Could cupcakes that lifted Carrie Bradshaw’s free spirit warm their way into Bengaluru’s heart? That was the question on my mind as I strode towards Magnolia Bakery in Indiranagar, weeks after the legendary American patisserie opened its first outlet in India last November. The queue was longer than I expected on a busy weeknight but when I finally entered the brightly lit space lined with mint-green tiles, the air, heavy with whiffs of sugar and cream, held a delicious promise.
In the U.S., the bakery is a prominent chain whose flagship shop in New York’s Bleecker Street achieved cult status after it was featured on a Sex and the City episode. Since then, both resident New Yorkers and starry-eyed visitors have made a beeline for its popular puddings and cupcakes.
While I had heard mixed reviews about the bakery from those who had sampled the New York fare several times, my uninitiated palate was waiting to be impressed. I plumped for a red velvet cupcake, topped with vanilla butter cream frosting, which although soft and moist, didn’t come with a side of cream cheese. Colour me disappointed!
But the cupcakes satisfied my inner dessert fiend, including a decadent chocolate flavoured one, layered with a fat helping of butter cream and peanut bits, and a banana cupcake with chocolate butter cream. Also believe all the excitement about their famous banana pudding, a spongy, creamy bite of heaven.
Magnolia’s real taste, as far as I was concerned, would be their cheesecakes, something I am particular about. Truth is, I am a perfectionist who will only vouch for cheesecakes that taste of real cheese. I struck up a conversation with a woman on the table next to mine, who was digging into a vanilla bean cheesecake, capped with blueberry. She generously offered me some, and it was cheesy, smooth and overall much to my liking.
While the bakery’s offerings do justify all the delighted squealing over its Indian opening, my relatively modest budget couldn’t afford its everyday pleasures. Nevertheless, that Bengaluru can enjoy an authentic piece of New York is worthy of celebration. (magnoliabakery.com; cupcakes Rs150, puddings Rs300, cheesecakes Rs350.
Chandni Doulatramani is trying to hide somewhere on the fringe, swapping between the roles of an independent journalist and a writer. These days she can be found loitering around the streets of Calcutta, eating jhaal muri and thinking up stories to tell.