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Aug 27, 2010 10:32 PM

Has anyone tried the new Magnolia Bakery

Has anyone tried the new Magnolia Bakery on Third Street near the Beverly Center? I just wondered if they are as good as the cupcakes in New York? I haven't heard too much buzz about the opening.

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  1. Been there several times now and tried quite a few items. Some thoughts:

    Cupcakes -- They're ok, but overall I don't really get the crazed appeal here. As a point of reference, this is coming from someone who completely buys into the Sprinkles and Suzie Cakes hype (with the edge to Suzie Cakes). The cake itself isn't very moist and the frosting is almost too soft and light, getting all over your fingers and the box to easily. Overall they just don't seem to pack as much flavor per bite as S. or S.C.. That said a few flavors did work nicely for me, like the caramel. The orange was interesting and rather unique. Their red velvets are a total failure IMO since they inexplicably do not have cream cheese frosting. I mean, the cupcakes are still cupcakes and if handed one I will happily have it, but I have no plans to go back there to seek out cupcakes specifically.

    Banana Pudding -- Apparently this is their signature item, and this one absolutely lives up to the hype if you like banana pudding, which I happen to LOVE. First of all it just tickles me pink that anyone is even doing banana pudding, as it's not something you find very regularly and if anything it's usually just in a banana cream pie and not a standalone item. But man, THIS is a dessert I will go out of my way to return for. It comes in a cardboard container and has banana slices, nilla wafers, and whipped cream all mixed in. The pudding is very light and at first you almost can't tell the difference between the pudding and whipped cream.

    Blueberry Jamboree -- Another hit. This has become my latest obsession. It's hard to describe, but it's sort of a mix between a pie and a cheesecake. The bottom is a pecan-sandie-like cookie crust. Above that is a layer of soft, light sweet cream cheese. This is the heart of the item and the texture is amazing, like a silk blanket on your tongue. Above that is a thick layer of large blueberries. Another item that I appreciate for its uniqueness.

    Assorted Cookies and Apple Crisp -- Both of these are good. Not amazing but good.

    Mini Cheesecakes -- Tried two flavors -- chocolate swirl and red velvet -- and not a fan of either. Too dry, flavor didn't do much for me. The red velvet especially didn't work at all, it just tasted weird to me.

    Pies -- I was disappointed to find that most of their pies will not be sold by the slice but by order only. Only a few "icebox" pies are available by the slice, but not the apple, pumpkin, etc., which seem promising.

    Long story short? A bit hit & miss, although the hits are strong. Also their line system is a total clusterf**k and even the people behind the counter don't seem to know what's going on. There are different stations, but it's not clear at all who is at what station or where exactly each station is delineated. Why they don't have ropes coming *out* from the stations boggles the mind. Also some items they hand to you and you carry to the register, and other items they bring to the register themselves. Overall very awkward and confusing and I hope this gets improved.

    Huge plus is that they are open late, I think midnight on weekends.

    1. Haven't actually gone myself, but my sister bought a lemon cake from them for my mom's b-day party last week, and it was really, really good.

      1. It's so cute and even if cupcakes aren't your thing, the space is so quaint and homey feeling and there are so many other things to try. their attention to detail makes it feel like a movie set almost and the dessert bars look amazing (I haven't gotten to them yet!), their banana pudding is addictive and they have a nice selection of breakfasty baked goods that are perfect for an early morning. Definitely worth checking out!

        1. I went for the cupcakes and they were just "ok" given the hype. I found the cupcakes sort of dry and not strong in flavor -- the red velvet without the cream cheese tasted like every other cupcake. I actually have been to the NYC location and found New Yorkers all caught into the hype of Magnolia. But I thought it then and still do now that Sprinkles is by far the leader of the cupcake pack.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chowchi1

            I've only been to the NYC one... but even in Manhattan there are far better cupcakes. Magnolia's is just better at marketing and expansion.

          2. Went for the first time today. Wasn't really interested in the cupcakes as I've heard they're overrated. Wanted to try the banana pudding but they were out, so got a slice of banana cream pie instead, esentially the same ingredients, I guess, and it was pretty fantastic. All the non-cupcake goods (pies, pastries, bars) looked damn good. So I will definitely being going back to sample some more.