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Before we had mouth-watering croissant doughnuts and doughnut sandwiches, we had … good ol’ cupcakes! But we’re not talking about just any ordinary cupcake here. We’re talking about cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery in New York, made famous the world over by the hit TV Series Sex and the City. And yes, the TV series was an enormous success in Japan too, meaning that countless Japanese fans were left coveting not just gorgeous Manolo Blahnik shoes, but the delectable looking Magnolia Bakery cupcakes as well.

So, you can imagine how absolutely thrilled fans of the cupcakes were about Magnolia Bakery opening their very first store in Japan in the Omotesando area of Tokyo this week. And prove their enthusiasm they did, as throngs of fans showed up on opening day of Magnolia Bakery Tokyo on June 16. Now, as a passionate fan of all things sweet, as well as a devoted follower of American TV dramas — Sex and the City in particular — I knew I simply had to be there for the grand opening. And while the wait was long, the sight that greeted me in the shop was sweet indeed! But first, let us tell you just how long the wait was …

Only last week, we’d had day after day of rain in Tokyo, but fortunately, June 16 turned out to be a beautiful day. I knew there was going to be an incredibly huge crowd, so I thought I’d get just a bit of an early start … and arrived in front of the shop at about 5:30 am.

▼Yes, the sign told us we were at the right place.magnolia 0 big sign

▼The cute small signs indicated that there were several bakeries and cafes on the B1 Floor, including the Magnolia Bakery.magnolia 1 signs

▼There’s the sign, all right. Okay, so the shop opens at 11 am — just five and a half more hours to wait! That’s no big deal, right?magnolia 2 signs close up

▼This is the GYRE building in Omotesando, where the shop is located, which by the way is very close to the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar where you can enjoy chocolate pizza. Omotesando is really becoming a sweet-lover’s paradise!magnolia 3 building 1

▼The stairs leading to the basement floor, which you can see are empty at this point in the morning — but that’s about to change in a few hours. And now the waiting begins …magnolia 4 stairs

▼By the time the shop opened at 11 am, the stairs looked like this …magnolia 5 stairs crowd

▼ … the line continued inside the building …. magnolia 6 inside line

▼… while outside, people were lined up along the street …magnolia 7 crowd 3

▼… and around the building up to the second floor! We heard that there were about 300 people in line at this point. In fact, there was such a crowd throughout the day that they announced later in the afternoon that the waiting time could be as long as six hours and they eventually had to stop accepting new customers into the line at around 4 pm. magnolia 8 crowd 4

▼So, approximately five and a half hours after I arrived on site, I finally made it to the entrance of the shop as the opening time of 11 am approached. magnolia 9 shop inside

▼While I waited for the final minutes before the opening, I was able to see the lovely ladies of Magnolia Bakery Tokyo hard at work creating the scrumptious cupcakes through the large windows in the front of the shop.magnolia 10 front cake making

▼This was actually a lot of fun to watch!magnolia 11 front making 2

▼Here’s a short video of the Magnolia ladies in action. See the frosting swirls being artfully created!

▼The display of intricate “flower cupcakes”  at the front of the shop was also a joy to look at!magnolia 12 flower cupcake display

▼11:00 am — we finally get to enter the shop!magnolia 13 insde

▼Within minutes, the shop was filled with people.magnolia 14 crowd

▼At last, I got to take my first look look at at the beautiful sweets on offer. Yay! I was so ready to get my hands on some cake! The menu was basically the same as what they have in the U.S. magnolia 15 showcase cupcakes

▼We first took a good look at the cupcakes …magnolia 16 showcase cupcakes 1

▼… and then some more! They looked absolutely tempting, I didn’t know how I was going to choose which cupcakes to get.magnolia 17 showcase cupcakes 2

▼There were also regular cakes too, looking devilishly sweet and creamy.magnolia 18 showcase cakes

▼Of course, we can’t forget the cheesecakes, and there were so many different flavors of them, too!magnolia 19 cheesecake

▼There were also the standard cookies and brownies …magnolia 20 showcase cookies

▼… as well as ice box cakes and pies. My gosh, where to even begin?magnolia 21 showcase ice cakes

▼And this is what the other side of the shop looked like. The decor and pastel colors were delightful to look at and retained the atmosphere of the shop in New York.magnolia 22 shop interior cute

