Caramel Stuffed Nutella Cookies

These completely irresistible caramel stuffed Nutella cookies are extra soft and chewy with a hidden caramel surprise inside! Flavored with creamy Nutella, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and chunky hazelnuts, these cookies were easily loved by all. For best success, use the caramel candies suggested in the recipe and don’t skip the chilling step.

caramel stuffed Nutella cookies

Welcome to day 9 in Sally’s Cookie Palooza, a day where I’m showing you how to stuff salted Nutella cookies with gooey caramel. It’s a beautiful day already, no?

These Caramel Stuffed Nutella Cookies Are:

  • Soft and chewy in the centers
  • Crisp on the edges
  • Stuffed with caramel candies– a sweet surprise!
  • Filled with chunky hazelnuts
  • Flavored with Nutella, vanilla, + brown sugar
  • Topped with coarse salt

I plead my case. Caramel stuffed Nutella cookies are the best on the planet– they flew off the cookie tray at our friend’s house quicker than I could describe what they were. One bite tastes like a Ferrero Rocher truffle, a cookie, and a spoonful of sweet caramel all at once. There’s a few important notes, success tips, and tricks to teach you before you get started, so let’s sit back and see how these heavenly circles came to life.

Nutella cookies with caramel

Behind the Recipe

I tested this recipe more times than I could count. They KEPT over-spreading! I started with my peanut butter cookies as the base, but replaced the peanut butter with Nutella. Nutella is thinner and silkier, so I reduced the amount. Nothing helped those flat puddles. Back to the drawing board. Then I turned to my chewy chocolate chip cookies. I swapped melted butter for softened butter to give the cookies more structure, added Nutella, a little extra flour, removed the extra egg yolk and cornstarch, and seemed to be on the right track. They spread a little more than I was hoping. This cookie was turning out to be more frustrating than untangling Christmas lights.

Finally, I added 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder to bulk up the dough even more.

Jackpot. We have a winner!

caramel stuffed Nutella cookies

Ingredients in Caramel Stuffed Nutella Cookies

  1. All-Purpose Flour: Like always, flour is the base of today’s cookie recipe.
  2. Cocoa Powder: Unsweetened natural cocoa powder adds bulk to the cookie dough, which helps prevent excess spreading. It also adds a light cocoa flavor.
  3. Baking Soda: Baking soda lifts the cookies.
  4. Salt & Coarse Salt: We’ll add regular table salt to the cookie dough and sprinkle a little coarse salt on top. The topping is optional, but tastes remarkable with the Nutella and caramel flavors. You know how I feel about salted caramel!
  5. Butter: Use softened butter. Remember that room temperature butter is not as warm as you think. Let it sit out for only 1 hour before starting. It will be cool to touch.
  6. Brown Sugar: Like my chewy chocolate chip cookies, let’s use more brown sugar than regular white sugar to help create a chewier, more flavorful cookie.
  7. Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar, like brown sugar, sweetens the dough.
  8. Egg: You need 1 room temperature egg for this cookie dough.
  9. Vanilla Extract: Adds flavor.
  10. Nutella: What’s a Nutella cookie without the good stuff? Depending on the age of the jar, Nutella can be super thin and smooth (a newer jar) or thick and clumpy (a leftover jar). Give the Nutella a few big stirs to help create the creamy, silky consistency you see in the picture below. That’s what we want in our cookies.
  11. Hazelnuts: The chopped hazelnuts are optional, but provide flavor and a textural contrast to the smooth caramel stuffed inside.
  12. Caramel Candies: The BEST caramel candies to use are either (1) Rolo candies or (2) Werther’s brand soft caramels. Kraft caramel squares seem to have gotten firmer and harder in the past couple years and won’t create a gooey caramel center like Rolos or the Werther’s. The caramel you use definitely matters, so stick with my suggestions.

If you’re up for it, you can even use homemade soft caramels.

nutella in jar

How to Make Caramel Stuffed Nutella Cookies

Easier than you think.

