Wow. No wonder people who move away from NYC are always posting the question "Where can I get a good, down home cupcake like at Magnolia?"
Never having been to Magnolia, I can't say how close I got to their version. But if their cupcakes are anything like what came out of my oven, I haven't had a storebought cupcake this good in San Francisco.
The thing that wowed me the most was the cake batter. This batter is the stuff nostalgia is made of. A lick of it and I wanted to cartwheel through some sprinklers and chase an ice cream truck down the street.
The end product is a very light, very fluffy white cupcake. The buttercream icing is as American as you can get. It pipes beautifully, and at room temperature it develops that slightly crunchy outside that helps it keep its shape but doesn't affect the soft creaminess of the icing.