Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Nutella Frosting

Super moist and rich homemade chocolate cupcakes topped with creamy Nutella buttercream frosting. 

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting. Unbelievably good! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

Well well well. What do we have here? Did a huge scoop of Nutella fall into my buttercream? Oh yes it did.

And well, the result is far better than “tasty.”  In fact, the word “delicious” won’t even do this Nutella frosting justice.  It is, by far, the best frosting in the entire world.  The creamiest, Nutellaiest (I invented a new word today), and the softest frosting ever.

You are in for a REAL treat today.

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting. Unbelievably good! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’ve already introduced you to a homemade chocolate cupcake recipe. If you’re new around these parts, you don’t want to miss that post. The cupcakes are very simple to make with easy, convenient ingredients. They are moist with an intense chocolate flavor. Be careful not to overbake them; they will quickly dry out.

I used the same chocolate cupcake recipe for today’s cupcakes. Chocolate cupcake + Nutella frosting. Today you’re getting chocolate on top of chocolate. Sorry, but I’m not sorry.

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting. Unbelievably good! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting. Unbelievably good! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

Doesn’t the frosting look like fluffy chocolate mousse? Well, that’s what it tastes like too. Let’s see how this incredibly easy frosting is made.

I basically took my homemade fluffy vanilla frosting and worked off of that. Start with 2 sticks of softened (room temperature) unsalted butter. I simply took the butter out of the refrigerator before I began making the cupcakes. By the time they were ready to frost, my butter was the correct temperature and consistency. You do NOT want the butter melted in the slightest.

Using a hand or stand mixer (I prefer a hand mixer for more control when I make frosting), beat the butter on medium speed for a few minutes (2-3 minutes). You want it extra creamy before you add anything else. This is a fabulous trick I’ve learned – beating the butter before adding anything else creates a creamy, thick base for frosting. Once the butter is creamed and smooth, add 2 cups of confectioners’ and beat it on medium speed. The mixture will be somewhat thick. Add 3/4 cup of Nutella. Continue to beat, beat, beat it on medium speed.

The next ingredient is heavily recommended for exceptional creaminess/fluffiness/softness. Use heavy cream as the liquid. Not milk or half-and-half. Heavy cream will truly take your frosting to the next level.

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting. Unbelievably good! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

At this point, you’ll want to taste the frosting. Is it too sweet? Add a pinch of salt. I swear by adding a touch of salt to frosting. If your frosting seems to be too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar to thicken it up. Is it too thick? Add more heavy cream. Not Nutella-y enough? Add more Nutella. This frosting is highly customizable to fit your taste.

What’s next? Frosting your cooled cupcakes of course! When I pipe my frosting onto cupcakes, I typically use a Wilton frosting tip #12.  However, sometimes, I just plop it right on top of the cupcake. Case in point.

Frost the cupcakes however you’d like. I like to pile the frosting nice and high. I’ll take my frosting with a side of cupcake, not the other way around. And I think many of you agree with me. 😉 Decorate with all sorts of goodies! I used M&Ms, but I have a feeling Reese’s Pieces, chopped hazelnuts, coconut, or peanut butter chips would be fabulous accessories for the cupcakes.

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting. Unbelievably good! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

What is not to love here?

Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Nutella Frosting

Super moist and rich homemade chocolate cupcakes topped with creamy Nutella buttercream frosting.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (167g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Creamy Nutella Frosting

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup (222g) Nutella
  • 3-4 Tablespoons (45-60ml) heavy cream*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • salt to taste
  • decorative candies (optional)

Directions:

  1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line 14 muffin cups with liners.
  2. Over high heat, boil the water in a small saucepan. Pour the unsweetened cocoa powder into a medium sized bowl and mix with boiling water until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature by placing in the refrigerator as you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric hand or stand mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat only until *just* combined. In a steady stream, add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
  5. Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full with batter. Bake for 16-19 minutes, keeping an eye on them to avoid even the slightest burning (which will lend dry cupcakes). My cupcakes took 17 minutes and a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool before frosting.
  6. Make the frosting: Beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. You want a very creamy base before adding anything else. See my extensive notes about this in the post above. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. The mixture will be fairly thick. Add the Nutella and continue to beat on medium speed. Add 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream and the vanilla extract. If the frosting is too thick, add more heavy cream (1 Tablespoon measurements at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar (1/4 cup measurements at a time). Taste the frosting and add salt to cut the sweetness. I added about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to mine.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting and decorate with candies as desired. Cupcakes taste best the day of or 1 day after they are made. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes:

Replacing the heavy cream in the frosting with milk or half-and-half will result in a less creamy consistency.

Recipe source: cupcakes by Joy of Cooking, Frosting by sallysbakingaddiction.com

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See all Nutella recipes.

See all cupcake recipes.

Super moist and rich homemade chocolate cupcakes topped with creamy Nutella buttercream frosting!

282 comments

  1. this frosting was great! everyone loved the cake with it! plus i have a whole batch of the frosting in the fridge! 😀 time to grab a spoon! lol… Thnx for sharing!

  2. Not only do these recipes look amazing, they taste great too! I love how you shared your best recipes online in a really easy to understand format. Your helpful tips also make it ‘foolproof’ for baking newbies like myself! After the success of these babies last night (for my brothers birthday), I cannot WAIT to try more recipes from your blog! :)From now on an ordinary day will easily become an occasion with these gorgeous treats 😉

  3. Thank you! !

  4. This recipe sounds good! But i was wondering if i could replace the heavy cream with milk 🙂

  5. Hi Sally,
    I always come up with my own recipes for baking sweets. My dog loves chocolate and for her first B-day I decided to back her a peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting. My daughter LOVES Nutella so I thought I would see if anyone has used it as frosting and I stumbled upon your page here. It sounded pretty good so I just used your recipes and WOW is it good! it is PERFECT with my peanut butter cake. Everyone loves it and I have already gotten requests to make it again for more birthdays. Thank you so much for this perfect frosting.

