Can you believe that February is here?! Valentine’s Day is upon us… love is in the air and where there is love there is chocolate AND Nutella! 😉
I can’t even begin to guess how many batches of Nutella cupcakes I have made over the last few years. My family and friends really like them, my oldest daughter has to have them at EVERY birthday party, and they’re always a hit at Mother’s Club meetings.
This was actually the very first cupcake recipe that I made that introduced me to the wonderful world of blogs and sparked my interest in baking. I found the recipe on Your Cup of Cake. Lizzy’s beautiful photography drew me in and I was intrigued by the fact that she used box mixes as a base, but she doctored them up by using things like sour cream, buttermilk, or extracts which resulted in enhanced flavors and moist, delicious cupcakes.
Over the years I’ve strayed from the original recipe slightly. The first thing I changed was the frosting after my husband thought the original was too sweet. That’s when I learned to make Swiss meringue buttercream. With the Nutella mixed it I swear it tastes like heaven!
My goal for the recipe this time was to make it completely from scratch. Nothing against box mixes… they serve me well in a pinch. I just love being able to put all the ingredients together myself and have something super tasty in the end that I created from start to finish. One of the challenges that I’ve had, is having a chocolate cake batter that was thick enough to hold the dollop of Nutella without dissolving into the cupcake or sinking to the bottom and creating a sticky crust. No bueno!
I’m very happy with how these turned out! Moist chocolate cake with a Nutella center, topped with a silky Nutella Swiss meringue buttercream, and to make them a bit more “grown-up”, I’ve garnished them with toasted hazelnuts, seasalt, and a Ferrero Rocher. So, indulge in some delicious Nutella Cupcakes With Toasted Hazelnuts and Seasalt and have a lovely Valentine’s Day! 🙂
xox Roxana, The Red Eye Baker
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- ½ c oil
- ¼ c milk
- ½ c brewed coffee
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 c sour cream
- 2 c flour
- 2 c sugar
- ½ c unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ c dark chocolate cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 13oz/368g jar of Nutella (1 tsp per cupcake, reserve remainder for buttercream)
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 ½ c (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
- ½ c (approx) Nutella (I use whatever is left in the jar)
- ¾ c granulated sugar
- ½ - ¾ c powdered sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ½ c chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- Seasalt (to taste)
- Pinch of sugar
- ½ Tbsp butter
- Ferrero Rocher
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pans with liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, milk, coffee, vanilla, and sour cream whisking until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powders, salt, and baking soda. (If you have a large enough sifter, you can sift directly into the wet ingredients and save yourself some dishes.)
- Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix until just combined and no lumps remain. Do not overmix.
- Scoop batter into the prepared pans and gently drop a teaspoon of Nutella into the center of each cupcake. You want it to rest on the top, don’t submerge it in the batter.
- Bake for 14 – 16 minutes. To test for doneness, be sure to check them off center so as to avoid the Nutella centers.
- Cool cupcakes in the pan for about a minute and move them to a covered container. This helps to keep the cupcakes moist or if you prefer, you can move them to a cooling rack.
- In a double boiler, whisk the egg whites, granulated sugar, and salt. Continue whisking over simmering water for about 3 minutes until all the sugar is dissolved and is warm to the touch. You can test it be rubbing it between your fingers, it will be smooth and thin. Be careful not to cook the egg whites because this will result in gritty frosting.
- Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beginning on low speed, gradually increasing to medium-high, whip the egg white mixture until stiff glossy peaks form and it has cooled. This takes approximately 7 minutes.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. Cut up the butter, 1 stick at a time, into the mixture and beat briefly for 30 seconds on medium speed between each addition. When the last stick of butter has been added, scrape down the bowl and mix on medium high speed. When you add the butter the meringue deflates, but don’t panic. Keep mixing and in about 2 minutes the mixture comes together and looks like silken goodness.
- Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing.
- Add the vanilla and Nutella and beat until it is completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pipe the buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes using your favorite tip. ( I used Wilton 2C)
- For the garnish, toast the hazelnuts in the oven until they are fragrant. While they are still hot put a pat of butter in the pan, a pinch of sugar, and some sea salt. Transfer to a bowl to cool. This can all be done to taste depending on your preference.
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