hazelnut chocolate cupcakes

I made these cupcakes over a week ago for some special people in my life, but every time I tried to write about them something got in the way.

Those things, in chronological order, were:

1. Sick husband – Meds? Check. Pedialyte? Check. Snuggles? Um, no. I’d rather not get sick myself. But have some more Imodium, please. And stay over there.

2. My bed – Please stop calling my name, bed. We’ve talked about this. I can only see you for 8 hours each night. Maybe 10 if it’s the weekend. Sometimes 12. Why do I always want to curl up in you lately?

3. A fever – What is up with you, fever? Why you gotta come around here when you know I don’t want to see you? Is this why I’ve been craving my bed so strongly? It’s over between us, fever. Go find someone new. But NOT my husband. I can’t deal with that again.

4. Kitty tooth extraction – Poor, poor kitty. I know it hurts. I know those stitches are annoying. But please stop scratching your face. And please come out from behind the bed and swallow this pretty little pain pill. Please. I love you.

If Court Kitty were allowed to have cupcakes, I’d give him a dozen right now just to make him happy.

Poor thing. At least that bad tooth is gone now and in a week he will have forgotten all about his nemesis, Mr. Cat Carrier, who swallowed him up and transported him to the vet.

Perhaps I should make some more of these cupcakes for myself to help me get over this past week.

They taste like hazelnuts and chocolate, aka Nutella. But they don’t have Nutella in them. That wouldn’t be very vegan-friendly.

What they do have inside and mixed in the frosting on top is a heap of this vegan hazelnut spread that I found at Whole Foods.

You don’t have to go on a search for vegan faux Nutella, though. You can make your own using this recipe.

Then you can take some of that hazelnut/chocolate goodness and make cupcakes.

These are my new favorite cupcakes. Hands down. Or hands up, as in “put your hands up and raise the roof cause these cupcakes are the bomb!” I’m sorry. I never say things like that. I’m just tired. Let’s pretend that never happened.

Hazelnut Chocolate Cupcakes
Printable Recipe

Makes 12 cupcakes

I took Smitten Kitchen’s yellow cake recipe, turned it vegan and threw some hazelnut spread into the mix. For the frosting, I took my chocolate frosting recipe and substituted hazelnut spread for the cocoa.

Cake adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 oz Earth Balance, room temperature
  • 1 cup vegan refined sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used vanilla soy milk)
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut/chocolate spread

Frosting adapted from my Chocolate Frosting recipe

  • 1/2 cup earth balance, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup hazelnut spread
  • 3 cups vegan powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

These ingredients make a lot of frosting because I like a good amount on my cupcakes. Make less if you want to use less frosting, or just eat any remaining frosting with a spoon. There’s nothing wrong with that.

To make the cupcakes, preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and grease or line a 12 cup cupcake tin.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and Earth Balance on low-medium speed until fluffy.

Fluffy fluff fluff

Beat in the vanilla, soy milk and vinegar. Slowly pour in the dry ingredients and beat on low-medium until combined.

Spoon the batter into the cupcake tin, filling each cup about 2/3 of the way full.

Spoon two teaspoons of your hazelnut/chocolate spread into a batter-filled cupcake liner and swirl. Repeat with every cupcake.

The spread that I bought was a little thick, so I microwaved it for 30 seconds before spooning into the batter.


Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly.

Once your cupcakes cool, whip up the frosting by combining all ingredients into a large bowl and mixing on low-medium speed for 1 minute.

Frost and eat.

23 thoughts on “hazelnut chocolate cupcakes

  1. They look so pretty, what beautiful liners as well! I have never seen any vegan versions of Nuttella in my part of the world, but I have been meaning to make a homemade version for so long now.

    Poor kitty having a tooth out, but soon he will be back on track and happier than ever! Cats are so amazing how well they adapt to having a tooth out. Cats are just generally so amazing. πŸ˜‰

  2. Gosh those cupcakes look DIVINE!!! I love the whole swirly effect!!! πŸ˜€ Thanks for the link to the vegan Nutella! πŸ˜€

    Oh no! Poor Court Kitty!!!!!! I hope he feels better soon!!! I have a kitty-cat too, so I know how you feel!

    • Court is already running around and playing like nothing ever happened. Aren’t cats amazing? If that were me I’d still be pouting about it.

  3. Yay, I have a jar of this spread! Scrummy swirly cupcake time!
    Sorry you’ve had a tough week, you definitely deserve a cupcake-vegan baked goods make everything better :)
    Thanks for the recipe.

  4. wow, what a wonderful picture!!! and the recipe as well. im making vegan dessert for friends this weekend and am glad i found your site. i’ll be scouring it to see what i have the ingredients to actually throw together. thanks so much for this recipe. cheers.

    • Hey Junia! Thanks for stopping by and you’re right, nut butters make everything better, from desserts to pasta!

      To answer your question, the Chocolate Hazelnut Butter is vegan but some of the other Justin butters aren’t, like Honey Almond and Honey Peanut. The Chocolate Hazelnut ingredients are:

      Ingredients: Dry Roasted Hazelnuts, Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Powder, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Natural Vanilla, Sea Salt.

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  6. Wow, these cupcakes sound amazing. I am a fan of Justin’s almond butter, so I imagine I would like the hazelnut butter too. Cute cupcake liners! Congrats on top 9!

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  8. I originally wanted to make these for a dinner at college for french major seniors and professors as vegan “nutella”-esque cupcakes, but my supermarket only had Justin’s chocolate almond butter. I followed your recipe using the chocolate almond spread in place of the hazelnut and they came out wonderfully! Thanks so much for the recipe. I’ll definitely be making these again.

    • I am so happy to hear that they came out okay! Thank you so much for letting me know :)

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