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
  2. Beat the wet ingredients together.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. 
  4. Beat in the hazelnuts.
  5. Chill the cookie dough. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is a cookie dough that must chill out in the refrigerator before shaping and baking– Nutella is just so gooey! 3 hours of chilling is ideal.
  6. Shape the cookie dough. Take 1 scant Tablespoon of cookie dough, stick a caramel inside, and place 1 more scant Tablespoon of cookie dough on top. Smooth the cookie dough over the caramel to completely hide it inside the dough ball.
  7. Sprinkle with coarse salt + bake.

The cookie dough is creamy, airy, and mousse-like right after mixing. (Below left.) After chilling, it’s pretty stiff (below right), so use a cookie scoop or 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon to help you measure the dough you need.

 

 

Nutella cookie dough

If using Werther’s brand soft caramels (highly recommended), fold it in half. They’re long caramels, so you need to bend them to fit inside the cookie dough.

Nutella cookie dough ball with caramel inside

Nutella cookies with sea salt on cookie sheet

The caramel will ooze out a little. See above. It’s normal, it’s expected, it’s delicious!

If the cookies are over-spreading as they bake, use my “How to Save Flat Cookies” trick explained at the bottom of my 10 Tips to Prevent Cookies from Spreading post. (Use a spoon to help shape them back together.)

Nutella cookies with caramel

3 Success Tips

  1. Use the caramels recommended. I am not working with either brand, but I’ve baked enough caramel stuffed cookies to know which store-bought caramels work. Salted caramel chocolate chip cookies, anyone?
  2. Completely enrobe the caramel inside the cookie dough. No caramel exposed!
  3. Chill the cookie dough. I know I’m a broken record here, but sometimes bakers ask if they can skip this step. Trust me, I wouldn’t tell you to wait 3 hours for chilling cookie dough if you didn’t have to! You can even make the cookie dough the night before, then bake the cookies the next day. The refrigerator is cookie dough’s best friend.

And these caramel stuffed Nutella cookies are your new best friend.

caramel stuffed Nutella cookies

What is Sally's Cookie Palooza?

Sally’s Cookie Palooza is my annual Christmas cookie countdown tradition. First starting in 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row. Over the next two weeks, I’m publishing 10 new cookie recipes. This is the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Sign up for instant updates and you’ll receive a free email alert whenever I publish a new recipe. 🙂

Click to see Sally’s Cookie Palooza over the years!

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
caramel nutella cookies

Caramel Stuffed Nutella Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 28 cookies
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These caramel stuffed Nutella cookies are extra soft and chewy with a hidden caramel surprise inside. For best success, use the caramel candies suggested in the recipe and don’t skip the chilling step.


Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 Tablespoons (11g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (12 Tbsp; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (225gNutella
  • 1 heaping cup (130g) chopped hazelnuts
  • 28 soft caramel candies (see recipe note)
  • optional: coarse salt or sea salt for topping

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and Nutella and beat on high until completely combined.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until combined. Beat in the hazelnuts. Dough will be thick, yet airy and sticky. Cover and chill the dough for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator. If chilling for longer (up to 3 days), allow dough to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before scooping and baking.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Cookie dough will be firm after chilling, but will come together with the warmth of your hands. Measure 1 scant Tablespoon of cookie dough and roll into a ball. Indent your thumb into it. Place caramel candy inside. (See recipe note.) Take another 1 scant Tablespoon of cookie dough and use it to completely cover the caramel candy on top. Roll the caramel-stuffed dough into an even ball. Make sure the caramel is completely wrapped inside. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Repeat with remaining cookie dough and caramels. Arrange cookie dough balls 3 inches apart on baking sheets. Place any remaining cookie dough balls in the refrigerator as you bake the other batches. (Best to keep those dough balls cold.)
  6. Bake the cookies for 13-14 minutes until the edges appear set. Caramel may have oozed out a little. (That’s ok!) The centers will look very soft and under-baked. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. The cookies will continue to “set” on the baking sheet during this time. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Use a thin spatula to help transfer the cookies to the cooling rack, especially if some caramel oozed out.
  7. Cover and store leftover cookies at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked cookies freeze well up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls (with caramel inside) freeze well up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Caramel Candies: The BEST caramel candies to use are either (1) Rolo candies (the little chocolate covered caramels) or (2) Werther’s brand soft caramels. Kraft caramel squares seem to have gotten firmer and harder in the past couple years and won’t create a gooey caramel center like Rolos or the Werther’s. The caramel you use definitely matters, so stick to either of my suggestions. If using Werther’s brand, fold them in half because they are pretty long and won’t fit inside the cookie dough ball otherwise.
  3. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: Nutella, hazelnuts, caramel, cookies

