Nana’s Birthday Cupcakes

My Nana just turned 90 years old on October 29th! Congrats, Nana! 🙂

Nana w/ the Jensen girls in '08

Since dessert was already planned at Nana’s lunch, I decided to drop off some cupcakes to my Nana on Sunday before Joe and I made the drive back up to Berzerkeley. I made her a super-soft yellow cake with whipped chocolate frosting.

Directions for the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F and line your cupcake trays with your favorite paper liner. (This recipe also makes an excellent cake of any size, so do whatever you’d like!) In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, only 1/4 C of milk, and vanilla.  In a large bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients. Add the butter and the remaining milk. With an electric mixer, mix on low until all of the dry ingredients appear moist, then increase the speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg mixture in 3 additions, beating in between each addition. Now you’re ready to pour your batter! Fill the cupcake papers about 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until you can poke a cupcake with a cake tester (ie toothpick) and it comes out clean.  (If you’re using this recipe for a double-layer 9″ cake, increase the making time to 30-35 minutes.) Finally, cool these puppies to RT before frosting (otherwise the awesome chocolate based frosting will actually melt!)

Directions for the frosting: While the cupcakes are baking, melt the chocolate (it’s easier & faster if it’s chopped into smaller pieces) in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, like me, use a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water to slowly melt the chocolate. After it has melted…COOL the chocolate!! If you start the next step while it is warm, the frosting will not aerate. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and the cooled but still melted chocolate, and beat until you have a lovely, fluffy chocolate frosting!

This cake has the perfect texture and almost melt in your mouth. My only hint to you is if you have to travel with them, put them in a cool place out of the sunlight…the frosting melts very easily! And if you want to store them in the fridge, take them out about an hour before eating to make sure the frosting thaws a bit.

And I was impressed…my Nana ate her entire cupcake! That’s like four times the total number of calories she eats in one day! But she said she loved it, and Joe definitely liked them (his cupcake disappeared in about 30 seconds).

And my favorite part of our visit to Nana’s:

“It’s so great to hug a famous scientist!” – Nana

…Not going to correct her on that one 🙂



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