During high school and college, I took many trips to New York for both business and pleasure. Lucky for me, my Dad is from New York, so whenever we went to the city, I always knew the scoop on the coolest places and best restaurants. Surprisingly, it was my mom- born and raised in Beverly Hills- who introduced me to my single greatest NYC love. Just ahead of Henri Bendel and John’s Pizza is my blue ribbon baby Magnolia Bakery.
A little history about Magnolia… Magnolia bakery opened in July 1996 with Allysa Torey and Jennifer Appel as co-owners. They offered four kinds of bread along with both cinnamon rolls and whole wheat maple walnut rolls during the first week of operation. Their world famous cupcakes weren’t born until early fall of 1996. There were so many of the famous Magnolia Cupcakes being ordered that the girls baked in the afternoons and iced at night when the bakery was officially closed. Crowds of people walking by late at night when the girls were baking but the bakery was closed, they would beg for just a cupcake. When the girls gave in, the craze really began.
Now, over a decade later, their cupcakes are still a staple among sweets fiends in the City. Obviously since 1996 the cupcake craze has reached unparalleled heights, but the product has remained at the top of the charts and still draws insane amounts of tourists and regulars alike. I never go to NYC without getting just one, with a nice hot latte. No better way to treat yourself, trust me.
So, now that you know how deep my obsession with Magnolia goes, you can imagine my shock and awe when my mom surprised me one night with a copy of the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. I about cried with excitement. I made it my mission to try every recipe, and so far I’ve tried about 6. I had a few rounds of practice and then I decided to tackle the holy grail of recipes with full force and confidence.
They turned out amazing. If you have had one before, I don’t need to tell you how precisely and perfectly sweet the Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting are. I opted to color my icing Tiffany Box blue, for my birthday, and they were just precious! If you ever want to impress a group, give them these. They are totally addicting in a dangerous way and pretty as can be.
1 1/2 c self rising flour
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 c sugar
4 large eggs @ room temp
1 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 – 8 c confectioners sugar
1/2 c milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
I like to make the icing the night before, just so it has a chance to mellow out to a good temp and consistency. Start by placing the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar, and then the milk and vanilla. On medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy (3-5 mins). Gradually add the remainder of the sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 min), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency (you may not need to use all of the sugar). At this point, if you wanted to add color this would be the time. Go easy on the color, they look best in pastels. Use and store icing at room temperature, may also be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Now for the cupcakes. Preheat over at 350. Fill to 12-cup muffin tins with cupcakes liners. In a small bowl, mix the flours. 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 mins. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and the vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter into the cupcake liners, filling about 3/4 of the way. Bake 20-25 mins, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes, then allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before icing. Before the icing dries, feel free to add any sparkle or embellishments you want. I dusted mine with aqua blue sparkles and put tall pink candles in them for my birthday 🙂