The Art of Frosting Cupcakes at NYC’s Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery Sign

Magnolia Bakery is one of New York City’s most famous cupcake shops.

Highly popularized by the television show Sex and the City, Magnolia is one of New York City’s first cupcake shops, and one that is extremely well-known around the world.

Since its first location opened in New York City in 1996, Magnolia has since expanded to Los Angeles, Chicago, Asia, the Middle East, and Russia.

Magnolia Cupcakes

As you may know, I am a pretty big fan of food. Whether it be Italian gelato, Dutch herring, or Korean dakgalbi, if food is involved, I make my way to it.

When Austrian travel blogger Elena (Creative Lena) contacted me and asked me if I would join her for a cupcake icing demonstration at Magnolia’s Upper West Side location, I jumped at the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes and learn about Magnolia’s signature swirl.

Elena and I arrived at the cupcake shop, made our way behind the counter, and we were introduced to Leona, one of Magnolia Bakery’s best cupcake icers that is well-known for her magnificent swirl and sweet smile.

Leona first began the demonstration by showing us how to properly apply the frosting to the cupcake. With ease and precision, she dipped her magic frosting wand into the bowl of frosting, slid it gently back and forth, and spread it on.

I stood there in awe as she made the perfect swirl. Soon, it was time for Elena and me to try it.

The first couple of steps involved mixing the frosting batter, spreading it smoothly back and forth to eliminate the air, and then swirling it onto the cupcake. Seeing that I was struggling a little with the swirling process, Leona came over to assist.

Chanel Leona Magnolia Bakery NYC

The final step in the process of decorating the cupcakes involved selecting the sprinkles that we wanted to apply to our cupcakes and sprinkling them gently over the top of each one.

Magnolia Bakery SprinklesOur lesson ended and I watched Leona go back to work quickly hand whipping cupcake after cupcake. I was simply amazed; she truly mastered the art of frosting cupcakes. 

Thank you to Magnolia Bakery for providing a complimentary icing demonstration and cupcakes, and as always, all opinions are my own.

By |2017-08-16T23:29:46+00:00November 28th, 2014|Culinary Tourism, New York City|10 Comments


  1. Nadeen Nov 29, 2014 at 3:42 am - Reply

    Yes I have stood in long lines there and have pigged out on their delicious cupcakes but never realized they have a signature swirl! So cute and looks fun!

    • Chanel Nov 29, 2014 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      It was a lot of fun Nadeen, but my swirl needs a little more work 😀

  2. Kristin Dec 2, 2014 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    I can’t read things like this before lunch! This looks like fun for someone who has some frosting dexterity– mine are always a mess! Yum they look incredible though.

    • Chanel Dec 3, 2014 at 11:39 am - Reply

      Yes, they look and tasted so delicious! The thing I really liked about their frosting is that it is not heavy like a lot of frostings that come on cupcakes 😀

  3. Tricia Dec 2, 2014 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    OMG I love Magnolia Bakery and am so jealous that you got a behind the scenes look. I’ve been to the shop in Chicago. Ever try their peanut butter pie or lemon cupcakes? Heavenly. Oh how I miss good bakeries.

    • Chanel Dec 3, 2014 at 11:40 am - Reply

      I have not tried either, but they sound divine – I think a trip back to the bakery is in order 😀

  4. This post literally made my mouth water!

  5. Anna @AnnaEverywhere Feb 13, 2015 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    So lucky that you had a chance to make your own cupcakes there!

    • Chanel Feb 15, 2015 at 10:47 am - Reply

      It was a lot of fun to be able to frost the cupcakes 🙂

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