Nutella Cupcakes

4.89 from 18 votes
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Irresistible chocolate Nutella crunch cupcakes are a chocoholics dream! Recipe inspired by Ferro Rocher chocolate hazelnut candy transformed into a personal-sized dessert.

Nutella Cupcakes

Last week Jason and I attended the first annual Everything Food Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. There was an opportunity to be part of a Cupcake Wars battle LIVE during the conference hosted by Justin Willman (squeal!). My partner Jasmine, and I created these Ferrero Rocher inspired cupcakes with chocolate ganache filling and Nutella hazelnut buttercream.

I couldn’t resist the chance to compete. I’ve always been intrigued by the Food Network Cupcake Wars TV show and decided to apply. My friend Jasmine Lukuku has two blogs; The Blenderist and Chocolate Codex. She has a passion for pastry just like me so I knew we would have a great time. Together we formed team Bake-a-Saurus, RAWR!

Dark chocolate ganache with hazelnuts in a bowl

For three days at the Everything Food Conference, bloggers from around the world gathered together to learn how to improve and grow their blog. We connected with other social media influencers, brands, and ate to our heart’s desire and then some.

It was an information-packed weekend, and we left feeling inspired and motivated to bring you even more high-quality content. I also got some tips on fun new ways to connect with you for a more interactive culinary science experience, so stay tuned!

Ferrero Rocher inspired cupcakes with chocolate ganache filling and Nutella hazelnut buttercream |

There was a little twist to the Cupcake Wars competition. Instead of using granulated sugar in the cake, we were challenged to use Lite and Sweet, a sweetener blend of natural erythritol and xylitol. We were nervous at first because we had never used this alternative sweetener in baking.

But guess what? As a 1:1 replacement for sugar, the cupcake was still tender and had a similar texture to the sugar-based cake recipes we tested earlier. A pleasant surprise indeed! Have you tried it before? If not, it’s an excellent way to reduce some of the calories from the sugar in your baked goods and is a great option for diabetics.

Ferrero Rocher inspired cupcakes with chocolate ganache filling and Nutella hazelnut buttercream |

Our cupcake was inspired by those cute little golden spheres that are Italian Ferrero Rocher candy. The chocolate-covered crispy spheres filled with Nutella and hazelnuts, yum! Jasmine and I each tested recipes in our home kitchens in California and Canada before the conference to find just the right cupcake, frosting and filling.

The result was a tender chocolate cake, filled with a rich chocolate ganache and crunchy roasted hazelnuts. We had to top it off with a light and fluffy Nutella buttercream, beyond delicious!

Ferrero Rocher inspired cupcakes with chocolate ganache filling and Nutella hazelnut buttercream |

Check out that gooey, creamy chocolate ganache center! Ganache is a simple mixture of hot cream melted with dark chocolate. We used about a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to cream to give a really rich pipeable filling. I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate for this homemade recipe.

Ferrero Rocher inspired cupcakes with chocolate ganache filling and Nutella hazelnut buttercream |

Hmm, which to choose, candy or cupcake? I’ll have one if each, please! It’s so much fun to take flavors from food you adore, and transform it into something different and delectable.

Ferrero Rocher inspired cupcakes with chocolate ganache filling and Nutella hazelnut buttercream |

Classy, elegant and sophisticated. The Sophia Loren of cupcake perhaps? The judges said these were “legit” so we got the thumbs up! Jasmine and I didn’t win the battle, but we were just so happy to participate and show our baking skills to the crowd.

We went against some fierce competitors; Dessert Now Dinner Later, Tried and Tasty, Gluten-Free Palate, Flippin’ Delicious, The Chocoholic Baker, Beauty and the Beets. These ladies are so passionate about sharing their incredible recipes with you, check out their gorgeous blogs! If you want to see a clip from the live competition, it’s on my Facebook page!

What are the different uses of Chocolate Ganache?

