I got excited because it's so close to my work. Now in the past I have been disappointed with Magnolia, but I figured that I would give them another try.

I went at approximately 2pm. There was a line out the door, but I waited. Got inside, and of course they are completely out of everything except the vanilla and chocolate. No big deal, I can hang with the classics. I grab a chocolate and pay my $3 and go.

Back at my desk armed with a big glass of milk I dig in. It started out ok. Yummy fresh frosting. Nothing fancy, but good. Then I get to the cake and it's just not even worth eating. It's dry and the flavor is all wrong and it's too sweet. I end up tossing it after 2 bites.

So now I'm bummed. I was all geared up for a cupcake and that just didn't do it for me. So the next day I decide to go back and see if my all time favorite is still as good as I remember it being. So after work I head down to Tribeca and go to Tribeca Treats.

I walk in. There is no line. There is a mom with 2 kids sitting at a table eating a snack. I get the chocolate cupcake at room temperature (their cupcakes are best at room temperature but stored cold to keep them fresher. If you tell them that you'll be eating it now, they'll give you a room temp one instead of a cold one.). I sit down and dig in.

Perfect. Just simply perfect. It is everything that a cupcake was ever meant to be. The frosting is creamy and rich, but not overpowering. The cake is moist and fluffy without being sticky. The flavors are not too sweet and not too bitter, but that perfect chocolatey balance. This is how I fell in love with cupcakes.

I searched the boards to see if other people have had the same experience and it seemed that not many on here have tried Tribeca Treats so I figured I would post in case others were also feeling unsatisfied in their cupcake endeavors.

Does anyone else have a cupcake Mecca?

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  1. Batch on 10th Street and Tonni's on West 3rd Street. The first is gourmet flavors and the second is classic bake-sale. Neither is part of the cupcake hysteria with its long lines and grumpy waitstaff.

    1 Reply
    1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

      Yes, I must concur with Batch. The prices are a little painful, but for good reason. Amazing combinations and flavors with superior ingredients. Not your average cupcake! I like their puddings and cakes too.

    2. just wanted to mention that this is 'cupcakes for a cause' week in support of cancer care for kids. more info, including a list of participating bakeries, is available here > http://www.cupcakesforacause.org/

      3 Replies
      1. re: holland_oats

        Magnolia on bleecker always has a long line , i dont get it, they have the worst cupcakes ive ever tasted. Id sooner eat hostess. theres a cupcake place on 72nd and broadway thats good. sorry i cant think of the name

        1. re: foodwhisperer

          I think you're talking about Buttercup? I tried a few recently at a party and they were pretty bad, with chalky frosting and dry cake. I've never seen a box of cupcakes sit UNTOUCHED and half eaten at a party but it did.

          My underdog favorites are 'wichcraft (it's like a hostess cupcake actually), Grey Dog (when they have them), Sage American Kitchen (available at Dean & Deluca), Tonnie's Minis (as mentioned above), Sugar Sweet Sunshine (except for their red velvet). Ick to Magnolia. Billy's is hit or miss. The chocolate is consistently soft and moist for me, but the other ones have often been dry.

          I've also heard good things about the cupcakes at Chikalicious Dessert Club but I can't get over how awesome their soft serve vanilla ice cream is so I still haven't had one.

          1. re: kathryn

            I went to Chikalicious Dessert Club last night and shared a chocolate mousse cupcake and a glass of tempranillo with my girlfriend. I would love cupcakes if everyone made them like that. Excellent chocolate cake with delicious icing on top, and the wine pairing (the counterman's suggestion) was interesting, because the tempranillo was not the least bit sweet but had an earthy taste that did interesting things to the chocolate. That was some of the best $10.75 I've paid in some time.

      2. I had the exact same experience at the 49th and 6th ave magnolia bakery. the cake was unbelievably dry and the vanilla frosting was totally forgettable. i have never been dissapointed with any of the Crumbs cupcakes on Amsterdam.

        1. Magnolia, Billy's Buttercup always seem to be mediocre at best. I do agree Batch is amazing along with Sweet Revenge on Carmine St., Sugar Sweet Sunshine and Pinisi. Eleni's are pretty good as well but overly frosted.

          4 Replies
          1. re: misnatalie

            I think I am going to have to make a trip down to Batch then.

            1. re: feedmeplg

              I think the best cupcakes in NY are now Tonnie's Minis on W.3rd in Greenwich Village.

              1. re: jackieparis

                I really like the ones at Butter Lane in the east village (7th between 1st Ave. and Ave. A). They have some interesting icing flavors - and do both american and french icing. The chocolate cupcake with french vanilla icing is delicious.

                1. re: YummyInTheCity

                  I would definitely agree with Butter Lane, the mix/match option with the frosting is always appreciated and they are allergy friendly (keep peanut stuff seperated!)

          2. I'm a big fan of Buttercup Bakeshop at 52nd and 2nd Ave, but I'll be the first to admit I like my frosting sugary not buttery.

            Buttercup Bake Shop
            973 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

            1 Reply
            1. re: ManhattanPete

              From a non-cupcake lover Chikalicious' Smores cupcake was wonderful - the cake was moist, and the frosting not too thick. No oily taste at all. The caramel one also looks good. Batch was also good, but the prices are high, and the cake was a bit dry..

            2. We hit up Chikalicious a couple days ago, and we hated the cupcakes. I guess there's something for everyone though because lots of people like them. The frosting was some bland fluff. I'm all for non-traditional, but this was just weak.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Slob

                What types of cupcakes did you get there?

                1. re: Pan

                  We had a red velvet and a chocolate. The frosting just didn't do it for us at all. It had the weird consistency of a meringue and was quite tasteless like meringue.

                  The vibe of the place was all wrong too. It was trying to be hipster-ish or something instead of being bakery-ish.

                  The counter guys had a weird attitude and got into a beef with one of the customers, who asked for a cup of tap water. They refused her request and said the boss doesn't allow them to give cups of tap water. So she had to buy a bottle of water to eat with her dessert. I'm surprised she just didn't leave instead of buying anything from a place that refused to give her a cup of water.

                  1. re: Slob

                    That's really awful about the tap water. I'm surprised you didn't like the chocolate mousse cupcake, if that's one of the ones you had.

                    1. re: Pan

                      Yeah. The tap water scene was really weird. The woman took down names of the employees and seemed very steamed. Odd that she still ordered after being told she couldn't have tap water with her desserts. She must really love the place. I would have left.

              2. Two lIttle red hens....Magnolia sucks
                Two Little Red Hens
                1652 2nd Ave
                (212) 452-0476

                1. I'm not a huge cupcake fan (I prefer cookies and brownies for a treat), so a cupcake has to be really really good to make me go back. I can't even take 2 bites of a Magnolia cupcake - too sweet frosting, dry cake.

                  I love the cupcakes at Cupcake Cafe located on 9th avenue (near Port Authority, of all places). Very basic but moist and delicious. Nothing too fancy about them. Also, if you're there don't miss the doughnuts!!