These Nutella cupcakes are a chocolate lover's dream. Deliciously flavored, perfectly moist, and filled with creamy Nutella spread, this chocolate hazelnut cupcakes recipe is an indulgent dessert fit for any occasion.
💡 What is the secret to a moist cupcake?
If you're wondering how to make Nutella cupcakes, you must know it all starts with a carefully executed batter. It's important to pay careful attention to several factors to keep from ending up with a dry cupcake.
- Stick to the ingredients - Unless you are an expert baker, resist the urge to make your own substitutions.
- Don't overbeat your cake batter - Overmixing is one of the biggest causes of poorly textured cupcakes.
- Pay attention to temperature - Not only should you always start with room temperature ingredients, but you should also make sure you're baking at an accurate oven temperature. And never ever over bake the cupcakes as that is one of the most common reasons for dry texture.
- Consider a soaking syrup - Brushing your cupcakes with simple syrup is an effective method for keeping them moist.
- Use proper storage - How you store your cupcakes plays a big part in their quality as the days go by. Cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
The secret ingredient for moist cupcakes
In order to make the best recipe for Nutella cupcakes, you'll want to use my secret ingredient every time. Mix together ½ teaspoon of white vinegar with ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a small bowl. Once the mixture starts to react, quickly fold it into your cupcake batter. This will help keep your cupcakes moist, light, and airy. You will thank me later!
💡 How do you fill the middle of a cupcake with Nutella?
The filling is one of the most important components of how to make a Nutella cupcake. Nutella is a chocolate hazelnut spread that's used in this recipe to fill each cupcake with delight. Nutella filling is the perfect way to boost the flavor of your moist chocolate cupcakes, but making cupcakes filled with Nutella isn't as simple as scooping the spread.
In order to get your cupcakes Nutella filled, you'll want to gently heat the Nutella to thin it out a bit. The spread will need to be slightly runny so it can squeeze through a piping bag. Additionally, the cupcakes need to be chilled or at least at room temperature so they keep their structure when filled.
To finish these cupcakes with Nutella filling, you'll want to cut out the center of the cupcake and pipe your slightly melted Nutella right into it. After frosting, I added some extra Nutella into the middle for the maximum taste.
🌟 Why this is the best recipe
- Amazing texture - This chocolate cupcake recipe has the best moist and fluffy texture. It's the same recipe used for my chocolate caramel cupcakes and the Nutella frosting brings it to the next level.
- Elegant frosting - In many recipes for Nutella frosting, you will find a traditional American Nutella buttercream being made. My recipe creates a more elevated experience by swapping out the powdered sugar and vanilla extract for a chocolate pastry cream based frosting. When making Nutella cupcakes no frosting is better than this! It's also featured in my Nutella Cake.
- Straightforward to make - This recipe makes Nutella cupcakes easy. Despite the many elements that go into it, you will find simple-to-follow ingredients and photos that will help you hone your baking skills and recreate the perfect Nutella cupcake recipe.
📝 Ingredient notes
For the Chocolate Cupcakes
- Unsalted Butter: Avoid using salted butter in baking recipes so that you can have control over how much salt ends up in your batter. I use European-style 82% fat content butter in all of my cupcake recipes. You can even make your own homemade butter.
- Granulated Sugar: Regular white sugar is great in this recipe. It's convenient to use and perfect for these Nutella filled cupcakes. Check out my sugar guide to learn how to use different types of sugar in baking.
- Egg: Always use room temperature eggs for easy emulsification. In cakes, eggs help develop a rich flavor and light and fluffy crumbs. For more information on how to use eggs in baking, check out my eggs guide.
- All Purpose Flour: This simple flour serves as the base for these cupcakes, giving them structure.
- Cocoa Powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder is the perfect way to add chocolate flavor to a cupcake recipe. I prefer to use dutch process cocoa powder, which is darker, less acidic, and smoother tasting than natural cocoa powder.
- Salt: Even though we only use a little, salt is an important part of many dessert recipes. It balances the sweetness and helps bring out the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Baking Powder: This leavening agent is key to ensuring the cupcakes achieve the proper lift when baked. Just ½ teaspoon baking powder will do the trick. For more info check my baking powder article.
- Whole Milk: I like using whole milk because of the rich flavor it adds to the cupcake batter. Use it at room temperature.
- Coffee: Strong brewed hot coffee helps enhance the flavor of chocolate in this recipe. Your Nutella chocolate cupcakes will not taste like coffee, but instead, the chocolatey taste will be noticeably richer. Potentially can be substituted with water.
- Vanilla extract (optional): This cupcake is full of chocolate and hazelnut flavor but you can add a teaspoon vanilla extract, if you wish
- White Vinegar and Baking Soda: This secret ingredient pairing is essential to creating perfectly moist cupcakes. Just ½ teaspoon baking soda mixed with ½ teaspoon vinegar will do the magic.
