Inside Magnolia Bakery Los Angeles: A Cupcake Review by Emily Salzfass

This special report on the new Magnolia Bakery in Los Angeles, which opened on Saturday, was written by Emily Salzfass, who visited the shop yesterday and took these photos. Regular vanilla or chocolate cupcakes are $2.75 each, specialty ones like the lemon and red velvet are $3.25 each.

To the delight of many transplanted New Yorkers, Greenwich Village's famed Magnolia bakery has opened up a shop right here in West Hollywood for our very own Angeleno buttercream fix.

The shop is located on the quaint corner of 3rd Ave and Orlando, just around the bend from the Beverly Center and set on a block with charming boutiques and high-end specialty shops.

According to Eric, the man who helped me at Magnolia today, this weekend's opening was a massive success, with the (reasonably spacious - esp compared to the New York bakeries) shop packed to the gills and the line for cupcakes stretching out the door and around the block.

When I came in midday Monday the shop was still relatively busy, but with the different products (cupcakes, proper cakes, drinks, souvenirs) served in different queues the whole process moved speedily along with a host of bustling, smiling employees proud to show off their trade.

Like the New York shops, part of the fun of Magnolia is getting to watch the bakers pull out fresh aromatic trays of vanilla and red velvet cupcakes and then watch them frost and decorate the cupcakes with the signature Magnolia icing and cute toppings like pressed-sugar flowers.

After asking Eric what he recommended, I tried the lemon cake, the red velvet cake, and my own personal simple favorite, vanilla with buttercream frosting (blue with white ball-bearing sprinkles). The lemon cake was everything Eric had promised; light, tangy, spongy and delicate with a very smooth lemon-vanilla icing. Nothing too custardy or tart, just a simple lemon cake frosted perfectly. The chocolate-based red velvet cake also lived up to its promise, with the sweet blood-red fluffy chocolate cake offset with just the right amount of slightly tangy cream cheese frosting. And as for the vanilla with blue frosting? I'm saving it for after dinner.

I moved to LA from NY almost ten years ago, and I'm a bit of an LA east side snob, preferring to stick around my local neighborhoods of Los Feliz, Silverlake, Echo Park and East Hollywood than to venture out toward swanky WeHo. But if in order to get a blue-frosted Magnolia cupcake I have to cross Fairfax, then cross Fairfax I shall!

And for what it's worth, the parking was abundant. Welcome to LA, Magnolia!

Magnolia Bakery staffer Eric


Cupcake Activist said…
That's interesting what she said about the red velvet cupcake because all of the reviews I read over the weekend said that Magnolia used vanilla frosting instead of cream cheese on their red velvet. Maybe they realized their mistake and changed it.