With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, red velvet cupcakes have been the only things occupying my thoughts.
I just had to have them. And the fiery pop of color was purely a holiday perk.
The feat was to update the classic recipe. The cake itself seemed too tried and true to be tampered with, so I opted to play with the frosting.
Plain cream cheese frosting is one of life’s most luscious sweets. I, for one, would gladly eat it by itself with a spoon. But to make the traditional recipe even richer and give it a twist of flavor, I decided to add a bit of chocolate—and not just any chocolate.
The resulting icing tasted like chocolate cheesecake on top of my cupcake. Silky, ultra smooth and cocoa-infused with just a hint of hazelnut.
If you don’t already have a Valentine, this will win the heart of one for you.
Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting
makes about 4 cups, enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup Nutella
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoons milk
Beat the softened cream cheese and Nutella with an electric mixer on high speed until well blended and completely smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating on medium speed between additions. Beat on high until powdered sugar is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add milk, and continue beating until frosting is light and fluffy, about 3 full minutes.
*Note: Because of its silky, melted fudge texture, this frosting is best spread on cakes and cupcakes with a spatula, rather than piped on with a pastry bag. You may have the urge to add more powdered sugar to make it stiffer in order to yield a better texture for piping, but beware that the frosting can quickly become much too sweet. In my first attempt at this recipe, I added a whopping 4 cups of sugar to create a proper pipe-able frosting, only to discover the finished product was cloyingly sweet.