Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla heaven, is what these cupcakes are. I am telling you, these are my favourite cupcakes from now on! The intensity of vanilla was amazing and the texture, simply unbelievable. It was so good I wanted to cry, I kid you not. In fact, I tweeted it immediately because I just couldn't contain myself.

Now I finally get the hype surrounding these cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. They are so, so good! My only hope is that in the not-too-distant future, I will have the chance to taste the actual ones at Bleecker Street to see if I am on or off the mark. ;) Aside, one of my friends got to try them and loved them so much, she downed 3 at a go! I am so jealous. *sniff*


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Now, let's talk about the cupcakes. First, excuse my ugly, lumpy frosting! Boo hoo. I always, always frost the cupcakes immediately but this time, I had to refrigerate it for a short while to run an errand, and when I came back, some parts had hardened slightly. What a chore it was piping lumpy cream out of a pastry bag! :( But you know what? When I make these again, I will likely skip the frosting altogether because they good enough to be eaten plain. I am in love with the cake, not the cream. :)

To really pack the vanilla flavour in these cupcakes, you must use good quality vanilla. There is simply no other substitute. I used my precious homemade vanilla extract and sugar (which I love with all my heart) and the taste was exquisite.


They look simple, no? Wait till you taste them!
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Another thing, the frosting I used was plain ol' vanilla buttercream ... not the one from Magnolia Bakery. Their original recipe calls for a whopping 6 to 8 cups of icing sugar, and that was enough to make me recoil in horror.

Also, I have seen not-so-good feedback about it - "too sweet" being the most common one (ooh, what a shocker). So, I stuck to a regular buttercream frosting which, of course, did not wow me in the least. Why? Because I am just not fond of buttercream! But but but, a cupcake needs frosting to be photogenic, so what choice did I have? ;)

Anyway, I decided that for this post, I will only blog about the cake. You can choose whatever frosting you think will work for you, or follow the recipe to a 'T' and use Magnolia Bakery's *gasp* ultra-sweet version (warning: the cupcakes are already very sweet!).


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Recipe
Adapted from Food Network

Yields 12 cupcakes
- I halved the measurements and converted everything to metric. Please refer to the recipe link for measurements in cups.

- 85g self-raising flour*
* I did not have any, so I made my own using these estimates: 85g plain flour + 1 1/4tsp baking powder + 1/8 tsp salt
- 70g all-purpose plain flour
- 113g unsalted butter, softened
- 170g caster sugar (140g is just right, in my opinion)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean for even more intensity)

1. Preheat oven to 170°C (350°F).

2. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers.

3. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4* full.
* I found that 2/3 full works much better ... those which I filled to 3/4 full actually spilled to the sides during baking. This batter rises quite a bit, so it's best to err on the side of underfilling.

7. Bake for 20 to 25* minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
* At the 20-minute mark, reduce heat to 160°C (325°F). The tops of the cupcakes should be lightly golden.

8. Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.


Tadah ... cupcake heaven! My poor girl ... always being interrupted while eating. She took a bite and I hollered, "Hold it! I need to take a shot!" Lol.
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65 comments:

  1. what a lovely cupcake.makes me wanting one now. got some vanilla pod in fridge can try it. have a nice day.

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  2. Hahahaha, I still remember the first time I made this - it was for an order so I could really only test one.

    I took one bite, let Vijay taste and then he asked if he could have the rest of it. I couldn't even cry at my unfortunate situation and had to resort to just inhaling them the next morning while icing each one with my SMBC.

    You're spot on, their icing would've been horrible. No one I know makes the icing from the book.

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    1. You are HILARIOUS! I love what you did for yours. Totally gorgeous!

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  3. I don't like frosting too. Why not try Nutella as frosting instead, no need to prepare, just spread it on top & top it with a walnut. I bet it will taste even better.

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    1. Because I hate Nutella! *runs and hides* Lol! It's true. I am one of the odd people out there. :p

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  4. These cuppies sure look gorgeous, and like you said, good enough to eat on its own.
    But it still seems like a ton of sugar in the recipe! My usual cupcake recipe is about the same for everything else, but the sugar is only 60%. This one must be pretty sweet... Still, they look gorgeous!

