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!
- Cake flour - I always use cake flour in my cupcakes because it makes them super soft and tender, but all purpose flour also works great!
- Unsweetened cocoa powder - I prefer using Dutch processed cocoa powder for cupcakes because the acidity has been neutralized. However, you can use natural cocoa if that's all you have.
- Brewed coffee and espresso powder - This is optional, but I love adding both coffee and espresso powder to chocolate cupcakes because it helps deepen the chocolate flavor. But if you don't want to use both, just use one or the other. Note: espresso powder is NOT the same as instant espresso!! Espresso powder is much more flavorful and more finely ground, making it more suitable for baking.
- Nutella - I'm partial to the classic Nutella, but any chocolate hazelnut spread should work!
- Hazelnut flour - The secret to keeping these cupcakes light and moist 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.
Make Hazelnut Flour
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.
- 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 Chocolate Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup pan with cupcake liners.
Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, sugar, almond extract, and vanilla together until combined.
Stir in about half of the flour mixture. Then stir in the coffee, milk, and the remaining flour mixture and mix until fully combined.
Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
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.
These chocolate hazelnut cupcakes will last in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting!! After frosting, garnish with chopped hazelnut pieces!
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.
More Recipes You Might Like
If you make this recipe, please leave a star rating at the bottom of the page! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want more delicious, scratch-made recipes you can subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract, optional
- ¼ cup brewed espresso or coffee, substitute whole milk
- 1 cup cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
- ¼ cup hazelnut flour, substitute all purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted 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, espresso powder, baking powder, 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.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Browse more cake & cupcake recipes →