When life calls for cupcakes, you make cupcakes. And my friend in Vancouver, Claire, always made the best ones. She uses the cupcake recipe from Magnolia Bakery in New York and so when we visited NYC over Christmas in 2012, we made sure we stopped by (the original store).

My hubby also bought me the recipe book when we were there and ohhh wooooow! The recipes are amazing – and EASY! Ever since, Magnolia Bakery’s classic – their vanilla cupcakes – have become a bit of a thing for me. I think they’ve been baked for almost all of my kids’ birthday parties, friends’ baby showers, my friend Beth’s gender-reveal (piped with pink icing!) and work celebrations. Cupcakes cupcakes cupcakes – and they’re always a hit!

Since the recipe is available online and we’re not letting some huge secret out the bag – I thought I’d share it with you. Apparently, 10 November is Vanilla Cupcake Day, so make up for lost time and get baking!

TIPS: (from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook).

– Always use large eggs at room temperature.
– Beat the cupcake batter for a 3 full minutes. Time it if you must. Don’t be in a hurry.
– Use vanilla EXTRACT. Not the cheap fake chemical stuff. Being vanilla cupcakes and vanilla buttercream – the genuine flavour is pretty important.

Here we go – this is all you need! Cupcakes and Buttercream Recipes.

Vanilla Vanilla in a Box Cupcakes

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes


1 ½ cups self-rising flour
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F degrees.
  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  5. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla.
  8. With each addition, beat until the ingredient are incorporated but do not over-beat.
  9. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
  10. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  12. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Magnolia Bakery cupcakes

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Buttercream


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 box (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
2 – 3 TBLS milk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract


Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla. Gradually add sugar one cup at a time. Scrape down sides of bowl often. When the mixture starts to thicken and appears dry add 2 TBLS of milk. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy about 2-4 minutes. Add more milk as needed if you want a thinner consistency. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly.

Store the icing at room temperature. Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Magnolia Bkery Cookbook

If you live in the States you can have these beauties delivered to your door? Isn’t that nuts? Also, while we were in NY for Christmas, my film-maker hubby made a couple short videos (1min long each). I’ve included ‘FOOD’ below as the last few seconds shows me biting into a Magnolia Bakery cupcake. (Give us some grace – a LOT of the food we ate in NYC was greasy and delicious, and very un-paleo. We weren’t as clean eaters then as we are now. That NYC pizza also changed our lives.)

Another absolute must-try at Magnolia is their banana pudding (we’re noshing on that in the video too). It is unreal… but you’ll have to buy the recipe book for that one…


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