Cupcake Wars – Crumbs VS Magnolia

Not sure if you guys have watched called ‘Cupcake War’ American Food Network show, where cupcake bakeries from around America compete with each other to win a prize ~

Today, I wanted to have my own little cupcake war between Crumbs Bake Shop VERSUS Magnolia Bakery! For those who live in the States or have gone to New York, I’m sure you have heard of both cupcake stores :) They’re both quite famous, but I think Magnolia is a little more well-known as it’s been around for longer and have released a couple of cookbooks. While Crumbs is a newish player in the cupcake scene ~

I’m gonna start with my review of Crumbs Bake Shop at Times Square, a convenient 5 minute walk from our hotel – if you want the name just leave me a comment ~ Thanks Faith from An Edible Mosaic for recommending Crumbs, check out her review too :)
The Crumbs shop in Times Square is pretty small, but the neon lights and the flashing logo will definitely catch your eye :) There’s no tables or chairs, as soon as you walk in, you’ll be allured to the cupcake cabinet ~ Sorry about the photo it was jammed packed when I was there, I couldn’t take a better pic ~

Just LOOK at all the cupcakes and goodies!

Very briefly, Crumbs Bake Shop is a creation by husband and wife, Mia and Jason Bauer and they opened their first store in 2003. They offer cupcakes in 4 sizes, the taste size which is a mini, a classic, a signature and a COLOSSAL cupcake :) I have promised myself to order a colossal red velvet cupcake next time I go ~ They have a wide range of flavours too going from the typical dark chocolate, red velvet, carrot and more unique flavours like Blackbotton Cheesecake Brownie.

Best Seller Collection - Taste Pack $18USD

I was so glad they had this taste pack, it had 12 mini cupcakes of all their best sellers :) WOO HOO! I got to try all of them~ Hmm…it’s so hard to say which one is my favourite…but I really liked the S’mores (On the right hand side of the last row) because it has everything I love – chocolate, vanilla, cream cheese and graham crackers ~ delicious!

Hot Chocolate $3.5

Perfect way to end the night with Crumbs cupcakes and a hot chocolate, which was probably a little too sweet for most people, but just right for me :) The one of the left is Vanilla sprinkle – the cupcake itself was so moist and the vanilla butter cream was perfectly whipped! One on the right is Devil Food’s and once again so moist and chocolatey!

Red Velvet Signature Size $4.5USD

Surprisingly they didn’t have the red velvet in the best seller pack, but I’m sure it’s one of their best sellers…maybe they had run out of the taste size? Either way :) I couldn’t leave without trying it ~ Now not trying to brag but I’ve been told my red velvet cupcakes are good ~ but these weren’t good…they were AMAZING! Definitely a 10 out of 10! The red velvet cake was once again so moist, it basically melt in my mouth, then the cream cheese was the perfect consistency and the BEST part would have to be the white sprinkles :) and how could I forget the red velvet cake crumbs that finished it all off so nicely!

Now to Magnolia Bakery’s review ~

Magnolia Bakery at Bloomingdales :)

I wasn’t planning to go to Magnolia Bakery because it just wasn’t close to where I was and I haven’t heard many good things about them, but coincidentally they had a Magnolia Bakery on the first level of Bloomingdales and it was quite busy so I couldn’t leave NYC without trying at least one cupcake ~

Pretty looking shop :)

Magnolia Bakery first opened in 1996, however, has recently been sold to Steve Abrams, a veteran NYC restaurateur. It was definitely a pretty looking shop, where everything was so neat and nicely decorated ~ Anyhow because this is a Cupcake Wars I decided to get another Red Velvet cupcake and a Devil’s Food to compare it to Crumbs.

Red Velvet $3.5USD and Devil's Food $3.5USD

Starting with the red velvet…it was an UTTER disappointment :( I seriously LOATHE dry cupcakes! It was so so so dry that it starting crumbling in my hands before I could put it in my mouth… and the cream cheese frosting was unbelievably thick and sticky  which wasn’t a very pleasant feeling. The same thing happened with the Devil’s food cake, a cake dry as sand and frosting that was  too thick.

Even though it is quite obvious, but I would now like to announce the winner of this Cupcake War goes to *drum roll* – CRUMBS BAKE SHOP! Congratulations! :D They have definitely won in terms of – taste, presentation and texture!

