Friday, July 1, 2011

Magnolia's Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes

After a week of salivating over the endless tweets and posts about festive goodies, I decided to join the masses and do some baking in honor of the upcoming holiday too. While making a cake is typically less time consuming, it's just not as cute as a bunch of little cupcakes dressed up with sprinkles and the like. Plus, cupcakes are easy to share and when you bake, SHARING IS A MUST. This not just for the sake of generosity, but for your waistline as well. If any of you are like me, those cute little cupcakes just stare at you every time you walk through the kitchen, begging to be inhaled in excessive portions.

I have never been to Magnolia's famous bakery in NYC, but the pictures I've seen of the ridiculously long lines at Magnolia's speak for themselves. I adapted this recipe slightly as I had to improv on an ingredient or two, but they turned out wonderfully! I brought a tray of them out to my office this morning and from what I hear, they didn't disappoint. If you're looking for a fun treat that's relatively simple to make and easy to share, give this one a try. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Line two muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine the flours and baking soda then whisk until smooth. In your electric mixer, cream the butter then gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake papers, filling them about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool in the tin for five to ten minutes, then let cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar in your electric mixer. Add four cups of the sugar, milk and vanilla. On medium speed, beat until smooth and creamy, about three minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, one cup at a time, until the icing is thick enough for piping or spreading. This recipe makes about 24 cupcakes or one 9-inch layer cake.

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