These easy Nutella cupcakes are made from scratch and are classic chocolate cupcakes, filled with rich Nutella and topped off with creamy chocolate Nutella buttercream frosting.
These homemade cupcakes are the perfect treat for any occasion, from birthday parties to casual get-togethers with friends and family.
If you’re a fan of Nutella and chocolate, then these are sure to become a new favorite. Whether you’re an experienced baker or just starting out, this recipe is easy to follow and yields delicious results every time.
These cupcakes are a chocolate lover’s dream come true. They have a moist and tender crumb, a creamy Nutella filling surprise, and a rich Nutella-infused frosting that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Now let’s talk a little about just some of the ingredients in these chocolate and Nutella cupcakes. (The printable list of all ingredients are in the recipe card below.)
All-Purpose Flour: This forms the base of the cupcake and provides structure and a tender texture.
Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder: This is the star of the show. Cocoa powder gives the cupcakes their rich, chocolatey flavor. Make sure to see the FAQ section below to learn why you don’t want to use Dutch-processed instead of natural cocoa powder.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda: These leavening agents help the cupcakes rise and become fluffy.
Granulated and Brown Sugar: These sweeteners add depth and moisture to the cupcakes.
Butter and Vegetable Oil: The combination of these fats will make sure you get a moist and tender crumb.
Milk and Eggs: These ingredients are used to help the cupcakes’ moisture and structure.
Lemon Juice (or Vinegar): This helps create a buttermilk substitute, which really enhances the cupcakes’ tenderness.
Hot Coffee (or Hot Water): This adds a bit more moisture and also helps the cocoa powder dissolve well, which intensifies the chocolate flavor.
Nutella: This is used for both the filling and frosting. Nutella brings its deliciously hazelnut-chocolate goodness to the cupcakes and the buttercream.
(Make sure to check out the FAQ section below in this post for ingredient and substitution questions.)
How to make these cupcakes:
Let’s talk about how to make Nutella chocolate cupcakes with nutella filling and frosting. (The printable instructions are in the recipe card below.)
First, you want to make the cupcakes. Make sure to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add cupcake liners to two, 12-count cupcake pans and spray them with non-stick spray.
Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk well.
Add the milk and lemon juice (or white vinegar) to a measuring cup and mix well. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
Add the liquid ingredients (except for the hot coffee or water) to a large bowl and mix well.
Add the liquid ingredients (except for the hot coffee or water) to the dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until well combined. Be careful not to mix very long.
Add the hot coffee or water and mix again.
Add the batter to the cupcake liners. Fill each about ⅔ of the way full.
Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 17-20 minutes. Ovens vary. A toothpick inserted into the center of a few cupcakes should come out with either a few moist crumbs on it or clean, but no raw batter.
Make sure the cupcakes cool completely.
For the filling, just add Nutella to a piping bag with a tip or you can cut out a small piece of the cupcake and spoon it in. (The video will show how this is done.)
Now, make the frosting. You’ll want to add the butter to a large mixing bowl and mix it until smooth. Then add the cocoa powder and mix again.
Add the confectioner’s sugar in stages and mix well. Add the Nutella, then mix and check the consistency and add a tablespoon or two of milk if needed.
Add the frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes. You can also just spoon it on if you don’t have piping bags.
(Remember that the instructions will also be in the recipe card below.)
Note About How I Write Recipes: I write recipes using volume (cups) measurements because here in the U.S., this is what people are more familiar with and I don’t want anyone to feel intimidated when baking. For metric measurements, click the ‘metric’ button under the ingredients in the recipe card below. The weights are converted by a program, not me, and it’s just a best guess. Please note that because I develop recipes using volume measurements, I can’t guarantee that weighing the ingredients will produce the exact same results.
Nutella Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting
For the cupcakes:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (measured correctly: spooned into the measuring cup and leveled off – don't scoop and pack the flour into the cup)
- ¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed cocoa-FAQ section in the post for questions)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled down a bit
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk, near room temperature (or buttermilk-if using buttermilk, omit the lemon juice/vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar
- 3 large eggs, near room temperature
- ½ cup hot coffee or hot water (see FAQ section in the post for questions)
For the filling:
- ½ cup Nutella
For the frosting:
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature (3 sticks)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup Nutella
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add cupcake liners to two, 12-count cupcake pans and spray them with non-stick spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients for the cake (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and both sugars). Mix well with a whisk and set aside.
- Add the milk and lemon juice (or white vinegar) to a measuring cup and mix well. Let sit for about 5 minutes. (You're basically making a buttermilk substitute by doing this, so if you have buttermilk, you can use that instead and just omit the lemon juice or vinegar.) If the mixture starts looking a little clumpy, it's fine.
- Add these liquid ingredients (milk and lemon/vinegar mixture, melted butter, oil, vanilla extract and eggs) to a mixing bowl and whisk well. Do not add the coffee or hot water yet.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients to the bowl. (Not the hot coffee or water yet.) Mix with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed just until the ingredients are well combined. Be very careful not to mix too long as that will cause a dense, rubbery and possibly dry cake. Stop mixing once everything is well combined. Generally, mixing longer than a minute is too long.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for about only 5-10 seconds more.
