Bella Cupcake Couture

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I love New York in June!

I recently got back from a trip to New York. This was my first visit to the Big Apple. I came in search of cupcakes and to visit the Fancy Food Show.

For today’s blog post, I’m going to share my adventures of the trip and the cupcakes and foods we had along the way. My goal is to provide insight for future New York visitors or any foodies who want to "live vicariously" for a moment.

You’ll notice at some of the bakeries we got more cupcakes than others. This typically was because of the size group who may be involved in the tasting. Note: It is very hard to only try one.

First stop was to Magnolia Bakery on Columbus Ave. When we arrived it was busy with cupcake-loving visitors. We were happily surprised it wasn't to touristy though. Definitely more of a neighborhood feeling. They had a variety of yummy baked goods including ice-box cake, banana pudding, cakes, cupcakes and more. Bobbi Lloyd the manager was going to tour me around. Unfortunately she wasn't able to be there this day. Her trusting manager, Shana was sweet enough to oblige.

During the tour, I found racks and racks of cupcakes everywhere. Shana explained they go through thousands of cupcakes a day. When we went downstairs to the storage area we also found several shelves of frosting. She said they will go through this in a day or two minimum. That is a LOT of frosting.

At the end of the tour we picked out the piece de resistance....6 tasty cupcakes to sample. Starting from top left going clockwise; red velvet, chocolate mocha, caramel meringue, chocolate cake/chocolate frosting, vanilla/vanilla and hummingbird. TOP PICK: Caramel meringue rocked our world!!!


Next stop Tribeca Treats. This is such a cute little shop. I loved their big open window. This store has so many great little gift options. You can find cards, cook books, gift bags, chocolates, and more. They had a great selection of cupcakes. We loved the lemon and the caramel cupcake.
They also had frosting shots in these terrific little cups. Great cupcake shop for the sweets lover!

Babycakes is a smaller shop with little standing room. No light in the cupcake case, made it difficult to see the selections. For anyone who has to or prefers to eat gluten-free (for my niece Kim) this is a gluten-free lovers dream shop. I had the Blueberry Cream Stuffed Vanilla Gluten-free Agave Cupcake and it was sooo delicious. Moist, flavorful and not sickly sweet.


This Sweet Sugar Sunshine shop had a very casual and homey-feeling with couch, chairs and coffee tables at the front of the store. We had the pistachio cupcake and it was perfect! It had a nice mild flavor and great pistachio goodness. The frosting had more of a sugary taste but not to overwhelming.


Ivy Bakery does movie-themed cupcakes to raise money for local charities. This weeks movie theme was "Twilight". I liked the werewolf and it was fun to decipher the other cupcake meanings. Very cozy shop and had kind of a coffee house feel. Not much sitting room but a great “around the corner” shop. The best “how’d you get here” story of all time! Ivy grew up in a tough neighborhood and baked her way to entrepreneurship. Check out for more details.

We chose a Peanut Butter cake with Chocolate frosting, Red Velvet and Pineapple. I’m a sucker for the PB and chocolate. Frosting was very creamy.

Here is a shop not to far from Ivy Bakery called the the Little Cupcake Bakeshop. Very cutesy cupcake shop, which made you, feel like smiling when you walked in. Lots of seating and nice staff. The Little Cupcake Bakeshop had a bright selection of cupcakes to choose from. The owner was super nice and helped us pick out our soon-to-be devoured Coconut Cloud. The meringue on top was AMAZING! Seriously I still feel like I'm on "Cloud-9" when I think of this cupcake.

What a greeting! The Butter Lane staff (and customers) was super nice and down to earth. Tables and benches outside to relax with cupcakes and friends. We had the Blueberry, Caramel Popcorn, Banana Cake, and a sneak peek sample of their “Big Red” frosting (so tasty). The caramel popcorn was so unique. It was a bit sweet so I'm glad I could share. The flavor was spot on though. They really know what they are doing. The banana cake was sooo moist and frosting very buttery.


ChikaLicious is very Chic! It had a very sophisticated feel and the cupcake frosting was very elegant. They had the cutest little frosted crowns. Don't laugh (to hard) but they reminded me of little tiny cute cartoon aliens for some reason. They just looked so perfect and shiny. LOVED the flavor of frosting and cake together; seemed like pillows of heaven. And for $1.60 -- a phenomenal deal.


While walking around the very large Fancy Food Show, I was pleased to run into two booths of cupcake/bakery shops I have been wanting to try. One was Eleni's of New York and they had one of their cupcake selection (amongst all their other delicious baked goods) to try. It had a very chocolatey moist cake with a light butter frosting. The other was Butter Bake Goods of Vancouver, Canada. They didn't have any of their cupcakes but their homemade marshmallows are so unique and tasty.


While in New York, I also attended the Fancy Food Show. When I visited the Barefoot Contessa booth they were sampling the red velvet cupcake mix and coconut macroons-- both were soooo good.

We had the privilege to meet the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten and Bobby Flay. Both were super nice. Ina even signed one of our Bella Cupcake Couture wrappers (Hannah- soft pink/grey). What an amazing trip!

I had hoped to meet with some of the top cupcake bloggers of Cupcakes Take the Cake while in town however we had a few schedule conflicts. Hopefully next time I'm in town.

Hope this blog will help with any future New York cupcake tours or that you enjoyed living vicariously through my dream get away. For all photos visit our Facebook Fan Page.

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