Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes

Regardless of whether or not you’ve visited New York, Magnolia Bakery is a household brand. Its world-renown fluffy cupcakes and perfect buttercream have long-lasted as the favourites of all cupcake lovers that have been lucky enough to try them.


In preparation for a friend’s birthday, I looked at different famous bakery recipes before I chose this one. It was between Hummingbird, Magnolia and Georgetown but I always find Hummingbird cupcakes to be on the dry side and their frosting too sweet. I decided on Magnolia’s Vanilla but will soon try the Georgetown Red Velvet and let you know how it goes!


I think the key here is the cake flour. Even if you’re on a tight budget I do recommend spending that much more on the flour as it really does make the difference. Different flours have different protein contents and cake flours particularly have a low protein content. If you can’t find cake flour in your local store then try reading the nutrition information to see which one has the lowest protein. The difference in flour seemed to yield much fluffier, lighter and overall tastier cupcakes!


I decided to used quite a large piping nozzle for the frosting to go for more a simple swirl but feel free to try out different frosting techniques! Speaking of frosting, make sure to visually and physically check protein consistency as all stand mixers or hand-held whisks will produce different textures in different times. Ideally, you want a thick but pipe-able frosting that slightly hardens after first piping. It’s also best to sprinkle any decorations on as soon as you’ve frosted so they stick to the frosting – I went for blue sugar crystals found here




1 ½ cups self-rising flour
1 ¼ cups cake flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature & cubed)
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs (room temperature & lightly beaten)

For the frosting
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla
1 box (4 cups) powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons whole milk


  1. Set oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a cupcake tin with cases
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a stand mixer or by hand
  3. On low speed, add the butter a cube at a time until incorporated
  4. In a separate bowl mix together the milk and vanilla. Pour half into the butter mixture
  5. Scrape the bowl and mix on medium for 1 minute
  6. Add the eggs one at a time before adding the remaining milk mixture
  7. Scrape the bowl and continue mixing for 1-2 minutes
  8. Using an ice cream scoop divide the mixture between the cases
  9. Bake for 19-23 minutes until the sponge bounces back when touched
  10. Cream the butter on low speed before adding the vanilla
  11. Add the sugar on low speed a cup at a time
  12. When the mixture starts to thicken add the milk
  13. Beat for 2-4 minutes on medium speed until the frosting is creamy
  14. Frost cooled cupcakes with a piping back or spatula









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