61 Comments

  1. Good morning Sally! I LOVE Cookie Palooza every year and these look amazing! I just bought two huge Costco sized jars of Nutella so this is perfect timing. I was wondering if I could omit the hazelnuts, though, or would that change the structure of the cookies too much? Would it be better to substitute them with something else that’s not a nut, like dried cranberries? Thanks, can’t wait to make these

    1. Hi Catherine! I’m so glad you’re enjoying Sally’s Cookie Palooza each year! You can definitely leave out the hazelnuts. No need to replace with anything.

  2. Hi Sally! Oh gosh, these look SO good. I would love to make them but I’m allergic to hazelnuts and thereby Nutella. I don’t suppose there is an alternative I could use? Nothing I can think of anyway. I also LOVE your Cookie Palooza each year. Merry Christmas to you and your family. {{Hugs}} . ~smile~ Roseanne

  3. Thanks, Sally! These look amazing!!

    Your recipes are always incredible. Whenever my sister says she is going to make something for her class a school I ask, “Where are you getting the recipe?” and she says “Sally’s, of course!”

    Everyone in my family LOVES your blog! Thank you so much for working so hard to get recipes out to all of us! Have a great day!

    1. I absolutely loved reading this, thank you so much for your kind words!

  4. Sally! I am so enjoying your Cookie Palooza and have made several already. Santa Whiskers my favorite so far. I just notice I can leave comments while looking at this recipe and have a question for these. Have you ever tried the caramel bits, or cutting the Werther’s in half? Just wondering. I know you said Kraft are too hard but just had to ask about the bits. Thank you for all these fabulous recipes. Merry , merry to you and yours.

    1. Hi Leisa! You can try stuffing a few of those round caramel baking bits in the center OR you can cut those Kraft caramels into little pieces and press into the tops of the cookies like I do with my salted caramel pecan chocolate chip cookies. 🙂

      By the way, I love those Santas Whiskers Cookies!

      1. No , I won’t use the Kraft when you say not too. I totally trust your judgment. I just have the caramel bits and not Werther’s so was being lazy. Thanks so much.

  5. Can this dough, be chilled over night. If you run short on time to bake.

    1. Yes, absolutely!

  6. Would NO nuts be okay? Both my grandsons have nut allergies which make the Nutella a great alternative, that they can have and they love chocolate, but I’m not crazy about hazelnuts…sorry hazelnut lovers.
    I leave more for you.

    1. Hi Lynn! If they are allergic to hazelnuts, you’ll have to skip the Nutella too. (And in that case– I recommend my salted caramel chocolate chip cookies or salted caramel dark chocolate cookies instead.)

      But yes, you can leave out the added chopped hazelnuts in this recipe.

