Self Frosting Nutella Cupcakes

Thank you Donna Hay.

If you don’t know who Donna Hay is, imagining a cross between Nigella Lawson and Martha Stewart from Australia will put you in the general vicinity. She is a cook and food stylist with her own lifestyle magazine and bunches of cookbooks, all available the world over. Her recipes are simple and generally unfussy, but always look good enough to be the star of the meal. The bonus is that they taste as good as they look.

These cupcakes are a great example. The gorgeous swirl on top is from Nutella topping the batter and being swirled around with a toothpick. The batter for these cupcakes is very short – meaning that it has a high proportion of fat to flour – and very rich. Because of this, it is very difficult to swirl the topping throughout the batter. Swirling it around the top of the cake bakes the “frosting” right in, so there is no messy goo on top. These are perfect for taking to a potluck or a picnic.

The cupcakes are tender, rich and very, very tasty. These are really perfect for anyone who doesn’t like things to be too sweet. The Nutella has a nice presence. I wouldn’t increase it, but if you want something really decadent, fill the tin half way with batter, add a teaspoon of nutella, top with the remaining batter, add the topping, swirl and bake.

Even though I usually follow the recipes pretty strictly here in the cooking school features, I admit that I took some liberties this time. For example, I used Nutella instead of the peanut butter that was originally called for and, because of the richness of the topping, I reduced the butter slightly. I didn’t reduce it much, but 12 tablespoons was quite a lot of butter for 12 cupcakes.

Nutella Frosted Cupcakes
10 tbsp(140 grams) butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups (200 grams) sifted all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Nutella, approx. 1/3 cup

Preheat oven to 325F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
Cream together butter and sugar until light, 2 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Don’t worry if the batter doesn’t look smooth. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder until batter is uniform and no flour remains.
Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin liner with batter. They should be 3/4 full, if you’re not using a scoop. Top each cake with 1 1/2 tsp Nutella. Swirl Nutella in with a toothpick, making sure to fold a bit of batter up over the nutella.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 12.

104 comments

  1. Oh, I love Donna Hay! And I’ve only really known about her for a month or so. I was fortunate enough to have a copy mailed to me from Austraila (I now know I can I can find them at B&N), and practically devoured it.
    She really does seem like a more approachable Martha…we’re going to be grabbing the mags as they come out and are trying to figure out which book(s?) to start with!

    Those cupcakes look wonderful…and we have an organic brand of Nutella sitting in the cupboard!

  2. ha ha – it must be Donna Hay week in Food Blog land!

    Nutella – great idea, I think even Fred might like that.

  3. Hi Nic,
    I knew there was a reason I needed to pop over here today. Not only absolutely scrumptious looking cupcakes (there’s that Nutella again!) but a link to Donna Hay! Just last night I read mention of her yet again–this time on Becks & Posh (LOL, see comment above). So thanks for explaining who she is and for the link–I’m off! : )

  4. I’ve seen some Donna Hay cookbooks here in our largest supermarket, Loblaws. They are beautiful to look at and I’ve been really tempted every time I leaf through them. I did not purchase them because I’m starting to feel guilty. It is so easy to collect reams of cokbooks and then you have no time to do things from them, simply because you have so many to choose from. But maybe I should consider purchase one or two.

  5. One of the first cookbooks i bought was a Donna Hay’s. Here started my addiction to Aussie cooks.
    Anyway this cupcakes lokks gorgeous but if i have time to do these i wont use Nutella, but homemade hazelnut and chocolate spread.
    Thanx for the recipe, i hope it ll be soon on my blog too as i cant wait to eat these.
    Love
    Fanny

  6. Hi Nic – those look really yummy! I hardly ever allow myself to use butter in muffins (I usually substitute oil), but I did on one recent occasion and, oh my, were those good! I can just imagine with Nutella folded in…. mmmmm

  7. Helen (AugustusGloop)

    Wow. I had no idea Donna Hay had such an international following! I feel like I don’t appreciate her enough now! =) We saw her in action at Donna Hay Live last year.

  8. I had no idea either AG.
    These cupcakes look yummy!

  9. Great picture! I love, love, love nutella so I will have to try this out… thanks!

  10. Hi Nic,

    I’m a huge fan of Donna Hay! The cupcakes look yummy! :-)

  11. I always browse through the Donna Hay cookbooks at my favorite bookstore but haven’t gotten around to buying one yet…I don’t know where to start! They all look so lovely! The cupcakes look fabulous and sound super yummy…and also so simple to make…I’ll be trying these out soon :-) Thanks for this post!

  12. I just found out about Donna Hay recently, too. But these cupcakes–Nutella and cake–how could you go wrong?

  13. hi, what a fabulous idea. am a total nutella addict. can’t wait to try the recipe…cheers,j

  14. Wow, that’s a great breakfast treat. I’m making this tomorrow morning!

  15. oh, brilliant. i’m currently looking for recipes to try out for the upcoming great american bakesale. this one looks like it could definately be a hit.

  16. WoW….Can’t wait to try it for the kids

  17. To everyone who is just learning about Donna Hay – You’ll love her.

    To everyone who already loved her – You have good taste!

    This recipe is so simple, that you’ll be suprised at what a hit it will be with the people who taste it. I know I was!

