The Best Cupcake Recipe From Magnolia Bakery

Updated on May 31, 2018
photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

Have You Tried the Perfect Cupcake?

Many cupcake connoisseurs have heard about the famous Magnolia Bakery located at 401 Bleecker Street in New York. My first exposure to the bakery was during a search for the perfect cupcake recipe. I discovered the vanilla and chocolate cupcake recipe, and I have to say this simple yet delicious recipe is worth the effort.

photo courtesy
photo courtesy

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Make 24 cupcakes

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (225gm)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  3. Place the butter in a large bowl.
  4. Set your electric mixer to medium speed and cream the butter until smooth.
  5. Adding the sugar gradually, beat the butter and sugar mixture until fluffy. It should take about three minutes.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. Combine the flours and add in four parts, alternating with the milk and the vanilla extract, beating well after each addition.
  8. Spoon the batter into the cups about three-quarters of the way full.
  9. Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 20 to 22 minutes.
  10. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and cool them completely on a wire rack before icing them with buttercream frosting.

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (225gm)
  • 8 cups icing sugar (confectioners)

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 2 tsp vanilla


  1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. (This is not in the recipe: At this point, I beat the butter until it's creamy before adding anything else.)
  2. Add 4 cups of icing sugar. Then, add the milk and then the vanilla.
  3. Beat everything until it's smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the remaining sugar one cup at a time until the icing is to your preferred consistency. You may not end up using all the sugar.
  5. At this stage, you can add some color and mix it in thoroughly.
  6. Use the icing on cooled cupcakes or cake only. It can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days (if it lasts that long)!

Chocolate Cupcake & Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

Make 24 cupcakes

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups plain flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (225gm)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 ounces (170gm) unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175ºC).
  2. To melt the chocolate, place it in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for approximately 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally until it's smooth and no chocolate pieces remain. Remove it from the heat and let it cool to lukewarm.
  3. In a small bowl, sift the flour and baking soda.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy—this will take about 3 minutes.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  6. Add the chocolate, mixing until it's well incorporated.
  7. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated— do not overbeat. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
  8. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Cool before removing from the pan, and let it cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Chocolate Buttercream

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 cup (340gm) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 9 ounces (250gm) semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted icing sugar (confectioners)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter using an electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes until creamy.
  2. Add the milk carefully, and beat until smooth.
  3. Add the melted chocolate and beat it for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes.
  5. Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed until it's creamy and of the desired consistency.
  6. You are now ready to ice your cooled cake or cupcakes.
  7. Enjoy!

Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes are a top seller at Magnolia Bakery. I have yet to bake this particular recipe, but it is definitely on my foodie "attempt" list. I found this excellent video where you can watch Bobbie Floyd bake the Magnolia Bakery red velvet cupcake. I just love the combination of ingredients, especially the idea of using vinegar!

Would You Go to Magnolia Bakery?

I would truly love to try the real Magnolia Bakery cupcakes in New York one day. I do own a shopping bag, but I don't think that's any consolation. For now, my personal review is based on my humble baking skills and the best cupcake recipe from Magnolia Bakery. If the compliments and fat bellies of my friends and family are anything to go by, I think I must be doing something right with the "home baking version" of this famous little cupcake.

The effort you put into making this particular cupcake is truly worth it.

*Vote For Your Favorite*

Which Delicious Cupcake Do You Devour?

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Try Making a Wedding Cupcake Tower!

Besides choosing the wedding dress, a bride also needs to seriously consider what to do for her wedding cake! Wedding cakes can cost a lot of money, especially if you are paying for a cake shop to design and match one to your theme.

For the creative and budget-minded bride, there is always the option of designing and making your own wedding cake. This may seem like a tall order (especially when you have so many other things to take care of), but it is definitely an option if you can delegate this task or have the help of some family and friends.

Making a wedding cupcake tower is a popular option. Why?

  • They look fantastic.
  • They're not traditional and unique.
  • They are easy and simple to serve—there is no cutting needed!


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    • lotusletters profile image

      Carmen Lee 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi dewi, sorry for the late reply. The only gram conversion I've shown here is for the butter being 225gm however if you're after the grams for the sugar etc I would go to a conversion website like and convert it there, that would be the most accurate. Good luck!

