A couple weeks ago my mom came into town. She was going to watch Hal while I got so caught up on work I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Instead I spent most of the week hanging out with her and making Nutella Lattes. I also spent a good amount of time just watching her with Hal. Not the controlling over-the-shoulder kind of watching. More so the how-did-you-do-that kind of watching.
I thought motherhood would be this completely natural, unteachable thing. So much so that even before Hallie arrived, Kev had to convince me to go to a childbirth class, if not for my sake then his. I told him women have been doing this for thousands of years. There’s no need to take a class. Eventually I signed up for the class. He was right, but don’t tell him I said that. I also went to a nursing class the night I went into labor (unknowingly) after a friend highly encouraged me to do so. As with everything, I planned on winging that too.
People told me raising a child was hard. I didn’t believe them. They told me there’d be times you’d have to set the baby down and walk out of the room to gather your composure. I didn’t believe them. Why at 28 years old do I still have to learn everything the hard way? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the same reason I absolutely cannot follow a recipe verbatim.
My way of making meaning out of situations is a bit ostrich-like—Miss Independent with her head stuck in the ground. After a couple months of living this way (as a mom), I was blurry-eyed and beside myself. As soon as my mom walked in the door, my demeanor quickly changed into that of a sponge. I watched her rock Hal to sleep in just a couple minutes compared to my many (many, many, many) minutes. Thus began the how-did-you-do-that kind of watching.
I wasn’t all wrong—there are pieces to becoming a mother that are entirely natural. I love her more than anything imaginable. No one had to teach me that. But for me, so much more was/is learned. If you’re anything like me, hear me. We need each other and each other’s experiences. No matter how different we are, we’re better together than alone.
Mom—I made this cake to commemorate all the shared Nutella Lattes and advice. Thank you. More than you’ll ever know.
Add this buttercream to your favorite chocolate cake or cupcakes; the darker the better in my opinion. I like this buttercream on the salty side, but I’ll leave the level of saltiness up to you. Taste as you make never hurt anyone.
Thanks for posting this recipe. I am looking for nutella flavored butter cream icing good for piping on a cake is this firm enough in your opinion for piping decorations on a cake like a Wilton pan cake?
When kept chilled, this buttercream should pipe well. However, at room temperature, I’m not sure it will hold as well as you may like.
You hooked me with the nutella buttercream but I was incredibly touched by the tone of your post – even though I’m so NOT a baby person I recognised a lot of myself in what you said. I think it’s important to remember that whilst women have been doing the childbearing thing for thousands of years we haven’t been doing it in a bubble. We, and all other mammals for that matter, learn how to mother by watching our own mothers, or aunts, or siblings raise countless generations (can you tell I’m an Anthropology grad?) Classes like the ones you mentioned exist now because most of us don’t have that same close-knit existence any more. But it sounds like you’re doing just great and hooray for mum to the rescue! 🙂
And just think, one day Hal might look at you with the same blurry but wide-eyed wonder and thank her stars you’re there shedding the same love on her and her new babe. Enjoy mama!
It’s hard to imagine time will ever get there, but should it, I would be so honored. Can’t imagine the feeling! Thanks Heidi! xoxo
this is such a beautiful cake… and a lovely post! having a kid, becoming a mother, birth, labour – it’s all such unknown territory! the steepest craziest learning curve ever. i had that attitude a bit too – millions of women have given birth, i know i can do it!! thankfully i had my two older sisters with young children helping me along, and my mom too . i love reading about how others approach motherhood – it seems to be a continual learning process, probably forever!! xo
Forever and ever amen! Thanks for the cake love. Honored as you are the queen of cakes! I’ve been looking to you for inspiration for years. Years!
I can imagine that the salt in this goes extremely well with the slight caramelly flavour of the nutella. I just made my first buttercream last week and was a bit pathetically impressed with myself, so I’m all excited about getting more recipes on board. Thanks for the motherhood tips, too. You never know when they might come in handy! 😉
Gosh, I made soooo many bad butter creams when I first started making them. My husband even banned me from making them for awhile. How I messed up butter and sugar so bad is beyond me. Feeling impressed it totally welcomed!
This is definitely the kind of lesson I’m going to need to learn pre-childbirth. And also, how to make this frosting so that I can bribe everyone I know with it. That will also be mighty useful, methinks.
Haha! Bribery = genius!
Man this sounds so yummy!
As I’m writing this, I’m simultaneously dipping pretzels in Nutella. Shhh…don’t tell my kids! This buttercream frosting looks divine. I will most definitely be attempting this. The tribute to your mom was just lovely and written so eloquently. I don’t know what I’d do without my mom!
Moms are indispensable. I’d be lost without her. And your secret is safe with me 🙂 We haven’t made it to the hide stuff from the baby phase yet. It’s only a matter of time. Ay yi yi!