▼Magnolia Bakery goods such as cook books, t-shirts, aprons and caps were also available. magnolia 23 goods

▼Okay, I know I bought too much, but there were so many cakes that looked amazing, I just couldn’t help myself!magnolia 24 register

▼Once I stepped outside, as I was one of the very first customers to finish shopping, people were eager to see the actual cupcakes I had bought, including a TV crew who were filming the events surrounding the shop opening, so we decided to open the box of cupcakes and taste one right there!magnolia 25 box cupcakes

▼I chose the “Carrie cupcake”, the vanilla cupcake with pink frosting topped with a sugar daisy, which was inspired by Sex and the City. I actually had a similar cupcake from Magnolia Bakery when I visited New York a few years ago. magnolia 26 carrie cupcake

▼Mmm… the cupcake, and the frosting in particular, was quite sweet, with the definite flavor of vanilla, and tasted very much like the one I had in New York. It looks like they didn’t change the flavor of the cupcakes for the Japanese market.magnolia 27 carrie caupcake 2

▼And now, to try the rest of the goodies …magnolia 28 boxes in bag

▼This is the coconut cake, which wasn’t as sweet as it looked. The cake wasn’t soft, but had a pleasantly firm consistency close to that of a muffin or pound cake, which went well with the meringue cream icing topped with flavorful coconut flakes.magnolia 29 coconut cake

▼And this is the popular red velvet cheesecake — incredibly smooth and not overly sweet, with the chocolate cookie crust adding a nice bit of flavor to the relatively mild cheese component.magnolia 30 red velvet cheesecake

▼And now, onto the cupcakes! Here’s the german chocolate cupcake with an icing containing caramel, coconut and pecan on a chocolate cupcake. The flavor of the chocolate was just rich enough without being too strong, and the texture of the coconut flakes and pecan added a delightful crunch.magnolia 31 german chocolate cupcake

▼Here’s the banana cupcake with chocolate butter cream frosting. Okay, this was completely delightful since banana and chocolate really do go well together. The sweetness of the chocolate complemented the gentle taste of banana perfectly.magnolia 33 chocolate vanilla cupcake

▼This is the banana cupcake topped with caramel meringue cream frosting. The taste of caramel seemed very rich and concentrated in this case, and it was maybe just a little too rich for me. Personally, I thought the chocolate butter cream was a better match for the banana cupcake.magnolia 32 caramel banana cupcake

▼This one is a very “American” creation. It’s a S’mores cupcake — created with mixed chocolate meringue frosting on top of a graham and chocolate ganache based cupcake. I love S’mores, so I just had to get one of these! The frosting was actually quite sweet, but the distinct flavor of graham in the cupcake was simply delightful, the kind of taste that makes you feel like a kid again.magnolia 34 smores cupcake

▼And here we have a classic chocolate on chocolate combination — chocolate buttercream on a chocolate cupcake topped with colorful sprinkles. This was pure, chocolate heaven! The chocolate flavors were sweet without being overbearing, and should be a delight for any chocolate lover, not to mention that the cake looks dark and sinfully delicious.magnolia 35 chocolate cchocolate cupcake

▼And last but not least, here’s the banana pudding, which I was dying to try. I opened the lid in anticipation, and …magnolia 36 banana pudding

▼… heavens, the creamy pudding looked divine! It’s a vanilla pudding containing vanilla wafers and bananas, and it was absolutely dreamy! The vanilla pudding seemed to just melt in my mouth, leaving the mild yet distinct taste of banana. I could eat this forever!magnolia 37 banana pudding 2

▼Just see how creamy that pudding is!banana 38 pudding 3

▼Oh, and I also received this cute Magnolia Bakery bag, which they’re giving out to the first 20 customers for the first five days of business.magnolia 39 bag 1

▼Yup, I love cupcakes, and I love New York too!magnolia 40 bag 2

So, that’s the round-up on the items I tried from Magnolia Bakery’s selection on opening day. It looks like there will be some serious lining up and waiting involved for the foreseeable future if you want to get your hands on their cakes, but since there are many other flavors I still want to try, I know I’ll be going back for more, once the crowd settles down a bit. Well, we’re thrilled there’s another lovely shop we can turn to when we want to satisfy our sweet tooth, because we can’t have too many of those, can we? Thanks for coming to Tokyo, Magnolia Bakery!

Top image: Magnolia Bakery Japan facebook page
All other photos: RocketNews24