I did something new for my birthday this year and took a trip with my closest friends from nursing school. Originally I wanted to take a week long trip to some sort of sunny destination but in order to be able to accommodate everyone's schedules and budgets I settled for a weekend trip to Whistler instead.
Rather than bake a cake and worry about transporting it to Whistler, I decided to make two different kinds of cupcakes and was able to get some plastic carriers from the local store. One of the recipes I had previously seen a few weeks ago and couldn't get out of my head due to its fun name: "Nutella Bomb Cupcakes".
At first I considered mixing it with another recipe that featured a Nutella filling, to really make it full of Nutella, however once I baked the cupcakes I saw that they were quite soft and moist and I wasn't too sure they could stand up to a filling. Nevertheless they were delicious and personally my favorite between the two types I baked. This cupcake experience confirmed that I prefer a Swiss meringue buttercream instead of regular American buttercream as I often find the latter too sweet while the Swiss meringue buttercream is just right, despite being more tedious to make.
Nutella Bomb Cupcakes
Makes about 12-13 cupcakes (The recipe actually is for 13 but I slightly overfilled my 12 and it turned out fine).
For the cupcakes:
- 1 cup flour
- 1¼ cups sugar
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¾ cups room temperature water
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the oil and sour cream and mix until blended.
- Add the water in ¼ cup at a time and mix until combined.
- Mix in the vinegar and vanilla to blend.
- Add the egg and mix until combined.
- Divide the batter equally in a well-greased or cupcake-lined tray.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out almost clean.
- Cool for five minutes in the pan before removing and allowing to finish cooling on wire racks.
Note: I made half of the original recipe because personally I don't like too much frosting and the recipe claimed to make more than enough. I actually did not have enough to frost the last cupcake but I was okay with that. The recipe below is the original amounts.
- 4 large egg whites
- 4 oz (113 grams) sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1½ cups (16 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 2" chunks
- ½ cup Nutella
- Combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a large heat-proof bowl.
- Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (making sure it does not actually touch the water).
- Heat the egg white mixture until it reaches 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit, whisking frequently so as not to get scrambled eggs.
- Remove the bowl from the heat, and whip the egg whites on medium-high until they become fluffy and double in volume. The bowl should be cool to the touch (this will usually take several minutes).
- Turn the mixer down to medium low, and add the butter in one chunk at a time, until it has all been incorporated. If the mixture looks curdled at this point, this is normal. Just keep whipping for a few more minutes until it comes together. If the mixture looks soupy, you can add a few cubes of chilled butter, or stick the whole bowl in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes and then continue beating.
- Once the buttercream has become smooth, add the Nutella and beat until incorporated.
- Transfer the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.