Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nutella Bottom Cupcakes with Tiramisu Frosting

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For this month's edition of "Tattle Tasters", I had a few friends from What's Cookin, Chicago try out some cupcake recipes I played around with. Each of them received a half dozen cupcakes to taste test and shared their thoughts. This was one of the cupcakes they received so read on to see what they thought of this cupcake!

Nutella seems to be one of those ingredients that many either love or hate (although I know many more that love it than hate it.) I also noticed that it was a popular flavor used at quite a few bakeries. When I decided to make a slew of cupcakes for this month's Tattle Taster edition, Nutella had to be incorporated somehow.

What the Tattle Tasters didn't know was that this cupcake was made using a box mix. I'm all for homemade and cooking from scratch, but to be honest, I don't always have the time nor patience to get out all the ingredients, measure it out and make a scratch batter. Sometimes opening up a box, dumping the contents in the bowl with a few other wet ingredients is more convenient for me... especially when I'm making 6 dozen cupcakes in one night!

Despite using a box mix, I added a few ingredients to give it a more homemade flavor - buttermilk, canola oil and eggs. After making the batter, it went into lined muffin cups and I added a dollop of Nutella to each. Using a toothpick, I swirled the nutella a bit into the batter and let them bake. As the cupcakes baked, the Nutella sank to the bottom since it was denser and heavier than the batter. The result is a perfect layer of Nutella on the bottom. To top these cupcakes, I made a tiramisu frosting to compliment the Nutella. Fabulous!


Nutella Bottom Cupcakes with Tiramisu Frosting
recipe adapted from Hello, Cupcake!

1 box (18.25 oz) yellow butter cake mix
1 cup buttermilk (in place of the water called for on the box)
canola oil (the same amount on the box)
4 large eggs (in place of the number called for on the box)



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Follow the box instructions, putting all the ingredients in a large bowl and using the buttermilk in place of the water specified (the box will call for more water than the amount of buttermilk that you are using), using the amount of canola oil that is called for (usually 1/3 cup), and adding the eggs. Beat with an electric mixer (or in your stand mixer if you prefer) until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until think, 2 minutes longer.

Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full. Add 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of Nutella to each muffin cup. Using a toothpick, swirl Nutella with the batter to help evenly distribute.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the baking pans, place on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Frost with tiramisu frosting (recipe follows).


Tiramisu Frosting
original Joelen recipe

1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Tiramisu flavored coffee creamer
4-6 cups confectioners or powdered sugar
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules


In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and cream cheese together until fluffy; add Tiramisu creamer and beat until fully incorporated.

Slowly add confectioners or powdered sugar into the bowl, 1/2 cup at a time and beating after each addition. Continue adding the sugar until you have a thick frosting of your preferred consistency. Stir in the coffee granules until incorporated.

If the frosting becomes too thick, add a tablespoon or more Tiramisu creamer to thin out.


So what did our Tattle Tasters think of this cupcake made from a box with a bit of creativity?....

"The frosting had a good texture with a rich coffee flavor. It was really delicious. The cake could have used a little more flavor, and maybe some more nutella The flavor of the frosting over-powered the cake a bit. I did enjoy the parts with more Nutella the most, so maybe just have it more evenly distributed along the bottom. That would help to balance out the richness of the frosting as well. The frosting on this cupcake was really nice and elegant looking, and I liked seeing the Nutella layer along the bottom of the cake." - Shawna

"Perfect, moistness is perfect. Texture is perfect. The nutella counters the sweetness of the frosting perfectly." - Cathy



"The frosting was luscious with a hint of coffee which I love. The cake was light and fluffy. There was just enough Nutella at the bottom to give me a taste of it. I'm not a Nutella fan, but I didn't mind it in the cupcake because it wasn't overpowering." - Kelly



"I loved that this cupcake was extremely moist, and the nutella was the absolute kicker. There was just the perfect amount to get the flvaor but not overpower how wonderful the quality of the cake was in this one, it was just a great compliment. I actually love the flavor of the cake and nutella so much, I could have had even less frosting. The frosting flavor was wonderful, but again, since I loved the cake so much, it would have been even better to my taste for there to be a little coffee flavor throughout the cupcake as well as the frosting, and then the frosting would just be like a touch of cream to accent everything. The flavor combo altogether was extremely delicious though." - Brittany



"This was by far my favorite of the three. It was decadent in all ways. I loved that the nutella was at the bottom as opposed to the icing because it provided a contrast in flavor and texture in comparison to the icing on top. The icing was lovely in texture with flakes of perhaps choco in the tiramisu and it couples extraordinarily well with the nutella. Neither of the two flavors overpowered the other, perhaps due to the relatively neutral cake part that separated them. The presentation wasn't as noteworthy as the other two cupcakes, but it certainly did not matter with the richness and complexity of flavor. This is the one, as a non-baker, that I would try at home." - Rachel

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