My gluten free Nutella Cupcakes are the real deal… A light and fluffy chocolate-hazelnut sponge encasing a hidden pocket of gooey chocolate-hazelnut spread, topped with light, decadent Nutella buttercream. Tempted? Optional dairy free.
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Introducing my ULTIMATE gluten free Nutella Cupcakes
These are my ultimate gluten free Nutella Cupcakes. And I’m proud of them… In context? I mostly struggle to feel good about what I achieve. I am a perfectionist and no matter how good something is, I always think there is room to improve it. But these cupcakes hit the mark. Rich and full of the flavours of Nutella, they make the perfect teatime treat to be loved by grown-ups and children alike.
Why these Gluten Free Nutella Cupcakes are different (and (I think) better than the rest)
If you search the internet, you’ll find plenty of ‘Nutella Cupcake’ recipes. So, what makes these different and why should you choose this recipe to make?
In developing my ultimate gluten free Nutella Cupcakes, I thought long and hard about how to get the BEST balance of chocolate and hazelnut (the base flavours of Nutella). I didn’t just want a chocolate cake with a blob of Nutella mixed in. The richness of the hazelnut and the depth of cocoa needed to permeate right through every bite, in a way that was natural and delicious…
So… what you get with this recipe is perhaps a little more considered. The cake itself is a balanced chocolate-hazelnut sponge. It is made with a happy ratio of ground roasted hazelnuts providing depth, a tempered sweetness and bags of sophistication. It’s light and moist and additionally infused with cocoa.
Inside, is the (predictably) hidden delight of sweet and sticky Nutella spread, guaranteed to bring a child-like smile… Each cupcake is topped with a silky-smooth Nutella Buttercream… And a sprinkle of toasted chopped hazelnuts and a chocolate button.
Now that’s a super-yummy Nutella Cupcake… Tempted?
Where can I find ground roasted hazelnuts to make the sponge for Nutella Cupcakes?
The first question I can predict from you guys is ‘where can I find ground roasted hazelnuts?’ It sounds like it could be a tricky ask… But guess what? I found them in the baking aisle of Sainsbury’s! I have no idea whether they are available in other supermarkets, but if you can’t source them, they are also super-easy to make…
Simply buy some de-skinned, roasted hazelnuts and give them a quick pulse in the blender to turn into roasted ground hazelnut meal… Or, toast some raw de-skinned hazelnuts in the oven, cool them and then grind into hazelnut meal.
Just remember to go easy in the blender… Too much grinding and you’ll end up with hazelnut butter.
Do I have to make a Gluten Free Chocolate-Hazelnut Sponge?
The BEST Nutella Cupcakes deserve a chocolate-hazelnut sponge made to match. And I absolutely recommend pushing the boat out on this one. It’s the difference between an average or an exceptional Nutella Cupcake.
Ultimately though it’s your call. If you do ‘average’ chocolate-hazelnut, then just sub the ground hazelnuts for ground almonds or use an alternative chocolate sponge of choice.
What gluten free flour is used to make Nutella Cupcakes?
The flour used to make my gluten free Nutella Cupcakes is my basic white Gluten Free Alchemist Flour Blend A. But it is not essential to use this blend. The cakes should work with most standard gluten free cake flour blends… Doves Freee plain white should be fine, but equally, my Rice Free Flour Blend B should be good too.
Just be sure to use a gluten free flour blend. Gluten free baking requires a mix of individual gluten free flours to gain the balance of starch, protein and structure. Single flours simply won’t work.
Are these cupcakes safe for Coeliacs (Celiacs)?
Providing my Nutella Cupcakes are made with a gluten free flour blend, they are absolutely safe for Coeliacs (Celiacs). Nutella is gluten free and certified safe for Coeliacs by Coeliac UK. There are no other gluten containing ingredients in the recipe.
How to core cupcakes ready to fill with Nutella
If you have never cored cupcakes for filling before, don’t panic. It’s really easy, gadget or no gadget…
To core with a small sharp knife, carefully cut a neat round hole out of the centre of the crust (and be sure to set aside… you’ll need it later). Then use a teaspoon or the tip of a flat knife, to scoop a deeper dip out of the hole. You’ll then use the top crust to plug the hole once filled.
But… did someone say ‘gadget’? I love a gadget! And yes… I core with a Lakeland cupcake corer. It has two different sized coring discs allowing for a bit of flexibility on the size of the hole. And it makes coring super-simple!
Can I use a different chocolate hazelnut spread to make Nutella Cupcakes?
Absolutely yes. Although Nutella is very accessible and very popular, it’s not for everyone. So, if you have a commercial chocolate-hazelnut spread alternative that you love and want to use, go ahead. They will still be ‘Nutella’ Cupcakes even if they aren’t Nutella Cupcakes.
Or… Why not try making my homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. If I’d had more time and some in the cupboard, I would have used it myself. It’s less sweet than Nutella, definitely more nutty and utterly delicious. It can also be made dairy free as required.
