Frosted Nutella cupcake
Cupcakes

Nutella Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting

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These chocolate cupcakes are moist and rich, filled with nutella, and topped with the silkiest nutella buttercream frosting. The cupcakes are an easy one bowl recipe – no electric mixer needed. They’re the perfect cupcakes for a chocolate/nutella lover.

The nutella buttercream frosting isn’t too sweet thanks to a touch of cocoa powder! It really helps to balance the sweetness while keeping the frosting perfectly pipeable and stable. 

Why you’ll LOVE this recipe:

  • Nutella: these cupcakes are packed with nutella flavour! There’s nutella in the buttercream frosting and a nutella filling. 
  • Easy to make: the cupcake batter is a one bowl easy recipe that doesn’t need an electric mixer! The frosting needs an electric mixer but it’s also very easy to make
  • Moist, rich, & fluffy: They’re going to satisfy all your chocolate cravings!
Chocolate cupcake filled with nutella

How to get the richest chocolate cupcakes

To really deepen that chocolate flavour, I added coffee. It adds so much more depth of flavour! It doesn’t taste like coffee at all. You can also add decaffeinated coffee or just skip it altogether and use hot water.

Hot water (or hot coffee) is really important in getting a rich and deep chocolate flavour. The hot water allows the cocoa powder to bloom, giving you a deeper and more pronounced chocolate flavour. 

Why this nutella buttercream frosting is the best

I’ve spent a long time developing this nutella buttercream and it really is amazing! It’s nutty, chocolatey, silky smooth, and most importantly not overly sweet.

To balance the sweetness and add stability without needing to add too much powdered sugar, I added a bit of cocoa powder into the buttercream. It really helps tone down the sweetness!

The key to getting the frosting silky smooth is to beat the butter for a long time. It needs to become very light, fluffy, and velvety. If you’re not sure if you beat it for long enough, beat it some more! 

Once you add the cream at the very end, only beat it for 10-20 seconds or it may curdle because of the cream.

Frosted cupcakes with chocolate and hazelnut

FAQ

How do I know how much sugar to add to frosting?

Start off with 1 cup and see if you need to add more. The nutella adds lots of sweetness and the cocoa powder helps stabilize it so you might not need as much as a regular American buttercream?

Can I add milk instead of cream to buttercream?

I recommend adding cream because I prefer the texture. It keeps the frosting thick, pipeable, and makes it fluffy! You can use milk instead just keep in mind that you will need less. Add it in 1 teaspoon at a time until you get your preferred consistency. It should hold its shape well when piped!

How do I fix runny buttercream?

Pop the buttercream in the fridge for 10-20 minutes. After chilling, beat it again and add more powdered sugar if needed to thicken it even more!

Can I make nutella buttercream ahead of time?

You can make the buttercream a day or two ahead of decorating the cupcakes! It can keep for a few hours at room temperature. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container and let it come to room temperature before beating it again and frosting the cupcakes. It will need to be beaten after being stored to get it light and fluffy again.

How to toast hazelnuts

If the hazelnuts are raw, they need to be toasted to really let their flavour pop. To toast them, place them on a baking sheet into an oven preheated to 350°F (180°C). Bake for 7-10 minutes, mixing them halfway. They are ready when the skin starts to separate and they are a very light golden colour underneath. Let them cool and wrap the hazelnuts in a kitchen towel. Rub the skins off and use

How do I get perfectly light and fluffy cupcakes?

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.

Nutella cupcakes with chocolate nutella buttercream

Key ingredients

Nutella: Make sure nutella is at room temperature so that the cupcakes are easier to fill and for it to incorporate much easier into the frosting. 

Instant coffee: Just a touch of instant coffee is used inside the cupcakes to really amplify that rich chocolate flavour. If you don’t have instant coffee, you can replace the hot water with hot brewed coffee. Or you can leave out the instant coffee!

Large egg: You only need 1 egg to bring the batter together and help bind it.

Buttermilk: this will give the cupcakes lots of moisture and acidity to help make it super fluffy. 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.

Vegetable oil: Vegetable oil will give you the softest chocolate cupcakes. I like to use canola or grapeseed oil. Any neutral tasting oil will do! I have tried to use butter but the chocolate cupcakes would always become too dry. Coconut oil isn’t a good option because it will also be very dry (it solidifies like butter). Butter works better in vanilla cupcakes though!

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.

