For Maya’s 16th birthday back in March, she wanted to hang out with her friends. We have a tiny tiny living room, and we wanted her birthday to be special, so we decided to rent rooms at a nearby hotel. We got the girls a suite, and we had the adjoining room next door. I decided to go against my prior training (which is open box of mix, follow directions) and make a homemade birthday cake. I was inspired by Mel, who is friend with my real-life friend Stacey, and has a blog called Cupcake Friday Project. One cake that caught my eye was a chocolate cupcake with Nutella frosting. I’m not really a fan of Nutella, but Maya loves it, and it was her birthday, right? So I went for it. It was delicious. Really chocolaty, moist cake (I think I threw in an extra egg), and really Nutella-y frosting. (OK, I didn’t like the frosting. But the teens seemed to LOVE it.) My cake decorating skills leave a large large amount to be desired. It’s the love that counts, right?
Here’s the recipe, with full credit to Mel. To make a cake instead of cupcakes, I just doubled everything. Except eggs…I put in 5 instead of 4. My old roommate in SF used that trick, and he NEVER made a dry cake.
Chocolate buttermilk cupcakes with nutella frosting
Yield: 15 cupcakes
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/8 tsp tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/8 cup (3/4 of a stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup nutella
2 1/2-3 cups confectioners sugar
1 tbsp heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and position the racks toward the center. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl covered with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa in a bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat for an additional 5 minutes. Add the eggs, then add the melted semi-sweet chocolate (cooled slightly), mixing well to incorporate.
Measure out the buttermilk and vanilla and stir to combine. On low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk/vanilla mixture alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Bake for 18 minutes, checking with a toothpick. These cupcakes take approximately 20 minutes to bake.
For the nutella frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of sugar gradually, beating until combined. Add the nutella and the cream, then add the remaining sugar in 1/2 cup increments to your own taste.