What is it about New Yorkers and cupcakes

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Jul 25th, 2004, 04:52 AM
  #1
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What is it about New Yorkers and cupcakes

A NY friend raves about Magnolia Bakery down in the Village. I have been dragged there a few times and have yet to discern why these are the best cupcakes in the world. I found them very reminiscent of say, Jiffy Cake mix cupcakes. They are big but nothing special in my opinion.
There are a number of Cupcake bakeries. Enquiring foodie minds would like to know....why?

I can think of any number of fabulous sweet snacks or desserts without the thought of a cupcake bering brought to mind. Is this nostalgia for the boxed cupcakes one's mother made? LMF
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Jul 25th, 2004, 05:05 AM
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Sorry, I can't be of any help, except to say that if this is your biggest problem/complaint/concern at the moment, you are indeed a lucky woman!
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Jul 25th, 2004, 05:09 AM
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Ms Foodie-
Your title made me laugh. Here's one NYer that's been craving a good cupcake (white cake, white icing) for a number of weeks. Yummm!! I haven't had the time to go get one, though. And I keep thinking the craving will go away. I don't think it's a nostalgia thing.

I have not bought anything at Magnolia, ever, because I hate waiting in line. If anyone can tell me where there are any other excellent cupcake bakeries in NYC, please post!
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Jul 25th, 2004, 05:09 AM
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I have noticed that trend also. I was recently at a wedding and instead of cake they had cupcakes, it was a cute idea (the bride is a kindergarden teacher, making this idea all the cuter) I would never do this, but i think the krispy kream cakes are really cool,
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Jul 25th, 2004, 07:05 AM
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Hmmm, good question.
Someone called me "Cupcake" once
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Jul 25th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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Suzanne: I recently discovered Crumbs. Two locations: Amsterdam & 75th and Third Ave in the high 70's. So far I've had an excellent chocolate blackout cupcake on the east side and an OK, a-little-too-dry black & white cupcake on the west side. Too soon to form an overall opinion so I have to keep eating.
Meanwhile, in response to the original post - I think the cupcake bakery issue is a matter of "if you bake it, they will come." If cupcake shops were to spring up in other cities, you would find cupcake lovers emerging all across the country.
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Jul 25th, 2004, 09:54 AM
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I love cupcakes--from Magnolia, the Cupcake Cafe, anywhere that uses good butter in both the cake and the frosting (which means no buttercream made from Crisco and 10x sugar).

I never buy whole cakes unless I'm entertaining, but a cupcake is just enough butter, sugar, and flour to make me feel indulged, but not totally sinful. And then there's nothing left over to tempt me the next day.

Cupcakes are single-sized comfort food. Sometimes when life is crazy and you wish you lived in a simpler time so that if something hurt you could just run home to Mom and she'd give you a kiss and cupcake--well, those are the days when a cupcake really hits the spot. Although I have to admit, with my mother it was likely to be Jiffy Cake with Crisco/10x frosting--or something storebought. But hey, if this is my nostalgia trip, then I can embellish it in anyway I want, right?
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Jul 25th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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Magnolia was featured in Sex and the City. That is the only reason this Minnesotan has heard of it. I doubt an entire cupcake craze could have been created by one episode, but who knows?
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Jul 25th, 2004, 12:31 PM
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I'll go with Elle's explanation. I have had them twice, once in the summer of 2001 and another time since. I was underwhelmed. They were leaden and somewhat dry. I was simply interested in their popularity in a city that has such excellent food available 24/7. Even in June 2001 people were lined up to buy these things so I think it was probably pre-Sex in the City. But then again, maybe not.

http://gonyc.about.com/cs/toursbr/l/bl_satc07.htm

That show launched so many fads, that may have been it. Prada, Jimmy Choo and countless others are grateful for the power of that show. LMF

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Jul 25th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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I think many times SATC episodes reflect what is happening in the city at the time. And then the real craze begins.

This has been mentioned previous - I think the draw is the frosting. Too sweet for my taste, but I know many fans.

