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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Layer It On

Apparently in 2012, cupcakes are out and layer cakes are in.  I read this little bit of information in The New York Times so it must be true.

I'm good with this bit of news even through I love cupcakes.  They're cute and they're just the right size.  That's except for the ones from Crumbs Bakery.  Crumbs' cupcakes are huge and look more like a cake for four than a single serving little treat.  But I digress.  Cupcakes are good but layer cake is way better.

I wish I could say that I was raised on layer cake.  But the truth is that I was raised on "tunnel of fudge" bundt cake.  Come on.  You must remember the tunnel of fudge cake, the middle class precursor to the fancy schmancy hot lava cake.

The truth is that a layer cake is a commitment.  It's big.  It's splashy.  And it usually serves a lot of people.  My mother wasn't into big.  Or splashy.  Or serving a lot of people except on the Jewish holidays and then we just had macaroons.  Layer cake makes a statement.

I'm very excited that this is the year of the layer cake and I plan to makes lots of them.  I also plan to start exercising so I can eat lot of them.  I have my cookbooks out and I'm reading up.  I'm selecting recipes and I'm planning my first my first big, beautiful, swirly cake.  A layer cake is not something you just jump into.  It requires planning and anticipation.

In the meantime, I thought I would close out the cupcake era with one last hurrah.  This Nutella cupcake recipe is for Kate, who believes that all things Nutella are perfect.  Wait until I make her a Nutella layer cake.  Then she'll know just how perfect Nutella can be.

Recipe:  Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes
(All Recipes)
Makes 15-16 cupcakes

Ingredients: (Cupcakes)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost with Nutella frosting (recipe below).

Recipe: Nutella Buttercream
(Adapted from 52 Kitchen Adventures)


1/2 C butter, room temperature
1 C Nutella
1 C powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 T milk


Beat butter until smooth. Add Nutella and beat together until thoroughly combined. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of milk. Add additional milk or powdered sugar as needed to reach desired consistency.

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