  18. that’s it… just add nutella and you have an instant success. Gosh, that little jar is just filled with yummy possibilities. I can’t wait to try these!! thanks for the recipe.

    and if i may ask, what donna hay book would you recommend starting with? I’d like to buy one sometime soon. I love looking through them.

  19. Christina – I like Classics 1&2. They’re beautiful just to flip through. The photography is amazing!

  20. these look so fantastic! i’m definitely going to try it. and yes, Donna hay’s recipes always seem simpler than anyone else’s but the results always taste great

  21. Hi Nic, it’s the first time I write you, I am new in the foodblogging scene but have heard much of you (you have had the marvelous idea about blogging by mail, right ?)and now I stumbled across your wonderful site via 80breakfasts. I also love Nutella and therefore will give the cup cakes a try soon. May I invite you to my site as well ? it’s http://www.theflyingapple.typepad.com
    Kind regards from Vienna to L.A.
    angelika

  22. your self-frosting cupcake post is inspiring tons of copycats! thats how i came to know about them myself- i must’ve missed this post the first time around. its going in my bookmark list so that i wont forget it!

  23. just found your website last week, and made these cupcakes earlier this week — fabulous! thanks for the fantastic recipe!

    I’ve always seen Donna Hay’s magazine at the bookstore but never checked it out; that will have to change.

    seriously, those were some good cupcakes, thank you!

  24. Hello there!

    First, I love your website, pretty nice!

    I made those cupcakes on Sunday, and they turned out very dry – talking to a few friends who are better bakers than myself (not too difficult, I am baking-challenged…) they suggested that maybe the recipe needed some milk?

    I could barely get 9 cupcakes, would never be able to make 12 as the recipe calls for.

    Anybody else had this problem?
    Any ideas, advice?

    Thanks, I love Nutella and would love to get these cupcakes right

  25. Sally – If your cupcakes turned out dry, I would first try checking your oven temperature or checking the cupcakes a minute or two early. Adding milk would change the texture, and these should be dense. Hope the next batch works out better!

  26. Sallybr – mine were the opposite of fry. Very moist, very buttery. Is it possible you misread some quantities of the ingredients, as I’m not sure how you could have a dry mixture with the quite large amount of butter and 3 eggs in the mix?

  27. Oh, and when I made them, I had extra batter; enough for about 15 cupcakes. Was yours a standard size muffin tin?

  28. Niki, I agree with you that Sally must have missed something. It happens to the best of us. I was using a standard sized tin, but I won’t be suprised if “standard” manages to vary from place to place. I’m glad yours still turned out well.

  29. Thank you…school cake stall tomorrow…what a life saver..

  30. hi, i am a regular visit of your blog i was going through the recipe of nutella cup cake…In the ingredients list I couldn’t make out what is ‘ap flour’. Is there any other name for it.

    Thanks
    Sheetal

  31. Hi Sheeta. “AP Flour” is “all purpose flour”. I just like the shorthand.
    Good luck with the recipe – I know you’ll love it.

  32. hey nic, thanks very much for the instant reply…i’ll try it very soon
    sheetal

  33. thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe!
    this is certainly a keeper :)

  34. Hi Nic, I’ve finally made this (with a little less butter & sugar) – absolutely yummy!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  35. MaggieGladYouCame

    Nic – I’m so glad I found you. When we went to Italy in 1991 I enjoyed a spread for bread similar to Nutella for the first time. Thought I’d died and gone to heaven! when I came home I found Nutella. Can’t wait to try these cupcakes.
    I hope it’s okay that I’ve added a link to this recipe from my site.I think my readers would enjoy your site because I do. Thanks for all the work.
    Maggiegladyoucame

  36. Nic, I have the hardest time swirling the nutella. And in the end my cupcake was sunken in the middle because all the nutella is in the middle of the cupcake.

  37. Hi Sally. Practice makes perfect. Maybe you should try another batch – just in case. =)

  38. Should I soften the nutella by heating it first, Nic?

    Love your blog by the way…

  39. Thanks, Sally. The nutella is not meant to achieve the same consistency as the batter, though the batter is fairly thick. It will be stiffer. This texture is what enables it to stay on top of the cupcake and provide the “frosting.” I have generally found that stirring it briskly (and making sure that it is at room temperature) is sufficient to enable me to swirl it slightly with a toothpick.

  40. hey, can someone tell me what “makes 12″ means? I’m french and I don’t understand.
    Thanks

  41. “Makes 12″ means that the recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

  42. Thanks for sharing! I tried these on the weekend and they are YUMMO!!!!!

  43. Just dropped in to let you know that my son Anton loooovvvves these cupcakes. I’ve been making a batch each week for 5 weeks now and it’s only been 5 weeks since I stumbled upon the recipe! We’re 2 of your greatest fans in Manila, Philippines. Love your blog!

  44. This is the best cupcake I’ve ever made! Thanks for providing us with this wonderful recipe!

  45. what do you mean by ‘ap flour’?

  46. Hi, AP Flour refers to all purpose flour; also known as plain flour.

  47. yum yum yum! im gonna make them right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. hi there, do u think that this recipe would make a good cake?? i’d like ot try it out this afternoon, so if someone who has made this could reply to me asap. it would be MUCH APPRECIATED. :)
    thanks charlene

  49. My first experience in trying out a recipe from your site – amazing!

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