Wednesday 11 April 2012

Nutella cupcakes

Heartache.  It freakin’ sucks.  Skinny people will tell you that comfort eating your way through it is not the answer.  Luckily for us, I’m not skinny; so if you’re reading this with an achy breaky heart, I say go for it, crack open that packet of chocolate Hobnobs (heck, you can run it off afterwards if you really want)!  Food is the most comforting thing I know, so when someone very close to me recently had her heart broken, I did what is only right and baked.

What does one bake for someone with a broken heart?  Nutella cupcakes of course!  I have both the Primrose Bakery and the Hummingbird Bakery cookbooks at home and each has a recipe for Nutella cupcakes.  The former’s makes a cinnamon sponge with Nutella swirled through the batter before baking.  Appealing, but not enough chocolate if you ask me.  The latter’s uses a chocolate sponge.  Once baked, you then scoop a hole out of the top of each cupcake and place a generous dollop of glossy Nutella inside before covering with a swirl of Nutella buttercream.  Now we’re talking!  The main adaptation I made was placing a toasted hazelnut in the middle of each hole in addition to the Nutella, so that when you get to the middle of the cupcake, there’s a double whammy of chocolate spread and a hazelnut waiting for you.  Yummo!

These cupcakes may not mend a broken heart, but they are so hot-diggetty darn good that when you bite into the soft, moist sponge and hit the hidden Nutella and hazelnut in the middle, I promise you will momentarily forget the douchebag responsible for your chow-down.

One personal piece of post-match analysis: if I were to make these cuppy-cakes again, I’d consider replacing the buttercream with a chocolate mascarpone icing as the buttercream makes them almost tooth-achingly sweet - great for kids, but perhaps a bit too much sugar for the grown up palate.

Makes approx. 10 cupcakes using cases with a 5cm base diameter

For the cake:
100g plain flour, sifted
20g cocoa powder, sifted
1½ tsp baking powder
140g caster sugar
40g butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
1 large egg
220g Nutella (I didn’t really weigh mine, but 220g should cover it)
10 toasted hazelnuts

For the buttercream:
250g icing sugar, sifted
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
25ml whole milk
80g Nutella

Preheat oven to 160C fan and line a cupcake tray with paper cases.

Put the flour, cocoa, baking powder, caster sugar and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (K-beater) and beat on a slow speed until it is of a sandy consistency.

Slowly pour in the milk, beating well until combined, then add the egg and continue to beat.

Spoon into the cases, filling each case up to about two-thirds.  Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Once cooled, use a teaspoon or melon baller to hollow a small section out of the top of each cupcake.  Fill the hollow with a hazelnut and then a generous spoon of Nutella.

For the frosting, beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment.  Once well combined, slowly add the milk.  Once incorporated, turn the mixer to a high speed and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy (this will take 5 to 10 minutes).  Finally, add the Nutella and beat again until combined.  Pipe or spoon onto the cupcakes.

N.B. I crumbled up the hollowed-out cupcake tops and used them to decorate the cupcakes once frosted.


  1. I tried these cupcakes last week and they were delicious and looked just perfect! The buttercream was nice but slightly too sweet for my taste buds. This was probably a good thing otherwise I would have eaten to many!

  2. These are amazing!We will be making them again.
    Thank you

  3. Lovely glad i found this enjoyed them so much

  4. Do you know if the uniced cupcakes can be frozen? Thanks.

    1. Hi Callam, I haven't tried freezing them but I don't see why they couldn't be. I assume when you say un-iced, you mean without the hazelnut and Nutella filling too? I would only add these once you've defrosted the sponges thoroughly and are ready to serve them.

  5. Hi, I've made these in the past and they are delicious. I am making them today to take into work tomorrow and I fancy making them with the chocolate marscapone frosting, do you have a recipe for this? Do you think a nutella marscapone frosting would work? Thanks.

    1. Hi Michelle. Thanks, so glad you like them! I don't have a recipe that I've tried I'm afraid. I've just done a quick google and this one looks like it might work but I wold worry slightly that it could be a bit grainy in texture as the Nutella may not dissolve into the mascarpone fully

      Alternatively, this chocolate mascarpone frosting sounds like another good option. The chocolate is melted do should mix with the mascarpone well

      Good luck. Let me know how you get on! x