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
For the Nutella frosting
- Whole Milk: The higher the fat content in the milk, the better. Whole milk is perfect for creating rich tasting frosting.
- Granulated Sugar: My creamy Nutella frosting uses granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar. The sugar gets dissolved in the cooking process, so the texture still comes out perfectly smooth.
- Egg Yolks: Using egg yolks (rather than whole eggs) in pastry cream makes for the best texture and flavor.
- Corn Starch: Used to thicken the chocolate pastry cream base of the frosting.
- All Purpose Flour: Gives frosting its stable consistency, but importantly does not produce a flour taste.
- Dark Chocolate: I recommend using Callebaut 811 for this recipe. Feel free to use your favorite brand of dark chocolate or even a good quality semi-sweet chocolate.
- Nutella: It wouldn't be Nutella frosting without Nutella. You can buy it or make your own homemade Nutella.
- Unsalted Butter: Remember not to make your frosting until your butter has come to room temperature. This will have a major outcome on the texture of the frosting.
- Cocoa Powder: The best variety for this recipe is unsweetened, dutch-processed cocoa powder.
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
👩🍳 How to make this recipe
1. How to make chocolate cupcakes
- Preheat your oven to 175 C / 347 F and prepare a cupcake pan with 6 large cupcake liners.
- Using an electric hand mixer, cream together the room temperature butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Then, whip the egg in. Be careful not to over-beat the mixture.
- Sift together the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder). Sifting helps eliminate any stubborn lumps in the dry ingredients.
- Mix together the whole milk and the brewed coffee. This mixture should be at room temperature
- To the creamed butter, in 4 stages, add some of the milk and coffee, then a portion of the dry ingredients, then more of the milk mixture, and so on until it's all incorporated. Make sure to finish with the dry ingredients. After each addition, use a rubber spatula to fold each portion in.
- Mix the vinegar and baking soda together in a small bowl. Immediately fold the mixture into the cupcake batter.
- Spoon or pipe the mixture into your cupcake pan to approx. ¾ full. This recipe makes 6 large cupcakes
- Bake for 25 min or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely before filling and frosting.
💡 Top Tip: Measure your ingredients with a digital scale for the best accuracy.
2. How to make Nutella frosting
- Make the pastry cream by whisking together the sugar and egg yolk for about 1-2 minutes, until slightly fluffy. Then, whisk in the corn starch and flour until a smooth paste forms.
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring milk to a simmer.
- Slowly pour the warm milk over the egg yolk mixture, while whisking vigorously with a hand whisk. Then, pour it back into the saucepan and cook until the mixture thickens. This will take about 1-2 minutes after the first boil. If your mixture is lumpy, just keep whisking until the cream becomes smooth and glossy.
- In 3 stages, add in the chocolate and mix with a rubber spatula until completely incorporated. Place the cream into a shallow bowl and cover fully with plastic wrap to avoid a film forming on top. Let it cool to room temperature
- Once the pastry cream is set and at room temperature, prepare the frosting by whipping room temperature butter until fluffy, then whipping in cocoa powder and Nutella for 1-2 additional minutes.
- Then, start adding in the room temperature pastry cream in 4 stages until the cream reaches a stable, yet fluffy texture. Do not over whip the mixture or else it may become runny.
- Chill the cream for an hour before using.
💡 Top Tip: When whipping up the frosting, begin with room temperature ingredients (pastry cream, butter) to make the smoothest frosting.
3. How to fill the cupcakes with Nutella
- Make a hole in the center of each cooled cupcake. Use a small knife, or even a piping tip for a more uniform cutout. This is where the Nutella filling for cupcakes will go.
- Heat up your Nutella in the microwave for around 15 seconds. This will make the Nutella smoother and runnier so it's easier to use as filling. You will use about ⅓ cup Nutella total, or about 2 teaspoons per cupcake.
- Fill a piping bag with the Nutella and pipe the filling into the hole of each cupcake.
- Once the cupcakes are filled with Nutella, place your frosting into a piping bag fitted with a French star nozzle tip.
- Pipe the Nutella frosting on top of each cupcake, and garnish with chopped hazelnuts. Serve immediately.
- Store the frosted cupcakes in the fridge for up to 3 days. For more information read my how to store and freeze cupcakes baking guide.
💡 Top Tip: When cutting the holes in the cupcakes, be careful to not cut out the bottoms. Use an apple corer or piping tip for an easier, more uniform cut.
🎓 Expert tips
- Take all ingredients out of the refrigerator for at least half an hour before you start cooking. This cupcake recipe with Nutella requires all ingredients to be at room temperature to emulsify properly.
- Stop whipping the frosting as soon as it gets fluffy. Over-beating will make it runny and unable to be piped onto your cupcakes.
