New Yorks’s iconic Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street, makes it India debut this week in namma Bengaluru with a menu full of classic American baked treats. Get ready to be greeted with soothing pastel squiggles of peach, pink, yellow, green and blue which adorn dainty cupcakes filled with sugary goodness. Additionally, there are the signature decorative cakes, delish cheesecakes, chocolate chunk cookies and the most sought-after banana pudding, all baked fresh every day on site.
Ever since the bakery’s first 1996 opening in The Big Apple, and Magnolia setting off the cupcake craze, especially after its appearances on television shows and movies, this street was an instant tourist hot-spot. The long queues outside the confectionery store with people waiting patiently to bite into the butter cream-frosted beauties, turned cupcakes into a pop culture phenomenon. Riding high on this wave, Magnolia Bakery eventually spread its wings beyond the U.S. to satiate taste-buds in UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Philippines and Qatar with the bakeshop chain selling a few million cupcakes each year.
The newest home of the bakery is in Bengaluru, brought to India by Zonu Reddy and Nischay Jayeshankar, partners at Spago Foods. Zonu is visibly excited to be opening the first-ever Magnolia Bakery in the garden city of India. She said, “Now, we are able to bring the same wide variety of classic American desserts featured at Magnolia Bakery’s iconic shops in NYC to fans in India.”
The Indiranagar bakery storefront looks pretty from the street with floor-to-ceiling glass panels revealing a charming vintage atmosphere of the original Magnolia Bakery featuring a retro decor,
Rose City Chain Pendant ceiling lights, custom-made green tiles, chalkboard menu and cake stands with clear glass cloches. Baking aroma fills this 1500 sq. ft. store and there's no missing the hardworking bakers busy in the live-kitchen producing oven-fresh goodies in small batches. It's quite a sight to watch the cupcakes getting frosted with the bakery’s trademark swirl, an art which takes over 40 hours of practice before employees reach pro level, we’re told.
Talking further about the opening of Magnolia Bakery in India, Nischay Jayeshankar goes on to add “Bengaluru proved to be a perfect fit for opening our first outlet. The city has a very well-travelled customer base, expats and a massive IT crowd that has experienced international food brands like Magnolia Bakery. We have worked very closely with the team from NY to ensure that we bring the same quality of scrumptious goodies to the Indian market.”
The menu at the Bengaluru outpost feature beautifully decorated cakes and cupcakes, decadent cheesecakes and cookies. Some of the special desserts to try are the Banana Pudding with layers of vanilla wafers, fresh bananas and creamy vanilla pudding; smooth-textured Vanilla Bean Cheesecake; old-fashioned style Red Velvet Cupcake; Magic Bar; buttery Pistachio Cake; Hummingbird Cupcake, a banana, pineapple and pecan cake with sweet cream cheese icing topped with toasted pecans; Pecan Pie and the Classic Ice Box Cake with homemade chocolate wafers layered with freshly whipped sweet cream. In addition to this, there will be a regular line-up of desserts inspired by local Indian and seasonal flavours, like it was done with the ube flavoured cupcakes in the Philippines and the Lotus banana pudding in the Middle East.
Few tables and chairs line up the glass windows in the store for that quick catch-up with friends over some comforting cupcakes and coffee. And, with Christmas and New Year festivities around the corner, the cult desserts from Magnolia Bakery could make for a perfect sweet gift this holiday season.
— Aslam Gafoor is a Bengaluru based hospitality professional, food lover and travel enthusiast...