Strawberry filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

So I’m kind of known as the cupcake queen at work… I wanted to whip up something a little different this week rather than making something I’ve made a thousand times before. This combo popped into my head one day and so I decided to give it a try. They wouldn’t crack my personal top 5, but they did turn out yummy! The lightness of the cake balances well with the richness of the strawberry sauce and Nutella frosting.

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Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:

  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream ( you can also use Greek yogurt or ricotta cheese if that’s what you have on hand/prefer!)

Recipe barely adapted from Annie’s Eats

For the strawberry sauce:

  • 2 cups diced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn starch

Original recipe

For the frosting:

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Nutella

Recipe from Tasty Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and line your cupcake pans with liners (this recipe makes about 2 dozen). To make your sauce, throw your strawberries in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, they’ll gradually start softening and oozing this delicious, fragrant sauce. Once you’ve got them fairly  mushy, mix in your sugar and corn starch until completely combined. Set aside to cool.

Next, combine the cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.  In another medium bowl, combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to blend. Set those aside, they’ll come later!

Combine your butter and sugar in a saucepan set over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until the butter is melted completely and the mixture looks smooth. You can also take the lazy/genius route and microwave your butter and sugar in 30 second intervals until the butter is melted… Same result! Pour your butter/sugar blend into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on med-low until mixture is cool (about 5 minutes).  Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition.  Add your vanilla and then the cocoa/water mixture until smooth.  On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and sour cream, start and ending with the dry ingredients and just until incorporated (I did 3 flour additions to 2 sour cream, if that makes sense).

Divide batter between liners, filling about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking (for my oven, 18 minutes). Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before adding sauce and frosting.

While your cupcakes are cooling, make your frosting! Whisk the butter in your stand mixer for about 5 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Starting on low speed, add the confectioner’s sugar and gradually increase speed until sugar is fully incorporated. Add vanilla and continue whisking until light and fluffy (some scraping of the bowl may be needed at this point). Once you’ve achieved maximum fluff (after about 5 minutes), add the deliciousness that is Nutella. Whisk for another 5 minutes or so til your frosting is fluffy again.

Whew, ready to assemble these bad boys? If you have a cupcake corer, great. Use that. If not, cut a small cone from the center of each cupcake using a butter knife/inverted round frosting tip/whatever you have handy. Now, I just used a teaspoon to drop/drizzle my strawberry sauce into the cupcakes just until it formed a meniscus at the top of my cutout (Mark would be so proud that I just used the word meniscus). Lastly, I used a disposable pastry bag fitted with a large star tip to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but I promise I knocked them out in about 1 hour. If you have a chocolate/strawberry/Nutella lover in your life, these little beauties are the perfect treat! Enjoy 🙂

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