Magnolia Bakery’s Vanilla Cupcakes

In by Madison Mayberry2 Comments

The first time I tasted a Magnolia Bakery cupcake was in the fall of 2008 while I was in New York for The Rachael Ray Show. For those not familiar with Magnolia Bakery, it gained wide-spread recognition outside of NYC when Carrie Bradshaw, aka Sarah Jessica Parker, on Sex and the City declared the bakery her favorite place for a mini-cake fix. Being a devoted SATC fan, I was determined to play Carrie Bradshaw for the day (er…5 minutes) despite the cold, wind, and rain.

There are multiple Magnolia locations, but only the original on Bleeker Street would do for me. The shop was little, and unassuming with standing room only and a line outside the door that seemed to shout, “delicious cupcakes inside!” Delicious cupcakes indeed. I can still vividly remember my fist bite while walking and window shopping. The light, fluffy, perfectly balanced vanilla cake with a seriously sweet buttercream had me swooning. And while New Yorkers seem to have very strong opinions on what cupcakes are the best in the city, my outsider’s vote goes to Magnolia.

Soon after returning home from New York I Googled the recipe for Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes and was shocked and delighted that it was both available online and unblieveably easy. I’ve been making these cupcakes ever since, to the delight of many. And this week at work I was gifted with something from one of my co-workers: The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. Reason enough to make a couple dozen cupcakes, even if I have already been making the cupcakes for over a year.


*1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
*1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*1 cup (2 sticks) butter
*2 cups sugar
*4 large eggs
*1 cup milk (I like to use buttermilk)
*1 tsp. vanilla extract

Buttercream Icing:
*1 cup (2 sticks) butter
*7 cups powdered sugar
*1/4 cup milk, cream, or half and half
*2 tsp. vanilla extract (or extract of your choice)

*Preheat oven to 350*F. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
*In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
*Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

*Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

For Buttercream:
*Beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute.
*Add in 4 cups of the powdered sugar and the 1/4 cup milk. Beat on medium high speed for 3-5 minutes until creamy. Add in the remaining powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until all the ingredients are well-combined and buttercream is fluffy and creamy.
*Pipe or spread the buttercream on top of the cupcakes when cupcakes are completely cool. Top with decorator’s sugar or sprinkles, if desired.

Happy Baking!