Tag Archives: Magnolia Bakery

An edible idea for back-to-school fun

Magnolia Bakery, 108 N. State St #128, home to some truly delicious cupcakes, has a bright idea for back-to-school fun–personalized image cupcakes. Think about how fun it might be for a kid to take her new teacher a super-luxe frosted cupcake with the child’s picture on it?  Even  if the teacher is a hidebound, I-never-eat-sugar type, s/he’s bound to enjoy such a charming and thoughtful gift.

Magnolia bakery makes personalized photo cupcakes
Magnolia bakery makes personalized photo cupcakes

Or how about you give your first-time-in-school grandson one with a picture of his mom or dad or even yourself on it? So he’ll know you’re with him in spirit.

 Here’s the deal: One week before you want to give it to your giftee, you provide the friendly folks at Magnolia with a picture of whatever you want to appear on the cupcake–even the kid’s favorite toy or a pet–and they print it out on edible paper. When you pick it up, the image that comes out on the cupcake looks identical to the picture you provided.
I can even imagine putting the kid’s picture on one and having him give it to his mom–and telling her “This is so you won’t miss me so much!” But hey, this idea sounds great for lots of other occasions, too. How about a child’s or friend’s photo on birthday cupcakes? Or a family picture on holiday cupcakes? At $5.25 apiece, this is a unique and affordable gift.
P.S. Cupcakes with cute, back-to-school decorations (see photo) and that fabulous buttercream frosting are $3.50.
Free lunchbox notes from bydawnnicole.com
Free lunchbox notes from bydawnnicole.com

And while you’re at it, how about some free pre-printed lunchbox notes you can surprise your school-age kid with?  Did your mom ever put a note in your lunchbox? I don’t think mine did. What a neat idea. Check these out at bydawnnicole.com.

Buttercream glories at Magnolia Bakery

Okay. They have absolutely no redeeming nutritional value. But who cares? Made with tons of unsalted, sweet cream butter, these  gorgeously iced cupcakes and more definitely qualify as “close your eyes” food (more about that in my upcoming cookbook 17 Ways to Eat Your Way to Happiness).

Magnolia Bakery started out in New York, has a bunch of locations there, and now makes a Chicago home at 108 N. State St. at Randolph in the Building 37 structure. I attended one of their “icing and wine” classes the other day and fell in love with not only the frosting but also the vanilla cupcake itself. Read a full Magnolia Bakery review–including the recipe for their scrumptious vanilla buttercream icing–on my Chicago Restaurant Examiner site. Get some of these for Easter/Passover.  Your guests will love you for it.

And here, for your enjoyment, I reproduce the recipe for Magnolia Bakery’s wonderful vanilla cupcakes (they said it was okay!):

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes


  • 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

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. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredient are incorporated but do not overbeat.

Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. 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.