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The Best Cupcake Recipe from Magnolia Bakery

Updated on June 12, 2015
photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

Many cupcake connoisseurs will have heard about the famous Magnolia Bakery, 401 Bleecker St, New York. My first exposure to Magnolia Bakery was during a search for the perfect cupcake recipe. I discovered the vanilla and chocolate cupcake recipe and I have to say this simple yet delicious recipe is worth the effort.

I would truly love to try the real Magnolia Bakery cupcakes in New York (I do own a shopping bag but I don't think that's any consolation) so for now my personal review is based on my humble baking skills and the best cupcake recipe from Magnolia Bakery, and if the comments and mmmmm's and fat bellies of my friends and family is anything to go by, I expect that I must be doing something right with the 'home baking version' of this famous little cupcake.

The effort you put into making this particular cupcake is truly worth it.

photo courtesy
photo courtesy

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Make 24 cupcakes

1 C unsalted butter, softened (225gm)

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 C self rising flour

1 1/4 C all-purpose flour

1 C milk

1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit (180 celsius).
  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  3. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  4. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Combine the flours and add in four parts, alternating with the milk and the vanilla extract, beating well after each addition.
  7. Spoon the batter into the cups about 3/4's full.
  8. Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 20 to 22 minutes.
  9. Remove cupcakes from pans and cool COMPLETELY on a wire rack before icing with butter cream frosting.

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting

1 C unsalted butter, softened (225gm)

8 cups icing sugar (confectioners)

1/2 C milk

2 tsp vanilla

  1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. (Not in the recipe however at this point I beat the butter until creamy first before adding anything else)
  2. Add 4 Cups of icing sugar, then milk, then vanilla
  3. Beat until smooth and creamy
  4. Add the remaining sugar 1 cup at a time until icing is to your preferred consistency. You may not use all the sugar.
  5. At this stage you can add a some colour and mix thoroughly.
  6. Use icing on cooled cupcakes or cake only, icing can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days (if it lasts that long!)

Magnolia Bakery Chocolate Cupcake & Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

Make 24 cupcakes

2 C plain flour (all purpose)

1 tsp baking soda

1 C unsalted butter, softened (225gm)

1 C granulated sugar

1 C firmly packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

6 ounces (170gm) unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 C buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 Celsius).
  2. To melt the chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for approx. 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally until smooth and no chocolate pieces remain. Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm.
  3. In a small bowl, sift flour and baking soda.
  4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, this will take about 3 minutes.
  5. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each egg.
  6. Add the chocolate, mixing until well incorporated.
  7. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
  8. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Cool before removing from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Chocolate Buttercream

1 1/2 C (340gm) unsalted butter, softened

2 Tbl Milk

9 ounces (250gm) semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/4 C sifted icing sugar (confectioners)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter using an electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes until creamy.
  2. Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth.
  3. Add the melted chocolate and beat for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes.
  5. Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed until creamy and of desired consistency.
  6. You are now ready to ice your cooled cake or cupcakes
  7. Enjoy!

Delicious Cupcake Wrappers

I'm certain you'll agree that these have to be the most delicious looking cupcake wrappers you've ever seen, I work up a sweat working out which cupcake liners to use, let alone presenting my cupcakes in cupcake wrappers such as these.

It seems they are fast becoming a popular craze online, I cannot wait to adorn my cupcakes with these wrappers for a dinner function or cupcake party.

Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes are a top seller at Magnolia Bakery, I am yet to bake this particular recipe but it is definitely on my foodie 'attempt' list. I found this excellent video on You Tube where you can watch Bobbie Floyd bake the Magnolia Bakery red velvet cupcake. I just love the combination of ingredients especially the idea of using vinegar?

*Vote For Your Favorite*

Which Delicious Cupcake Do You Devour?

See results

Wedding Cupcake Tower

Together with choosing her wedding dress, the wedding cake would have to be in the top most important choices a bride needs to make for her wedding day.

Wedding cakes can cost a lot of money, especially if you are paying for a cake shop to design and match it to your theme. However for the creative and determined-to-save-money bride there is always the option of designing and making your own wedding cake. This may seem like a tall order especially when you have so many other things to take care of on your day, but it is definitely an option if you can designate this task or have the help of some close family and friends.

Making a Wedding Cupcake Tower is a popular option as they look fantastic, they're non traditional, and they are easy and simple to serve as there is no cutting needed.


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    • lotusletters profile image

      Carmen Lee 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi dewi, sorry for the late reply. The only gram conversion I've shown here is for the butter being 225gm however if you're after the grams for the sugar etc I would go to a conversion website like and convert it there, that would be the most accurate. Good luck!