The New York Daily News rates cupcakes:
http://www.nydailynews.com/city_life...p-159098c.html

Also, I know there have been some NY Times articles about this issue.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/05/di...rtner=USERLAND

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/05/di...81ffb4&ei=5070

A major part of my enjoyment from travelling is finding those local treats. I think this is a great topic for those who may be visiting the city soon....
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Jul 25th, 2004, 07:01 PM
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...or for those of us who are still craving CUPCAKES!!
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Jul 26th, 2004, 02:53 AM
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I went to a wedding in Manhattan pre-SATC, and the couple had cupcakes instead of a wedding cake. I just assumed it was because my friends are a big strange.
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Jul 26th, 2004, 10:27 AM
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They've just opened a cupcake bakery at the end of my street in an up-and-coming, but still blue collar neighborhood in Baltimore. I haven't had the nerve to go in yet (and i certainly don't need to!) but I heard the cupcakes were selling for $3/each. This isn't a $3.00 cupcake neighborhood either! I sure hope they're selling something else. It's a cute place, but still.....
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Jul 26th, 2004, 10:35 AM
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"Cupcakes are single-sized comfort food."

I think this is it. If you live in NYC (or any large city), you are often eating-on-the go and don't want to lug around a cake or a piece of cake. So the cupcake is perfect.

I also think that single-serving foods are very "in" because everyone can have something different instead of being stuck with everyone eating the same cake. If I want vanilla and my friend wants chocolate, everyone is happy.
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Jul 26th, 2004, 10:39 AM
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Ok, I thought I'd seen every Sex in the City episode, but I don't recall the one about Magnolia!
Can you fill me in, Tim_and_Liz? Or anyone?
In case I want to *Travel* there?

Thanks!
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Jul 26th, 2004, 10:44 AM
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I think it's the one (season 5?) where Carrie and Miranda are sitting on a bench, eating the cupcakes. Miranda is telling Carrie about how she was going to tell Steve that she loved him on their romantic "date" but Steve told her that he started seeing someone new (Debbie). Carrie then jumps up off the bench to avoid Berger and runs into Aidan who is carrying a baby. Then Berger and Carrie go to a movie.
I *think* that's the episode. I know for sure that Magnolia is featured in a SATC episode because I read it in Us Weekly-- now that has to be the truth!
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Jul 28th, 2004, 11:52 AM
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The SATC episode is the one after Carrie meets Aidan at his furniture store and is telling Miranda about him. Before she bites the cupcake she says "and i do beleive him to be cute" or something like that.

I am visiting from Australia and I am researching the cup cake bakeries craze.

They are also popular in London. Couldn't find any in Miami or Pittsburg(although many bakeries in pittsburg do have cupcakes among other items). Standard pricing seems to be around $1.75. Have not seen a $3 cup cake yet. For me the benefit is size and comfort food elements. Magnolia's are nice but Buttercup Bakery in NY is just as good. I personally prefer less icing. In Notting Hill in London Hummingbird Bakery does fantastic red velvet cup cakes.

If anyone has any suggestions for places for cupcake research in Chicago, San Fran or LA please let me know as they are my next destinations. Leah
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Jul 28th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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I'm not a big baked goods guy, so I don't go out of my way to hit bakeries, but I don't think the cupcake craze has hit southern CA in the way it's hit New York and (seemingly) the East coast. You can buy cupcakes at the supermarket and whatever neighborhood bakery you choose, but they don't have any special cachet or post-modern nostalgia for childhood treats associated with them. Besides, the very best "destination bakeries" (La Brea Bakery, Sweet Lady Jane's) go for more high-falutin' fare (and we're all happier for it!).

We may have a healthy sense of the ironic post-modern metaphor out here, but I've noticed that we love our baked goods in a completely unironic sense-- we like things because they taste good NOW, not because we think it's cute to eat stuff we thought was manna when we were eight.

Or is that a bit too harsh an assessment...? If so, my apologies. Since I'm in Phase II of the South Beach Diet, cupcakes are out of the question right now, so I'm woozy from lack of creamy chocolate frosting.
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Jul 28th, 2004, 12:50 PM
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I don't think it's about eating something that I used to enjoy as a kid-- at least not for me. I still enjoy cupcakes-- not because it's "cute" but because they taste good and are easy to eat on the go. Much easier than buying a slice of cake and trying to handle plate and fork, as most of the time when I go to bakeries I buy things to eat then and there or while walking or sightseeing.
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Jul 28th, 2004, 05:01 PM
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I agree with Tim and Liz. Whenever anything is shown on tv, all the "wanna be's" go crazy.
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