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    1. Not trying to scare you, but 170g sugar is already reduced from 225g! *faints*

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  5. I had the ones near Rockefeller.

    WAY TOO GOOD.

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  6. wowwwww.. it's look great and nice cupcake! ^_^

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  7. I never even noticed the frosting..I couldn't take my eyes off her dress..Gorgeous!

    They look really good..I had heard of the cupcakes too..I see a sweetie enjoying them:)

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    1. Nana, will you believe that was exactly what I said? "The cupcake's DRESS". :)

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  8. Magnolia vanilla cupcake recipe is awesome. Yours look really pretty.

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  9. Your cupcake are evenly bake with nice round top. Pretty photos.

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  10. I can't believe I haven't tried these cupcakes yet. I know, I'm insane. Thanks for the reminder. They look fabulous!
    I'll give them a try, soon, I hope :)

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  11. Oh girl...these are a thing of beauty!
    I have had them there and baked them...yours look amazing!
    Gosh...now i want a cupcake! See what you did.
    L xo

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  12. I am not sure which type of buttercream you are using here. If the recipe involves heating the egg whites and sugar to 118 degrees, or adding 118 degrees hot sugar syrup, you can leave the buttercream at room temperature for a whole day and it won't go bad.

    Your cakes looks great!

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    1. I think that's Swiss Meringue Buttercream ... which I actually want to try next!

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  13. Didn't try this when I was in NYC as I'm not a huge fan of cupcakes and my friends told me she hated the cupcakes!! I guess I just have to bake this to try for myself!

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  14. Apparently I have cupcake & icing issues too. I am so going to try these, and when you find a fancy icing that does not require soooo much sugar & butter would you let us know? I love the look, but I have a difficult time when something calls for a cup of butter & 6 cups sugar. I am thinking Italian meringue maybe.

    I love that you use weight instead of volume. My baking has improved so much since I have embraced it.

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  15. couldn't stop drooling over..they look super good; the lace around them are even better where did you get it...?

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    1. Came as part of wrapping for a gift I received. I kept the lace because I instantly saw it as a potential prop! Lol.

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  16. Hello Ju, i'm new to ur blog, in fact i've just started writing my own blog on cooking and learning to take photos of the food. Just wanted to compliment you on the recipes and photos, they are absolutely beautiful. Love reading your posts, you have a very candid and down to earth style of writing. Great job!

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  17. Sono bellissimi questi cup cakes,, le foto splendide. un abbraccio Daniela.

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  18. This is my all time favourite vanilla cake recipe too, I don't even look at other vanilla recipes anymore 'cause this one is just perfect.

    I actually really like them with a good vanilla bean Swiss buttercream. I find simple buttercream way too sweet (any version of it, not just Magnolia's) and find that Swiss buttercream is smooth and creamy but not sickenly sweet.

    Now to find my perfect chocolate cake recipe. Still searching! :)

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  19. Hi , I made these and they tasted really great but the tops of the cupcakes didn't rise and they were sunken , the textures were a bit heavy and floury , I wonder if you have any ideas on how to fix these problems ?! Thanks a million =) !

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    1. Hi, I am GUESSING: (1) Self-raising flour could be old & leavening agent didn't work, (2) Didn't cream butter & sugar well enough to incorporate air (therefore texture heavy & floury, (3) Did not fold batter properly, (4) Opened oven door during baking. I am assuming you followed the recipe exactly. HTH and better luck the next time! :)

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  20. These cupcakes have been on my to-do list for so long! I'm glad you gave it a positive review. Now I really want to check them out.

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  21. Hi

    These are beautiful!!! Do u think this can be baked in a loaf tin instead? Liken a Sara Lee pound cake loaf. This proportion is enough for a loaf? Have u had a chance to leave the cupcakes overnight? Ahahaha... They look so beautiful I doubt it, right? Was wondering how it taste the next day...

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    1. I would think it's possible to bake in a loaf tin, but I am not sure about the temperature and baking time. I did have some cupcakes left overnight and they tasted even better!

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  22. can I use brown sugar instead caster sugar?

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    1. Obviously. But it won't be the same, would it?

