These rich and moist chocolate cupcakes are stuffed with Ferrero Rocher chocolates, topped with silky Nutella buttercream, chopped hazelnuts, and more Ferrero Rocher chocolates on top! The cupcakes have a rich chocolate flavor and always turn out super fluffy. The chocolate is baked right into the cupcake which makes stuffing them so much easier.
These black forest cupcakes have a similar chocolate cupcake base but are filled with juicy cherries and topped with whipped cream.
🍫 Why you'll LOVE this recipe
- Ferrero Rocher surprise: There's a hidden chocolate baked right into each cupcake!
- Nutella buttercream: The cupcakes are topped with Nutella and a decadent Nutella buttercream. The filling inside a ferrero rocher is super similar to nutella so the flavour combination is perfect!
- Easy chocolate cupcakes: The cupcake batter is so easy to whip up and you don't need an electric mixer. They turn out so flavorful, moist, and fluffy.
It's the perfect cupcake to make for the holidays or for anyone who loves a classic chocolate hazelnut combination. Like this creamy Nutella cheesecake.
📝 Key ingredients
The cupcakes consist of three components: the Ferrero Rocher stuffed chocolate cupcake, thin layer of Nutella and roasted hazelnuts, and a super creamy Nutella frosting.
You will need about 16 chocolates for stuffing and another 8-16 chocolates for topping the cupcakes, depending on if you will top them with halved or whole Ferrero Rocher. You can skip the Ferrero Rocher on top if it’s too much for you! Or make these equally decadent Nutella cupcakes if you don't have any chocolates on hand.
Read through for all the tips you will need for success!
Full steps and ingredients in recipe card below.
Chocolate cupcake ingredients
- Vegetable oil: Use your favorite neutral tasting oil. Oil gives chocolate cake and muffins a much better texture and flavor. Coconut oil isn’t a good option because it will make a dry cupcake (it solidifies like butter).
- Cocoa powder: Use natural cocoa powder, not Dutch processed. Check the ingredients - the only ingredient should be cocoa powder. This is my favorite natural cocoa powder to use.
- Buttermilk: Store-bought buttermilk will give you the best results. If you can’t find buttermilk you can use kefir instead or make your own buttermilk by combining ½ cup of room temperature milk with ½ tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar, stir, and letting it sit for 5 minutes to get thick.
- All purpose flour: Weigh the flour to get the most accurate results. If you don’t have a scale, measure properly by stirring the bag and spooning gently into a measuring cup. Scrape the excess off the top with the flat edge off a knife without packing it into the cup.
- Ferrero Rocher: They're essentially a crisp wafer ball, enrobed in milk chocolate and hazelnut pieces, and filled with a creamy Nutella-like filling and whole hazelnut. Buy Ferrero Rocher online or at your local grocery. Or use another similar chocolate.
- Hot water (OR COFFEE): Dissolve the cocoa powder in hot water for a super rich chocolate flavor. For even more flavor - dissolve in hot coffee!
Nutella frosting ingredients
- Hazelnuts: If the hazelnuts are raw, they need to be toasted to really let their flavor pop. To toast them, place them on a baking sheet into an oven preheated to 355°F (180°C). Bake for 7-10 minutes, mixing them halfway. They are ready when the skin starts to separate and the flesh is golden. Let cool and rub with kitchen towel to remove skins.
- Nutella: Nutella works the best. I've had success with off-brand chocolate hazelnut spreads like Kirkland too! Make Nutella cheesecake or these Nutella cupcakes on a later date to use up any leftovers.
👩🍳 How to make Ferrero Rocher cupcakes
Chocolate stuffed cupcakes instructions
This recipe makes 16 Ferrero Rocher cupcakes instead of 12 because of the extra batter the chocolates end up displacing. If you only have 1 cupcake tin, just reserve the leftover batter and bake the last 4 cupcakes after the first batch is ready.
Tip: Pouring boiling water on the cocoa powder blooms the cocoa powder (like tea) and gives the cupcakes a deeper, richer chocolate flavor.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C) and line a muffin tin with muffin liners.
In a separate bowl, whisk cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla extract until thickened and lightened in color.
Step 3: Add oil and buttermilk, whisk to combine.
Step 4: Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda into the same bowl. Use a whisk to fold and break up any lumps of flour - don't overmix!
Step 5: Pour cocoa and water mixture into the batter and fold until even.
Step 6: Fill muffin liners halfway with chocolate cupcake batter. Add an unwrapped Ferrero Rocher chocolate into the center of each cupcake and press it down.
Step 7: Top each Ferrero Rocher with a tablespoon of batter to cover. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle (not all the way through!) comes out clean.
Tip: Reserve any leftover batter and make another 4 muffins when the tray is done baking.
Frosting & assembly instructions
Step 1: Place softened butter into a large bowl or stand mixer. Beat the butter with a paddle attachment for 3-5 minutes or until very light and fluffy. The more you beat the lighter the frosting will be.
Step 2: Add powdered sugar (start off with 1 cup). Beat for 2-3 minutes or until it becomes light and fluffy again.
Step 3: Add sea salt, vanilla, nutella, and sifted cocoa powder. Beat until well combined and fluffy. Taste to see if you want to add more powdered sugar.
Step 4: Add the whipping cream gradually, until the frosting loosens up and you get a silky smooth consistency. Don't beat for too long after adding cream or the frosting might curdle.
