Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream

Tried out a new chocolate cake recipe! It bakes up the most perfectly shaped cupcakes I’ve ever had! Moist, and rich with a deep chocolate flavor, it pairs wonderfully with the chocolate hazelnut buttercream!
chocolate buttermilk cupcakes with a chocolate hazelnut butterceam frosting

Kickball lately has been a killer. Our team started out so strong! Two wins and a tie is a pretty good record…but then we lost three games in a row, and I got clothes lined last game by a player who decided running over the wrong base was a great idea. The way WAKA sets it up there are two first bases. One on the left, and one on the right. I use one, the runner uses the other, but it acts just like one extra large base. Why??? So you can overrun first base!!! Not the first base man!!!
kick ballers on the national mall, my WAKA team's shirt/logo
Being hung out to dry like that has given me a new appreciation for kickball night: it needs cupcakes. If I’m going to come out of this black and blue, there is going to be chocolate cake waiting for me! My teammates all have a little somethin’ somethin’ in the jell-o to take the edge of. I. Need. Cake.

So I schlepped a cupcake carrier through the metro at rush hour to make it to an 8:30 staff meeting. Then after work - thank heaven for interns - I dragged it (and myself) down to the National Mall in what is shaping up to be the hottest June on record. That’s love. Hear me teammates? L-O-V-E. 

Did the pregame sugar rush make a difference? scored one run. Which isn't so bad. We lost 1-2, but it was probably out best played game in a month....except for the everclear chocolate pudding that may have been the cause of a batting order mix up....maybe. Hey, I didn't have any. I went third, that's all I know. 

Hope you enjoy these cupcakes! I know 3 WAKA kickball teams sure did! 

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dutch process cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line enough cupcake tins for 28 cupcakes.

In a large bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

In 2-cup liquid measuring cup, mix buttermilk and vanilla.

In a stand mixer beat sugar and butter until blended on a low speed then increase speed to high for a few minutes until light and creamy. Reduce speed to low; add eggs, 1 at a time while the mixer continues to run.

Add in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately. Beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Pour half the batter into a large pastry bag and pipe into lined cupcake tins.* Repeat with the remaining batter.  Bake 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.

*For a two 9 inch rounds bake 30 to 35 minutes. I prefer to pipe in cupcake batter to reduce air bubbles and have greater control over the amount of batter in each tin. It’s a personal preference, you can certainly spoon in the batter as you like.

Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, more as needed
1 teaspoon vanilla
300 grams chocolate hazelnut spread
milk (as needed)

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using the paddle attachment. Add in the vanilla and chocolate hazelnut spread. If the mixture hardens, add a little milk. If it appears too thin, add a little more powdered sugar. Continue this until it reaches the consistency you’d like.