Magnolia Bakery, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA. There's always a time and a place for dessert, but finding a bakery or pastry shop with a stable supply beyond the 6 o'clock hour has become the unending challenge. Good shops close early - I get it. What do I do at 8:53pm on a weeknight when I REALLY need to have a slice of cake, pastry or pie? Well, luckily along the shopping district known as 3rd Street sits the west coast location of Magnolia Bakery, of NYC. It offers seating inside and out, sweets for the hungry, coffee for the weary, and closing hours at the 9 or 10 o'clock mark - now this is making more sense.

Peanut Butter Toffee Bar

Peanut Butter Toffee Bar - a key reason to stop by Magnolia: their bars. Go for the Lemon Bar, but why not have this little gooey morsel with coffee? Peanut butter and a peanut crunch + chocolate bits + toffee, if I wasn't imagining, favored the traditional Blondie, with modification. Drink the coffee black and allow the bite to sweeten it up. No need to share it, just eat it!

Banana Cream Pie - The whipped cream topping was so decadent I could've eaten it alone and given it a name. Though the banana cream successfully blended notes of banana with the smoothness of a vanilla cream pudding, I found myself scraping off the topping and eating the cream exclusively with the crust. The crust was formulaic - no surprises here - but as standard as it was, I ate it up.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake - When it looks messy, handles all sorts of messy, and tastes good - I'll keep coming back. This was one of the few times that I've had a carrot cake that didn't make it home. Sure, I could've saved it for later, but when I was presented with this lovely 'mess' (I say affectionately), I picked up a fork, walked 10 steps, and ate until nothing was left. The cake was as moist as it should be with a traditional cream cheese frosting. Nothing crazy, just a simple carrot cake.

Banana Pudding - (sorry grandma), the pudding does a great job of reminding you of home and is one of the more common dishes named when referring to Magnolia Bakery. "Hey I was just at Magnolia Bakery..." "Have you had their Banana Pudding?? SO good." Give it a try, maybe have a sample, but beware, there's a reason its known.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake - generally, after eating pumpkin cheesecake, any previously held doubt is obviated. It isn't a traditional cheesecake choice, but makes for a great seasonal treat. Here, it was whipped to the familiar creamy, cheesy confection with the dulled pumpkin tones positively skewing the taste buds. The whipped topping didn't add, necessarily, but it sure made it picture pretty.

Caramel Cake

Caramel Cake - a white cake with a caramel buttercream frosting, and lacking a key element: moisture (for shame). The cake had hints of what could've been good, but the execution aside from its visual appeal was ordinary; luckily other dessert selections lessened this impression.

Maybe a go-to, or maybe not, when it comes to bakeries we all have our favorites. When I'm craving cake at a later hour and opt not to venture into a restaurant for their limited dessert selections, I find myself at Magnolia Bakery, Los Angeles. I usually buy at least two snacks: one for the drive home and one for when I arrive. As I've said, if it's messy when I get it, messy when I eat it, but tasty all the way through, then it just may be worth those return visits.

Magnolia Bakery, Los Angeles
8389 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 951-0636