    • profile image

      dewi 6 years ago

      hi there...I just found this web and your recipe...

      but one question I would like to know.. 1 cup here is the same as how much gram? because in here I use gram..that's why a bit confuse..

      really excited to try this! ^^

      thanks before for the reply

    • lotusletters profile image

      Carmen Lee 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Linda thanks for your comments, I hope your cupcakes were wonderful, definitely give this recipe a go sometime, I use this now for really special occasions mainly for adults, I have another very simple recipe that I use for childrens birthday parties/occasions that I'll be posting soon, mainly because I can adapt it easier for my daughters dairy allergy and it gets fantastic comments too.

    • lotusletters profile image

      Carmen Lee 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Thank you Brendan, your comments are appreciated.

      GRACE - My apologies Grace for not getting back to you sooner, I hope the cupcakes worked out well for you. Yes All purpose I mean Plain flour, I do not use High grade unless it's called for. I'm sure you could use SR flour but I have not tried it. I'll be posting another super simple cupcake recipe soon that I've been using for childrens birthday cupcakes and they're very simple and very delicious. Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      Grace 7 years ago

      Hi there,

      I am going to attempt to make these cupcakes this afternoon for a charity event I am hosting this evening.

      I just wondered, will the cupcakes work out the same if I just use self raising flour? When you say 'All purpose flour' do you mean 'plain flour' (this is what we call it in England).

      Thanks in advance!

    • profile image

      Brendan 7 years ago

      Fantastic page Lotus! Really appreciate that you are sharing such simple to make cupcake ideas, especially the wedding cupcake theme. yum.

    • profile image

      lindawilton 7 years ago

      blast! i wish i had found this recipe a few days ago as it's my daughters 5th birthday tommorow and i have made a large batch of vanilla cupcakes using a friends recipe. i've never ben a fan of cupcakes due to the sweetness and the couple of times i've made then i've never like the taste. but you can't have a little girls tea party without cupcake decorating. i look forward to trying this recipe in the future.

    • lotusletters profile image

      Carmen Lee 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Renee, I use a plastic knife or spatula(not serrated usually) and get a big blob of frosting putting it into the middle, I work the cupcake around in my fingers while I work the frosting gently up and down and out to the edges at the same time. I saw a You tube video of 'Magnolia's doing this and it leaves a nice little valley when you pull the knife away (as seen in their pictures), which is a good place to put the sprinkles instead of over the whole cupcake. Practicing will allow your own technique and comfort with handling your cupcakes, and always ensure you've got good frosting to begin with. I like to keep the look of the frosting fluffy and whipped as you mentioned and not flat or smoothed out (personal preference I guess). The one thing I ensure when making my frosting is the consistency of the butter to begin with, it must be soft at room temp NOT melted, otherwise your frosting will not whip and it will be the wrong consistency. Hope this helps.

    • profile image

      renee 7 years ago

      how do i put the frosting on the cupcakes to make it look pretty and whipped?

    • lotusletters profile image

      Carmen Lee 8 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Nallely, yes the Vanilla recipe is for a 9 inch 3 layer cake. I haven't made this into a cake only cupcakes but you've prompted me to give it a go. Thanks, Carmen.

    • profile image

      Nallely  8 years ago

      Is the recipe for a 9 inch 3 layer cake

    • profile image

      Sabrina 8 years ago

      Soooo tasty looking. I can't wait to try AND those wrappers are gorgeous!

    • lotusletters profile image

      Carmen Lee 8 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks Leah, wow I would love to try the real Magnolia cupcakes, but I totally agree with you on how successful this recipe is and the buttercream. I must add that I prefer my cupcakes the day after, I don't find them as sweet. Thanks for your feedback :)

    • profile image

      Leah 8 years ago

      We made these cupcakes for a huge party recently and got a lot of compliments. Two weeks ago, we were in NYC and got cupcakes from Magnolia - we were so excited! This recipe is leaps and bounds better than what's available in the bakery. Best cupcakes ever.

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      Amy G 9 years ago

      Hello, fellow cake decorator!

      I have actually tried the Magnolia's recipes from the book, and from the bakery. My husband was in NY recently and knowing that I am constantly paging through that book, he went there, bought a half-dozen mixed variety of cupcakes, and flew them all the way home to Colorado. I have to say - the recipe in the book for vanilla butterceam is better than the actual buttercream I ate from there. I think they must have gone to using shortening, I could taste it....

      Anyway - you're the first person I've ever stumbled across that has the same book - and uses it! That buttercream recipe is all i use now.... good stuff,

      Thanks for the read,