Today is my birthday. 41 years old. If you had told my younger self that at 41 I would have braces and a 1-year-old, I would have said ‘you are crazy’. This birthday is starting off much more relaxing and stress-free compared to last year. When I turned the big 40, I had a 2-month-old, my boobs were saggy, my stomach was jiggly, my hormones and emotions were out of whack. To celebrate, I had a very lovely evening with Brent at one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle, but I spent the days leading up to and days after, sobbing into my pillow thinking how can I be 40 already. It feels like just yesterday I was skipping school with friends and getting into trouble. Everything seemed so overwhelming.
This year I am heading into the day with a better headspace. Emmet has now weaned, so I no longer feel weighed down by the pressure of breastfeeding every day. Both him and Sebastian are at the same school, so I am now able to work again. I’ve gained a bit more freedom, which has allowed me to miss them more and cherish our time together. I feel a sense of calm that I have been longing for since the day Emmett arrived. I don’t think I was physically and emotionally prepared to meet the demands of caring for a 2-year-old and a newborn. But who is? Here I am. I survived the first year with only a few battle scars.
Today I am going to do some gardening, shower in peace or maybe even have a bath! Brent is coming home early from work and we are going downtown to drink and eat and shop. The kids are in school, so that means we can go to all the fancy places that we wouldn’t dare take the kids. I’ve already eaten a cupcake for breakfast, so clearly the day is off to a good start.
Initially, these cupcakes were destined to be chocolate glazed doughnuts, but at the last second, I decided to make them into cupcakes, which was a good decision. They are chocolatey, fudgy, and moist. The frosting is light and airy and chocolatey. I love that in every bite of cupcake you also get a bit of chocolate chip. It’s chocolate, on chocolate, on chocolate. A perfect ratio!
Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes
(makes 16 cupcakes)
prep time - 30 minutes
baking time - 20 minutes
1 3/4 cups (206g) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (57g) of cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup (266g) of brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
3/4 cup of buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 tbsp buttermilk
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Line a muffin pan with 16 muffin cups.
In a large bowl sift the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chips and stir.
In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients until combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a spatula until just combined.
Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
Place the pan into the oven and bake 18 - 20 minutes. The cupcakes are done when they no longer appear jiggly on the top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove the cupcake pan from the oven. Let the cupcakes cool slightly. When you are able to touch them, transfer them to a wire rack to let completely cool.
While the cupcakes are cooling prepare the frosting.
With a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, roughly 2 minutes.
Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, buttermilk, salt, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 1 minute.
Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or another tbsp of buttermilk if the frosting is too thick.
Can be stored in a covered container on the counter for 4 days.