I finally visited Magnolia Bakery at Bloomingdale's in Manhattan and it was a treat. It's in the middle of the block if you enter on the 3rd Avenue side; I wound up wandering around a little bit before I found it. The rest of the setup reminds me of their Columbus Avenue store. In two weeks I'm going to Dubai and will be checking out their bakery in the Bloomingdale's in The Dubai Mall, the world's largest mall.
The main reason I went was to check out their Swarovski limited edition cupcake, for sale through September 16th. It has an "edible jewel" that is beautiful, but very hard if you try to crunch into it; it's more like a sucking candy. It did sparkle and I found the presentation wonderful, but the vanilla frosting was achingly sweet and I could only handle a tiny bit of it. I do highly recommend another glittery cupcake, their exclusive Bloomingdale's cupcake, with chocolate and vanilla frosting and a delicious chocolate disk on top. For a lighter cupcake, the white-out cupcake (chocolate cake with meringue and chocolate cake crumbs) has a meringue frosting. And this month's special flavor is peanut butter and jelly, which by far the best tasting cake of the four I tried, a peanut butter cake, that truly captured the taste of a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich (this opinion was echoed by the women next to me, who were also tasting the peanut butter and jelly cupcake). They also sell cakes by the slice (or, I believe, by the cake), whoopie pies, puddings, other desserts and chocolate and regular milk as well as coffee and tea. Visit magnoliabakery.com for more information on their New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dubai locations.
the limited edition Swarovski cupcake
Magnolia Bakery exclusive Bloomingdale's cupcake
inside the peanut butter and jelly cupcake