Matt Kirouac

Tucked into Chicago's Block Thirty Seven shopping mall at 108 N. State St., Chicago's Magnolia Bakery is a mecca of all the classic American baked goods that everyone loves. Delectable muffins, pies, cakes and brownies line the shelves in this cherished bakery. But the true stars here are the cupcakes: baked fresh and frosted daily, you'll find all your traditional favorites as well as seasonal and daily specials. The cakes and cupcakes here are known for their colorful and intricate frosting designs, with a trademarked swirl that fans have come to adore.

If you've ever dreamed of decorating a cupcake like a Magnolia pro, sign up for an icing class. The Chicago bakery offers specialty classes twice per month at its State Street location. Easy enough for beginners but also tailored to teach a few new tricks to even seasoned pros, the two-hour long classes always have a theme, from flower cupcakes to specialty filled cupcakes to holiday decorated cupcakes. You'll learn a variety of cake decorating techniques from Magnolia's team of expert icers, which may include inscriptions, cake assembly, pastry bag techniques, flower cupcakes, piped cupcakes, and even Magnolia Bakery's signature cupcake swirl.

Magnolia Bakery cupcake decorating

My 5-year-old daughter (above) and I gave a class a try and we learned how to top Magnolia's rich and moist cupcakes with frosted spring flowers. From gold-dusted sunflowers to pastel rosettes, we enjoyed working side by side with our classmates as our teacher guided us on cupcake decor from start to finish, sharing a few key secrets along the way. Of course, having access to unlimited amounts of Magnolia Bakery's luscious buttercream frosting was a memorable treat, too, and my daughter ended up eating her yearly fill of frosting. You get to take your home your beautiful creations, too (a cake or six cupcakes, depending on the class).

Be sure to visit Magnolia Bakery the next time you're strolling Chicago's great State Street, and if you're interested in taking a class, give the bakery a call (312.346.7777) or an email ( to sign up for upcoming opportunities.