Can these gluten free Nutella Cupcakes be made dairy free?
Yes. If you use shop-bought dairy free chocolate hazelnut spread, or make your own, ‘Nutella’ Cupcakes can be made dairy free as well as gluten free. You’ll also need to sub the milk and butter in the sponge recipe for a good dairy free alternative (I recommend Stork Baking Block). And make the buttercream, with dairy free spread as well.
How to make perfect Nutella Buttercream to top your gluten free cupcakes
Making Nutella buttercream is really easy. But if you want a silky-smooth texture and a careful balance that is not excessively sweet or sticky, it is important to get the balance of ingredients and process right. So… Here’s my top tips for making light and decadent Nutella buttercream…
- Go easy on the icing sugar… Nutella is pretty sweet in itself, so the ratio of butter to icing sugar is higher than it would usually be when making standard buttercream.
- Make sure the butter is well-softened before making the buttercream. And beat it until light and pale before adding anything else!
- Sift the icing sugar so that it is superfine with no clumps and beat into the butter a little at a time until light and smooth.
- Lastly add the Nutella and beat through to velvety buttercream nirvana!
Ready to make my Ultimate Gluten Free Nutella Cupcakes?
I hope you’ll try my gluten free Nutella Cupcakes. They are so SO good. Don’t forget to let me know if you make them. Leave a comment below or tag me on social media with your incredible Nutella Cupcake pics, so I can see how they turned out. I’d also love it if you can rate the recipe too… Lots of cool 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ helps the ‘Google god’ show it to more people. Yeah… I know! Needs must 🙄.
If gluten free Nutella Cupcakes don’t tempt you, that’s fine. You can always choose a different recipe from our Cupcake and Small Cake Index, or our huge Index of gluten free recipes. Either way, thanks for reading and happy baking
Other Recipes with Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread
Gluten Free Nutella Cupcakes (Chocolate Hazelnut)
- 2 x cupcake baking tins
- cupcake cases
- measuring jug
- small sieve
- silicone/wooden spoon or spatula
- small sharp knife and/or cupcake corer
- piping bag and nozzle – optional
- 185 g plain white gluten free flour blend eg. Gluten Free Alchemist Blend A – See NOTES
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (leave out if using a commercial blend that already has xanthan gum added)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1¼ tsp baking powder gluten free
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 220 ml/g milk dairy free if necessary
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 40 g cocoa powder
- 75 ml/g boiling water
- 105 g butter (or good quality dairy free alternative) softened
- 280 g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs At room temperature – UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 105 g ground roasted hazelnuts If unable to find in a supermarket, make your own by roasting raw de-skinned hazelnuts and pulsing briefly in a blender to make coarse hazelnut meal.
- 10 tsp Nutella/chocolate-hazelnut spread dairy free if needed (approx amount)
- 160 g unsalted butter (or good dairy free alternative) softened
- 220 g icing sugar (confectioners sugar) sifted
- 190 g Nutella or alternative chocolate-hazelnut spread
- 2 tbsp chopped roasted hazelnuts to sprinkle
- 16 chocolate buttons (or alternative of choice).
- Prepare 2 cupcake tins by lining with medium to large cupcake cases (about 16 required).
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Weigh and mix together the flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and salt. TIP : weigh into an airtight container and shake well to blend. Set aside.
- Weigh or measure the milk into a jug and add the white wine vinegar. Stir thoroughly and leave to stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, until it has a slightly curdled appearance. This will make 'buttermilk'
- Sift the cocoa powder into a small bowl. Add the boiling water a little at a time, gently stirring through until you have a smooth paste. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar using an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
- Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat with a fork to blend, before gradually adding a little at a time to the butter mixture, beating thoroughly between each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract and cocoa paste and beat again, until smooth and well-blended.
- Gently fold in the ground hazelnuts using a large spoon or spatula.
- Finally add and fold through the dry ingredients and milk mixture, alternating a little dry followed by a little 'buttermilk' (about a third of each at a time). Fold gently to ensure as much air remains as possible and stop when the ingredients are JUST amalgamated to avoid over-mixing.
- Split the mixture between the cake cases evenly and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until the tops spring back and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- Allow to cool completely before decorating.
- Beat the butter with an electric whisk or wooden/silicone spoon until pale and light.
- Gradually add the sifted icing sugar a spoon at a time, beating thoroughly to blend until smooth.
- Lastly, add and beat through the Nutella/chocolate hazelnut spread until the buttercream is light and silky. If the buttercream feels very thick, add a tiny drop of milk to loosen.
Filling and Decoration
- Core a small hole from each cupcake using a cupcake corer or small sharp knife, reserving the top crust circle to cap the cake once filled.
- Carefully fill each cupcake hole with about half a teaspoon of Nutella and cap with the reserved cake tops.
- Either pipe or spread the buttercream on top of each cupcake, distributing evenly.
- Top with a sprinkle of chopped roasted hazelnuts and a chocolate button (or alternative of choice).
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist