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magnolia bakery vanilla vanilla cupcakes

Okay, I was going to at least pretend to feel bad about posting so many treats and baked goods lately, instead of healthy dinner recipes, but then I talked to my mom last night. And she suggested to me that my recent name change (from Last Night’s Dinner to The Baker Upstairs) kind of gives me a license to post about treats all the time! I’m still planning to post about dinner recipes, of course, but like I said a few weeks ago, we have just been eating boring, basic, non blog-worthy meals lately. And it’s especially hard in the winter, because I pretty much have to cook dinner in the morning in order to get a good picture of it in natural light. Unfortunately, I’m not really that into eating dinner at 10 a.m…

Anyway, on to the cupcakes! You all seem to like treats best, anyway, if my most popular recipes are any indication. 🙂 I’m still on the hunt for the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe. It seems like chocolate cupcakes are relatively easy to make, but vanilla cupcakes are trickier. I do really love these margarita cupcakes, but the last time I tried them I had a total cupcake fail (I actually have those quite frequently… like every other time I make cupcakes). So I was looking for a new recipe to try, and I happened upon this one from Food Network. I’ll confess that I’ve never been to Magnolia Bakery, so I can’t say for sure that these are exactly the same, but they were totally delicious!

I will say that the frosting was a bit sweet for me. I think next time I’ll add a little splash of cream, because that usually seems to help lighten things up (density-wise, not calorically!). I only needed about five cups of powdered sugar, but it sounds like the amount needed can vary a lot. Just start with the minimum and add more as needed! Also, the recipe originally suggested baking for 20-25 minutes, but mine were almost overdone at 20 minutes. So it’s probably a good idea to keep a close eye on them!

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes
adapted from Food Network


2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. 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, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 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 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Vanilla Buttercream:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add 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.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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  1. i've tried their frosting recipe and i agree that it's a little too sweet. i think i prefer salted butter over unsalted in frosting, but that's just me. your cupcakes are so pretty alicia! lighting is the #1 reason why i never share any of my dinner recipes! it's always dark and it's impossible to get a good photo. we all know treats are the best anyway.

  2. Ha ha Emma I always use salted butter in everything anyway! I don't think I've ever even bought unsalted butter. 🙂 And thanks for complimenting my cupcakes… everything I know, I learned it from you!

  3. Alicia! I love this post! I thought I was the only one who knew about Magnolia's cupcakes recipe being online; glad to know that the secret is out! I love your blog and can't wait to read more dessert recipes from you!
    As for photo's I completely understand your frustration with lighting in the winter! But dessert is always more fun to make than dinner so I completely agree with your decision to bake, rather than make! 🙂 Check out my blog for ideas from a fellow dessert lover! http://www.typeabaker.com !!

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