Today was ridiculously cold in NYC, seriously cold, brutally cold, try like 15 degrees Fahrenheit – OUCH! My face hurt, my ears hurt, even my hands hurt regardless of whether there was wind or not. It was horrible!
Luckily, I had 2 meetings around Grand Central Station which were 2 hours apart. In an attempt to burn time and keep myself warm, I stayed inside Grand Central Station and browsed the shops and dining area.
I love this station, the vastness, the architecture, the number of stores, and the variety of food. It’s a great hangout, actually.
Of course I grabbed a bite, how could I not with all the food variety? I picked up a Focaccia Bread Pizza with Broccoli and Cheese from Zaro’s Bakery and it was sooooooooo so good! I ate half my meal and saved the rest for dinner.
As I walked off my calories, to my surprise I spotted a Magnolia Bakery, the famous bakery that was made famous by Sex and the City. I wasn’t aware Grand Central opened up a Magnolia Bakery, twas’ a sweet surprise. Another surprise was Magnolia has opened up in LA and DUBAI! Wow, that is awesome… word is spreading!
And then my eyes locked with those gorgeous pastel colored cupcakes, I had to make an abrupt purchase – I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to real all American crumbly cupcakes. Yes, that is a true Confession of a Sweetaholic! Oh, stop judging, you would be sold too!
Grand Central Terminal
Lower Level Dining Concourse
(3 other locations in Manhattan; 1 in LA; 1 in Dubai)
The Magnolia Bakery has a small space at Grand Central Station, obviously.
The other 3 NYC locations are much cuter, brighter, and slightly more spacious. The good thing is there was no waiting here as you would experience in the West Village on Bleecker Street. I’ve waited up to 45 minutes for a cupcake.
Here are the brownies at about $2.50 each. Next time I will consider trying a blondie.
The muffins are about $2.25, but who wants a muffin when you can have a cupcake? To the left are S’mores Cupcakes – don’t those look so good? That’s the first time I’m seeing these cupcakes at Magnolia.
Here are all the classic flavored cupcakes… Red Velvet & Coconut Lemon ($3.25 each) and Chocolate & Vanilla ($2.75 each)!
And the cake slices are roughly about $5 each (more or less). I saw the Hummingbird Cake and I instantly knew I was getting it.
MENU – $
The Magnolia Bakery Menu. Magnolia can get a bit pricey depending on how much you order. A cupcake and a specialty drink will easily run you about $7. If you are trying to get more for your money, I suggest going for a slice of cake since you’ll be getting more cake, however if you want to try out different flavors, then definitely opt for the cupcakes. The cost of 3 cupcakes is roughly 2 slices of cake.
Dessert for 2 & Drink for 1:
1 specialty cupcake + 1 specialty slice cake + 1 Cafe Latte = $12
RECOMMENDED HEALTHIER EATS… choices below are based on my knowledge of food and nutrition. If you are watching what you are eating, just so you know Magnolia doesn’t exactly have anything healthy, I know it sucks! I suggest splitting a fruit/vegetable cupcake with someone or opting for items without frosting. Muffins at most bakeries do contain a decent amount of fat so don’t be fooled. There is no online nutritional information available for The Magnolia Bakery, please use your own discretion when making a decision.
|HEALTHIER EATS – split with a buddy|
|Cranberry Chocolate Chunk|
|Lemon Vanilla Bundt|
|Apple Walnut with Cranberries|
|DRINKS – with skim milk & no whipped cream|
As soon as I saw my second favorite bakery, I called up my husband and communicated my recent discovery at Grand Central! Obviously, he didn’t share the same level of excitement I felt, but whatever! I quickly listed all the cupcakes they had in stock and he went for the Coconut Lemon Cupcake with Meringue Icing – good choice.
This cupcake was very good. It was crumbly, buttery, with a lemon filling inside. The lemon flavor contributed to the cupcake’s lightness which I loved. The Meringue Icing was light and delicious, however I felt the icing was a bit too sweet. Yes, even a Sweetaholic, such as I, felt it was too sweet.
I also picked up a big slice of Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting which we are planning to finish over a course of 2 days – remember all things in moderation. The Hummingbird Cake was flavored with banana and bits of pineapples and pecans. This cake was very good, however it was dense and most definitely made with butter. It was rich, crumbly, almost tasted a bit doughy to me, but still very good.
So far the best Hummingbird/Banana Cake that I’ve had is at Billy’s Bakery and I’m pretty sure Billy’s makes their version with oil which results in a much lighter cake.
While hanging out at Grand Central I also picked up a Cafe Latte from Magnolia which was pretty good… mild and frothy! I’d definitely purchase this again if I wasn’t eating the cupcake right then and there as it may get too filling.
I took the desserts home to share with my hubby over a cup of tea. 🙂 It’s my favorite pastime.
Other Items I’ve Tried:
Vanilla on Vanilla Cupcakes – very good, rich, buttery, crumbly, however very sweet!
Red Velvet Cupcakes – average, not as good as you’d think.
Chocolate on Chocolate Cupcakes – again, very average.
VERDICT – 4 / 5
In my opinion, the Magnolia Bakery is in second place as one of my favorite bakeries in Manhattan, after Billy’s Bakery. Everything here is good, but in Manhattan being good just ain’t good enough. Most items are above average, however I’ve found many of their items too sweet. That is the unfortunate truth about Magnolia, most of their cakes and/or frostings are unnecessarily sweet, but I still keep going back for more. The best thing here is the Banana Bread Pudding which is heavenly and absolutely amazing. I promise you, you will NOT be sorry if you try it.
I’m in dire need of a workout. Definitely, tomorrow!!!
TELL ME: In the meantime, if you have been to Magnolia’s, what is your favorite dessert here? What am I missing?