I mean, come on. Does it get better in life when a cupcake merges with Chocolate + Nutella. It’s the ultimate dream team- and just in time for Valentines Day!
And I mean JUSTINTIME- I realize it’s tomorrow but the ingredients are pretty common, and most of them are likely in your pantry right now. Except maybe the Nutella because if you’re anything like me once I buy it it mysteriously disappears spoonful by spoonful. What? I like something sweet every morning with my coffee…and sometimes I get hangry in the mornings.
Don’t judge me.
This recipe took a couple tries to perfect (the struggle, I know) but I really really love how this turned out. I first bloomed my cocoa powder with some hot water and let it cool prior to putting it into the batter. I read several articles about how doing this with chocolate desserts enhances the cocoa solids and improves the flavor of any baked chocolate dish.
I also took the flavor up a notch by adding instant coffee to the cocoa mixture while it was hot. Don’t panic if you don’t like coffee- I promise you won't even notice it in the finished product. Cocoa and Coffee are two long-lost siblings that were separated at birth. Now they’re reunited…and it tastes so good!
Who wants a plain box of chocolates this Valentines Day (Or birthday, or anniversary, or just for yourself because you deserve it!) when you can have Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream WITH CHOCOLATES ON TOP?
A very happy Valentine’s Day, indeed. Enjoy!
Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream
For The Cupcakes:
½ C. Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Instant coffee or espresso powder
¾ c. Hot Water
1 C. All-Purpose Flour
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Kosher Salt
½ Unsalted Butter at room temperature
1 C. White Granulated Sugar
1 Egg, whole
1 Egg White
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
For The Nutella Buttercream:
½ C. Unsalted Butter at room temperature
2 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1/3 C. Nutella
½ tsp salt
4 C. Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a small bowl combine the hot water, instant coffee and cocoa powder, stirring to combine well, then set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and set aside.
In the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter for 2-3 minutes. Then on medium speed, add in the whole egg and egg yolk along with the vanilla extract until well-combined.
With the mixer on low, add in the flour mixture and the cocoa liquid mixture 1/3 at a time, alternating each until the batter just comes together and is free of lumps. Batter will appear loose, but not liquid.
Fill each muffin tin 2/3 of the way full and bake. For 18-20 minutes, testing that it’s done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean- careful not to overbake! Place on a cooling rack after 2 minutes.
Beat the butter and cream cheese in a mixer until creamy, 2-3 minutes.
Add in the Nutella, salt, vanilla and cocoa powder and mix on low until fully integrated. Then turn mixer on high for 1-2 minutes.
With the mixer on low, add in the heavy cream, then gradually add the powdered sugar until the desired flavor/consistency are achieved.
Once the powdered sugar is mixed in, beat on med/high for another 2 minutes until fluffy. Then put into a piping bag and pipe onto your cooled cupcakes! Top with candies or chocolates and enjoy!