Cupcake recipes from Magnolia Bakery

For everyone who's asked for a simple cupcake recipe, here you go!

Straight from New York's Magnolia Bakery, via MSNBC (if you missed us on MSNBC/The Today Show, check it out here)

photo by Flickr user biskuit

Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes
Magnolia Bakery

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes


• 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
• 1 1/4 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


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine the flours. 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, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. 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 three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing
Magnolia Bakery

Makes enough for one 2-layer 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes


• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
• 6-8 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 3-5 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 a 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.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing
Magnolia Bakery

Makes enough for one 2-layer 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes


• 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 9 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 1/4 cup sifted confectioners sugar


To melt the chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for about 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5-15 minutes, or until lukewarm.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat well, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed until creamy and of a desired consistency.

photo by Flickr user Brooklyn Hilary


crazy for depp said…
I made the vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream from these exact Magnolia recipes. While the flavor of the cupcakes were awesome (just like I remembered when I ate this exact cupcake last summer at Magnolia in NYC) I was not happy with the outcome of my chocolate buttercream. It was really runny for some reason, and I couldnt get it to the thick, yummy and sugary consistency that it should have been. While it tasted it good, it was not the correct consistency. I wanted to add extra powdered sugar to thicken the frosting but was afraid of ruining the recipe. Would this have ruined it or thrown off the flavor? My kitchen was rather warm when I made the buttercream. Could this have affected the outcome of my frosting? I also tried putting the icing in the fridge to set up, but this didnt work. Does anyone have any tips or help to offer me as to why my buttercream wasnt right? I followed the Magnolia recipe exactly and was pretty disappointed when it didnt turn out right. I really want to try and make the buttercream again. Im going to make the chocoalte cupcakes with vanilla buttercream next, and I hope this batch of forsting turns out better than the chocolate one did! Any tips would be appreciated! Thanks!
BakemeImyours said…
Hello, It may be that your kitchen was too warm as this would make the consistency of the buttercream too soft to work with. When I have made this recipe before, I have added the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk together first and then gradually added the chocolate until you get the desired consistency. It may be that you don't need to use all of the chocolate. Also make sure that your chocolate is very cool too before adding. It it does become too runny then you can place in the fridge to thicken up but you'll need to leave in a little longer than usual as the chocolate will take longer to cool down. I hope this helps
Sara said…
I have found that cupcake bakery recipes that go "on air" like Sprnkles or Magnolia Bakery never turn out the same. Ive tried all the Sprinkles recipes. Do we really think they are going to release that kind of intellectual property? Heck no....So they've altered them in some way for sure.
Anonymous said…
I have made these cupcakes several times and make it as a 9" round two-tiered cake as well. You really don't need all the milk to be honest....and you don't use all the sugar that way. Adding more sugar does not change the flavor at all, helps to thicken as needed, etc. These are dead-on to the ones at the bakery in NYC. I go there every spring for a business trip and make sure to stop in to get "the real thing." However, this recipe is the real thing. I prefer the vanilla cupcakes with the regular buttercream frosting...added food color to make them fun. You really can't go wrong with the frosting. Just play a little with the amount of milk and sugar...and don't worry about adding more sugar to make it the right consistency. The first time I made them I ended up having to use 13 cups of sugar as apposed the 6 - 8 the recipe calls for to reach the correct consistency. Needless to say, cutting the milk down by half helped that problem. Enjoy them!
Unknown said…
I was so excited to try this recipe for the vanilla cupcakes! I had high hopes and don't get me wrong.. they were really good, but in the end they tasted like they were made from a box. And... if they taste like that - I think I'll be calling Betty Crocker next time instead.

The icing was great and perfectly enough for 24 swirled cupcakes (SIZE 1M tip). I only used 1 stick of butter though - I thought the extra stick was just too much! The icing was GREAT.
Lyuba said…
Hi, I just saw a video on youtube (epicurious channel) in which Magnolias Bakery's owner makes vanilla frosting. She made a different recipe from the one posted on your site. She used a flour/milk base mixed in with tradicional vanilla buttercream, that why its less runny.
Longuette said…
why in Europe cupcakes are not that popular????
My grandmother use to make a very plian, spongy one, with no icing. delicate in taste and they stay soft and sweet for weeks!
Thanks for bringing back good memories

For those of you having trouble with the recipe, try the cook book published by the Magnolia Bakery. I use the vanilla cup cake recipe to make a 9" layer cake and I use the chocolate buttercream recipe to top it off - its a winner everytime! Follow the directions exactly -don't cut corners and you will have a successful treat! said…
I had one of these from Magnolia Bakery in NYC the other day.
Samantha said…
I know why people have problems with this recipe and Amy's. It's because it isn't their actual recipe. But I am sure they wouldn't want that to get out. I know one thing that can be subbed and one thing to be added and it's a long time stander for baking from scratch. I will be trying this with the changes and I HOPE it's a better outcome then Amy's.
Morgan said…
The cupcakes I make from scratch are coming out dry. I have tried a few different recipes. I found suggestions on the internet to try adding pudding or sour cream, but the all still come out dry. Any other suggestions
Dee Sweetstn said…
The given recipes are very easy to follow and the ingredients can be easily found by those who want to try making a batch for their family or friends. It may be difficult to finish a whole cake but for cupcakes, you can have as many as you want from your favorite bakeries in Knoxville TN as long as you keep it in moderation. During your free time, try making cupcakes by yourself and you will appreciate it more because of the effort that you have put into each piece. Thanks for sharing!