Chocolate and hazelnut is one of my favorite flavor combinations! Ferrero Rocher have always been my favorite chocolates and if you didn't know, that chocolatey goodness that's inside is Nutella. So if you ever wanted to eat a Ferrero Rocher in cupcake form, look no further than these chocolate hazelnut cupcakes with Nutella buttercream!
I don't know if I'm ashamed or proud to tell you that Kyle and I finished off all 12 of these chocolate hazelnut cupcakes in less than 24 hours. They're that good! So keep scrolling to see all of my tips and tricks!
The secret to keeping these cupcakes light and moist (as well as adding awesome flavor) is hazelnut flour!
You can buy hazelnut flour at a lot of grocery stores and online (Bob’s Red Mill* is my favorite brand for nut flours) but you can also make it yourself to save a little money. Hazelnuts can be pricey so buying in bulk is always the best bang for your buck. Trader Joe’s has big bags of toasted hazelnuts that are much cheaper than elsewhere that you can easily use to grind up your own hazelnut flour.
Make Hazelnut Flour
- If you have hazelnuts that are already toasted, wrap them in a kitchen towel and rub them until the skins fall off.
- If you have raw hazelnuts, spread them out evenly on a cookie sheet and toast them at 325 degrees for about 5-10 minutes until the nuts are browned slightly. Then wrap in a towel and rub to remove the skins. Let the hazelnuts cool completely to room temperature before grinding.
- Make sure both your food processor and the nuts are completely dry and room temperature. This is super important for making sure that you don’t turn your nut flour into nut butter.
- Place clean hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse in 1-2 second increments for about 1 minute total, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently to make sure they are ground evenly. Be careful not to over grind the nuts because, once again, you don’t want nut butter (unless you do, hazelnut butter sounds delicious).
- You can also add a little bit of sugar to the nuts to help absorb the oils, but I prefer not to. The same process can be used for almond flour or any other nut flours!
How to Make Brown Butter
I also like to add brown butter to these cupcakes! This is optional but the extra time is so so worth it! Browning butter gives it a toasty, nutty flavor that perfectly compliments the hazelnut flavor. But if you don’t feel like doing the extra step, melted butter works just fine in this recipe.
- In a small saucepan, melt 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter over medium heat.
- Once melted, stir frequently and watch closely for the formation of brown specs on the bottom of the pan and a nutty aroma.
- Once you see brown specs, stir for just a few more seconds (it browns super quickly).
- Remove from the heat and immediately pour into a different bowl to prevent it from burning.
- Let it cool slightly (5-10 minutes) before using.
To decorate all of my cakes and cupcakes, I use this Wilton Decorating Kit* and I love it! It’s super easy to use and has a ton of tips in different sizes. For these cupcakes, I used the 1M tip.
Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting!! After frosting, garnish with chopped hazelnut pieces!
More Cupcake Recipes
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Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream
- ½ cup unsalted butter, browned (or melted)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract, optional
- ¼ cup brewed espresso or coffee, substitute whole milk
- ¾ cup cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
- ½ cup hazelnut flour, substitute all purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ⅓ cup Nutella
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- chopped hazelnuts , for garnish
- Brown the butter: In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir frequently and watch closely for the formation of brown specs on the bottom of the pan and a nutty aroma. Once you see brown specs, stir for just a few more seconds (it browns super quickly). Remove from the heat and immediately pour into a different bowl to prevent it from burning. Let cool for about 10 minutes before using. If you don’t want to use browned butter you can just used melted butter.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the browned butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract until combined.
- Add in the espresso and mix until smooth.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the cake flour, hazelnut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Stir in about half of the flour mixture. Then stir in the milk and the rest of the flour mixture and mix until fully combined.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each muffin cup.
- Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
- Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream together the butter and Nutella until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar and salt and mix on low until fully combined.
- Then beat on high for 3-5 minutes until the buttercream is super light and airy.
- Frost cooled cupcakes. I used a 1M tip for these photos. Garnish with chopped hazelnuts.
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