Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

Fudgy, rich and packed with chocolate flavor, these cupcakes are anything but bland. The moist chocolate cupcakes topped off with a decadent Nutella frosting are not only a treat for the eyes but will satisfy any chocolate craving. The hazelnut-chocolate frosting will have you licking the spoon (or eating it from the bowl!). Make these incredibly delicious cupcakes and see what I am talking about!

This recipe is a classic that I keep coming back to. I have been making it for years and haven’t found any other recipe that even comes close to it. The cupcakes are moist and rich without being heavy or greasy. They pair well with a series of different frostings and fillings (more to that later!) and can be made in advance. The best part is that they only require ingredients you probably have at home right now. You may as well call these pantry chocolate cupcakes as they contain ingredients that can be found in a well-stocked pantry.

Ingredients

The base ingredients for our cupcake are flour, sugar, eggs, oil and milk.  It is very important that the chilled ingredients (milk and egg) come to room temperature before you incorporate them into the batter. This ensures that the ingredients mix evenly and you won’t have any surprises once you bake them in the oven (such as deflated cupcakes). If you have no time to spare and need to get the ingredients to room temperature quickly you can nuke the milk in the microwave for a few seconds until it is at room temperature. For the egg, fill a bowl with hot (hot not boiling!) water and add in the egg. Let it sit in the water bath until it has reached room temperature.

To give the cupcakes a rich chocolate flavor, we are adding ¼ cup of cocoa powder. Because cocoa powder likes to clump together, it’s important to sift it into the dry ingredients to avoid a lumpy batter. Another ingredient in our cupcakes is the baking powder, which acts as the leavening agent for our recipe. 1 teaspoon per cup is just the right amount to have perfectly fluffy cupcakes without ending up with mushroom tops. To ensure that the cupcakes rise well, do not overfill the liners. You want to fill the cupcake liners ¾ full, no more, no less.

Baking Time

This recipe is a slow bake recipe, which means that you have to bake these cupcakes longer than your average cupcakes. They need somewhere between 28-30 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. Since oven times do vary, it is important to check on the cupcakes after 28 minutes to avoid over-baking them. If a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, they are done. Be sure to give your cupcakes enough cooling time before attempting to frost them.

Nutella Frosting

A cupcake isn’t complete without a decadent frosting on top. Today we are using everybody’s favorite ingredient and turning that into a delicious whipped frosting. Hello Nutella! (We typically have the vegan and ethically sourced counterpart of this delicious spread in our home, but it tastes just like the original). As Nutella is already quite sweet on its own, we are not making a typical frosting base, which contains a lot of powdered sugar and butter, but are using mascarpone to keep things on the lighter side. Okay, admitted mascarpone isn’t exactly ‘light’ but it creates a way more delicious frosting than using tons of butter and sugar. It is also stable enough to make the frosting pipeable.

Speaking of piping, you can use any piping tip of your choice to decorate these cupcakes. I used a Wilton 1M and a disposable piping bag. I then topped the cupcakes off with roasted hazelnut sprinkles to emphasis the hazelnut taste of the frosting. Feel free to use any decorations of your choice, such as chocolate chips, chocolate ganache, m&ms, roasted chopped nuts,.. The sky’s the limit!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting Recipe

Course Dessert
Cuisine Swiss
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 120 g flour 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 30 g unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 cup
  • 200 g white granulated sugar 1 cup
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 120 ml canola oil 1/2 cup
  • 120 ml whole milk 1/2 cup, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 80 ml hot water 1/3 cup

Frosting

  • 50 g butter softened (1/3 cup)
  • pinch of salt
  • 40 g powdered sugar 1/3 cup
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 120 g Nutella 1/2 cup
  • 375 g mascarpone 1 and ½ cups
  • other: hazelnut sprinkles for decorating

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and preheat the oven to 150C or 350F.

  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Sieve the cocoa into the flour mixture and stir everything with a whisk until well combined.

  3. Whisk the sugar, egg, oil, milk and vanilla extract together until well combined.

  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until no flour lumps remain.

  5. While continuously whisking, add in the hot water.

  6. Pour into your prepared liners and bake for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  7. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

  1. With a hand mixer, beat the butter with a pinch of salt until fluffy, for about 1 minute. Sieve in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and continue beating until smooth.

  2. Add in the Nutella and mascarpone and continue mixing until well combined.

  3. Fill into a piping bag fitted with Wilton 1M tip and pipe onto the cupcakes. Optional: Decorate with roasted hazelnut sprinkles or decorations of choice.

Notes

Store unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day, or in the fridge if storing longer. Store frosted cupcakes in the fridge in an airtight container.

Freeze unfrosted cupcakes for up to 3 months. (Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in a plastic bag to freeze.)

Let’s get started!

Step 1- Cupcake Liners

Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and preheat the oven to 150C or 350F.

Step 2- Dry Ingredients

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Sieve the cocoa into the flour mixture and stir everything with a whisk until well combined.

Step 3- Wet Ingredients

Whisk the sugar, egg, oil, milk and vanilla extract together until well combined.

Step 4- Combine everything

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until no flour lumps remain.

Step 5- Hot Water

While continuously whisking, add in the hot water.

Step 6- Pour into liners

Pour into your prepared liners, filling them ¾ full, and bake for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step 7- Chilling

Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Step 8- Beat the butter


For your frosting, beat the butter with a pinch of salt until fluffy, for about 1 minute. Sieve in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and continue beating until smooth.

Step 9- Add the mascarpone and Nutella

Add in the Nutella and mascarpone and continue mixing until well combined.

Step 10- Piping

Fill into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip and pipe onto the cupcakes. Optional: Decorate with roasted hazelnut sprinkles or decorations of choice.

Variations

As mentioned before, the cupcakes themselves make a tasty base for several different frostings and fillings. Here are some other suggestions.

-Fill your cupcakes with: caramel, chocolate ganache, peanut butter, whipped cream or fruit curd.

-Cover them with a salted caramel buttercream, chocolate ganache, hazelnut buttercream or a fruity type of frosting.

-Decorate them with chocolate chips, Reese’s pieces, chopped toasted nuts, sprinkles, or berries.

If you are a chocoholic, be sure to also try our other decadent chocolate desserts such as these fudgy brownies , this airy dark chocolate espresso mousse or this chunky peanut butter and chocolate oatmeal!

 

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