  7. Hi there! Do you think these cookies would freeze well or would the caramel get too hard?

    1. Hi Lindsay! These cookies are fine after freezing and thawing, but the caramel isn’t nearly as soft.

  8. Mmmmmmmm-mmm! Sally, these cookies look AMAZING! I honestly don’t think it gets any better than Nutella and caramel (unless of course there are sprinkles involved) 😀 I’ll definitely have to try these sometime soon. To prevent overspending, do you think it would be helpful to chill the balls of cookie dough as well as chilling the dough before rolling into balls? For maybe twenty minutes or so, just to insure they don’t over spread? I often do that when making cookies because when rolling the dough into balls the warmth from my hands makes it soften a little, so I like to chill it for at least fifteen minutes before baking. It really helps with the over spreading issue 🙂

    1. Definitely! Feel free to chill the shaped balls, too. Any extra time in the refrigerator is good.

  9. Sally, these have to be in the top ten cookies recipes ever invented! High in the top ten 🙂 Two of my favorite flavors in one cookie ♡♡♡ The people at my connect group are going to flip over these! That is if the plate makes it out the door 🙂
    Thank you for this amazing recipe!!! Your photos are terrific ♡

    1. Such a great flavor combo! I’m so happy that you’re excited about these!! Hope they’re a hit 🙂

  10. Oh my goodness! My husband would die over these! They look incredible!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

    1. Hope he loves these!

  11. Hi Sally!

    I’ve been baking your recipes for years. Every single time, I blow everyone away! Thanks for all the glory! 😉 (crowd fav is cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies)

    These are just the combination I was looking for to bake for my dad’s birthday this weekend. If I don’t have hazelnuts on hand, do you think almonds are a worthy substitute? I really want that texture!

    Thanks!!

    1. Hi Rachel! Sliced or slivered almonds would be a great substitution for the chopped hazelnuts– any nut would be great. Or you can try chocolate chips, too!

      1. Thank you so much for responding!

        I made this dough last night and for some reason, it’s super crumbly, dry, and un-rollable this morning I followed the recipe to a T, except the only thing I can think of is possibly having mixed the butter and sugar at High speed instead of medium.

        Is there any possible way to add moisture to this mixture and salvage this dough!? I put three tbsp of whole milk in it and mixed thoroughly last night. This morning it was unfortunately just as crumbly.

        Thanks for any suggestions!

      2. Hi Rachel! I promise you can still roll it. It’s a crumbly dough after refrigerating (you can thank the Nutella for that). I tested this recipe endless times and had the same result, but using a Tablespoon to scoop out the hard dough and rolling in the warmth of my hands helped me mold the dough into the balls I need for shaping/assembling these cookies. You can also let this dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before scooping, too.

  12. Loved these cookies! Made them tonight for a fun addition to a holiday party tomorrow. They turned out amazing. I did use dark chocolate sea salt caramels from Whole Foods and cut them in half. It worked awesome and the salt in the center from the chocolates was an awesome add. I love your cookie palooza and every year make your new recipes for friends’ cookie tins <3

    1. I’m so happy you loved these!! Thanks for your positive feedback 🙂

  13. Hey Sally, would it be ok to use a teaspoon of dulce de leche instead of caramel candies?

    1. Hi Jo! I haven’t tried it before, but you certainly can. It would be best to drop teaspoon-fuls onto a baking sheet and freezing them for about 1 hour before assembling the cookie dough. Otherwise, the dulce de leche will melt and over-spread in the cookies.

  14. Not to be an eejit, but I’ve never seen hazelnuts in the grocery store in GA. Did I just over look them or are they hard to find? (Outside of roasting carts on Hallmark movies of course.) I would appreciate any tips.

    1. Hi Leigh! Chopped hazelnuts can usually be found in the baking aisle with the other baking nuts. I can usually find Diamond of California brand. It would be helpful to call the store to check, too!

  15. Are you able to use homemade caramels?

  16. This recipe was fantastic! I got 4 1/2 dozen cookies. My cookies fared best (less spreading) when I put the stuffed balls in the fridge for a little bit . I preferred them baked for 11 minutes. Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much, Sally! Thrilled you enjoyed these 🙂

  17. I made these this weekend (minus the hazelnuts) and they are soooo good! I let my sister handle assembling and baking them and they are HUGE, but still really really good.

    1. Thanks so much for your positive feedback, Elizabeth!

  18. Delectable cookies, Sally! Do you think I could add chocolate chips?

  19. WOWZA-these are absolutely delish warm from oven. Hoping they are as yummy on my Christmas cookie trays. I used Werther’s soft caramels and I got 40 cookies from 1 batch of dough.

