Sunday, June 13, 2010

Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla Birthday Cake

Last month, Jill and her husband went to New York for a long weekend, and one of their stops was the famed Magnolia Bakery. Magnolia is known for their old-fashioned baked goods, especially their cakes and cupcakes.

Using a recipe from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, I baked a Traditional Vanilla Birthday Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Yum! The cake was moist and the frosting was good, though maybe just a wee bit too sweet for my taste. I usually like a cream cheese frosting best.

If you'd like to try a bit of Magnolia magic at home, this cake is really very easy to whip up.

Traditional Vanilla Birthday Cake

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease and lightly flour three 9 x 2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flours and add in four parts, alternating with the milk and the vanilla, beating well after each addition. Divide batter among cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

When cake has cooled, ice between the layers, then ice top and sides of cake.

Chocolate Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon milk
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar

In a medium-size bowl, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat well. Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy and of desired consistency.


  1. Wow, that's a tall, fluffy cake! I like the sprinkles on top. I haven't posted my Magnolia cupcakes yet, but they turned out great and I liked the chocolate buttercream.

  2. Yum! Who did you make the cake for?? It wasn't your birthday or Dave's birthday.

  3. A friend here in Montreal had vaguely mentioned this N.Y. bakery to me a while ago.
    Now, that you brought it up...I'm grateful so that I can pass the recipe to her. She'll be quite pleased ;o)
    I do agree on the sugar issue...I too, would draw it back just a little more.
    Thanks for sharing and flavourful wishes,

  4. That looks like such a good old-fashioned cake, Michele. I am going to bookmark this one for the next cake celebration!

  5. Thanks for commenting!!

    Kristy-- The cake was just a lark, not for any official birthday.

  6. Ahhh, New York what a majestic city,I really miss that place. Cake looks delicious and royal, for a princess. I'll be trying this recipe. I've tried one recipe from their cookbook and can't wait to try another.

    -The Princess

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