In Paris we are blessed with fresh croissants, pains au chocolat, eclairs and a myriad of beautiful pastries dotted with fruit, meringue dollops and more. When you move here from New York however, once in a while your sweet tooth aches for a Magnolia style cupcake. We perfected this recipe over more than three attempts in confinement, and are proud to share the results below, as we once again scurry back into our homes. Simplified and tested chez nous!
Makes between 9 – 12 cupcakes
Tip 1, before starting: The cupcakes and icing both call for softened butter (1 cup in total or 227 grams). Take butter out of the fridge a couple hours before you begin. Here in Paris, a typical bar of butter is 250g, so take out the entire thing and plan to use most of it.
Tip 2, before starting: Grease cupcake mold with some cooking oil using a paper towel. We like the soft, silicon variety so no cupcake papers are necessary. We recommend doing this step right away so you don’t forget to do it!
If you are cooking with young children, consider making the cupcakes a day before so more energy can be spent on the icing and decorating. Or, throw their nap (and maybe yours) between baking the cupcakes and the icing and decorating process.
Dry ingredients (mix together in 1 bowl)
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (Levure chimique – those little pink packets in France)
- A bit of salt
- ½ cup softened butter (about 115 grams if using a scale)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
- Hand or stand mixer
- Cupcake tray – greased well, see tip above!
Let’s Go! Each step using the hand mixer:
- Beat softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Using the spatula, scrape the mixture from the side of the bowl to help incorporate them, continue mixing
- Add in eggs one at a time
- Add the dry mixture above (flour, baking powder, salt)
- Add the milk
Stir in the vanilla (optional)
Spoon into your greased cupcake tray leaving some space at the top, do not overfill.
Cook time varies from oven to oven! Do a test and note it down, so you can perfect it for next time. Our sweet spot: 185C (365F) for 18 minutes, on a nonconvention (no fan) setting. To check if they are ready pierce cupcake with a knife and see if it comes out clean. Once ready, let them cool in the tray, and then pop each one out by pressing the bottom of the silicone mold.
Icing (a small batch so you can do a couple flavors or colors)
- 2 cups of confectioners sugar (sucre glace)
- ½ cup softened butter
- Pinch of salt
- A bit of milk (½ cup or so) on hand (use it to adjust the thickness)
- Optional: food coloring, vanilla or other flavors
Using a hand mixer, mix softened butter and sugar in a bowl and incorporate using a spatula. Add milk gradually to get the thickness you are looking for, and continue using the mixer. Once you have the desired consistency, add a few drops of color or flavor. Spread onto cupcakes with a spoon or knife, and start decorating!
Bon appétit !