During the next few weeks, we will share our favorite NYC sweet spots from our recent visit to the Big *caramelized* Apple. Going to New-York around Easter time is somehow of a family tradition. When we were younger our mom loved to take us down to NYC for the big Easter Parade, although I think it was more of an excuse to go shopping!
While we were going to NYC for the Sweet Paul food styling and photography workshop (an excuse of our own), we had a busy schedule of sweet addresses to visit. Here’s a wrap up of the places we visited on our first day in the Upper East Side:
No.01 Sprinkles CUPCAKES
While we were in NYC we tried a LOT of doughnuts and cupcakes but Sprinkles won our heart for the best cupcake. Why? Because their cupcakes stay simple yet sophisticated + fun with their trademark modern dots on top! Food Network says ”it’s the world’s first cupcake bakery”, the Hollywood stars LOVE them and they are recently making headlines for their world first cupcake ATM located right next to their flagship store in Beverly Hills – California, where it all started. Delicious cupcakes available 24h? Thank god I don’t live there! Their next move? Opening Sprinkles Ice Cream shop… looking forward to it.
The day I visited, I was tempted by many flavors but indulged in the strawberry cupcake made with pure strawberries, as suggested by the super sweet girls at the counter! The cupcakes let the beautiful ingredients speak for themselves; bittersweet Belgian chocolate, pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla and fresh fruits just combine in amazing flavors. On top of it? We love that the store offers vegan & gluten free options, without forgetting doggie cupcakes!
*If you are in NYC April 6th to the 29th you can indulge for a good cause! By getting the Smore’s *charitable* cupcake by Blake Lively you will raise money for Oxfam. Sounds like a good reason to eat a cupcake to me! Then again, pretty much any reason is good to me but this one sure makes a difference!
Attention! The flavor menu is elaborate and the availabilities vary depending on the day. To make sure the one you want will be there visit their monthly menu here.780 Lexington Avenue, New York 10065 http://www.sprinkles.com
No.2 Magnolia Bakery
Some people only swear by their cupcakes others don’t like them… Although a lot of people I know ADORE them, I sadly belong to the second category. As you can see in the pictures, I opted for the red velvet cupcake – the one I heard was the best. The cake itself was moist and tasty but it is the icing that threw me off. Even though the opinions differ, Magnolia Bakery remains a NYC classic for traditional American desserts!
A very sweet man once told me ”if you got to Magnolia’s, go for their banana pudding” (layers of vanilla wafers, fresh bananas and creamy vanilla pudding. YUM!). I totally second that good advice and will from now on eat that yummy gooey treat or maybe try one of their mini cheesecakes that also looked amazing!
You can’t get there quick enough? Magnolia now delivers nationwide (US only)! Visit their online store to place an order.
401 Bleecker Street, New York 10014
*There are many locations in NYC, for further details visit their website.
No.03 Dylan’s Candy Bar
After two cupcakes – back to back – I went to candy heaven at Dylan’s Candy Bar. Surrounded by hyperactive kids, obviously on a sugar high, I made my way through candyland. On the first floor I peaked at the different more traditional candies and stood drooling in front of the chocolate fountain. Then I went downstairs and got dizzy trying to take it all in! As every step I took was sweeter than the other, I found myself piling up sweet stuff in my basket: chocolate for Easter, old school candies, cute accessories and even sweet treats for the puppy! After spending (too much) of my money on candies, I went to see the 3rd floor – a cafe / ice cream bar where families laughed off their sugar highs! Very cute.
For a good dose of sugar and bright colors, Dylan’s Candy store is THE PLACE to be. Walking through the store, you’ll automatically feel like a kid again and find yourself smiling around! Fun is guaranteed expect maybe if you go on a busy weekend where you may be overwhelmed by it all… (and the 5000+ kinds of candy in the store)!
Dylan’s Candy Bar was founded by Dylan Lauren (Ralph’s Lauren daughter) in 2001 in NYC! It’s now opening various locations through the US.
1011 Third Avenue, New York 10021
No.04 La Durée
Our last stop in the Upper East Side was at La Durée. Thank god we were already filled up with sugar and coffee as we had to wait over 45 minutes in line. The super small NYC store is pretty much always packed so be patient because it’s all worth it!
To be honest, I’ve never quite enjoyed macarons. I’ve desperately wanted to because I think they look so damn cute but somewhere in between the crunchy meringue and the sticky ganache they lost me. I had tried DOZENS of them but always felt deceived. Everything changed when I moved to London and had afternoon tea at La Durée. Their luscious macarons have since then made me salivate and kept me longing for more! Too bad the NYC location doesn’t have a cafe because the experience is much grater when you can savor them on the spot while sipping on one of their fine teas!
On this visit I had: caramel with salted butter, rose petals, coffee, lemon, pistachios and raspberry! My favorite one was the rose petals!!! Note: I suggest paying a bit more to get one of their beautiful boxes if you buy 6 or more. Keep the box for you jewlery or cute stuff after :)
To resume, don’t go to the NYC La Durée for a cute experience or attentive service – just go for the best macarons in the world! Afterall La Durée has been around for more than 150 years, they just know how to make them!
*Although quite small, this location offers a space dedicated to their derived products such as candles, home fragrances, teas, jams and more! Their gifts are perfect for wedding or baby showers since they are so sweet & delicate.
864 Madison Avenue, New York 10021
That’s it for our first part! Keep posted for more sweet addresses in the big apple!