The Masterclass: Baking cupcakes at Magnolia’s Bakery

May 7
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I recently had the opportunity to come in for a baking one on one session with Magnolia Bakery’s Chief Baking Officer (and one of two partners) of Magnolia Bakery. When I was asked what I’d like to bake, I jumped at the chance for their best selling cupcake, Red Velvet from scratch. Bobbie, who was visiting from New York is super sweet, and incredibly talented – she loves baking, and says you need to have patience to really enjoy baking. It was also very interesting to find out how tiny changes in our ingredients like buttermilk instead of milk and mixing the flour and milk in turns can really make all the difference. Here’s a photo diary of my experience at their new space at JBR The Beach, as well as a quick fire interview with Bobbie herself and a recipe if you’re planning to bake red velvet cupcakes anytime soon.

Best selling cupcake in the region? In addition to Magnolia Bakery’s classic vanilla, chocolate and red velvet, which are popular at all of our locations, our customers love the lemon cupcake, and our featured cupcakes of the month.

Best selling cupcake in New York? Our customers love our class vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream and the red velvet with whipped vanilla icing. Our featured cupcake of the month for March – pistachio – is also really popular.

Your favorite cupcake?  Chocolate with chocolate!!

The most special thing about Magnolia’s? We bake everything from scratch on the premises in small batches throughout the day. We really love bringing the baking experience to life at all of our stores – you can smell cupcakes coming out of the oven and see our cupcake and cake icers putting the finishing touches on them.

The common mistake in baking cupcakes?  Not following directions.

3 things a baker should invest in? A good mixer, whisks and measuring cups.

What makes a good cupcake?  Flavor and texture. And of course great buttercream.

How long should it take to make a batch from scratch? 10-15 minutes to make them and 20-25 to bake.

Which celebrities are Magnolia regulars? We are fortunate to have fans from all walks of life, including celebrities. Most recently, Zoe Saldana and Sienna Miller visited our shops to pick up a sweet treat.

What flavors are launching this year? We have a few new flavors we’re working on – you’ll have to wait and see (and taste)!

Red Velvet Cake, Cupcakes or Whoopie pies

3 – 1/3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)

3⁄4 cup (1 1⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3 large eggs, at room temperature

6 tablespoons red food coloring

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt

1 1⁄2 cups buttermilk

1 1⁄2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cakes – grease and lightly flour, three 9 x 2” round cake pans. Line the

2. In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Gradually add

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat

6. In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts, alternating with the

7. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a bottoms with parchment paper circles (or wax paper). Cupcakes – line 2 dozen cupcake liners with paper liners. Whoopie pies – grease and flour 2 Jelly roll pans (10 1⁄2 x 15 1⁄2) then line with parchment paper and grease and flour again.the sugar and beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Cakes: Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool ompletely on a wire rack.

If making cupcakes: Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Whoopie Pies: Pour 3-4 cups of batter into each prepared pan, bake for about 10 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pan. When completely cool using a cookie cutter, cut desired shapes, layer with whipped vanilla icing or your favorite buttercream!


Whipped Vanilla Icing


6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and

2. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes. Place a piece of waxed paper directly on the

3. In a large bowl, on medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth

4. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.

5. Add the cooled milk/flour mixture and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until

6. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no less and no longer – set a timer!)

7. Use immediately.

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