magnolia's got nothin' on mimi!

shiny happy frosting

this weekend, my dear good friend SV visited because he loves
cars. we always have such a good time together and so he's always a good friend to have around and we wish he'd visit more often!

when the mimis first moved to new york city nine years ago, we lived in the west village. one day we discovered that we were about 3 blocks away from the famous magnolia bakery. back in the pre- sex in the city cupcake craze, this little bakery made quite a few good sweet temptations.

our trifecta of good friends (SV, H, and K) would often come down to visit and once we took them to magnolia on a perfect summer night. everyone fell in love with the old fashioned cupcake with melt on your tongue buttercream frosting. especially SV, who bought a boxful to go! and now every time he would come down to visit, he'd always make a side trip to magnolia for an orgy of buttery proportions.

well this time i was going to trump magnolia!
sure, it was busy especially on a nice evening when everyone's walking down bleecker. but it eventually became the "you must try this. now." type of place for every out of towner and their fanny pack wearing mother. and nothing against tourists and their mothers, but the cupcakes have never been the same since. a little too dry now, and the frosting was too oily tasting. so the challenge was on!

i knew i wanted to make two different types for him, and i wanted to make it a surprise. ever since i'd first drooled over the photo of martha's yellow cake with chocolate frosting i've been wanting to make my own. then i spent the rest of my otherwise unfruitful workday afternoon scouring the internet for a second choice. i decided on coconut cupcakes from the lovely barefoot contessa. i have never made any of her recipes before, but it received rave reviews, so i thought why not?

the first thing SV saw when he walked in our door was four dozen cupcakes cooling on racks on the dining table, and he was in bliss! once i got them all frosted (which i found is much more tiring than i thought) i anxiously awaited his verdict ...

"they are as good as magnolia"

hmmpf!! good as?? good AS?!! what does that mean?!!

well, since he had two cupcakes that night, and another one the next morning, i'll take it as meaning pretty darn good and finally he admitted the only thing that would've made them better is if they were bigger :)

for the coconut cupcake recipe, click here. i toasted the coconut for the topping; i also followed other's suggestions and halved the frosting recipe and still had plenty for two dozen. they were okay. a bit too sweet for my tastes.

martha's recipe for yellow cake and chocolate frosting is in her
baking handbook. no changes were made and it came out delish!

this is my first ever entry for sugar high fridays #41 hosted this month by danielle over at habeas brûlée where the theme was "sweet gifts"!


  1. They both look so good! I especially want to try the coconut ones because I love coconut!!

  2. Hooray for finding something good, and knowing you can do it better.

  3. thanks deb and chou! work loved them even more!

  4. Beautiful cupcakes! And thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting on why you started your blog. I have to agree about sharing... it's why we all bake I think. I just watched "Into the Wild" and at the end of the film, the main character says happiness doesn't exist if you don't share it. The same applies to baking I think.
    So thanks again!

  5. I love coconut! In fact, I think I have everything in the pantry to make these this weekend!

    Stop by for a visit. I'll even save a piece of cupcake for you! :D

    Confessions of an Apron Queen: http://anapronaday.blogspot.com

  6. thanks aran, jessy, and apron queen!