Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes

Light, fluffy, perfect amount of vanilla and oh so moreish. Topped with Donna Hay’s vanilla icing these are the perfect Sunday night cupcake.

1 ½ cups self raising flour

1 ¼ cups plain flour

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups caster sugar

4 large eggs at room temperature

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Place 24 cupcake papers in muffin trays. In a small bowl, sift the flours together and set aside. In a large bowl or bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter until smooth, gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with adding the vanilla and milk. With each addition beat until all ingredients are incorporated, taking care not to over mix. Using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl and gently mix though to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.

Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners filling half way. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the centre clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the tins for 10 – 15 minutes then remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Whipped Vanilla Icing (Donna Hay)

250g butter, softened

2 cups icing sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 3-5 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar, milk and vanilla and beat for a further 5 minutes or until light and creamy. You can add food colouring if you desire.

Feeling a longing to go back to the big apple and a desire to bake cupcakes I spent Saturday morning looking at New York cupcake bakeries on the internet came across hundreds of people who have tested or at least eaten these cupcakes. While we were in New York in 2010 we didn’t go to the Magnolia Bakery, it was one of those blizzardy days where we just kept walking. Wishing I stopped in now but at the time it didn’t seem worth it to line up out the door in a blizzard. These cupcakes certainly have a name for themselves and for all the right reasons.

After recovering from the dreaded cold that is working its way around our work I just didn’t feel up to baking (shock horror). Sunday night different storey, I couldn’t wait to get into it, after the endless wait for the butter to soften I finally got to baking. The batter itself is super easy. I made a half batch which made 12 cupcakes. I also used the caster sugar that I stored the halved vanilla pods in from the last vanilla cupcakes I made. It was beautifully fragranced with vanilla bean with a few seeds speckled through. Everything else is easy to halve. I halved the icing also and it made more than enough for the 12 cupcakes, I had to throw away the last bit because there is such a thing as too much icing on a cupcake.

Unlike the last vanilla cupcakes I made these are far more budget friendly and I had everything I needed in the fridge and pantry. My favourite kind of baking is reading a recipe and saying in my head, yep, yep, got it, yes I have all those things. I means no trips to the supermarket and it also means instant baking gratification. They hardest part about these cupcakes is again the waiting! Waiting for the butter to soften, waiting for them to cool so the icing doesn’t melt and then the next morning waiting for an acceptable cupcake eating hour because telling you co-workers that its morning tea at 8.30 doesn’t quite work.

There isn’t much more to say except make them. Enjoy them. A little handful of New York has never been so easily attainable!

Love Sonia



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