Natural cocoa powder: Natural cocoa powder will give the nutella cupcakes a rich chocolate flavour. I don’t recommend using dutch processed cocoa powder because it isn’t acidic and will give you dry and sunken cupcakes. Natural cocoa powder reacts with the baking soda in this recipe to give you a super fluffy cupcake. I also added a bit of cocoa powder into the buttercream to make it less sweet and more rich. 

Step by step

Step 1 – Wet ingredients. Add instant coffee into the hot water and mix until dissolved. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, sugars, salt, and vanilla until it lightens in colour. Add buttermilk and oil, whisk to combine.

Step 2 – Dry ingredients. Sift cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda right into the bowl. Fold with a whisk until just combined. Add dissolved instant coffee (or just water) into the batter and fold. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold until just combined. 

Step 3 – Bake. Scoop batter into the lined muffin tins, ¾ of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.

Step 4 – Beat butter for frosting. 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. Add powdered sugar (start off with 1 cup). Beat for 2-3 minutes or until it becomes light and fluffy again.

Step 5 – Finish off frosting. 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. 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. Place the nutella buttercream into a piping bag with a star piping tip or the end snipped off. I used a Wilton 1M tip. 

Step 6 – Fill cupcakes. Cut the centers out of the cupcakes with a small knife or apple corer. Do not cut all the way to the bottom of the cupcakes. Remove middles and fill with Nutella in a piping bag (or sandwich bag with the end snipped off). Save the cupcake centers as a snack or press them on top of the nutella. 

Step 7 – Frost cupcakes. To make them look like the photos, start piping from the center of the cupcake to the edges, and then continue to pipe another layer along the edge, leaving the center open. Sprinkle the nutella cupcakes with chopped toasted hazelnuts and enjoy! 

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Happy baking!

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Frosted Nutella cupcake

Nutella Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting

Mary
These chocolate cupcakes are moist and rich, filled with nutella, and topped with the silkiest nutella buttercream frosting. The cupcakes are an easy one bowl recipe – no electric mixer needed. They're the perfect cupcakes for a chocolate/nutella lover.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Baking, cupcakes, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
  

Cupcakes

  • ½ cup hot water
  • ½ teaspoon instant coffee
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk room temperature see notes for alternatives
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all purpose flour 120g
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder 43g
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

Nutella Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar) sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup nutella
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder sifted
  • 3-5 tablespoons heavy cream whipping cream

Assembly

  • ½ cup nutella
  • ½ cup hazelnuts toasted, roughly chopped

Instructions
 

Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F). Put liners into a 12 hole regular sized cupcake tin. Add instant coffee into the hot water and mix until dissolved. Set aside.
    ½ cup hot water, ½ teaspoon instant coffee
  • In a large bowl, whisk together egg, sugars, salt, and vanilla until it lightens in colour. Add buttermilk and oil, whisk to combine.
    ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, ⅛ teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ½ cup buttermilk room temperature, ½ cup vegetable oil, 1 large egg
  • Sift cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda right into the bowl. Fold with a whisk until just combined. Add dissolved instant coffee into the batter and fold. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold until just combined.
    6 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Scoop batter into the lined muffin tins, ¾ of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.

Nutella Frosting

  • 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.
    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. 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.
    1-2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 5 tablespoons cocoa powder, ¾ cup nutella
  • Add the whipping cream gradually, until the frosting loosens up and you get a silky smooth consistency. Do beat for too long after adding cream or the frosting might curdle.
    3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Place the nutella buttercream into a piping bag with a star piping tip or the end snipped off. I used a Wilton 1M tip.

Assembly

  • Cut the centers out of the cupcakes with a small knife or apple corer. Do not cut all the way to the bottom of the cupcakes. Remove middles and fill with Nutella in a piping bag (or sandwich bag with the end snipped off). Save the cupcake centers as a snack or press them on top of the nutella.
    ½ cup nutella
  • Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. To make them look like mine, start piping from the center of the cupcake to the edges, and then continue to pipe another layer along the edge, leaving the center open. Sprinkle the cupcakes with chopped toasted hazelnuts and enjoy!
    ½ cup hazelnuts

Notes

The frosted cupcakes can be left at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Let them come to room temperature before enjoying so that the frosting becomes soft again.
Keyword chocolate cupcakes, Nutella Buttercream, nutella cupcakes

2 Comments

  • Chelsey

    5 stars
    These were so amazing! The cupcakes are fluffy, the frosting is perfect for piping, with enough to generously frost all twelve cupcakes. Everyone loved these and said they belonged in a bakery.

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