Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

Magnolia Bakery is famous for making some of the best cupcakes in the country… Here is their recipe for a great Valentine’s treat!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups sugar
14cake6503.jpg 3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tbsp red food coloring
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 batch Creamy Vanilla Frosting (see below)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 2 cupcake pans (24 cupcakes).

To make the batter: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and bake the cupcakes, switching positions of the pans halfway through baking, until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before icing. To ice, mound about 1/4 cup of frosting on top of each cupcake and use an icing spatula to make a swirl on top. If desired, decorate with colored sprinkles.

Creamy Vanilla Frosting

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.

Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no less and no longer—set a timer!). Use immediately.

Photo from The NY Times


Filed under dessert, Food, Recipes

37 responses to “Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

  1. This looks yummy! 🙂 Hope you enjoyed your V-Day…

  2. lrfoodies

    Thanks for posting this recipe, I’ve been wanting to try it. I just got over a bad virus, so I’ve been waiting to get back in the kitchen and bake something. Looks like these are up next!

  3. Thank you!! Red Velvet cake, and really red velvet anything, is my absolute fave! The boxed Betty Crocker™ style stuff is really hard for me to find in my area of Canada so this will hold me over until my next trip down south 🙂

  4. Red Velvet cake is my absolute favorite. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Nicole

    Don’t worry if you’ve never had the NY storefront’s cupcakes.

    I feel they’re overrated, so I bet these are just as good, if not better!!


  6. Hello . . . stumbled across your blog via wordpress. Thank you for posting the recipe and picture. I can’t wait to try this out. Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  7. Asiancook

    I am so excited to make this. We don’t keep powdered sugar or whipping cream around the house because we never use them, so imagine my delight when I came upon this recipe that doesn’t involve any out-of-the-way ingredients! We have just been craving red velvet cake lately, too. Thank you. And lovely pictures!

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  9. There is a little bakery in London at Portobello market called Hummingbird Bakery and they have the most delish red velvet cupcakes. I have been looking for a recipe to duplicate these little treats and yours looks perfect. Thanks!

  10. PhillyGirl

    This may sound crazy, but I got my RVC fix the other day with a box of Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix (made in three 9-inch layers; added a tsp of vanilla) and two cans of Pillsbury cream cheese frosting. It was great and received raves from my co-workers.

  11. Gigi

    I was excited to try these, after hearing so much about them. Since I don’t live near a cupcake bakery, I made them for a bunch of friends last night. These were just plain, flavorless cupcakes (you can’t taste the chocolate), and the frosting left a greasy film on the top of my mouth. Seriously, these were not good. I will not make them again.
    If you are serious about baking, don’t try these.

    • Henry

      Totally agree. I first tried these at Magnolia Bakery NY and decided to make them at home from their cookbook. Horrible. They don’t taste of anything, except maybe vinegar. Dry and flavourless….Very disappointing

  12. alicia

    Recipe was ok, did not taste quite like the real deal though. They most likely leave out a secret ingredient 😦 I’m going to bring one into class one day ( I go to the Culinary Institute of America) and have my chef figure it all out!

    • Claudia

      Hi.. Did you get any information on what is missing on this cupcakes.. I am trying to find the perfect yummy recipe but I am still looking..

  13. Lisa

    I found these cupcakes to lack a chocolate flavor…I would prefer more cocoa. It was a bit bland, but the frosting was good.

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  15. Jiny

    How come you used the NYT picture from 2007 for these?

  16. majic101

    I made these and they turned out well. I would suggest using a very good quality chocolate and keeping an eye on your baking time… mine were nice and soft and fluffy and everyone loved them… maybe you’re overbeating?

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  19. Yucky

    um, pretty sure the frosting isnt meant to have FLOUR in it.. yuck.

    • Naomi

      My mother made a version of this frosting in the fifties to put on her red velvet cake, and I continued the tradition. My recipe has 5 tablespoons flour mixed with one cup milk, and when made as directed, the frosting is delicious. There are many creamy icings and fillings that begin with a cooked flour and milk paste, so this is not unusual at all, and certainly not yucky. i think it’s way better than cream cheese frosting that some people use.

  20. silly sally

    i agree with majic101, if you use good cocoa (doesn’t have to be expensive, taste test it yourself before you use it) and make sure you don’t overbake they will be a huge success. i have made the recipe from the book multiple times and people LOVE it. also, i love eating cake batter (i know, bad!) and this is the best tasting cake batter i’ve ever had 🙂

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  25. Melissa

    I absolutely love the red velvet cupcakes from magnolia so when I saw the recipe I immediately had to try and baking them. And boy it was a major disappointment. They have absolutely no resemblance to the ones from the bakery and had basically a taste of just warm flour. I’ll stick to the ones from the actually bakery and suggest everyone else do the same

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  27. Trish

    I tried this recipe for my family’s holiday dessert buffet table despite some of the negative reviews. I decided to make them the night before just in case. Boy am I glad I did. The recipe was missing ingredients and/or proportions were off. I even watched one of the girls from Magnolia Bakery make the cupcakes (video on Turned out as other reviewers said: Bland, flavorless cupcake, the frosting was just ok and the shade of red was too “fake”, Not enough chocolate to turn them velvet red. To save face, I decided to tint a box of devil’s food cake I had on hand with red food dye and made my own cream cheese frosting. Will not make this recipe again.

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