I’m sure I don’t need to say anymore, but you will know which shop to visit and which shop to miss :P

Magnolia Bakery on Urbanspoon

Crumbs on Urbanspoon

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31 thoughts on “Cupcake Wars – Crumbs VS Magnolia

  1. msihua February 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm Reply

    You’re still in NYC??? You lucky thing!!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm Reply

      I wish I-hua! I’m back in HK just my posts are a little slow hehe :) Are you still in KL? ~ Your photos look amazing!

  2. penny aka jeroxie February 5, 2012 at 10:36 pm Reply

    I went to Magnolia but not Crumbs. But then I was not after cupcakes.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 6, 2012 at 1:32 am Reply

      What did you have Penny? ;) was it nice? Cuz I was so upset about the cupcakes >_<

  3. bakingaddict February 6, 2012 at 4:37 am Reply

    I love watching cupcake wars! I missed out on these cupcakeries last time I was in NY. I really want to go back again and will take notes from you. The cupcakes at Crumbs look delicious especially the red velvet. I want a colossal one! How big was that?

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 7, 2012 at 1:44 am Reply

      I like it too :) but i think I like watching DC Cupcakes more hehe the sisters are so funny!!! Ohhh cupcakeries weren’t a big thing in NYC when you went? Cuz i think they’ve only been popular for the past 5 years ~ The colossal cupcake is EXACTLY the same as the normal cupcakes but it’s 6 inches HIGH :) It serves 6 to 8 but i think it’ll serve me just RIGHT :P

  4. Miss Piggy February 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm Reply

    I’m NEVER going to Magnolia again – we went to the one in Greenwich Village & it was beyond terrible, sickly sweet icing put on a still warm (& soggy) cupcake. YUK. And they had no red velvet one either. WTF?

    I wish I’d know about Crumbs – looks great.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 7, 2012 at 1:51 am Reply

      Same here! Never going back! Oh yuck! I think that’s worse a SOGGY cupcake is WORSE than a dry one!

      Doesn’t matter you can go to Crumbs next time :)

  5. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm Reply

    Now this a challenge I like the sound of! I’ve heard very similar things about Magnolia and Faith knows her stuff!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 7, 2012 at 1:52 am Reply

      Faith definitely knows :) I’m so glad I took her and other bloggers advice ~ I’m still reminiscing Crumbs cupcakes!

  6. Anna @ the shady pine February 6, 2012 at 10:07 pm Reply

    We’ve heard so much about the Magnolia cupcakes over here is Australia simply because of sex & the city but I hadn’t heard of Crumbs before. I have a friend going over to NY later in the year and she was going to stop into Magnolia but I will be letting her know about Crumbs now!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 7, 2012 at 1:52 am Reply

      Hello Anna :) I know sometimes TV shows make some places sound better than they are. But then you’re really disappointed when you actually try it. Definitely tell her to skip Magnolia and go to Crumbs she wont regret it!

  7. Nami | Just One Cookbook February 7, 2012 at 11:36 am Reply

    That’s sucks. Magnolia store looks so beautiful, but they fail on making great cupcakes, and that’s a bakery! I am not a baker but I have to say I’m picky about picking cupcakes. ;-)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 8, 2012 at 5:33 am Reply

      Hello Nami :) I agree it’s a shame because the shops were so pretty and classical but the cupcakes just didn’t live up to the name ~ I’m picky about most desserts but cupcakes just HAVE to be moist!

  8. Winston February 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm Reply

    Oh wooow… You’re really pulling out all the stops for your NYC trip! Glad to see you got the chance to hit ALL the famous eateries that we’ve all heard of but can only dream of going one day. You’re such a lucky and blessed girl. Thank goodness you’re a blogger so now we can all read about them hahaha… Though it’s too bad Magnolia isn’t good. I saw this other really quaint (but not as famous) little cupcake shop on TV in The Food Network Channel that’s really caught my eye. Hope to try too! Anyway, interesting read, happy eating as always! =D

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 8, 2012 at 5:36 am Reply

      Thank you so much Wince for the lovely comment :) It’s so encouraging to see that you guys actually enjoy reading my posts. Because I’m still very new and I’m still trying to learn my own voice and tone hehe but i’m definitely a lucky girl to have the chance to go to NYC and hahaha Mr Bao is so supportive of my food obsessed hobby :D
      What was the little cupcake shop you saw? I’m so jealous of all the cupcake shops they have in the US!
      I bet you’re having a blast in KK too :) Enjoy all the food and blog about it whenever you have time!