- Add the hot coffee (or hot water) and mix until well combined.
- Again, be careful not to over-mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for about only 5-10 seconds more. Batter will be very thin. That's fine.
- Fill cupcake liners about ⅔ of the way full.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 17-20 minutes. Ovens vary. A toothpick inserted into the center of a few cupcakes should come out with either a few moist crumbs on it or clean, but no raw batter. If the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs and no raw batter, go ahead and remove the cupcakes from the oven. Overbaking cupcakes will cause them to be dry.
- Set the cupcake pans on wire racks to cool for about ten minutes, then take cupcakes out of the pans and let cool completely on the wire racks before adding filing and frosting.
For the filling:
- Once the cupcakes are cool. Fill each with Nutella. There are a couple ways you can do this.
- Add a bismark piping tip (or a small to medium round tip) to a piping bag and fill with Nutella. Insert the piping tip into the center of the cupcake and squeeze until you see Nutella starting to peek out from the icing tip. You will need quite a bit of pressure to squeeze out the Nutella so make sure you have strong piping bags, or you can heat the nutella up just a bit but not too much or it will run out.
- If you don't have piping tips or piping bags, just cut a small amount out of the center of each cupcake and add a teaspoon or so of Nutella. You can add back a bit of the amount you cut out once you fill the cupcake. It helps to warm the nutella up a bit as it's thick and hard to get off the spoon if you don't. It's also helpful to chill the cupcakes, in an airtight container, so that they don't crumble too much when cutting out a small section in the middle. Don't chill them too long though or they can dry out.
- (Make sure to watch the video in this post to see how these two methods are done.)
For the frosting:
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed until smooth.
- Add the cocoa powder and mix on low until combined, then on medium until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.
- Add the confectioner's sugar and mix on low until combined, then on medium to medium-high until fully incorporated. The confectioner's sugar can be added a bit at a time, so it doesn't make a mess.
- Add the Nutella and mix until well combined.
- Check the consistency. If it's too thick, add 1 tablespoon of milk and mix again. Repeat if needed to reach the desired consistency.
- Once desired consistency is achieved, mix on medium-high for a couple minutes to make it light and fluffy.
- Once the cupcakes are cooled and filled, add frosting to the tops. Frosting can be spooned on or use a piping bag and a tip to pipe it onto each cupcake.
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Tips & FAQS:
Nutella is a creamy, chocolate hazelnut spread that’s going to add loads of delicious flavor to these cupcakes and to the frosting.
Don’t use Dutch-processed cocoa for this recipe. It doesn’t have the acidity compared to natural cocoa powder and using it would necessitate adjustments to other ingredients.
For an in-depth look at the distinctions between cocoa powder types, see this post: Which Cocoa Powder Do I Use?
No, it’s not advisable as they have distinct properties and cannot be interchanged. If you’re interested in understanding the differences between them, I recommend reading this informative blog post: Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda
While unsalted butter is ideal for this recipe, if you only have salted butter, you can use it in both the cake and the buttercream. Just remember to skip adding any extra salt mentioned in the recipes.
It’s not mandatory, but it won’t make the cupcakes taste like coffee. Coffee actually enhances the chocolate flavor. However, if you’d rather not use coffee, you can substitute it with hot water, and your cupcakes will still be delicious. Just remember not to skip the liquid entirely.
When the butter is at room temperature, it blends smoothly with the sugar. Think of it as all the molecules having a better dance party together.
Using ingredients at the same temperature helps maintain the harmony in your mixture. If you add cold milk and eggs to warm butter and sugar, the butter can cool down and clump up. It’s not a disaster if it happens, but it’s best to prevent it when possible.
Exercise caution and avoid over-mixing the batter. Scratch cakes should not be mixed for extended periods, as this can lead to denseness. Once the ingredients are well blended, stop mixing.
Overmixing can result in dense and rubbery cupcakes, so keep the mixing time to a minimum.
A toothpick inserted into the center of a few cupcakes should come out with either a few moist crumbs on it or clean, but no raw batter. If the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs and no raw batter, go ahead and remove the cupcakes from the oven. Overbaking cupcakes will cause them to be dry.
While you can freeze them, cupcakes tend to dry out quickly, so they’re best eaten within a few days.
Store these cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Cupcakes tend to dry out quicker than other types of cakes, so these are best eaten within a few days. Storing cupcakes in the refrigerator can also cause them to dry out quicker and be more firm when eaten.
Probably although I have not tried that. If you do try it, pour the batter into two, 8-inch round baking pans and bake at 325 degrees F and start checking at around 30 minutes or so, however, it will probably take a bit longer to finish baking.
If you want a chocolate layer cake recipe that was written and tested specifically for layer cake pans, check out that recipe here: Chocolate Butter Cake
These cupcakes are fantastic served chilled, at room temperature, or warmed up slightly. Enjoy them with a glass of milk or your favorite hot beverage for the ultimate treat.