Cupcake of the Day: Vanilla Vanilla, from Magnolia Bakery in the West Village.
Apparently Magnolia is one of the best cupcake bakeries in New York, but I was unimpressed. It’s a tiny little shop, with far too many staff, and far too many customers, and no one seemed to know whether they were queueing, or just standing around in a bunch, getting in each other’s way.
A sign by the till informed me that this was ‘lemon month’, and I’m rather fond of lemon-related cakes, but they said they’d already run out. And none of the other cupcakes was labelled, so I had no way of telling what flavour they were. And it was too loud and chaotic to understand what one of the servers was telling me when I asked him to explain.
To add to the confusion, some of the cupcakes appeared to be self-service, while the rest of them were hiding behind glass, like in normal shops, so I had no idea what I was supposed to do, and whether I was going to get into trouble for helping myself.
And rather than being all cheerful at the prospect of cupcakes, everyone in the shop seemed rather harrassed and short-tempered, the way people are when they’re crammed into a confined space on a rainy day, and forced to put up with each other’s dampness and grumpiness.
It was an inordinate amount of stress to go through for a very ordinary cupcake, and it seems appropriate that the one I picked out was grey, to match the sky and my mood.