Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes

The Magnolia Bakery, situated at a quiet corner of New York City's Greenwich Village, is famous for its vintage-looking cupcakes. Their cupcakes were featured on a film series, Sex and the City and a comedy drama film, The Devil Wears Prada. I've never taste the cupcakes from the bakery before and would love to eat these one day.

These blue cupcakes were baked for a fund raising event, Jeans for Genes day. I'm happy that I've baked the cupcakes using a recipe from the complete Magnolia Bakery cookbook as they are simply irresistible! Now I can fully understand why Magnolia bakery is so famous in New York. Being the best selling items in the bakery, these cupcakes are buttery yet fluffy and their sugary-buttery-crusty top is so yummy.


Here's the recipe from the complete Magnolia Bakery cookbook (with my modification in blue)

Makes 24 cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
seeds from 1/4 vanilla pod (my extra addition)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line two 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.

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 for about 3 min. 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 over-beat.

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 3/4 full.

Bake for 20-25 min, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing. Ice with tinted Vanilla Buttercream.

Vanilla Buttercream for 2 dozen cupcakes:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar, then the milk and vanilla. On
medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well (about 2 minutes) after each addition, until the icing is thick enough for good spreading consistency. You may not need all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled. The icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Note: I've made 18 large cupcakes with this amount of cupcake batter and half the amount of buttercream. I've baked the cupcakes at 160°C fan forced for 20-25 min and piped the cooled cupcakes with lightly tinted blue icing using Wilton no. 18 tip and lightly sprinkled the icing with blue sanding sugar.

Happy Baking
Please support me and like me at Facebook.


  1. OMG Zoe These look really pretty and delicious!! Love the pics! gloria

  2. Gulp. I can only drool on my laptop...

    I'd love to do a strawberry buttercream / icing. Do you think I can substitute the milk with strawberry puree?

  3. Zoe, I love the blue vanilla buttercream, it looks so beautiful! Hope to try doing this kind of topping on my cupcakes also :)

  4. this looks wonderful beautiful icing

  5. zoe, you have some beautiful recipes on this blog! i love the blue cupcakes with the sprinkles and the chocolate tart! have a wonderful day! btw, i am hosting a #cakelove event. feel free to submit it so that others can find your lovely post! http://juniakk.blogspot.com/2011/08/cake-bloghop-green-tea-cake-with.html

  6. zoe, they look so pretty, it's been quite some time i last baked some cupcakes with buttercream, now you really tempting me to make some. I've also seen Jean making cupcakes from this book and all looks delicious!

  7. You've enlightened me! I've never heard of this place. These cupcakes look divine.

  8. Looks really good, Zoe! Definitely have heard of Magnolia's Bakery cookbook! I have been thinking of cupcakes lately! Almost baked some on Sunday night, but have ran out of eggs! :)

  9. i might watch prada again - i can't recall the magnolia part :P
    ur cupcakes turned out beautiful! now i feel like baking some myself this week...been long overdue!

  10. Gorgeous! I love me some cupcakes and these sound like the Queen B's of cupcakes :) Well done!

  11. Those yummy cute n colorful cupcakes look so yummy. Loved the color of ur frosting...

  12. I've always managed to avoid eating at Magnolia, heard lots of mixed reviews about the actual bakery, but it's good to know the cookbook is great!

  13. Zoe, your topping is amazing. It certainly takes skill to pipe the cream on, something I have yet to learn.

  14. Your cupcakes are absolutely gorgeous Zoe!

  15. What a lovely blue frosting! Your cupcakes are so pretty, no one can resist.

  16. I am SO in the mood for a cupcake now! :)

  17. Dear Zoe reaction that I have right now is"Wowwwwww" this looks amazing..I am totally in love with your cupcakes!:)

  18. Your cupcakes look wonderful... beautiful.

  19. Good job. (Secret NYC insider info - while Magnolia is still loved in Manhattan, many other cupcake shops have started being loved more. I think people are getting tired of the super sweetness of Magnolia's cupcakes. But they are still pretty and good!)

  20. Thanks everyone for dropping by and give me lots of wonderful comments.

    Starlet starlet: Sorry for my late reply. This cookbook didn't suggests any substitution to vary this vanilla buttercream recipe, and I saw just one of their buttercream recipe that add into the cream for lemony flavor. I hope that your substitution of strawberry puree in this buttercream recipe will work well for you. Cheers.