Love this post Melissa + your honesty about what it’s really like to be a mom. We could all use a bit more of that. It’s a beautiful tribute to your mom too (and salted nutella buttercream? I’m in!).
Thanks Kathryn! I appreciate your encouragement. It’s such a bittersweet time. The bitter can be so bitter but the sweet is better than anything I’ve ever tasted. Such a strange dichotomy, but one I wouldn’t trade for the world. xox
That was very sweet Melissa. You know I loved every minute being there and sharing those Nutella lattes. As a mother it is a prescious thing to see your child enter act with their own child and I was watching and learning from you and Kevin as well. You guys are doing a great job with sweet Hallie!. Next time I want some of that cake to go with my latte. Love you all!!
Thanks mama! For giving up your time and loving on all of us—me, Kev, and Hal. We love you mucho! This cake will be waiting for you next time you visit!
This is the sweetest! You and I are very much alike. 🙂 I call my mom often to ask, “Am I being a good mom?” She reassures me, but I think none of us (not even our moms!) knew how to do everything the right way. There are hard times and there are easier times, and we all have to stumble through them. This cake is a great reminder that you’ve got this, girl. x
Thanks for the Kasey! And thanks for the emails before and after Hal came. They meant more to me than you’ll know. I only wish we lived closer so we could have looooong talks about motherhood. xoxo
i love this. two days ago: set baby no. 2 down, walked out of room for a breather [read: cry in the bathroom out of exhaustion and frustration]. i learned the hard way with my first that that is really okay. it’s necessary (as is nutella). but, what i also learned with no. 1 – as i watch my best friends mother with newborns – is that we have gotten through it together. so many of the best tricks up my sleeve have been learned from my mom or my friends. shocking that those tricks didn’t magically come gifted to me when i gave birth 😉
Talking with other moms is such a life saver. I wanted to figure it all out by myself at first. What’s my deal?! Let’s hope Hallie doesn’t inherit my stubbornness. I’ve really appreciated your emails. Thanks for encouraging me from afar!
This is so sweet, Melissa! I see people enjoying nutella lattes on Instagram, but have yet to come across one on a menu. Michigan needs to catch up. I bet this buttercream is heavenly!
Thanks Nicole! I’ve actually yet to see one on a menu. I hope I do one of these days. I want to see how the real baristas make them.
Wonderful post. Please do share your recipe for Nutella Lattes!
Thanks Mary Ann! And sorry for the comment delay. Hopefully you’ve seen the latte recipe by now.
Love this post! But, like everyone else here today … we’re all wondering: where is this nutella latte recipe?!?! I was dreaming of one a few weeks ago but haven’t gotten around to trying it out, so I’d love to hear how you make them.
I’m so lame at responding in a timely manner. Thankfully I get recipes up faster than I respond. Let’s be honest Nutella Latte recipes trumps my replies 🙂
That’s a very sweet post! That Nutella Buttercream is calling me.
LOVE this post and I’m sure whenever the time comes for me, I will be able to relate. Mom’s rock, and I’m sure Hal already thinks so.
That is one of the best things—no matter how lame of a parent I feel like, Hal still loves me. It’s a gift. Though, I know it wont always be that way…
Definitely digging this buttercream in a big, big, way! Yum!
What a beautiful tribute to your mom. You, too, are a wonderful mom and
Hallie is so blessed to have you!
Thank you, thank you. Can’t wait to see you in a few short weeks!
So beautiful and SO true. And that cake- oh my!!!!
Thanks Kristen! Miss you ole friend!
Such a sweet post to your Mom! I know there are a lot of Nutella haters out there, but I love it and always will. A spoonful of it does the trick when I need my chocolate fix too!
Thanks Amanda! And amen. I have hazelnuts in my pantry ready to be turned into homemade Nutella. We’ll see if that ever happens.
Love everything about this! I know you’re doing an amazing job as a mother!
Thanks Al! Miss you mucho!
Such a lovely tribute to your mom! Thanks, also, for your honesty…. So many people online never disclose the challenges life gives, and it’s refreshing to see someone write about how not everything is perfect (I know my life isn’t anywhere near perfect).
And now I want not only a piece of chocolate cake (with salted nutella buttercream), but also a nutella latte 😉
Thanks Laura! I always hesitate to press publish. I hate being a downer. But I also feel like a fraud editing out the bad and not so pretty stuff. I appreciate the encouragement!
This is a beautiful post, and that cake looks amazing. May I ask how you make Nutella lattes? I’ve never heard of such a thing, but I need it in my life.
I’m lame at responding to comments in a timely manner! I’m even worse with email. But posting Nutella Latte recipes, I can do 🙂