August 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Dada!

I pulled it off. Snuck cupcakes up to Mr. Geek's workplace and surprised him for his birthday.
The cupcakes were very simple to make, but gathering ingredients and then hiding the evidence was the challenge. I even had to walk up to our local grocery store with SoJo to buy some confectioner's sugar for the icing (we only have 1 car). Thankfully it wasn't that hot outside yet.

We tend not to celebrate our birthdays much anymore, save for maybe a dinner out. It doesn't help that this month our taxes and homeowners' insurance are due. Plus the expenses on the credit card from my Chicago trip.

I'm terrible about keeping secrets, but I did pretty good today. I sneakily baked cupcakes this morning (recipe to follow), did the dishes and de-smelled the place before lunch when Mr. Geek came home to eat, so that he was none the wiser to the birthday trickery.
This was SoJo's first taste of raw cupcake batter. Does that make me a bad mother? Or just a sloppy cook?
SoJo working his emo makeup
So here's the recipe, which is modified from a chocolate cupcake one I found online. I've changed a simple choco-cupcake to a fancy Hazlenut Mocha Latte Cupcake. La dee da!
Katydid's Hazlenut Mocha Latte Cupcakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Hazlenut Frosting
  • 1/2 cup Nutella chocolate/hazlenut spread
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
Optional Garnish: chocolate covered espresso beans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the cake, sift and stir the dry ingredients in one bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg, sugar, oil and milk together (preferably with an electric mixer). Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Ladel into cupcake tins that have been sprayed with cooking oil or lined with wrappers in them. Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on the size. I made a dozen large cupcakes, but this recipe would make 2 dozen regular-sized ones. Cupcakes are done when a skewer inserted into the middle of one comes out clean.

For the frosting, use a electric hand mixer to beat the butter, Nutella, sugar and milk together. You may need more or less milk depending on the consistency. I also had frosting left over, so you might want to cut back on the butter a bit, unless you like lots of frosting.

Spread frosting over the cooled cupcakes, either with a knife or using a pastry bag. Garnish with chocolate covered espresso beans. And enjoy with even more caffeine when paired with a nice hot cup of coffee.


  1. nice work! happy birthday, mr geek!!!

  2. they look gorgeous! happy birthday to your hub! have a great weekend!

  3. It's so cool that Mr. Geek gets to come home most days for lunch. My father used to do that and it was the highlight of my day. I'm sure little SoJo looks forward to that.

    What a nice surprise for Mr. Geek. Dont'cha just love birthdays? Why, it would be anti-social not to join in the eating of the cake!

  4. Great wife, great mother and a great cook! Now, that is one sweet birthday present.

  5. They turned out good. I thought they were black M&Ms on top. Happy birthday to dh!

  6. Um where are the napkins????????? I have drooool!!

  7. MMMMM... yummy, yummy... well done on your deception!! Happy birthday Mr. Geek. Glad you enjoyed your batter Sojo, it's so much fun licking the spoon!! You're a GOOD mommy.

  8. Those sound divine! And you did a beautiful job- my cupcakes always look like a preschooler made them.


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