    • Dessiree- I just noticed in your comment that you wrote, “My dog loves chocolate…” But later in your post you mentioned your daughter. I’m just hoping you realize that chocolate is poisonous to dogs and can kill them. Not all dogs react to it in small amounts (as a kid I have hot cocoa to our chocolate lab w/o knowing but she was fine) but in large quantities they can be fatal. I highly recommend not feeding your lovely canine any more chocolate for fear of their health.

      • Thank you so much for responding to this person. Chocolate=death for a dog. Hopefully she just made a typo while taking care of her baby.

  6. I made just the Nutella frosting today, and although it was delicious, I thought it was too sweet and didn’t have as strong of a Nutella flavor as I’d like. I chose your recipe because you included the converted amounts on your recipes. The other recipes I found didn’t have the conversions, and I really appreciated that since I’m in Europe right now. Anyway, the next time I make this I will half the powdered sugar and add a bit more Nutella. Thanks for a good recipe and for all the work you do!

  7. Sally,

    Do you think could I sub buttermilk into the icing?

  8. Hi
    I was just wondering is confectioners sugar mean Icing sugar or caster sugar and Heavy cream ? I’m a little lost. These sure do look YUM and can’t wait to make them. Thanks Sarah

    • Hi Sarah – confectioners’ sugar is also known as icing sugar. Heavy cream may be called double cream or whipping cream where you live.

  9. Hi Sally!! Just made your cupcakes..and they turned out absolutely mind blowing! It was my first time ever and I was soo thrilled with the easy way you had explained it..Thank you soo much!!
    Please do check out
    I am pretty new to blogging..just 2 months old..I did mention you and your link..Pls let me know if I need to do something else too ..
    A big Gigantic Thank you!! 🙂

  10. Just made the frosting as a topping for your cinnamon-nutella-muffins, I love it! Unlike many other american frosting recipes I tried, it didn’t turn out to be too liquid. I only used half of the frosting sugar though, I think us Germans don’t like it as sweet as you 😉

  11. Thank you so much for such a great recipe…. I tried this out….and it was unbelievably delicious….thanks once more..

  12. Will this yield enough to frost a 9×13 cake, or will I need to make a double batch?

    • The recipe makes quite a bit of frosting as written. For a thin layer on your cake, no need to double. I would simply 1.5x the frosting recipe for a thick layer on your cake (doubling may be way too much) – so, 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1.5 cup butter, etc.

  13. Hi Sally!,
    do you boil the water for the cocoa for the frosting? I’m going to make them for my bestfriends birthday (who loves nutella!).

    Thanks 🙂

  14. Can you premade this fristing and use it the next day?

  15. if I prepare this frosting the night prior to fristing my cupcakes, how do I store it? Room temp or store it in the fridge? Thanks for a great recipe!!

  16. Thank you fro the great recipes it looks yummy. Will try it for my son’s birthday next week. But I have a question. By thick cream, do you mean cooking cream? Thanks

  17. Is heavy cream ad Thickening cream the same?

  18. I’m from Mexico and I love that I found every ingredient here! My sister and I love these cupcakes! Thanks for sharing!

  19. For how many cupcakes is the frosting

  20. My cup cakes turned out salty inspite of me nt adding salt. Was it because I used the normal butter?

  21. These are absolutely amazing. LOVE them. The frosting is to. die. for. Huge thanks!

  22. I’m really disappointed. Followed it to a T and came out dry. Maybe I can cook less?? I’m trying for my sons 2nd birthday 🙁

    • Sounds like they could have been overbaked, yes. Spoon and level when measuring your flour and cocoa as well. These cupcakes should not taste dry.

      • Yes I believe they were overbaked! im trying a new recipe of yours tonight! Im praying i do better this time 😉 i did get rave about how delicious the icing was 😉

  23. Thank you for the great recipe & detailed instructions! To be honest, I used cake mix for the cupcake part, but I used your frosting recipe yum! That was the first time I ever made frosting & it turned out deliciously! =)

  24. Hi, does anyone know how many cupcakes this recipe makes? I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Thanks! Can’t wait to make them!

  25. Hi! For the frosting can I use one stick of butter instead of 2 sticks of butter for the Nutella frosting? Will it change anything?

    • No, you need the two sticks of butter unless you want half of the frosting (and if so, halve the rest of the ingredients).

  26. I tried the nutella frosting with plain vanilla cupcakes. I centrefilled the cupcakes with nutella and topped it off with this frosting. I slightly altered it though, only used the sugar, butter, nutella and salt.
    I have to say, It was DELICIOUS. Everyone enjoyed the cupcakes and the salt cuts out the over sweetness of the frosting. Just perfect! HIGHLY recommended.

  27. These were AMAZING! I added chocolate chips on top of mine and put them in the fridge(I love cold cupcake cakes during the summer). I was a little worried because it started out like a cookie recipe but once the chocolate water mixture was added, oh em gee the batter was amazing!! They baked nicely and the frosting was amazing. I cute the frosting in half because I only needed enough icing for twelve. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it’ll be the only one I use! 🙂

    P.S. This is college student approved LOL
     

  28. Hi Sally! I have a question about the frosting. Since it uses heavy cream, does the frosting need to be refrigerated? Would it be able to sit out on the counter for 24hrs? 

  29. If I’m using 24 cup mini muffin pan, do I stick with your recipe or cut in half? And the cooking  time? What should I do? Thank you.

  30. Hi Sally! I was wondering if using milk instead of water will provide a richer more decadent cupcake? Thank you!

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