Book Club Recipe: Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Book Club Recipe: Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Icing


Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, hosting a holiday gathering, or whipping up a batch of goodness to treat yourself at the end of a long week, sometimes life just calls for cupcakes. With plenty of buttercream frosting, of course.

No matter the reason, when the mood strikes, look no further than this time-tested recipe for the treat that everyone loves. As long as a little love goes into each batch, you can’t go wrong.

Recipe: Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Magnolia Bakery, known for making delicious cakes and cupcakes over three decades, shared their recipes with Darcy Miller for her new book, Celebrate Everything. Once you and you crew sink your sweet tooth into these scrumptiously creamy cupcakes, everyone will also be celebrating with a happy, wide-eyed satisfied smile.

Vanilla Cake Ingredients

  • 1½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1 ¼ 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
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly flour three 9 X 2-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with wax paper, or line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside.
  4. In a standing mixer or large bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar, beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk, beating until incorporated, but do not overmix. Mix in the vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the side of the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
  6. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full, or divide the batter among the prepared cake pans.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake layers or cupcakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then invert them onto wire racks to cool.
  9. Frost as desired with buttercream icing. Be sure the cake is complete cool before icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • Food Coloring, optional

How to prepare:

  1. In a standing mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed, cream the butter. Mix in the vanilla. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping down the bowl often.
  2. When the mixture starts to thicken and appears a little dry, add 2 tablespoons of the milk. Beat on medium until smooth and creamy, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add more milk as needed for a thinner consistency.
  3. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly.
  4. Use the icing immediately or store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

Entertainment tip:

A tip from Celebrate Everything by Darcy Miller: Even the plainest dessert can get dressed up. Don’t just have a cake at your party; throw a party on your cake! Crown it with a festive topper, whether it’s one simple standout or every party piece you can find in the house. Personalize your cupcakes: say “be mine” by adding a heart-shaped lollipop for a Valentine’s Day treat or channel the Gatsby glitz of A Certain Age by topping with tinsel.

Candy. Sprinkles. An Umbrella. Almost anything can be a treat’s topper—just remove anything inedible before serving your guests!

Find the recipe for Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cakes with Vanilla Buttercream Icing and more in Celebrate Everything by Darcy Miller.

Celebrate Everything book page:

A Certain Age: A Tale of Intrigue, Romance, and Scandal

Book Club

A Certain Age: A Tale of Intrigue, Romance, and Scandal