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The Taylor Swift Effect: How Her Milk Bar Birthday Cake Took the Internet by Storm

Taylor Swift may have just turned 34 in the year 2023 but she’s celebrating like it’s 2015. The pop star’s choice of birthday cake from famed New York-based bakery chain Milk Bar has driven Google searches up by 3,950% in the past week, according to Mashed, a multi-platform publication that covers cooking and food. Search trends for ‘what is a milk bar cake’ soared by 700% and ‘milk bar cake’ by 130%, Mashed reports. Swift’s cake also featured lettering that read ‘Birthday Girl of the year,’ a clear nod to Time recently naming the pop star the 2023 person of the year following her record-breaking tour and concert film. A Milk Bar cake on display on Feb. 26, 2016, in Miami Beach, Florida. Aaron Davidson / Getty Images for SOBEWFF For the uninitiated, Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar first came on the scene in 2008 as part of David Chang’s Momofuku in New York City. No longer affiliated by name with Momofuku, Milk Bar has spread across the United States to more than 10 locations. It really had a moment, as they say, around the time Swift was living in New York City in the mid-2010s. In fact, in Swift’s 2016 Vogue interview, she said the best birthday cake she’d ever had was from Milk Bar. ‘It was so good that even Jay-Z raved about it,’ she said in her 2016 Vogue 73 Questions interview. Swift is such a fan of the cake, it seems that her dad spread the Milk Bar love at the Patriot vs Chiefs game on Sunday. In a video shared by Shannen Moen to TikTok, the pop star’s father can be seen dropping off the birthday cake to the suite next door. Moen tells that Swift’s dad Scott was ‘so kind.’ ‘He came over twice to our suite,’ she says via an email. ‘First he came and handed out Taylor Swift guitar picks, then the second time, (he) came over with the cake.’ Fans of the birthday cake — which runs $62 for the 6-inch size or $140 for the 10-inch size, plus delivery fees — can schedule them for local delivery or have the cake shipped to their home. Swift, who has previously proudly claimed being a Millennial, evidently leaned into her generational pride with her birthday cake choice. As one popular tweet notes: ‘When Taylor Swift tells you she loves being a millennial…BELIEVE HER…she had a milk bar cake at her birthday party… in the year 2023,’ @schlife posted in a now-viral tweet. It seems Swift is embracing her status as elder millennial, side part and all. In her recent interview with Time, she agreed when the outlet said the star’s ‘Eras Tour’ reminded them of the meme that says, ‘Do not kill the part of you that is cringe — kill the part of you that cringes.’ ‘Yes!’ she exclaimed. As fans are hopeful for an upcoming release of ‘Reputation (Taylor’s Version),’ Swift has selected a birthday cake with a reputation of its own: Total millennial-core. One tweet that has garnered 3.5 million views and almost 30,000 likes reads, ‘When Taylor Swift tells you she loves being a millennial … BELIEVE HER … she had a milk bar cake at her birthday party … in the year 2023.’ While it’s no surprise that Swift’s birthday cake soared in popularity, it was a surprise that a generational battle broke out on the internet over the dessert. The website calls it ‘nostalgically sweet’ thanks to its confetti effect. Milk Bar’s VP of Culinary, Anna McGorman, told Tasting Table a bit about how it’s made, and as it turns out, they took their inspiration from a funfetti cake mix. ‘It was crucial to understand where we (and the world at large) were starting from in order to then refine and reinterpret from there,’ she explained. The result? ‘The Birthday Cake (soaked liberally with clear vanilla extract-spiked whole milk) is sprinkle-studded, fluffy and buttery,’ McGorman said. She added, ‘The frosting is meant to drive a bit of tang (thanks to some cream cheese and sneaky amounts of buttermilk powder/citric acid) for balance, while the crumbs are there for texture and richness.’ Sounds like the cake of our wildest dreams, millennial or not. If you somehow aren’t falling in love with Taylor Swift right now/following her every move, last week on December 13th, Swift celebrated her 34th birthday at The Box in New York City. The celebration was filled with A-list celebrities such as Blake Lively, Sabrina Carpenter, and her well-known producer Jack Antonoff. And because it’s only the best for the queen, Swift made her birthday wishes with a delicious Milk Bar Birthday cake, which included three layers of funfetti vanilla cake, creamy vanilla frosting, and Milk Bar’s signature Cake Truffles in a circle around the top. The best news of all though, is that you can order the cake for yourself. It is available for shipping nationwide and you can choose between the 6-inch and the 10-inch size depending on how many people you’ll be enjoying it with. There’s even a gluten-free version too. Right now, you can use the code ‘SWIFTIE’ for 13% off the cake for a limited time. However, Wednesday was only the beginning of Swift’s birthday celebrations. This past Sunday, Swift and her dad, Scott Swift, cheered on football player Travis Kelce, Swift’s current boyfriend, at the Chiefs versus Patriots game in a suite. She must’ve had another cake gifted to her by someone who knows her love of Milk Bar’s Birthday Cake. In a TikTok video that recently went viral from user @merryswiftmas.13, Swift’s dad is seen walking the entire cake to a neighboring box next to Swift and her crew during the football game at Gillette Stadium. The young fans seemed thrilled to be gifted the pop singer’s fave dessert of the moment. The video then zooms in on Swift, seen sporting Kelce’s number, 87, on her red and white beanie and smiling at the fans. His generosity continued as he threw guitar picks for her fans into the crowd. Here’s to hoping Scott is at every game!

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