- Do not skip the white vinegar+baking soda "secret ingredient" for perfectly moist cupcakes.
❓ Nutella Cupcakes Recipe FAQs
The easiest way to test your cupcakes' doneness is to insert a cake tester or toothpick into the center. If it comes out mostly clean, your cupcakes are ready to remove from the oven. Do not over bake it as it can result in a dry texture.
You can store frosted Nutella cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You'll only want to freeze unfrosted cupcakes. To do so, place the cupcakes in an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months.
In addition to crushed hazelnuts, you can decorate this Nutella cupcakes recipe easily with a Nutella drizzle, or even top them with a chocolate hazelnut candy e.g. Ferrero Rocher.
🍰 More Cupcake and Mini cake recipes
Nutella Cupcakes (VIDEO)
- 90 (⅓ cups) Unsalted butter soft, room temperature
- 100 g (½ cups) Granulated sugar
- 1 Egg room temperature
- 80 g (⅔ cups) All purpose flour
- 45 g (½ cups) Cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 65 g (⅓ cups) Whole milk room temperature
- 60 g (¼ cups) Coffee room temperature
- ½ teaspoon White vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 250 g (1 cups) Whole milk
- 50 g (¼ cups) Granulated sugar
- 40 g Egg yolk approx. 2 egg yolk
- 12 g (1.5 tablespoon) Corn starch
- 12 g (1.5 tablespoon) All purpose flour
- 25 g (2.5 tablespoons) Dark chocolate eg. Callebaut 811, semi-sweet good quality chocolate finely chopped
- 75 g (¼ cups) Nutella
- 75 g (⅓ cups) Unsalted butter room temperature
- 8 g (1 tablespoon) Cocoa powder unsweetened, dutch processed
- 80 g (⅓ cups) Nutella gently melted
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
Start with the Nutella frosting
- To start with, make the pastry cream by whisking together sugar and egg yolk until slightly fluffy for about 1-2 minutes, then mixing in corn starch and flour until a smooth paste is achieved
- Bring milk to simmering in a saucepan on medium heat
- Pour the warm milk over the egg yolk mixture slowly while whisking vigorously with a Hand whisk. Then, pour it back into the saucepan and cook until thickens. Concretely it is approximately 1 min after the first boil. It might get lumpy at first, but don't worry just keep whisking and the cream will get smooth and glossy.
- Add in chocolate in 3 stages, and mix with a Rubber spatula until completely incorporated. Place the cream into a shallow bowl and cover the entire surface with plastic wrap to avoid skin forming on top. Let it cool to room temperature
- Once the pastry cream is set and at room temp, prepare the frosting by whipping room temp butter first for a few minutes, then whip in the cocoa powder and Nutella for 1-2 minutes
- Then, start adding in the room temperature pastry cream in 4 stages until the cream reaches a stable yet fluffy texture. Do not over whip the mixture as it can become runny
- Chill the cream while preparing the chocolate cupcakes
For the chocolate muffin
- Heat oven to 175 C / 347 F
- With an Electric hand mixer whip room temperature soft butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy then whip the egg in. Do not overbeat
- Sift flour, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder together, this is the “dry ingredients”, while the room the milk and coffee mixture is your "wet ingredient"
- Start adding the dry and wet ingredients into the cupcake batter in the following 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry. Fold with a Rubber spatula fold each time. Finish with dry ingredients
- Mix vinegar and baking soda together in a small bowl, it will be super bubbly. Immediately fold the mixture into the cupcake batter. This is the secret ingredient to keep the cupcakes soft for days without the taste of vinegar of course!
- Spoon or Pipe the mixture into Cupcake pan till approx. ¾. This recipe makes 6 large cupcakes
- Bake for 25 min or until a skewer inserted comes out clean then let them cool on Cooling rack before filling and frosting
- Once the cupcakes are cooled, make a small hole on each of the cupcakes and fill them with Nutella. Worth to heat up the Nutella gently in the microwave so it will be smoother and runnier
- Pipe the frosting on top and decorate with hazelnut
- Store in refrigerated for 2-3 days
- Measure your ingredients with a Digital scale for accuracy
- All ingredients for the cupcake must be at room temperature to properly emulsify: eggs, milk, etc.
- Do not skip the white vinegar+baking soda "secret ingredient" for perfectly moist cupcakes)
- For the Nutella frosting, it is key to use good quality unsweetened dark cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate so that they don´t overpower the Nutella taste but balances it
- Make sure you read my Expert tips section above to maximize your success. A short recipe alone is not able to cover all the necessary details, and science behind baking.
- While whipping the frosting, pay very close attention to the consistency and stop whipping immediately after it gets fluffy. Overbeating would result in breaking the cream and instead of becoming stiffer, in fact, it will get runnier
- Never frost warm cupcakes, make sure they are chilled to room temperature