Nutella Cupcakes

These nutella cupcakes are made with my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe and a generous nutella filling in the center of the cupcake. They’re frosted with nutella buttercream, a nutella drizzle and a sprinkle of pralined hazelnuts.

These babies were more of a “spur of the moment” recipe. My sister was over the other day and she requested nutella cupcakes. They’ve actually been on my to do list for a while now so I finally got to check that off my cupcake bucket list.

Why you’ll love these cupcakes

  1. I used my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe which is basically a double batch of my small batch cupcake recipe. 
  2. The vanilla base complements the nutella flavor instead of overpowering it like a chocolate flavor would. 
  3. A generous nutella spread filling in the center of the cupcake for a nice surprise bite.
  4. Super smooth and silky nutella buttercream. 

I couldn’t decide between filling the center of these cupcakes with nutella or doing a nutella swirl. If you like the latter idea better, feel free to use this same recipe but take the method from my nutella swirl cake

That 2 ingredient buttercream in my nutella swirl cake is also a little richer and much simpler to make than this one. Both work great for these nutella cupcakes, I just wanted to give you both options. I prefer both of these over american frosting with powdered sugar because they’re a lot less sweet and much more silky.

Ingredients & Substitutions:

  • Butter: I like to use salted butter for my cakes and unsalted butter for my buttercreams. 
    • You can also use unsalted butter for the cakes, just add an extra ¼ tsp of salt to every cup of butter used. 
    • Dairy free butter also works.
  • Oil: any neutral oil like vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, etc. will work. 
  • Sugar: I use granulated sugar in my cupcakes and I don’t recommend substituting it or reducing the amount.
  • Vanilla: I use extract in this recipe but vanilla bean paste or artificial vanilla extract would work well too.
  • Eggs: always use large, room temperature eggs. Pop them in hot water for 5-10 minutes if they’re cold.
    • I use one whole egg here but this cupcake recipe also works great with two egg whites if you have some lying around. 
  • Flour: I usually use all-purpose flour for cakes but cupcakes are a different story. I use cake flour for these cupcakes.
    • ​​I also HIGHLY recommend using a digital scale, as flour is almost always over measured. 
    • If you don’t have cake flour, you can substitute the cake flour for equal parts all-purpose flour – 1 Tbsp and then add 1 Tbsp cornstarch. It’s not a perfect substitute but will get the job done. To learn more about this, check out my ebook about ingredients. Use code BAKER for 60% off. 
  • Baking Powder: can sub for baking ½ tsp baking soda if you don’t have baking powder. 
  • Salt: salt brings out the flavor in all baked goods.
  • Sour Cream: I use sour cream in almost all my cake and cupcake recipes. It brings and holds a lot of moisture into the cake. Plain greek yogurt or unsweetened regular yogurt also works. 
  • Milk: any fat percentage of milk works, even plant based milk works.  
  • Nutella Spread: if you can’t find the Nutella brand, any brand of chocolate hazelnut spread will work.
  • Hazelnuts: If you can’t find hazelnuts for the topping, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans or walnuts work as well.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Make the cupcakes by creaming the butter and oil with the dry ingredients and sugar.

Step 2: Add the egg, vanilla and sour cream and beat until they’re fully incorporated.

Step 3: Add the milk and mix until they’re combined.

Step 4: Scoop cupcake batter into 13 lined cupcake tins (the 1 extra can wait if you only have one muffin pan). 

Step 5: Bake for 16-18 minutes, until slightly golden and the center springs back when you press on it . 

Step 6: For the buttercream, beat the eggs in a stand mixer while heating the sugar and water until it’s at a softball stage. 

Step 7: Stream the hot sugar into the beating eggs and let it whip for 5-10 minutes and then add the butter. 

Step 8: Add the nutella to the buttercream, switch to a paddle attachment and beat low speed until it’s completely smooth.

Step 9: Make the praline by pouring hot sugar over hazelnuts, let them cool and grind them up.

Step 10: Once the cupcakes have cooled, remove the center with a knife or a cupcake corer and use a piping bag or a spoon to fill it with nutella.

Step 11: Frost the cupcakes with the nutella buttercream, drizzle some melted nutella over the buttercream and sprinkle some hazelnut praline on top.

I use a similar method to assemble my birthday cake cupcakes, strawberries and cream cupcakes, and peanut butter s’mores cupcakes

I used a vanilla cupcake base to really let the nutella shine but if you’re into a chocolate base, I also have a chocolate hazelnut cupcake you’ll love. You could also just add 2-4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder to the buttercreams as well, if you want a darker chocolate nutella buttercream.


What kind of spread to use for nutella cupcakes?

I use the nutella brand but any brand of chocolate hazelnut spread will work. I prefer a very smooth one to keep the buttercream nice and silky.

How to get that perfect dome on the cupcake?

My secret to perfect cupcakes is my digital scale! If you overfill or under-fill the muffin pans you may get a cupcake with a muffin top or a shriveled sunken cupcake but if you weigh them, you’ll get it right each time. 
Each cupcake tin should hold 50-55 grams of batter. There might be just a little leftover batter (not enough for another cupcake), DO NOT be tempted to squeeze it all in. Just lick the spatula and call it a day!

Can I make these cupcakes dairy free?

You can use dairy free butter, dairy free milk/cream to make these nutella cupcakes. 

Can I make these cupcakes gluten-free?

I have not tested my cupcake recipes but all my cake recipes work well with a 1:1 gluten-free flour like Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Flour. 

Can I skip the praline?

I know the steps add up and sound daunting. After making my ferrero rocher cake, I’ve become a little obsessed with adding these praline pieces to all my desserts. But I get it, all the different parts to my recipes can become tedious. 
You can certainly use crushed hazelnuts or store bought praline if you don’t want to make any.

How do I know when cupcakes are done baking?

The cupcakes are done baking when they no longer look wet. The edges may not brown depending on the oven so make sure to test it by gently pressing on the tallest area of the cupcake and if it springs back, it’s done. If it feels wet and stays pressed in, give it another few minutes before testing again.

How to serve and store nutella cupcakes

Serve the cupcakes fresh or leave them at a cool room temperature for 1-2 days. 

To refrigerate, make sure to cover the cupcakes with a cake dome or store them in an airtight container for up to a week.

To freeze it, place them in an airtight container and then place the container in an airtight bag. Thaw at room temperature before serving.  

If you make these nutella cupcakes, make sure to tag me @baranbakery on instagram so I can share them with everyone! 

As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!

Love, B

Yield: 13 cupcakes

Nutella Cupcakes Recipe

nutella cupcakes with nutella buttercream

These nutella cupcakes are made with my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe and a generous nutella filling in the center of the cupcake. They’re frosted with nutella buttercream, a nutella drizzle and a sprinkle of pralined hazelnuts.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 18 minutes


Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cup (172g) cake flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60mL) canola oil
  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (113g) sour cream
  • 1/3 cup (78mL) whole milk, room temperature

Hazelnut Praline

  • 2 oz blanched hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (30mL) water

Nutella Buttercream

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60mL) water
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (147g) Nutella spread
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt

Filling & Topping

  • 1/2 cup (147g) Nutella spread


Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/177C convection (325F/163C conventional) and line 13 muffin tins with cupcake liners (preferably a light colored pan).
  2. In a medium bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  3. Add the oil and butter to the dry ingredients and use an electric mixer to beat them together until they're combined.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until they're fully combined.
  5. Then add the sour cream and milk, mixing just until the batter is smooth. 
  6. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3-3/4 full (about 50g). Bake for 16-18 minutes.
  7. The cupcake should no longer look wet and when you press on the center of the cupcake it should spring back, or once a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Remove them from the oven and let them cool in the cupcake pan for 10 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.
  9. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely and then use a cupcake corer or a knife to cut a whole out of the center. Set aside.

Hazelnut Praline

  1. While the cupcakes are baking, ground your hazelnuts and place them in a short, wide bowl or on a baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. Place the sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir intermittently until it is fully dissolved and the color is like honey.
  3. Pour the sugar evenly over the hazelnuts and stir quickly before it cools and hardens.
  4. Return the nuts with the sugar to the food processor and pulse until there are no more large chunks. 

Nutella Buttercream

  1. Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and swirl the pan until the sugar is fully immersed in water.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and comes to a gentle simmer. Lower the heat to low and place the lid on the pan and allow the mixture to simmer for a couple minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, and turn the mixer up to high speed. Let it whip while the sugar is cooking.
  4. Use a candy thermometer to see when the sugar reaches 240F (116C), then lower the mixer to medium speed and slowly drizzle the hot sugar syrup into the thick and foamy eggs, while they are whipping.
  5. Turn the mixer back up to high speed and let it whip for 5-10 minutes, until the egg mixture is very pale and fluffy and is cool to the touch or no longer warm.
  6. Turn the mixer back down to medium speed and add in the butter, 2 Tbsp of butter at a time, mixing until each chunk is fully combined.
  7. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed until the buttercream has fully come together.
  8. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, add in the Nutella, vanilla and salt and turn the mixer up to high speed for 1-2 minutes.
  9. If you want to remove the air and make it smooth and creamy instead of fluffy, switch to a paddle attachment and turn the mixer to low speed for 5 minutes.


  1. If you haven't already, use a knife or a cupcake corer to remove the center of each cooled cupcake. Fill the center with Nutella spread.
  2. Use a piping bag fit with a large round piping tip to frost the cupcakes.
  3. Use a piping bag with a tiny cut or a small round piping tip to drizzle the Nutella over the buttercream.
  4. Sprinkle some hazelnut praline on top of the cupcakes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 131mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 2gSugar: 49gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information may not be fully accurate.

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