Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Nutella Frosting

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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.

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!

291 Comments

  1. Your frosting looks heavenly and reminiscent of bakeries visited in my childhood! I am totally with you on the frosting with a side of cupcake!

  2. Yum! If you dont mind my asking, what do you do with all the treats you make? I feel like there’s a new recipe everyday, and am just curious as to what happens after the pictures are taken. Do y’all get to enjoy cupcakes every night? If so, gosh I’m jealous! 🙂

  3. Oh my, this frosting looks like a dream come true, Sally! So fluffy and thick. I’ve never bought Nutella before, but I think I might have to just for this recipe. 😉

  4. Hi, Sally! Your blog makes me miss having an oven!
    I am currently studying abroad in Italy, and once I saw that you were here and discovered Nutella here, I just had to get some pointers of good places to eat in Rome from my favorite blogger! Perhaps a fun gelato flavor I have to find?!
    Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into your blog. It’s really inspirational!

    1. Hey Alexa! I can’t remember any specific places I went to, but I studied in Rome, Venice, and Florence. My favorite gelato flavor is mango! SO good. I think I ate it every single day – not kidding. Enjoy your time there and take a TON of pictures!

  5. these look beautiful and delicious! I’ve tried to make Nutella frosting once before, but it didn’t turn out nearly as picturesque. do you have any tips on keeping the Nutella from sticking to measuring spoons/cups?

    1. Hey Teresa! I have the same problem – unfortunately, I just have to scrape it all out with a small spatula. I’ve tried spraying the measuring cup lightly with nonstick spray and that still doesn’t help!

    2. spray the cups/spoons with non stick cooking spray, or a little vegetable oil … use this method if you’re using any kind of sticky ingredient such as honey, molasses.. very helpful 🙂

  6. Wow Sally, I’m not sure I’d have any frosting left for the cupcakes if I made this! I’d just eat it with a spoon! I can’t wait to see it with a peanut butter cupcake!

    1. Let’s just say I could’ve frosted a couple cupcakes with more frosting, but ran out… unfortunately I “tasted” it too much!

  7. Dang they look good! I am not even a huge choc cupcake fan b/c most of the time they get so dried out! But you pulled off moist looking little chocolate bundles! And I KNOW that is some THICK frosting when it’s thick and strong enough to support the weight of like 15 M & Ms pushed into it, and doesn’t even look like it’s going to fall in the least. I really actually could skip the cupcakes and just eat that frosting. I love Nutella! And buttercream! Frosting w/ 2 sticks butter and 3/4 c Nutella is called…perfection!

    1. Uhhhh yes… thick and fluffy frosting to the extreme Averie! Thanks to all that butter, heavy cream, sugar, and Nutella. Health food.

  8. I think it’s time I tried Nutella! I love your recipes and your posts!! Keep up the fantastic work! Have a great weekend!

    1. Hope YOU have a great weekend Meredith! Let me know if you bake anything. And yes – try Nutella. It will change your life 😉

  9. I love your beautiful frosting mountains! I think they are bigger than the cupcakes themselves…perfect! 😉 I think these would look really cute with crushed or whole Ferrero Rocher on top. Oh, also, way to be a baking blog rebel and post neither a St. Patrick’s Day nor a Pi Day recipe. 😉

  10. You had me at “Nutella”! I love it!! And I like that you use a generous amount of it so that the Nutella flavor will really come through in the frosting. Looks so luscious!

  11. I first had Nutella in Europe too and have been hooked ever since. I have one of those giant Nutella containers for cupcake and frosting emergencies such as this one I am about to have. I might just make a batch of the frosting because it looks incredible. The cupcake part can wait. 🙂

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