I’ve never been to Magnolia Bakery but I’ve heard about their famous vanilla cupcakes.

There’s some so satisfying about a simple vanilla cupcake. Simple, fluffy, without all the fuss.

Vanilla cupcakes sometimes seem to be the wallflower of cupcakes, but I love them.

I’ve seen the Magnolia recipe floating around the internet. It’s been on my to-do list for a while. After seeing this post by The Little Teochew, I knew it was time to finally try them out.

The recipe is surprisingly easy. As the batter mixed together it already was light and fluffy and I knew the cupcakes would be good.

The cupcakes came out perfect. Fluffy, sweet, simple. It was everything I was hoping for in this recipe and more.

Perfect on their own and also with a light frosting. I chose not to do the vanilla buttercream frosting. I’ve mentioned this before but I’m not much of a frosting girl. The only kinds I like are whipped cream based and buttercream meringue. I didn’t have time for the meringue so I just did a simple vanilla whipped cream frosting.

Print Print Recipe

Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes

Yield: 24

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 35 mins


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 F.

Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) 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, 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. (I would suggest about 1/2 full) Bake for 20 to 25 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.


10 Responses to “Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes”

  1. Rodzilla — March 14, 2012 at 5:33 am

    They look great! I think I like most any type of frosting – but I don’t like them to overwhelm the actual cake component.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 14th, 2012 @ 9:28 am

      I think I ate frosting more until I started making my own. And seeing just how much butter and sugar goes into buttercream. Then I realized i didn’t like it enough to ingest all that sugar and fat.

  2. Kay — March 14, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Nice job with the frosting, these look great!

    • Kirbie replied: — March 14th, 2012 @ 9:39 am

      Aw thanks! I like the pink pearls the best. They tasted good too.

  3. Mary — March 14, 2012 at 7:44 am

    The little pink pearls are darling. Reminds me I want to get more sprinkles and things soon. I like vanilla cupcakes a lot, too – more than chocolate cupcakes. I prefer my chocolate in its purest form.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 14th, 2012 @ 9:40 am

      I don’t remember where I got them, but I like how they look and taste. I bought ones before that I didn’t like the taste of. I think I got them at Surfas in LA.

  4. Sandy — March 14, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I tried a cupcake from Magnolia a couple of years ago when I was in New York, and I wasn’t impressed. But if you say this recipe yielded fluffy and light cupcakes, I’d like to try it. (Must add self-rising flour to the shopping list).

    • Kirbie replied: — March 14th, 2012 @ 10:14 am

      You know I’ve had a few people tell me they weren’t impressed when they visited Magnolia. But everyone who bakes the Magnolia Vanilla cupcake recipe seems to love it. So definitely give it a try.

  5. meatballs & milkshakes — March 19, 2012 at 7:34 am

    I personally find the Magnolia cupcakes too sweet because of the heavy buttercream frosting. I’ll have to try your version!

    • Kirbie replied: — March 19th, 2012 @ 9:38 am

      Yes, a simple homemade whipped cream frosting is much lighter!

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