Step 5: Spread each cooled cupcake with a ½ tablespoon of Nutella. Flip the cupcake upside down and press the Nutella side into the chopped hazelnuts to coat lightly.
Step 6: Frost each cupcake with a tall tower of Nutella buttercream. Sprinkle with leftover chopped hazelnuts. Top with either half or whole Ferrero Rocher.
Tip: The cupcakes are best enjoyed at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
🧁 Make ahead and storage
You can bake the cupcakes the day before (store at room temperature, covered) and frost them the next day.
Another option is to prepare the cupcakes a day ahead of time. Bake and decorate as usual and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Make sure the cupcakes sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving to soften the buttercream again.
These cupcakes are best enjoyed at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
✔️ How to get a creamy, not too sweet buttercream
This Nutella buttercream is stable and not too sweet thanks to some added cocoa powder. The cocoa powder helps to stabilize the buttercream so that it ends up piping beautifully.
Make sure to beat the butter very well before adding the sugar and after adding the sugar. This is what is going to make it ultra silky and remove that "buttery" taste.
I typically start by only adding one cup of powdered sugar and seeing if I need to add more later. Nutella will also sweeten the buttercream so you might not need as much as you think.
Lastly, I prefer to loosen all of my piping buttercream with heavy cream (i.e. whipping cream). That way it makes the Nutella buttercream fluffy without making it sloppy or runny. Be careful to not over-whip after adding the cream or it may become a little bit grainy. I beat it for about 10-20 seconds after adding the cream.
This chocolate praline cake is filled with a milk chocolate ganache that isn't overly sweet as well.
📖 Recipe FAQs
Make sure you properly measure your flour. Weigh the flour to get the most accurate results. If you don’t have a scale, measure properly by stirring the bag and spooning gently into a measuring cup. Scrape the excess off the top with the flat edge off a knife without packing it into the cup.
Do not overmix the batter after adding the flour. You want to stop folding as soon as you stop seeing dry streaks of flour. If you overmix you will develop too much gluten and the cupcakes will be hard and dry after baking.
Coffee really brings out and enhances the rich chocolate flavour. If you are a hardcore chocolate lover like me, this makes all the difference between a regular chocolate flavour and a deep and rich chocolate cupcake. You don’t taste the coffee, it just amplifies the chocolate. You can find decaf instant coffee or use half a cup of freshly brewed coffee in the place of the hot water and instant coffee. If you prefer no coffee just use hot water!
I prefer adding heavy cream into a frosting that will be piped because it loosens the frosting making it ultra fluffy and creamy, without making it too runny. This ensure that the frosting will pipe beautifully!
🍫 Related chocolate and hazelnut recipes
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Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes
- ½ cup hot water or hot coffee (see notes)
- 6 tablespoons natural cocoa powder 43g
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk room temperature (see notes)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour 150g
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 16 Ferrero Rocher chocolates or similar hazelnut stuffed chocolates
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1-2 cups powdered sugar sifted
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup Nutella spread room temperature (or similar spread)
- 5 tablespoon natural cocoa powder sifted
- 3-5 tablespoons heavy cream whipping cream
- ¾ cup toasted hazelnuts coarsely chopped
- 8 tablespoons Nutella spread ½ cup
- 8-16 Ferrero Rocher chocolates or similar hazelnut stuffed chocolates
- Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C). Put liners into a 12 hole regular sized cupcake tin. Set aside.½ cup hot water
- Bloom the cocoa by combining cocoa powder and hot water (or hot coffee) in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool while you make the batter.6 tablespoons natural cocoa powder, ½ cup hot water
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla until it lightens in color.1 large egg, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, ⅛ teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Add buttermilk and oil into the batter, whisk to combine.½ cup buttermilk, ½ cup vegetable oil
- Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda right into the bowl. Fold with a whisk until just combined, using the whisk to break up lumps. Do not overmix.1 ¼ cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Add bloomed cocoa powder into the batter. Use a whisk to fold gently until even.
- Scoop batter into the lined muffin tin half of the way full. Press an unwrapped Ferrero Rocher into each muffin tin. Cover each chocolate with a teaspoon of extra batter so that the tins are slightly over ¾ of the way full. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle (not all the way through) comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes before removing from the muffin tin.16 Ferrero Rocher chocolates
- Place softened butter into a large bowl or stand mixer. Beat the butter with a paddle attachment for 3-5 minutes or until very light and fluffy.1 cup unsalted butter
- Add powdered sugar (start off with 1 cup). Beat for 2-3 minutes or until it becomes light and fluffy again.1-2 cups powdered sugar
- Add sea salt, vanilla, nutella, and sifted cocoa powder. Beat until well combined and fluffy. Taste to see if you want to add more powdered sugar.¼ teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 5 tablespoon natural cocoa powder, ¾ cup Nutella spread
- Add the heavy cream gradually, until the frosting loosens up and you get a silky smooth consistency. Don't beat for too long after adding cream or the frosting might curdle. Place the frosting into a piping bag with a piping tip.3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
- Spread each cooled cupcake with a ½ tablespoon of Nutella. Flip the cupcake upside down and press the Nutella side into the chopped hazelnuts to coat lightly.8 tablespoons Nutella spread, ¾ cup toasted hazelnuts
- Frost each cupcake with a tower of Nutella buttercream. Sprinkle with leftover chopped hazelnuts. Top with either half or whole Ferrero Rocher chocolate.8-16 Ferrero Rocher chocolates