Perfect Mother's Day Cupcakes Recipe and Interview with Magnolia Bakery's Bobbie Loyd
I recently had the opportunity to interview Bobbie Loyd, President and Chief Baking Officer at Magnolia Bakery. Magnolia Bakery began in New York, and they are branching out to include locations in Los Angeles and as far away as Dubai. Their cupcakes and icebox cakes are sought-after treasures, and they've been featured on several TV shows and movies, including Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada. Their menu also includes a whole line of specialty cakes and pies, their famous banana pudding and more.
When did you start your baking career?
I took my first "professional" cooking class when I was 8 years old. It was a 12-week international cooking course at the YWCA. The first week we made hot chocolate and cinnamon toast. The final week was a big party for the parents and our group made Paella.
Growing up, were you interested in baking/cooking?
I loved all things baking. From making little corn muffins for my Dad in my little Susie Bake Oven to making Cherry pie with my best friend with the Cherries we "stole" from our neighbors tree when I was 8. I stood by my Mothers side for years making pies, cookies and cakes. My Grandmother made wonderful fudge and truffles.
What is your favorite restaurant and why?
My favorite restaurant seems to change every few months. I find that with my busy schedule I prefer going to a neighborhood restaurant where I know I will find my simple favorites prepared perfectly. I no longer feel I need to be impressed by someone's creative whim. I'd much rather enjoy a perfectly prepared simple piece of incredibly fresh fish.
I am a working mom, and I know how hard it can be to find an equilibrium between the two. How to you maintain a work-life balance with your kids and career?
I'm hyper organized. I don't have a babysitter or housekeeper. I rely on friends to help with play dates and the kids' social calendar. I think living in New York City makes it all easier. I don't have to jump in a car to run errands or head to the grocery store, I can do most things online. We also have great grocery shopping in every neighborhood. I can get most of my errands done in a few blocks from my house.
What is your favorite product that Magnolia offers?
I love our lemon bars!! They are sweet, tart and buttery… the perfect combination of texture and flavor.
Can you share any tips or tricks to making perfect cupcakes or icing?
Don't over mix! Over mixing will create rubbery dense cupcakes and cakes.
The opposite is true for the icing. Be sure you sift your confectioners sugar and mix your icing until really smooth. The great thing about a classic American style butter cream is that you can't really ruin it. If it's too stiff just add more milk. If it's too wet add a little more sugar.
Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know about yourself or Magnolia Bakery?
Everywhere I travel people tell me how much they love Magnolia Bakery. We opened in Dubai in February and on our opening day, women were screaming when they saw the sign. I just ran the Big Sur marathon with my I "cupcake" NY t-shirt. All along the 26 mile course women were coming up to me telling me how much they loved Magnolia. Each one had a story and a fond memory that they were able to share with me. We get e-mails everyday from all over the world with the same sentiments. This little bakery has a special place for many people.
If you're in the neighborhood, Magnolia is a spot you don't want to miss, they make a wonderful Mother's Day treat: cupcakes! Or try this recipe out in your own home. Dress them up with sprinkles or add a bit of food coloring in the butter cream frosting, and you have the perfect sweet that is easy to share with all the moms in your life.
A delicious treat for Mother's Day or any day from Magnolia Bakery:
1 ½ cups self-rising flour
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, sift cake flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in milk. Slowly add in flour just until mixed.
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.
Vanilla Buttercream Icing:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of a good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.