As highly profitable as this site is, my team of therapists say I should go to a “regular” job every day just to maintain my mental equilibrium.  It keeps me grounded and in touch with my fellow humans.  It gives me a place to wear my little outfits, as well as a built-in audience to whom I can promote this blog.  Believe me, I’m not there for the coffee.

I’m kidding.  About some of that.  For one thing, this is not profitable.  I also can’t leave you with the impression that I’m mentally unwell.  I have my issues but I do not have a team of therapists.  I just have Mo and she does a great job of straightening me out. 

But I do have a real job and sometimes it infringes on my cooking.  Such has been the case over the past two weeks or so.  Work, plus throwing a graduation party for my daughter and then an unholy planetary alignment that mercifully only happens every few years: my mother’s birthday, daughter’s birthday and Father’s Day all fall on the same day.  Then I went to London. 

 Mommy is tired.

One day in the midst of all of this, however, I made 8 dozen cupcakes.  And I kind of invented Nutella Buttercream.  I say kind of because…I didn’t really.  But I did create my own recipe for it and, if I do say so myself, it’s insanely good.  Seriously, you are going to plotz when you eat this.


This glorious frosting sat atop my go-to Dark Chocolate Cupcake recipe from Cook’s Illustrated’s The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
From The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
Makes 24 cupcakes
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
Pre-heat oven to 350-degrees.
Place butter, chocolate and cocoa in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Line two 12-cup muffin pans with liners. 
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.  Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a large bowl (all of the ingredients will eventually go into this bowl).  Slowly whisk in the sugar, followed by the cooled chocolate mixture. 
Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the batter and whisk in.  Whisk in the sour cream followed by the remaining flour mixture until completely incorporated.
Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake until a tester comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 20 minutes.  (It helps to rotate the pans halfway through cooking).  Let the cupcakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes.  Remove and let cool completely before frosting.
Cupcakes can be stored, unfrosted, at room temperature for 3 days, or frozen for 3 weeks.  When defrosting, remove from container or zipper bag and then let come to room temperature before frosting.
Nutella Buttercream
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
Makes 3 cups (enough for 24 cupcakes or a 2-layer cake)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup Nutella
Combine the cream, vanilla and salt together in small bowl.  Beat the butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until smooth 30-60 seconds.  Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the confectioner’s sugar.  Beat until smooth, 2-5 minutes.  Beat in the cream mixture.  Add the Nutella, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Can be made 2 days ahead and refrigerated; you will have to re-beat it to loosen before using.