Towards the top of my "What Makes Christina Giggle with Delight" list is this: Making someone dessert for their birthday.
I LOVE IT. I love it so much that just typing these words out onto the screen is making me smile and get all giddy inside. I kid not.
1. I get to bake. Pretty easy. We knew that one was coming.
2. I, in most cases, get the "Uhhh, how about you surprise me and make whatever you want" card..
To which I SNATCH IT FEVERISHLY, AND RUN AWAY WILD WITH DELIGHT!
3. I get to sit there and watch said birthday person eat their magical birthday dessert (like a creep) and absorb their happiness from eating said dessert. I then take that happiness and use it to stay youthful for all of eternity.
4. I get to eat dessert.
So today children, we're going to learn all about the day I made a cake for a young bible study friend. Well, wrong...I lied...actually we're going to learn all about his choice of dessert. No, wrong again. Let me hone it down even more...
Ahem... So today children, we're going to learn all about the darn frosting that I seriously could have eaten by myself, while huddled in a dark corner of my room...You know, so no one else would try to take any.
This particular friend knew exactly what he wanted for his 22nd birthday: "Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting". CHOCOLATE FROSTING. I mean...could words ever be sweeter to my ears?
One of my favorites... *twiddles fingers together like a mad scientist*
MILK CHOCOLATE FROSTING
Makes about 5 1/2 cups
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, slightly cold (let sit out on counter 5 minutes or so)
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add your room temperature butter and beat with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy- about 2 minutes.
2. Next, slowly and very carefully add your sifted powdered sugar and salt while the mixer is on the lowest speed. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, stop and scrape sides and bottom of bowl. If mixture is crumbly, that's ok- it will incorporate. Turn up speed to medium and mix for 1 minute, then turn speed up to high and beat for 3 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.
3. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl again. Then with the mixer on low speed, add your cooled, melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl again.
4. Lastly, with mixer on medium low add your slightly cold whipping cream until mixture loosens up to the consistency of frosting (see picture below). Depending on your powdered sugar you might need 1/4 cup, might need closer to 1/3 cup. Once cream is added, turn mixer to high and beat another 2-3 minutes.
Now, just add to piping bags and frost cupcakes, or smooth over your favorite cake!
I recommend using the frosting that day. Just keep out at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap which is pressed directly on to the surface, until you're ready to use. Always make sure you're frosting COOLED cupcakes/cakes :)
If you need to make a day or two ahead, just store in air tight container in refrigerator, with plastic wrap pressed straight on the surface. Then take out the day needed and let come to room temperature (a few hours), and give a good rewhip (about 30 seconds) before using!
I chose to use semi-sweet chocolate (because I love it) instead of milk chocolate, so that the chocolate flavor would really punch through. I loved how it came out- perfect balance of chocolate to make the whole frosting completely "milk chocolate" in flavor :)
Recipe adapted from EveryDay with Rachel Ray Magazine
Because I really wanted my guests to know it was a chocolate frosting, I pushed little chunks of milk chocolate pieces into the tops of all the cupcakes.
I also put the cake on top of a bed of milk chocolate pieces...to tie everything together. Oh and seriously, that bunting- THE EASIEST THING EVER TO MAKE!
Just tie twine to two toothpicks, cut triangles out of your matching cupcake liners (see what I did there!) or card stock/construction paper, and double stick tape those triangles right onto your line of twine! I love how the polka dots reflect the sugar pearls on top of the cake! Easiest cake decoration ever.
For printable recipe, click here.