Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella ButtercreamI bake for a lot of people. During any given month, I make and deliver upwards of twenty cakes (a lot for one person with one oven and a day job). I love getting texts and emails letting me know how much they were enjoyed–it really makes all of the effort worthwhile and keeps me motivated. But there is one person whose opinion truly means everything to me: my sweet little sister, Eliot (E3).

Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella ButtercreamBefore I went up to Boston last weekend to celebrate her birthday, I sent her a series of text messages about her birthday cake. I knew it would involve chocolate, but everything else was up in the air. I’m sure five text messages about how I could make a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting or a peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting weren’t disruptive to her studying *at all.* We went back and forth with ideas until she settled on a chocolate cake with Nutella Buttercream. Obviously, it was a hit with the birthday girl and her friends. I mean, hello! Nutella! Eliot loved it so much that she had some for breakfast on Sunday.

Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella ButtercreamBefore I headed back to New York, Eliot asked me to put her cake on my blog. I thought about it all the way home. I already have a great chocolate layer cake on here that is fantastic with this frosting, but being the vanilla person I am (sorry), I decided instead to pair that fluffy, chocolate-hazelnut buttercream with yellow cupcakes.

Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella ButtercreamY’all, these cupcakes are ridiculous. Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream take the classic combination of yellow cake and chocolate frosting and turn it on its head. The cake itself is a classic: super moist and buttery. But then there’s the Nutella Buttercream. It’s billowy and beautiful and basically tastes like pure Nutella…but better, because it’s frosting. Full of chocolate-hazelnut flavor and unbelievably rich and fluffy–you won’t be able to resist it!

Seriously, after biting into one of these cupcakes, you may wonder why yellow cake and Nutella Buttercream aren’t a classic yet. I sure am.Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream
makes 15-16 cupcakes*

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Nutella Buttercream:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup Nutella
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream

For Topping:
chopped milk chocolate-hazelnut candy bar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Make the cupcakes. In a small-medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until fluffy (about two minutes). Beat in sugar until combined. Add eggs and yolk one at a time, mixing completely after each addition. Mix in vanilla and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients in two installments, combining completely after each addition.

Fill muffin cups 2/3-3/4 full of batter. Tap pan on the counter five times before baking for 19-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat baking process with remaining batter, filling any unused muffin cups part-way with water.

Make the buttercream. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in Nutella. Add confectioner’s sugar and salt in two installments, mixing until completely incorporated. Mix in vanilla and heavy cream until the desired consistency has been reached.

Frost cooled cupcakes. Top with chopped candy bar pieces, if desired. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.


If you don’t have a muffin pan, this recipe will make a one-layer frosted cake. Pour prepared batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan and bake for 32-35 minutes. Let cool in the pan for ten minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Frost as desired.


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