    1. Thank you so much for your positive feedback, Tracey!! 🙂

  20. How long can you refrigerate the assembled cookies before baking (max)?

    1. Hi Patty, up to 3 days.

  21. I was disappointed with these cookies. Nutella and hazelnuts are not cheap but I could barely taste it in the cookies. They were very dry and crinkly.

  22. Denise Swearingen says:

    Hi Sally!
    Your recipes are my familiy’s go to! Every single time without fail it is yummy! But we now have a family member who is strictly gluten free so I was wondering if i could use GF 1:1 flour such as Better Batter?
    Thank you,
    Denise

    1. Hi Denise, I have not tested these cookies with gluten free flour but let me know if you do!

  23. These came out hard as rocks and the Werther’s caramel was not soft and gooey, but hard and tacky enough pull your fillings out. 🙁
    I must have really messed up somewhere!

  24. Update – made a second time and they came out beautifully!!!! LOVE them!! First time was some kind of user error!!

  25. I would love to try this cookie but in a sugar cookie or vanilla dough instead. Ideas of a good base recipe to use, with no cocoa and no Nutella? Thanks

      1. Thank you! Love all the tips you provide to fix common issues with baking. So excited to work my way through the recipe selections!

  26. Hi Sally! Quick question, will it be okay if i skip the caramel?!
    Thank you so much!

    1. Yes, you can!

      1. Thank you for the quick reply Sally!!!!

  27. Hi Sally! After my friend tried your recipe and gave me some for Christmas (they were sooooo yummy!) I made these for the first time yesterday myself. Despite them not coming out quite right, my husband and son devoured them! For some reason, my cookies barely spread and were quite large and lumpy still. I’m wondering if it’s because I chilled the dough overnight and started forming the balls too soon? Do you think that would have caused it? Either way, I’m already ordering ingredients to try them again! I’m determined to get them nice and chewy next time! 🙂

    1. Hi Colleen, I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies! Make sure you are creaming the ingredients in step two long enough so that they are smooth before mixing the dry ingredients in. Also be sure you are not over-measuring your flour. Too much flour would soak up too much liquid preventing them from spreading. Use the “spoon and level” method in my post How to Properly Measure Baking Ingredients.

      1. Thanks for the reply, Sally! I did the spoon and level method for the flour, but will try creaming the ingredients a bit longer next time. Fingers crossed! 🙂 (And thanks for the measuring link. So many great tips in that post!)

      2. Colleen Horan says:

        Hi Sally! Back again to say attempt #2 was today and they are perfection! This time I rolled the balls 3 hours after chilling as opposed to the next day. Pretty sure I attempted rolling last time while the dough was still too cold (my fridge gets super cold…and I was excited to start! 😉 Love love love this recipe!

  28. WOW! These are amazing! We have been on a cookie kick the past couple weeks. I’ve made several different kinds and my boyfriend rated these #1 (ahead of Oatmeal Cherry, Chocolate Chunk Toffee, and PB Blondie- all good). I followed the recipe exactly, only subbing toasted pecans. We also tried half with Werthers & half with Rolos. We liked both- but Werthers wins!

    A few tips:
    1) only chilled dough for 1 hour before assembling cookies, then chilled cookies 1 hour before baking. More chilling made dough impossible to scoop.

    2) use 1/2 of one Werthers caramel per cookie. Perfect amount for us.

    3) baked at 350 for 11-12 min and left on parchment per Sallie’s suggestion.

    4) tap cookie sheet lightly on counter when out of oven

    Thank you!

  29. What a fabulous recipe! I made half of them with the caramel centres and the other half as regular cookies. My spouse and I preferred the non-caramel. I toasted the hazelnuts and chopped them in half, so the chunks are nice and big for texture and extra nutty flavour. A perfect serving of Nutella brownie in cookie form. Thank you once again, Sally!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×