Besides just eating it straight from the bowl, chocolate ganache is a versatile, rich mixture that can be used in many applications depending on the ratio of chocolate to cream you use. Do you want to glaze your cake, make truffles, fill a cupcake or make a whipped frosting? All you need is two ingredients; high-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao) and warmed heavy cream (just hot enough to melt the chocolate). Here are the proportions based on your application (chocolate to cream): Cake filling and thick glaze (1:1); truffles (2:1); pourable glaze and soft icing (1:2). Try to use the ganache at room temperature to get the right consistency for your sweet treat. Yum! (Source: The Kitchn)

Chocolate Nutella Crunch Cupcakes

Irresistible chocolate Nutella crunch cupcakes are a chocoholics dream! Recipe inspired by Ferro Rocher chocolate hazelnut candy transformed into a personal sized dessert.
4.89 from 18 votes
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian


Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 2 tablespoons
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, fine-grain, or kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil, or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup boiling water

Chocolate Hazelnut Filling

  • ¾ cup dark chocolate, chopped, 60 to 70% cacao, (4 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream, heated
  • 4 tablespoons hazelnuts, chopped roasted

Nutella Buttercream

  • 12 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • cup whole milk
  • 1 cup nutella


Chocolate Cake

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven. Pre-heat to 375°F. Line two standard muffin tins with 12 paper liners.
  • Boil ¾ cup water (stove or microwave), set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until no visible lumps.
  • Add in egg, sour cream, oil, and vanilla. Mix until just smooth and combined.
  • Pour in ½ cup of the boiling water and slowly mix, starting from the center and working your way outward. The batter will be quite liquidy like brownies, but this is normal.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups. Fill each one about halfway with ¼ cup batter.
  • Bake 15 to 16 minutes, until a cake tester or a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Transfer the tins to wire racks for about 5 minutes until the tins are cool to the touch. Remove and transfer them to the racks. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them and decorating. The cupcakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Chocolate Filling

  • Warm the milk until just boiling and pour over chocolate, stir, then add nuts. You can microwave the cream and chocolate mixture in a microwave-safe bowl for a few seconds if needed to melt the chocolate further. Cool in refrigerator and then transfer to a piping bag. Cut off the tip of the bag right before filling.

Nutella Buttercream

  • In a stand mixer whip 12 ounces butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.
  • Gradually add 6 cups of sugar 1 cup at a time (low speed, then medium-high to smooth out). Add milk, mix on medium-high until combined.
  • Add 1 cup Nutella, mix on medium-high until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag with a large star tip.

Cupcake Assembly

  • Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a large melon baller or spoon to remove 1 teaspoon of cake from the center. Pipe in 1 teaspoon chocolate ganache and hazelnut filling.
  • Pipe the nutella buttercream in a swirl pattern on top of the filled cupcake. Decorate with desired toppings.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 12 cupcakes
Calories 300kcal (15%)Carbohydrates 26g (9%)Protein 3g (6%)Fat 21g (32%)Saturated Fat 9g (45%)Polyunsaturated Fat 3gMonounsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 46mg (15%)Sodium 133mg (6%)Potassium 42mg (1%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 19g (21%)Vitamin A 450IU (9%)Calcium 50mg (5%)Iron 0.9mg (5%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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4.89 from 18 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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16 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Anna says

    Hi, the recipe sounds amazing!! I was just wondering, (for nutella buttercream) how much sugar do you use (ounces)? My cups sizes vary a lot.

  2. Caitlin says

    I can say from experience that these cupcakes were awesome! I loved the ganache filling, and though I’ve never made ganache before, with your easy tips & recipe, I see it in my future. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Wasn’t that a fun night? I’m so glad that you got to go on stage too! Thank you for your sweet feedback, and I’m thrilled that you got to try the cupcake 🙂 You should definitely make some chocolate ganache when you get the chance, can’t go wrong with dark chocolate and cream!

  3. Leslie | Bessie Bakes says

    Oh these cupcakes look irresistible! I love the crunch of Ferraro rocher. I saw that they were having a cupcake competition at the conference. I wish I could have gone. I bet it was so fun and informative. Great job on these chocolate beauties?.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you SO much Bessie! This means so much coming from you 🙂 I wish you could have gone too, you would have really enjoyed it! You should definitely go next year if you can.

  4. CakePants says

    These look so elegant and indulgent! I love Ferrero Rocher candies, but I love desserts inspired by them even more. You did a great job with these, and the photos are stunning!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Wow CakePants, thank you so much for your comment! Kind feedback like this keeps me motivated 🙂 I LOVE taking dessert photos!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much Dee! I got to eat ALOT of candy to make sure the taste was just right, haha 🙂

      • LoCast says

        I am confused. The ingredients list calls for 1/2 cup boiling water and the instructions call for 3/4 c boiling water. Please clarify.

        Thank you.

        • Jessica Gavin says

          I would add 1/2 cup of boiling water. I had 3/4 cup in case any evaporated during heating, I hope that helps!