A Squared: A Birthday Party & Nutella-Frosted Cupcakes

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Birthday Party & Nutella-Frosted Cupcakes

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I am starting this week off a little on the sleepy side. We celebrated Alex's (almost) 30th birthday (and a big Syracuse March Madness win!) on Saturday evening at Standard Bar & Grill in Wicker Park. It turned out to be a great place to host a party and we had a really fun time. It is always so great to see all of our friends out in one place. It also reminded me of how old we are getting and how much a night out really takes it out of me!

Here are some snapshots from the party-- Alex was on his best goofy behavior, I brought some cupcakes (recipe shared below), and Alexis supplied some excellent party props.

 Thanks everyone for joining us to celebrate Alex and make the night so special! And apologies for not getting photos of every party guest. Sometimes I am just too chatty for my own good. :)

I don't bake all that often, but I do break out my mixer and cake pans for special occasions-- like Alex's birthday. Aside from last year (when I was away on business) I have baked a birthday treat for him every year that we've been together. He especially loves cupcakes and typically I'd bake some red velvet cupcakes for him since those are his favorites, but this time I tried something different: Homemade "funfetti" with Nutella buttercream frosting. He loves Funfetti and cupcakes and Nutella so I thought this would be the perfect way to combine a few of his favorite things!

I have included the frosting recipe for you below. For the cupcakes, I followed Eat.Drink.Love's recipe for homemade Funfetti. The cupcakes were dense and light all at the same time. And the rich Nutella frosting is a perfect compliment to them.

A word of caution (from my experience): This recipe was pretty easy and yielded great results, but I did end up baking my cupcakes about 3-4 minutes longer than the recipe suggested.  Also, make sure you use the long rainbow sprinkles and not the little round nonpareils. The nonpareils will bleed and streak your cupcake batter and it will turn a less appealing shade of brownish pink.

Nutella Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) sweet cream (salted) butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • ⅔ cup Nutella, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbs. milk *I prefer something with a higher fat content like whole or 2%
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on low speed until fully combined, using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add Nutella and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Again, use the rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

Add the vanilla extract and 2 Tbs. of milk and beat for about one minute, until the frosting is fully combined and light and fluffy. The additional Tablespoon of milk is optional. I didn't for fluffier cupcake frosting. You can add it here to alter the texture of the frosting, which you may want to do if you're using this to frost cookies.

This made enough frosting for 16 cupcakes plus more.

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