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  23. Hi Ju, you think this would work as a base batter for rainbow cupcakes? thanks!

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  24. Hey could you tell me what tin did you use to bake these beatiful cupcakes? An alumium or nonstick muffin tin? I've tried this recipe twice and although my cupcakes taste great; they looked horrible. They cracked so much that they look like those.. you know bright coloured temple cakes? I baked mine in those individual aluminium cups (not foil, same material as muffin tin). Another thing I realised is that my cupcakes are white on the cracks and browned on the bottoms (very brown). Im pretty sure i didnt overfill them i used regular icecream scoop. I really hope you can give me a bit of advice, would really appreciate it. Sorry for the loooong comment and thanks in advance:) -Leila

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    1. Hi Leila, I use jumbo muffin tins (tray-of-6 type). They are not non-stick. Did you place your cakes on the middle rack of the oven?

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    2. I bought a 12 hole muffin tin and this time got nice flat cupcakes that look like yours yipee hooray.! Yes i placed my cakes on the middle rack, guess the problem lies in the tins! Oh can i know where you got your tins from? Thanks again:)

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    3. Good for you! People often underestimate the importance of using the correct size tins. It makes a huge difference! Mine were passed down from my aunt ... very, very old but very, very solid. :)

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  25. Hi Ju
    Any attempts to try other Magnolia bakery recipes in metric conversions? the US measurements are a pain to convert for novice like myself :(

    Ponde

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  26. thanks for sharing; great cake
    hweehwee

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  27. DELISH. Totally blown away on first attempt. But on my 2nd, my cuppies rose and when cooled, it sank -- a little but left a visible ring mark around the case. Any idea why?

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  28. hi! care to share the butter cream recipe?

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    1. Here: http://www.joyofbaking.com/ConfectionersFrosting.html
      Hope you like it ... ;)

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  29. Hi, is 1/2 cup of milk 120ml?

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  30. Thank you so much for the recipe. I have never baked such soft and delicious cupcakes before. The family loved the cupcake, thanks again.a

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  31. Hi Ju, I am new to your blog and interested to try this recipe out. U mentioned large eggs.. Are the regular eggs we get from Ntuc and cold storage considered large? I read from some overseas recipes that the large eggs are about 70g but the ones we get from our supermarket are usually 55-60g. Hope to hear from u soon.. Love your blog and your photos

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    1. Hi Meowmee, you can use 60g-eggs for this. Good luck and happy baking! :)

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  32. Thank u Ju! Will try them out and let u know the outcome! Have a good day!

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  33. Hi Ju,

    Have you tried using the coconut extract for these cupcakes? I personally love the vanilla extract as it is a flavor I am most exposed to. However, I recently made a batch using coconut extract and both my boyfriend and I chowed down two within seconds and we usually don't do that! Lol. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures with us.

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    1. Hi Joju, thanks for that great idea! I love anything coconut. :)

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  34. I'm fond of making vanilla cake at home and always search for a good recipe and i really liked your recipe blog with a perfect description of recipe..

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  35. Hi! Your cupcakes look nice, i wanna try making it. If i am using vanilla bean, how do i go about it? Thanks!

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    1. Hi I also keen to know how to go abt using vanilla beans :)

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  36. Best cupcakes ever...seriously. Thanks for sharing. I could eat the whole dozen on my own...

    I'm not saying I did. I'm not denying it either

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  37. ok i feel a little slow but how does one convert the recipe from grams to standard measurement ?

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  38. Hi thanks for e recipe! I hv tried it. I hv added 2 pods of vanilla seeds. However I do not taste any vanilla rather it taste more of butter cupcakes. Do u hv any ideas why it is like this :) many thanks :)

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  39. Hi Ju

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I have been searching for a perfect vanilla cupcake recipe and this is the one ! It's really light and fluffy ! I'm going to prepare a batch of SMBC to frost them for my daughter's bday tomorrow. I hope they turn out well :)

    Thanks !!

    Regards
    Chris (fellow Teochew)

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  40. I just tried this recipe yesterday and it was perfect! I love how the cupcakes turned out fluffy and moist, absolutely delicious. They also had a lovely aroma! This recipe is definitely a keeper :)

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