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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.

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  • Stephanie
    July 28, 2005

    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!

  • Sam
    July 28, 2005

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

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

  • farmgirl
    July 28, 2005

    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! : )

  • Ana
    July 28, 2005

    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.

  • Fanny
    July 28, 2005

    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.

  • Cathy
    July 28, 2005

    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

  • Helen (AugustusGloop)
    July 28, 2005

    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.

  • Clare Eats
    July 28, 2005

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

  • Joe
    July 28, 2005

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

  • Piggy
    July 29, 2005

    Hi Nic,

    I’m a huge fan of Donna Hay! The cupcakes look yummy! 🙂

  • joey
    July 29, 2005

    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!

  • Amy
    July 29, 2005

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

  • J
    July 29, 2005

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

  • Alice
    July 29, 2005

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

  • violet
    July 29, 2005

    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.

  • latifa
    July 30, 2005

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

  • Nic
    July 30, 2005

    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!

  • Christina
    July 30, 2005

    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.

  • Nic
    July 31, 2005

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

  • Chin Ru
    August 1, 2005

    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

  • Angelika
    August 23, 2005

    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.

  • T
    September 1, 2005

    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!

  • karen
    September 9, 2005

    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!

  • SallyBR
    September 13, 2005

    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

  • Nic
    September 13, 2005

    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!

  • Niki
    October 19, 2005

    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?

  • Niki
    October 19, 2005

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

  • Nic
    October 20, 2005

    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.

  • Rose
    October 27, 2005

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

  • Rachel
    November 21, 2005

    oh, yum!

  • Anonymous
    March 2, 2006

    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.


  • Nic
    March 2, 2006

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

  • Anonymous
    March 2, 2006

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

  • strawberry
    March 7, 2006

    thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe!
    this is certainly a keeper 🙂

  • keiko
    March 12, 2006

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

  • MaggieGladYouCame
    April 8, 2006

    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.

  • Sally
    April 12, 2006

    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.

  • Nic
    April 13, 2006

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

  • Sally
    April 14, 2006

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

    Love your blog by the way…

  • Nic
    April 15, 2006

    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.

  • elodie
    April 17, 2006

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

  • Anonymous
    April 17, 2006

    “Makes 12” means that the recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

  • Marianne
    May 7, 2006

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

  • Monette
    May 22, 2006

    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!

  • Anonymous
    May 30, 2006

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

  • Anonymous
    August 3, 2006

    what do you mean by ‘ap flour’?

  • Anonymous
    August 7, 2006

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

  • Anonymous
    August 8, 2006

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

  • Anonymous
    September 5, 2006

    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

  • Diary of Kay El
    January 7, 2007

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

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