This week I was inspired by a tweet I received about Nutella frosting. I was introduced to the wonder that is Nutella my sophomore year at CCSU by my old roommate who used to eat it directly out of the jar on pretzels. Needless to say one taste of the rich, chocolate, hazelnut spread and I fell in love. So the idea to incorporate that flavor into a cupcake is genius.
Even though I wanted to bake with Nutella, I didn’t want to shy away from the fall flavors, especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner. So I did my usual Google search to try to find a recipe that I could work with, and one of the first ones that came up was “Self-Frosting Pumpkin Nutella Cupcakes” from the blog, 52 Kitchen Adventures. Now to be completely honest I didn’t search for any more recipes after finding this one, I was sold by the words “self-frosting” right in the blog’s title.
Not only did this recipe allow me to conduct a science experiment, but it also saved me from the frosting step, which has started to become my least favorite task. What is fun about these cupcakes is you make the pumpkin cake batter and rather than frosting them after, you put a spoonful of Nutella (or any hazelnut spread) on top of the batter in the cups and swirl it in with a toothpick. As the cupcakes bake in the oven the Nutella warms and spreads, virtually frosting the top of the cupcake.
Pumpkin and chocolate aren’t two flavors that are combined often, but I loved this cake. The cupcake itself is dense due to the weight of the pumpkin puree, but the Nutella serves as a nice compliment to the strong nutmeg and cinnamon flavors and the hardened Nutella could be broken off and eaten like a piece of chocolate!!
Self-Frosting Pumpkin Nutella Cupcakes
Adapted from 52 Kitchen Adventures
- 1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Nutella for topping
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with foil or paper liners.
2. Place the pumpkin, oil, eggs, vanilla, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl. Beat to combine.
3. In a separate large bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
4. Fill muffin cups around 3/4 full. Place a couple of teaspoons of Nutella on top of each cupcake. Use a toothpick to swirl the Nutella around the top of the batter.
5. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
If you love Nutella as much as I do try some of these other inspired recipes, and don’t forget World Nutella Day is Feb. 5, 2012!