My grandma turned 90. Yes, 9-0! I personally find that amazing, and would imagine that you do too. She is just as feisty as I can ever remember, cracking jokes, telling stories, and always sharing her strong opinion. I like to think that we’ve all gained a little something from her, and needless to say it is always a joy to see her. She’s given us all so much love over decades and decades and we were all so eager to celebrate her.
My parents and aunt and uncle rented out a party room at Il Granaio, a sweet and hip Italian restaurant in Mount Vernon, about an hour north of Seattle and I was lucky enough to make the dessert for this family celebration. I promptly began searching around on my favorite foodie blogs, and found the tiramisu cake I’d been searching for on Smitten Kitchen. It was divine, but more on that later.
To complete the dessert spread, my mother and I whipped up some simple chocolate cupcakes with coffee butter cream frosting. To give you an idea of how good they were, my nephews each ate two; I consider that to be a personal accomplishment!
Frosting adapted from here
Chocolate cake mix (we took a shortcut!)
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. finely ground coffee, mixed with 1 tsp. of boiling hot water, stirred
about 3-4 tbsp. heavy cream
Make cupcakes according to recipe on the back of the box. We used a dark chocolate Devil’s Food flavor and they were divine.
For the frosting, beat butter for a few minutes with a stand or hand mixer . Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter.
Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. Add coffee syrup.
If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.
Let cupcakes cool for about 30 minutes, then pipe frosting on top.