  9. Hotly Spiced February 7, 2012 at 10:20 pm Reply

    Thanks for the heads up. That red velvet cupcake at Crumbs looks incredible. I wish I could rush out to buy one. What great variety they have in flavours and sizes. I’m trying to picture what the largest sized cupcake would look like.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 8, 2012 at 5:37 am Reply

      The red velvet is SIMPLY the best :) Haven’t had any better ~ The largest colossal is 6inchs HIGH ~ just like a cake! Perfect for me hahaha

  10. cat February 8, 2012 at 12:27 am Reply

    I’ve only been to Magnolia so will definitely mark Crumbs down as a must visit next time I go to NYC!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 8, 2012 at 5:54 am Reply

      Did you like Magnolia Cat? because I’ve heard mixed reviews~ You’ve gotta go to Crumbs!

  11. Jill | Dulce Dough February 8, 2012 at 7:09 am Reply

    These are two places I would love to visit!

  12. Cupcake Crazy Gem February 16, 2012 at 11:16 pm Reply

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Crumbs as much as me! I have yet to try cupcakes anywhere in the world that taste better than the ones I tried at Crumbs! and I haven’t had the opportunity myself to try Magnolia but all my friends who have were disappointed like you so I’ve left them off my list for next time I go to NYC! defo not worth the hype!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 17, 2012 at 5:20 am Reply

      I know what you mean! Crumbs is definitely one of the best I’ve had so far! But I think we’ve got some great cupcakes in Melbourne too because I’ve had some a Little Cupcakes and they were good :) And definitely skip Magnolia a waste of money and just a major disappointment >_< I'm hoping to replicate a Crumbs cupcake at home ONE DAY :P Wish me luck and i'll let you know if i ever succeed hahhaa

  13. Vien @ We Dare Food May 1, 2012 at 8:44 am Reply

    I think that Magnolia may be over-rated from all the sex and the city hype!! The one from Crumbs has a more home-y feeling!

  14. Nichole October 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm Reply

    Oh no! I have to totally disagree. I think the red velvet from Magnolia Bakery just may be my favorite cupcake ever. Also, just to clarify your post, it does not come with cream cheese icing, but rather a whipped vanilla which I love! I guess we just have to be thankful that there are several cupcake shops out there so we can all have what suits our tastes!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm Reply

      Hi Nichole :)
      Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment ~

      Oh i didn’t know that the red velvet frosting was a whipped vanilla frosting because, I have seen the Magnolia red velvet recipe online before and was pretty sure it was a cream cheese that’s why I just assumed it was when I bought it :)

      I’m not really sure if it was just that Magnolia bakery that I went to was just off that day but somehow I really did find the cupcakes there a little to dry and much prefer Crumbs.

      But like you said either way I agree that you are very lucky to live in US and have so many cupcakeries to choose from! :D

  15. Jennifer Price February 5, 2013 at 8:29 am Reply

    IMHO I much rather have Magnolia’s over CRUMBS. I like cupcakes for what they are originally supposed to be: Cake and frosting. And the ratio between the two is essential. Crumbs packs so much into their cupcakes, it’s just too sweet and full of stuff to me. It’s like ice cream. I prefer a simple strawberry ice cream to Cold Stone Creamery which packs tons of toppings into each flavor. And Magnolia’s is never dry at the locations that actually bake them. I would try one of the original locations. You may have had a bad first try.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm Reply

      Hi Jennifer :)

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.
      It may very well have been that it was just a bad day at Magnolia because the cupcakes really were rather dry and just didn’t really meet my expectations.

      But next time when I get the chance to go back to New York I will definitely try again :)

  16. John February 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm Reply

    Did the taste taste test by delivery hands down crumbs is by far the best

  17. Nemeria May 17, 2013 at 6:41 am Reply

    The ONLY reason to go to Magnolia is for their banana pudding. To die for. Seriously!

    I agree that the cupcakes are dry and the icing is thick, oily and weird. Crumbs cupcakes all the way (just had one today, in fact!)

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