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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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  • grace
    January 14, 2007

    Heya! I’d love to try this out but I’m a little confused with regards to the recipe. It’s stated 1 3/4 cups of flour (200g) but I’m not sure what that means because 1 3/4 cups is actually equivalent to 400g instead of 200g.

  • Maninas
    June 27, 2007

    Hi, I made these cupcakes yesterday, and I was not too happy with the result. The dough was simply too eggy, a bitsy. I wonder if it’s sth to do with stirring/creaming. I creamed the butter & sugar with a hand mixer, then added eggs one by one, using a hand mixer to incorporate them into the dough. When that was done, I stopped pretty quickly, and sifted the flour over the mixture. Then I stirred the mixture with a wooden spoon, to incorporate flour… Anything I should have done differently? Did you use medium or large eggs?

    I love nutella and was really excited when I saw your recipe! I’d love to get it right.


  • Joy
    March 6, 2008

    I made this yesterday and have to agree with some of the comments that it is drier than the cupcakes I usually make with cake mixes. It’s also much less sweet, so I ended up calling them Nutella scones. =)

  • amanda
    April 28, 2008

    I made this tonight and these cupcakes are AMAZING. I had seen them on several blogs, and knew they would be good so I made a double batch (half nutella-swirled, half peanut butter-swirled). I only cut the butter down by 1 tablespoon (so for the double batch it was a whopping 23 tablespoons…hey, sometimes it’s worth the splurge). I also filled the molds 1/2 halfway, then piped in the nutella/pb (using a sandwich bag as a piping bag), then topped them with a little more batter, so the “frosting” was more in the center. This worked perfect and now I plan on actually frosting them a little more, so I can bring them to a party. Decadent, yes, but absolutely wonderful. This is by far the best cupcake I’ve ever had.

    Note: To those who found it dry, perhaps try using the full amount of butter originally called for (12 tbsp)? And note that 1 3/4 c. sifted flour is not the same as 1 3/4 c. flour, sifted. The latter is about 1/2 c. more, which could result in a drier cupcake. Also watch the baking time (mine took approx. 25 minutes to bake; they looked moist when I took them out, but they were done).

  • John Brace
    August 30, 2009

    What a great recipe! I’ve literally just finished cooking these and they tasted fantastic especially with a hot cup of tea:) I hadn’t baked for such a long time so was a little worried about what texture I would get but they were very fluffy inside with a slightly crumblier top and the nutella finished them off perfectly. Great recipe and thanks for sharing. I’ll post photos soon on my blog:)


  • Maya Rao
    March 17, 2010

    Thanks so much for mentioning quantities in grams as well. Its just what I wanted, no more messy conversions! :)Maya

  • Eva
    May 18, 2010

    These cupcakes came out delicious. I love how the top was crunchy when it was fresh! Thanks for the recipe. (:


  • katherine
    July 16, 2010

    For those whose cupcakes turn out a little dry, maybe you might wanna consider adding a tbsp or 2 of milk. i make these cupcakes on a very regular basis and due to the weather of the month the result varies a lot. actually i think this recipe is pretty awesome.

  • sweetp
    July 16, 2010

    has anyone tried this with egg replacer instead of eggs? I have lots of friend that dont eat eggs, and would love to spoil them with these cupcakes 🙂 they sound simply divine!

  • sweetp
    July 17, 2010

    ok,so I used egg replacer, and added 2 tbsp of oil which was great for the muffin texture- nice and moist. however, I made the mistake of swirling too much INTO the batter, so have now ended up with chocolate sunken in the centre and muffin batter oozing up and out of the sides 🙁 ah well, back to the drawing board for me 🙂

    the tast is great tho! thanks!

  • Renee
    July 19, 2010

    I made these this evening and they turned out perfect! Very moist and everyone loved them! And Amanda is correct, you must sift out some flour and then measure. Do not measure then sift.

  • Ryan
    August 5, 2010

    I just made these, posted them over at my blog:

    Thanks a ton for the recipe!!

  • Sherlly
    October 12, 2011

    I made these cupcakes an hour ago and boy was it delicious! Super flavorful and easy to make.

  • Lulu
    October 28, 2011

    Does anyone know if these can be frozen? trying to cook ahead for a party! Thanks

  • Carla
    December 12, 2011

    Has anyone tried this as a loaf??

  • Veronica
    April 29, 2012

    Made these tonight – delicious! Cupcake is a little dense but I didn’t know to sift the flour before measuring… I’m not that advanced 🙂 Yummy nonetheless!!

  • Tim
    January 1, 2013

    Donna Hay is one of the coolest ladies around. I love her recipes. She inspires me to cook for myself.

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