Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes

Pretty? Wait till you try them!
Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes
I’m sure you guys are familiar with New York’s Magnolia Bakery. They specialize in desserts, the most famous being the cupcakes made famous by the show ‘Sex and the City”. It was on our to-try list when I went to NYC last year, but since a friend told us ‘it’s nothing to shout about’ and ‘the cupcakes are sooooooooo sweet’, I dropped it from my list. Not a huge fan of cupcakes anyway.
Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes
When I saw Ju’s tweet about how good they were, I couldn’t resist and just had to try them! And yes, they were goooood – so light, soft and moist!

I decided to use Italian meringue buttercream for the frosting as the reviews on the original frosting recipe weren’t too good. I’m not a huge fan of buttercream frosting as it is usually very rich, thick, heavy and sickeningly sweet. I’d usually scrape the buttercream away from the cupcakes or cakes but for these, I gobbled up everything, including the copious amount of buttercream! The Italian meringue buttercream is buttery, light on the tongue and not tooth-achingly sweet – simply amazing!

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig’s Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20-25 mins
Yield: 25 cupcakes

For vanilla cupcakes: Adapted from The Little Teochew

  • 170 g self-raising flour
  • 140 g all purpose plain flour
  • 1 block (227 g) unsalted butter – softened at room temperature
  • 340 g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract

For vanilla buttercream: Adapted from Cake Love

  • 5 large egg whites only
  • 10 oz (283 g) caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 16 oz (453 g) unsalted butter – soft but not too soft or melting.
  • 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract

For vanilla cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 170°C (350°F).
  • Line muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  • In a bowl, sift together the flours. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 mins. 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 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  • Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 mins. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

For vanilla buttercream:

  • Place sugar and water into a saucepan. Mix and bring to boil. Boil it on medium high heat until it reaches 245°F (118°C).
  • While the sugar syrup is boiling, start the kitchen mixer on low speed and whisk the egg whites until frothy. Make sure the mixing bowl and wire whisk is very clean. Increase speed to high and continue whisking. When it reaches soft peaks, slowly add in 1/5 (2 oz) of the sugar
  • Slowly pour the hot syrup into the meringue steadily with the mixer still on high. Try not to hit the side of the bowl. Beat the frosting for 10 mins until the outside of the bowl is cooled to room temperature.
  • With the mixer on high speed and with a knife, cut pieces of the butter and add it to the meringue.
  • When the mixture is thick and smooth, slow down the mixer and add 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
  • Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and start again. Repeat twice. You should now have a bowl full of lovely Italian meringue buttercream ready for frosting!


  • See a video from CakeLove making IMBC here.
  • If your buttercream separate after adding butter, just keep beating it until smooth.
  • Store buttercream in a covered container and it will last up to one week in the fridge and several months in the freezer.
  • When you’re ready to use it, bring it back to room temperature then beat on high speed until smooth again.
Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes