Ultimate Nutella Cupcakes Recipe | Ferrero Rocher & Nutella-Filled Cupcakes | Handle the Heat

Ultimate Nutella Cupcakes

January 18th, 2022
5 from 13 votes
5 from 13 votes

Ultimate Nutella Cupcakes feature my perfectly moist chocolate cupcake base which is filled with Nutella, topped with Nutella buttercream, and garnished with a Ferrero Rocher candy! It's Nutella perfection!

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Nutella overdose in the best possible way. Texture: The cupcake is moist and tender, but sturdy enough to be filled with smooth and creamy Nutella and topped with thick and luscious Nutella buttercream. HEAVEN. Ease: Totally doable, but a little messy. Pros: Amazing chocolate hazelnut decadence. Cons: None!! Would I make this again? Absolutely, these Nutella filled cupcakes are an amazing indulgence.

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There’s something magical about these Ultimate Nutella Cupcakes.

Nutella is pretty magical on its own, but when stuffed inside my best chocolate cupcake recipe and added into a buttercream frosting… well you just can’t beat Nutella filled cupcakes.

I’d love to travel back in time to the first person who combined chocolate and hazelnuts and see the look on their face as they take that historic first bite.

So basically, a time machine would be completely wasted on me.

That’s okay because time travel isn’t required to enjoy all the random discoveries and inventions people have made with food and baking over the years. It’s easy to point out the differences between baking powder and baking soda, or why an extra egg yolk added to cakes, brownies, and cookies adds richness, moisture, and a chewy texture now.

But I can’t imagine the people who had to figure all that out in order for us to enjoy the array of baked goodies and treats we enjoy today!

If you want to up your cupcake game, then be sure to check out my post on How to Make Perfect Cupcakes here.

How to Make Nutella Cupcakes

Ingredients for Nutella Cupcakes:

  • Bittersweet chocolate – Make sure to use freshly chopped baking chocolate and not chocolate chips, which don’t melt down as smoothly.
  • Dutch-process cocoa – more on this star ingredient below.
  • Instant espresso powder – this simply enhances the chocolate flavor. Feel free to omit it or use hot coffee instead of the boiling water + espresso.
  • Boiling water – the heat of the water will help ‘bloom’ the cocoa powder, allowing it to impart big chocolate flavor into these cupcakes!
  • All-purpose flour  – I used Gold Medal Bleached All-Purpose flour for this recipe.
  • Granulated sugar – not too much since the frosting is quite sweet!
  • Light brown sugar – the molasses in brown sugar ensures these cupcakes are extra moist.
  • Fine sea salt – you can also use regular table salt.
  • Baking soda – learn more about baking soda here.
  • Sour cream – You can also use plain full-fat yogurt instead.
  • Vegetable oil – using oil creates an ultra moist and tender texture, and since these cupcakes are already packed with flavor, you won’t miss anything from not using butter.
  • Eggs – two whole eggs and an extra egg yolk create fudgy richness. Just be sure they’re all at room temperature so they emulsify into the batter evenly.
  • Hazelnut liqueur – optional for an extra boost of Nutella-esque flavor!
  • White vinegar – this helps activate the baking soda in the recipe since we’re using Dutch cocoa which doesn’t contain acidity.
  • Vanilla extract – always!

The BEST cocoa powder for chocolate cupcakes:

I opted for Dutch-process cocoa powder for this recipe since its soft chocolate flavor complements the Nutella wonderfully. Not to mention, Dutch cocoa is typically richer than regular grocery store cocoa so there’s less risk for dry cupcakes. Check out my Natural Cocoa vs. Dutch Process Cocoa Powder article here.

Do I have to use Dutch-process cocoa powder?

If you must use regular unsweetened natural cocoa powder, omit the vinegar from the recipe. Just note your cupcakes may be slightly dry.

cupcake comparison of cupcakes baked with different types of cocoa powder

How to fill cupcakes with Nutella:

Use an apple corer or small paring knife to remove the center of each cupcake, being careful not to remove the bottom.

Place the Nutella in a ziptop bag and snip a hole in one corner. Gently squeeze 2 teaspoons of Nutella into each cupcake.

For the best buttercream, use ORGANIC powdered sugar!

Organic powdered sugar is made with tapioca starch to prevent caking. Conventional powdered sugar is made with cornstarch to prevent caking.

Tapioca starch is not only sweeter than cornstarch but it dissolves better into the buttercream. Less chalky grittiness. Organic powdered sugar is perfect for any instance you want the sugar to dissolve smoothly (which means it would be awful for using as a decorative garnish).

One more note on using powdered sugar for buttercream… DON’T SKIP SIFTING! Especially if using organic powdered sugar, as it gets ultra clumpy.

If you must use conventional powdered sugar, just make sure it’s finely ground 10x (not 6x which is for decorating).

My favorite Nutella filled cupcake tools:

  • Cupcake tin: this one from Wilton is my personal favorite. Always try to avoid dark colored baking pans if you can!
  • Cupcake liners: these ones are my favorite for cupcakes that don’t stick to the liner.
  • Piping tip: I used the Ateco #828 piping tip for swirling on the chocolate frosting on these cupcakes. Any large open star tip will work!
  • Piping bags: I love these ones.

How to store cupcakes:

Store plain cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Store frosted cupcakes at room temperature for up to 8 hours or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze cupcakes?

Yes! Freeze unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container in a safe place in the freezer for 1 to 2 months.

More Nutella Recipes You’ll Love:

5 from 13 votes

How to make
Ultimate Nutella Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Ultimate Nutella Cupcakes feature my perfectly moist chocolate cupcake base which is filled with Nutella, topped with Nutella buttercream, and garnished with a Ferrero Rocher candy! It's Nutella perfection!


For the chocolate cupcakes:

  • 5 ounces (142 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (28 grams) Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (114 grams) sour cream or plain full-fat yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur, optional
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup (150 grams) Nutella

For the Nutella buttercream:

  • 2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar (preferably organic with tapioca starch like Wholesome Yum or Trader Joe’s), sifted
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) finely chopped semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2/3 cup (200 grams) Nutella
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ferrero Rocher candies, for topping


Make the cupcakes:

  1. In a medium heatproof bowl, add the chocolate, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Pour hot water over mixture. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk mixture gently until smooth then set aside to cool.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with foil or paper liners.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Whisk sour cream, oil, eggs, egg yolk, liqueur (if using), vinegar, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth, being careful not to overmix.
  5. Using a spring-loaded scoop, divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups until 3/4 full. Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely, about 1 hour. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Fill the cupcakes:

  1. Use an apple corer or small paring knife to remove the center of each cupcake, being careful not to remove the bottom.
  2. Place the Nutella in a ziptop bag and snip a hole in one corner. Gently squeeze 2 teaspoons of Nutella into each cupcake.

Make the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the cooled chocolate, Nutella, salt, and vanilla and beat on medium for 1 minute, or until well combined.
  2. Fit a piping bag with a decorative tip and frost all the cupcakes. Top with a Ferrero Rocher candy, if desired. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*Instead of espresso powder + boiling water, you can also use very strongly brewed hot coffee. For a coffee free option, omit the espresso powder and just use the boiling water.
**For an ultra smooth buttercream, use organic powdered sugar made with tapioca starch instead of cornstarch. 
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : nutella cupcakes, ultimate nutella cupcakes

This post was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2022 with recipe improvements and new photos. Photos by Joanie Simon.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Michelle — October 27, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    This is my second year in a row making these for my granddaughter’s birthday because she loves nutella. I love how the cupcake itself is not overly sweet and so pairs really well with the nutella filling and sweet buttercream frosting. I always double the recipe and had enough for 27 cupcakes and one very small individual cake which I layer with nutella in the middle and buttercream outside so that she has her own personal cake. It is a time consuming process, because it’s from scratch, but definitely worth it! I did use (Ghirardelli) chocolate chips this time and they melted just fine. Other than that followed the instructions exactly. Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. #
    Adrienne — September 11, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    These cupcakes were amazing! I used Luker 85% dark chocolate and valrhona cocoa powder and wow, the chocolate flavor was intense. Frosting was not overly sweet. Will be my go to chocolate cup cake recipe moving forward.

  3. #
    Mary — April 2, 2023 at 4:34 am

    great icing recipe:) i adjusted the powdered sugar, according to our taste, but the rest was great

  4. #
    Jamie — March 20, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    I love how quick and easy these come together! And they taste great too for such little effort. The icing so far has been a no fail in the Aussie heat too which is a bonus. It’s smooth, doesn’t split and always pipes so nicely. This is becoming my go to for birthdays and anytime that calls for cupcakes really.

  5. #
    Chris — February 14, 2023 at 11:05 am

    I made these for the super bowl with friends. They were a hit. I was nervous since my batter, even with measuring using a scale and double checking my brand specific ingredient weights, was super runny and each cupcake tin was pretty much full vs 3/4. There was also no way to use a scoop (usually=thicker batter) so I knew things weren’t quite right. They domed over, but still tasted great. I think I may use this as my new chocolate base once I can figure out what went “wrong.” The frosting was probably the best I’ve ever made. I think the butter to sugar ratio was perfect, which is great, because every other recipe I have to adjust to taste. I could eat it by the spoon. So maybe it’s not great lol. Definitely a labor and ingredient $ intensive recipe, but a winner for special occasions. Thanks for the tip on organic powdered sugar, I never realized that was a difference!

  6. #
    Anne — November 18, 2022 at 5:10 am

    Can these be made into mini cupcakes?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 18, 2022 at 2:37 pm

      Hi Anne! We haven’t tried that, but I don’t see why not! Because we haven’t tried this, I can’t tell you how long they’ll take to bake – but just follow the sensory indicators Tessa mentions in the recipe (“Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch”) to check for doneness. Happy baking!

  7. #
    Sarah — October 25, 2022 at 11:49 pm

    Hi can I just ask do you mean dark chocolate by bitter-sweet chocolate?

    I am so looking forward to trying your recipe with my granddaughter this week!

    • #
      Emily — October 28, 2022 at 3:04 pm

      Technically…it can definitely be confusing as bittersweet chocolate is considered ‘dark chocolate’! There are actually no U.S. government regulations that distinguish bittersweet from semisweet either, each much simply contain at least 35% pure chocolate. For this recipe, we used Ghirardelli’s 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate bars. I hope that helps! Let us know what you think when you give this recipe a try 🙂

  8. #
    Cate Chapman — August 26, 2022 at 11:26 am

    I’ve done a lot of baking and almost always get lots of compliments but these Nutella cupcakes got the most rave reviews! The base is so moist and packed with rich, chocolate flavor. The buttercream is amazing and the Nutella filling just put it all over the edge. Thank you Tessa for sharing this recipe!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 26, 2022 at 1:05 pm

      Yay!! So happy to hear this, Cate!! So excited these Nutella cupcakes were such a hit 🙂

  9. #
    Krisztina — March 26, 2022 at 7:22 am

    Huge hit with everyone that tried it. Deffinitely the best cupcakes I’ve ever made by a mile.

    • #
      Emily — March 29, 2022 at 12:16 pm

      So great to hear that, Krisztina! Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate hearing from you 🙂

  10. #
    Janaki — March 19, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    Hi there! this recipe looks delicious. Is there a way to change substitute eggs to make it eggless? Is so, what would be the substitute?

    • #
      Emily — March 21, 2022 at 10:26 am

      Hi Janaki! We don’t bake egg-free recipes, so I can’t say for sure!

  11. #
    Laura — January 28, 2022 at 10:13 am

    I only have dutch processed ghiardelli dark cocoa powder or just regular cocoa powder which one would work better?

    • #
      Emily — January 28, 2022 at 3:35 pm

      Hi Laura! Please check out the pink tip box above the recipe, Tessa answers that very question 🙂 Let us know what you think of this recipe!

  12. #
    Nancy — January 27, 2022 at 1:11 pm

    I have a question. I am looking for a chocolate cupcake recipe that is dark chocolate and a dense moist texture. I actually found a cake mix that was so good but for whatever reason the discontinued it. It was Specially Selected Double Chocolate Premium Cupcake Mix. It included the frosting mix which was also very good, It was sold by Aldi. I asked if they were going to bring it back and they said they didn’t know. They had some other flavors but nothing as good as the chocolate. I would like to duplicate this from scratch but have not come close. The batter was fairly thick so I kind of think of it as a cross between cake and brownie. Could you match the texture with any recipes? Again it seemed dense not heavy but very moist. Thank you for any help or suggestions you might have.

    • #
      Emily — January 28, 2022 at 9:21 am

      Hi Nancy! Neither Tessa or I have tried that cake mix before, so I can’t say for sure! These cupcakes are definitely for chocolate/nutella lovers, they’re very rich but very moist. Not dense though, and not a fudgy texture. How about starting with our Chocolate Brownie Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting? They’re brownies but cake, sturdy enough for a cake but also rich and fudgy (I think that’s the texture you’re looking for). You could also try our Best Chocolate Cake, in which the tops of each cake layer are shiny and slightly crackled, almost like a brownie. I think it’s a perfect mix, moist and tender, but also fudgy. The buttercream is out of this world good too 🙂 But you could also make our Best Ever Chocolate Buttercream instead, which you’ll want to lick the bowl! I hope that helps! Please let me know if either recipe matches what you’re looking for 🙂

  13. #
    Cristina — January 26, 2022 at 7:59 am

    These cupcakes are amazing!
    The dough was so moist and tasty, one of the best I’ve ever made! And it was actually the first time when I managed to make a good buttercream! I struggled so far with different buttercream recipes and didn’t manage to make a tasty one. Basically I was using a too fatty butter, but with the advice from HandleTheHeat team, I changed the butter and finally had a good one! I didn’t find “semisweet” chocolate, I used regular milk chocolate instead & it felt a bit too sweet (for my taste), but the kids I made them for absolutely loved them!
    I think next time I might use dark chocolate instead.

    Thank you for the recipe!

    • #
      Emily — January 27, 2022 at 9:50 am

      That’s so great to hear, Cristina! I’m always happy to help and so thrilled everything turned out perfectly! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment back with your results 🙂

  14. #
    Kimberly Button — January 23, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    Can you double this or triple?

    • #
      Emily — January 24, 2022 at 3:34 pm


  15. #
    Rachel C — January 23, 2022 at 9:23 am

    I made these for a dinner party and everyone was so impressed over how moist these cupcakes were and the rich chocolate flavor. Opted for chopped roasted hazelnuts instead sprinkled on top. If your a fan of chocolate and hazelnuts, then this cupcake is a must.

    • #
      Emily — January 24, 2022 at 3:37 pm

      Ooo love the idea of chopped roasted hazelnuts on top, yum! So happy to hear your cupcakes were a hit!

  16. #
    Cristina — January 18, 2022 at 3:07 pm

    Hi! This recipe looks amazing, I want to try it this weekend, I’m sure is as good as the other recipes I tried from you!
    I have a question about the buttercream though. I did not manage to get it right so far (or at least that’s what I think). Consistency and texture wise is ok, but it tastes too “buttery”, it’s way to greasy for my taste. However, when I eat buttercream bought from somewhere, the taste is a smoother and nicer.
    Any recommendations? I used unsalted butter with 82% fat. Should I try a butter with a lower far percentage?

