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The Cupcake Craze Continues

Here’s to 10 years of cupcakes!
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“Ten years?” you say, “I thought the cupcake craze started…[insert your own personal timeline]!”

As many technical historians may already know, once Sarah Jessica Parker, from HBO’s “Sex in the City”, indulged in a Magnolia Bakery cupcake, the store became a hot spot for tourists.  The episode, circa July 2000, was enough to derail my brother’s plan to serve Magnolia Bakery cupcakes at his wedding five months later.  While New Yorkers may bemoan the ruination of their neighborhood confectionery, we can all celebrate the popularity of cupcakes and the long-lived craze for the tasty baked good.

Whether you have the dilemma of a dozen bakeries in your borough or you prefer to try your hand at the homemade variety, cupcakes are a fun, portion-controlled confection that can satisfy nearly every palette.

To kick off my posts on Half-Baked Mom, I thought I’d share my adaptation of the Magnolia Bakery Traditional Vanilla Cupcake recipe.

Where the original recipe calls for milk, I substitute buttermilk.  Living at a higher altitude than the authors, I find my cakes do better with the extra leavening power and I can avoid the sink-hole centers.  This tried-and-true recipe can be dressed up or down for any type of party. As the most popular variety sold by the original bakery, you’ll never catch yourself calling these cupcakes “just vanilla.”


1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, at room temperature

1 ½ cups self-rising flour

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1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter until smooth, add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine flour and add in four parts, alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Scoop into prepared pans; bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

1 cup butter, softened

8 cups powdered sugar

½ cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

Blend until spreading consistency.

Adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook


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