Dessert is beautiful in many, many ways, but in our house, we especially appreciate its ability to bridge the divide between my vegetarianism and his carnivorous diet. Because unless we’re putting lard in our pie crusts or sprinkling bacon on our ice cream (and even my bacon-loving guy isn’t really on board with the bacon-in-desserts thing), dessert is naturally vegetarian. No need for our usual fork-in-the-road recipes, which really isn’t such a bad way to live, but there’s something fun about being able to nosedive simultaneously into, for instance, the same Fluffy Nutella Buttercream frosted cupcakes.
Nutella in buttercream form. Pure heaven. After all, if dessert is beautiful, Nutella is pure divinity. People write poems about it. They dedicate terrific blogs to it. And there’s even a holiday to celebrate it!
This fluffy, light buttercream combines your traditional buttercream ingredients, butter and powdered sugar, with a nice dose of Nutella. A little vanilla adds a perfect note, and a good pinch of kosher salt rounds out the sweetness while also highlighting that delicious chocolate-hazelnut flavor that’s uniquely Nutella. And lastly, it’s got heavy whipping cream, which I love, love, love adding to my buttercream recipes. It gives an otherwise heavy frosting such a wonderfully airy texture.
In this case, I topped basic vanilla cupcakes (from the same vanilla sponge cake recipe I used for my Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes) with the stuff. Pure, simple perfection. It’d also be magical atop banana cupcakes, or maybe even sandwiched between two peanut butter cookies.
Dessert – especially this one – is a beautiful thing indeed.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut spread
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch kosher salt (up to ¼ teaspoon, to taste)
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- In a stand mixer afixed with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and powdered sugar on low until well-blended. Add the Nutella and increase the speed to medium. Beat for two minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and salt and whip for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add the whipping cream and beat for about one minute, until the frosting lightens slightly in both color and texture.