    Thank you in advance.

    • #
      Emily — January 19, 2022 at 9:50 am

      Hi Cristina! We haven’t tested this recipe with European butter, so I can’t say for sure, but considering your notice of the buttery flavor as well as the greasiness, it’s very possible that is the issue. Try using an American-style butter, which is anything less than 82% fat, to see if that helps. Our favorite brand is Challenge butter. Make sure your butter is at a cool room temperature as well, which is about 67°F. If you still notice that the buttercream is too buttery, feel free to experiment with reducing the amount of butter used, or adding a little additional salt to change the taste into more of a salted Nutella buttercream. I hope that helps! Please let me know how it goes.

  17. #
    Ana — September 30, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    Hi! Can I make the cupcakes the day before by chance?

    • #
      Emily — October 1, 2021 at 3:23 pm

      Hi Ana! Yes, you can make the cupcakes the day before and store in an airtight container at room temperature, or you can store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy your cupcakes 🙂

  18. #
    Tammy Dano — February 28, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    I made these for my daughter’s boyfriend’s birthday.He loves Nutella. Him and everyone else that ate one raved about them. I added a nutella drizzle on top with crushed hazelnuts as well!

    • #
      Tessa — March 1, 2021 at 11:35 am

      I’m so glad these cupcakes were enjoyed!

  19. #
    Cindy — January 19, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    This is such a perfect cupcake! Everything from the flavors to instruction. Weigh your ingredients and you will have batter for exactly 12 cupcakes. And the filling and frosting are perfect for 12! My cupcakes were baked in about 12 minutes, so maybe check early. I know the recipe calls for Nutella but I like the upscale version of Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread called Nocciolata. Make these! Yum!!!

    • #
      Tessa — January 20, 2021 at 9:54 am

      I’m so thrilled you enjoyed these cupcakes!

  20. #
    Shamz — May 3, 2020 at 10:30 am

    I would just like to ask about your chocolate cake recipe,you have stated using baking soda in the recipe paired with dutch processed cocoa, according to your article about cocoa dutch processed cocoa is always paired with baking powder,please clarify?

  21. #
    Ladydi — April 12, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Made these for friend’s birthday… everyone loved them. I used a good box cake mix, but still a fabulous recipe.

  22. #
    Theresa — December 12, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Can I use crunch cookie butter instead of Nutella? You can get it at Trader Joe’s. It seems thicker than Nutella.

  23. #
    Andi Day — July 31, 2019 at 11:33 am

    This is a fantastic recipe! I have made them for several parties and they are always first to go! Leftover frosting is great on ice cream as well I heard! Thanks for sharing exactly what I was looking for!

  24. #
    Jan — December 6, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Hey! Love these cupcakes, just wanted to ask, what does the sour cream do in the batter? That was all, thanks for the awesome recipe!

  25. #
    Natalie — December 1, 2016 at 1:12 am

    Can I bake a cake using the same recipe as for the cupcake recipe given above?

  26. #
    max — August 5, 2016 at 11:22 am

    One of My favorite item,thanks for sharing this recipe! It looks delicious !

  27. #
    Chloe — August 2, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Hi. Love your awesome blog. In your frosting method u mentioned add salt vanilla and “cream” but don’t see the “cream” listed in your ingredients list. Hope u can clarify. Thanks so much. Hope to try this moist cake. Chloe

  28. #
    Kathryn @ Hungry Little Bear — August 2, 2016 at 4:32 am

    Oh wow, that chocolate cupcake is what dreams are made of, so glossy and squidgy!

  29. #
    Donika@whenfetametolive — August 1, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    These look amazing! My kids would love them 🙂

  30. #
    Kelly | Maverick Baking — August 1, 2016 at 5:23 am

    I want to bury my face in that buttercream. That is all. Wow.

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