Magnolia Bakery opened their first location in New York City in 1996, at the corner of W 11th St in the West Village. While the bakery is well known for its variety of desserts, it’s particularly famous for its cupcakes.
Founded by Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey, Magnolia Bakery started making cupcakes using leftover cake batter, which soon became quite popular with their regulars. Appel left the company in 1999, with Torey selling Magnolia Bakery to entrepreneur Steve Abrams in 2006.
Magnolia Bakery is given credit for starting the cupcake craze of the 1990s. The NYC location was featured in popular media, in shows like Saturday Night Live and Sex in the City. It was also featured in movie The Devil Wears Prada. Late night host Conan O’Brien once treated his audience to Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes during a taping for his show in 2008.
From its humble beginnings in NYC, Magnolia Bakery has since expanded in the US and the Middle East. The first store outside the continental US was opened in Dubai in 2010 and has since opened in Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Japan, Mexico and South Korea.
We don’t have one in Canada just yet, but one can hope.
While the founders are no longer connected with the company, Abrams makes sure that they continue to improve on the original recipes.
My visit was to their LA location on 8389 W. 3rd Street, at the corner of Orlando. It wasn’t too hard to find, and I arrived at almost closing time, so parking wasn’t a problem.
I picked up an box of assorted cupcakes. I wasn’t in a particularly picky mood, so I told the young lady in the back for a New York Dozen.
This is what’s in a New York Dozen: four red velvet cupcakes, two chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting, two chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting, 2 vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting and 2 vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting.
My verdict? Worth the trip. I was told that the quality of the cupcakes were pretty consistent no matter where you bought them.
Magnolia Bakery ships nationwide, so if you’re ever in the US without access to a nearby store, awesome cupcakes are just a phone call away.