Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes

Last weekend my little girl turned 5. FIVE.

She has grown into such a thoughtful and sensitive and smart young lady, and I could not possibly be more proud. Chris and I took her out to a special lunch at Birchwood Kitchen, where she felt like a grown up as she sipped fresh lemonade and fussed with the new make-up stash we gave her in her very own Caboodle (a make-up carrying case I used when I was little!).

To end the day, we celebrated with cupcakes and wine with our neighbors in the courtyard behind our townhouse.  I baked a double batch of vanilla cupcakes using the recipe from Magnolia Bakery.  It is one of my most favorite dessert cookbooks – full of classic old-timey recipes and new inspirations.

I spread a simple buttercream frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes – the same recipe I used to frost Evie’s first birthday cake four years ago.  Evie doesn’t have much of a sweet-tooth, so she requested a frosting-free cupcake.  Vivian, on the other hand, eschewed the cupcakes in favor of just the frosting. My kinda girl!

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla 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 pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. In a small bowl, combine flours; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla, and scraping down sides of bowl in between each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about three-quarters full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool in tins for 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tins, and cool completely on rack. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Serve at room temperature.

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3 Comments for this entry

  1. Liz says:

    How on earth did you achieve that pink? I doubt you use commercial food coloring…beet powder?

  2. Jane says:

    My question is the same as that asked by Liz. And I am interested in knowing about the colored sprinkles too.
    I work with the nonprofit Feingold Association of the US ( We show people how to find the products they love, including beautiful food colorings and sprinkles that are made from natural ingredients, not petroleum, as is the case with the synthetic versions.
    For more than 3 decades we have been teaching about the link between food additives and a wide variety of behavior, learning and health problems.

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