From Twirl to Swirl...Cupcakes!

Amanda de Vaulx

Posted on March 09 2017

Magnolia Bakery New York signature swirl vanilla buttercream cupcake

No trip to NYC's West Village is complete without queueing around the corner to sample a cupcake from the quaint Magnolia Bakery, made famous by Sex and the City and known for their heavenly vanilla buttercream signature swirl.  They have inevitably expanded around NYC and beyond, but there's just something about making your way through the crowd, out onto Bleeker Street with your box of treats and biting into the perfect cupcake.

Magnolia bakery nye

Thankfully, Magnolia have not kept their recipe a secret and they have become my "Go To" for every child's birthday over the past 8 years. Just today, I felt like a celebrity myself as I walked my little birthday girl into school with kids and parents alike eyeing our cupcake carrier.  I feel it's my duty as a New Yorker to share with you all! Add food colouring and decorations to make them your own signature treats.

(You're welcome.)

Ingredients (for approximately 24 large cupcakes):

1 1/4 cups (142g) cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups (170g) cups self-raising flour

1 cup (227g) unsalted butter 

2 cups (400g) sugar

4 large eggs at room temperature

1 cup (240ml) milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F / 180C

Line muffin tins with cupcake papers

In a small bowl, combine flours, set aside.  

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. 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 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

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

Vanilla Buttercream:

1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup (120ml) milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6-8 cups (750-1000g) Confectioner's / Icing sugar

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Note: The vanilla buttercream used at the bakery is technically not a buttercream but actually an old-fashioned confectioners' sugar and butter frosting. Be sure to beat the icing for the amount of time called for in the recipe to achieve the desired creamy texture.



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