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Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

After trying dozens of cupcake recipes, this is the one! It's a vanilla cupcake from the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York City. It has lots of flavor, is moist and absolutely delicious. Top with generous amounts of buttercream frosting. These cupcakes are best eaten the day they are made. And the frosting is made of butter and confectioner's sugar. Really. How could this not be delicious? Note to self--this is not a dieter's delight, but it is a birthday after all. Live a little! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cupcakes
Servings 2 dozen (for the cupcakes and frosting)
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet found the cupcake recipe on the Food Network website and slightly adapted the frosting recipe from the May 2008 issue of Food & Wine


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup 2 sticks butter, unsalted and softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 pastured eggs from happy chickens at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk organic
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup 2 sticks butter, unsalted and softened
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream


For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flours.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter until it's smooth. About 2 minutes. Gradually, very gradually, add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3-6 minutes, depending on how long it takes to add the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. 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 over beat.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure everything is well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  7. Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the cupcake tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

For the frosting:

  1. In a medium bowl, using a handheld or standing mixer, beat the softened butter at medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add the confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract and pinch of kosher salt and beat at low speed just until combined. Then increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until smooth. Add the milk or heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and top as desired using sprinkles or other adornments.

Recipe Notes

You can add a drop or two or food coloring to make a colored frosting. The birthday girl loves pink, so I added 2 drops of red food coloring to half of the frosting.