    • profile image

      dewi 7 years ago

      hi there...I just found this web and your recipe...

      but one question I would like to know.. 1 cup here is the same as how much gram? because in here I use gram..that's why a bit confuse..

      really excited to try this! ^^

      thanks before for the reply

    • lotusletters profile image

      Carmen Lee 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Linda thanks for your comments, I hope your cupcakes were wonderful, definitely give this recipe a go sometime, I use this now for really special occasions mainly for adults, I have another very simple recipe that I use for childrens birthday parties/occasions that I'll be posting soon, mainly because I can adapt it easier for my daughters dairy allergy and it gets fantastic comments too.

    • lotusletters profile image

      Carmen Lee 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Thank you Brendan, your comments are appreciated.

      GRACE - My apologies Grace for not getting back to you sooner, I hope the cupcakes worked out well for you. Yes All purpose I mean Plain flour, I do not use High grade unless it's called for. I'm sure you could use SR flour but I have not tried it. I'll be posting another super simple cupcake recipe soon that I've been using for childrens birthday cupcakes and they're very simple and very delicious. Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      Grace 7 years ago

      Hi there,

      I am going to attempt to make these cupcakes this afternoon for a charity event I am hosting this evening.

      I just wondered, will the cupcakes work out the same if I just use self raising flour? When you say 'All purpose flour' do you mean 'plain flour' (this is what we call it in England).

      Thanks in advance!

    • profile image

      Brendan 7 years ago

      Fantastic page Lotus! Really appreciate that you are sharing such simple to make cupcake ideas, especially the wedding cupcake theme. yum.

    • profile image

      lindawilton 7 years ago

      blast! i wish i had found this recipe a few days ago as it's my daughters 5th birthday tommorow and i have made a large batch of vanilla cupcakes using a friends recipe. i've never ben a fan of cupcakes due to the sweetness and the couple of times i've made then i've never like the taste. but you can't have a little girls tea party without cupcake decorating. i look forward to trying this recipe in the future.

    • lotusletters profile image

      Carmen Lee 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Renee, I use a plastic knife or spatula(not serrated usually) and get a big blob of frosting putting it into the middle, I work the cupcake around in my fingers while I work the frosting gently up and down and out to the edges at the same time. I saw a You tube video of 'Magnolia's doing this and it leaves a nice little valley when you pull the knife away (as seen in their pictures), which is a good place to put the sprinkles instead of over the whole cupcake. Practicing will allow your own technique and comfort with handling your cupcakes, and always ensure you've got good frosting to begin with. I like to keep the look of the frosting fluffy and whipped as you mentioned and not flat or smoothed out (personal preference I guess). The one thing I ensure when making my frosting is the consistency of the butter to begin with, it must be soft at room temp NOT melted, otherwise your frosting will not whip and it will be the wrong consistency. Hope this helps.

    • profile image

      renee 7 years ago

      how do i put the frosting on the cupcakes to make it look pretty and whipped?

    • lotusletters profile image

      Carmen Lee 8 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Nallely, yes the Vanilla recipe is for a 9 inch 3 layer cake. I haven't made this into a cake only cupcakes but you've prompted me to give it a go. Thanks, Carmen.

    • profile image

      Nallely  8 years ago

      Is the recipe for a 9 inch 3 layer cake

    • profile image

      Sabrina 8 years ago

      Soooo tasty looking. I can't wait to try AND those wrappers are gorgeous!

    • lotusletters profile image

      Carmen Lee 9 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks Leah, wow I would love to try the real Magnolia cupcakes, but I totally agree with you on how successful this recipe is and the buttercream. I must add that I prefer my cupcakes the day after, I don't find them as sweet. Thanks for your feedback :)

    • profile image

      Leah 9 years ago

      We made these cupcakes for a huge party recently and got a lot of compliments. Two weeks ago, we were in NYC and got cupcakes from Magnolia - we were so excited! This recipe is leaps and bounds better than what's available in the bakery. Best cupcakes ever.

    • profile image

      Amy G 9 years ago

      Hello, fellow cake decorator!

      I have actually tried the Magnolia's recipes from the book, and from the bakery. My husband was in NY recently and knowing that I am constantly paging through that book, he went there, bought a half-dozen mixed variety of cupcakes, and flew them all the way home to Colorado. I have to say - the recipe in the book for vanilla butterceam is better than the actual buttercream I ate from there. I think they must have gone to using shortening, I could taste it....

      Anyway - you're the first person I've ever stumbled across that has the same book - and uses it! That buttercream recipe is all i use now.... good stuff,

      Thanks for the read,


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