Nutella Cupcakes

What would make better cupcakes than that creamy dreamy hazelnut chocolate spread, Nutella?  I thought there was no way to go wrong with such a luscious ingredient, so I gave it a shot.  But I’m going to be totally honest about these in the interest of full disclosure:  I didn’t like them.  I’m not a fan of buttercream frostings and this one was SO sweet.  The cake underneath was good, if a little dry because I over-baked them, and the Nutella surprise was neat.  If I made them again, I would not use this frosting -  there have got to be better Nutella frostings out there… or maybe I’ll just smear some plain Nutella on top.

nutella white cake with nutella buttercream frosting

The recipe starts with your basic white cake – you can use your favorite recipe or a boxed cake mix.

Pouring white cake batter into cupcake cups

Try and fill these about 2/3rd of the way up… don’t be sloppy like I was because adding the nutella will really change the size.

a dollop of nutella on white cupcake batter

Spoon on a dollop of Nutella.  This is, of course, easier said than done.  Do the best you can to make them even and put them in the center, but know that they won’t be ruined if you fail (like I did).

Swirl the Nutella into the cake batter – this, according to the recipe I was reading, keeps it from sinking like a stone when you bake it.  Perhaps I didn’t swirl hard enough, but my nutella filling ended up on the bottom anyway.

white cake with nutella filling

I put these in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.  That was probably about 3 mins too long – I recommend checking them at 17.  Still, they looked pretty, even sans frosting.

nutella, powdered sugar, butter, cream, salt, vanilla

The Nutella buttercream frosting called for 4 cups of powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons of butter, 1.5 cups Nutella, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, and a pinch of salt.  All you could taste was the powdered sugar.  Terrible!

blending nutella buttercream frosting

After my initial blend, I added the rest of a jar of Nutella (about another half cup), 2 more table spoons of butter, and 2 more tablespoons of heavy cream.  That made it just a tiny bit better.  I was out of Nutella, though, so I gave up on doctoring it.  Some people like ultrasweet frosting, right?

piping nutella buttercream on nutella filled white cake

I used a star tip to pipe the frosting on – the swirls ended up looking like soft serve ice cream, so I decided they needed some chocolate sprinkles.  They looked delicious!

cross section of a nutella cupcake

Check out that gooey nutella center… it definitely looked edible.  The frosting, I’m sad to say, ruined the very tasty cake for me.  The good news:  co-workers finished ‘em off for me, so they couldn’t have been that bad.  Those who are generally fans of buttercreams enjoyed it, though, so maybe I’m just prejudiced.

(photography credit goes to Jeff Pritchard – see more of these cupcakes on our Flickr stream, or check out more of Jeff’s photography on his stream)

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