New York’s Magnolia Bakery arrives at Ala Moana

Magnolia Bakery's newest location brings their famous cupcakes to Honolulu.

via MagnoliaBakeryHawaii Instagram

Magnolia Bakery's newest location brings their famous cupcakes to Honolulu.

By Shannon Gray, Staff Writer

The world-famous Magnolia Bakery has been on the public radar for more than a decade due to the success of its flagship location in New York’s West Village as well as its subsequent presence in movies like “The Devil Wears Prada” and the pop culture phenomenon that was Saturday Night Live’s “Lazy Sunday” short.

With the bakery’s location in Ala Moana Shopping Center’s new Ewa wing expansion, locals and tourists alike will have access to the world-famous baked goods for the first time.

Magnolia’s flagship location on Bleecker Street opened in the summer of 1996 and has enjoyed long lines and rave reviews from the very beginning. In terms of wait times the Ala Moana location is no different. Following the expansion’s much-publicized Nov. 12 opening, lines for the East Coast-based shop stretched throughout the mall with wait times of up to an hour.

The following Monday I made the trek to Ala Moana to see what all of the fuss was about. To my surprise I was met with a relatively short 15-minute wait for what was hands down the best cupcake I have had my life.

Though the bakery typically offers a wide selection of both seasonal and specialty cupcakes as well as various flavored coffee drinks, the Ala Moana location has made only a limited number of its items available as it become established.

The three cupcakes flavors currently available are chocolate, vanilla and the ever-trendy red velvet with cream cheese frosting. My friend and I ordered one chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and one red velvet with cream cheese frosting.

The big difference between Magnolia and other local favorites like Hokulani and Cake Couture is that the production line for the baked goods is constantly moving. The kitchen is surrounded by windows that allow the line of hungry customers to get an inside look at the process involved in giving Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes their signature swirl of fresh frosting.

It’s this attention to detail and fresh ingredients that keep people coming back to the stylish eatery.

I do not normally have a sweet tooth, but the texture and fresh taste of these cupcakes has made me a fan of Magnolia’s. The menu describes the chocolate cake as having “a smooth velvety texture,” which is absolutely perfect description for this indulgent treat. Though delightfully sweet, the sugar didn’t overpower the other flavors the way that it can in many chocolate and red velvet cakes.

The frosting made by Magnolia Bakery has ruined me for all other frostings. After taking her first bite, UH senior Kiana Humiston described the frosting as “airy”. While many cupcakes rely on an overly sweet, heavy topping, these cupcakes are delightfully simple. Desserts typically aren’t both pretty and delicious, but Magnolia Bakery  hits it out of the park in both respects.

While I typically try to avoid Ala Moana during the holiday season, I may have to face the long lines and difficult parking just to get my fix of my newest addiction. In addition to cupcakes, the kiosk, located in the centre of the new Bloomingdale’s wing, also offers a wide array of other indulgent treats like various flavors of icebox pies, macaroons and Magnolia Bakery’s world-famous homemade banana pudding.